Etcher – A Beautiful App To Create Bootable SD Cards Or USB Drives

Etcher is a beautiful, simple and free GUI tool that allows you to burn OS images to USB drives and SD cards. It is created using JS, HTML, node.js and Electron. No more complicated install instructions, It just works fine out of the box. You don’t need to be an advanced user to install and use it. Etcher is cross platform tool, so It works on Windows, Mac OS X, and on almost all GNU/Linux distributions. Etcher is also available command app, so you could you use it on your Linux servers that doesn’t have any graphical user interface.

Install Etcher

Head over to the Etcher download page and download the installation file depending upon your distribution’s architecture. I use 64 bit Arch Linux, so I downloaded 64 bit installer file.

wget https://resin-production-downloads.s3.amazonaws.com/etcher/1.0.0/Etcher-1.0.0-linux-x64.zip

Once downloaded, go to the download location, and extract it.

unzip Etcher-1.0.0-linux-x64.zip

Go to the folder extracted folder and make the Etcher installer file as executable as shown below.

chmod +x Etcher-1.0.0-linux-x64.AppImage

Then, start Etcher using the following command:

./Etcher-1.0.0-linux-x64.AppImage

If it ask you to install Etcher on your system, just select Yes.

On Debian and Ubuntu and all DEB based systems, there is an official repository.

Edit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/etcher.list file, and add the following line:

deb https://dl.bintray.com/resin-io/debian stable etcher

Trust Bintray.com’s GPG key:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://pgp.mit.edu:80 --recv-keys 379CE192D401AB61

Update the sources list and install Etcher as shown below.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install etcher-electron

To uninstall Etcher, do:

sudo apt-get remove etcher-electron
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/etcher.list
sudo apt-get update

After installing Etcher, launch it from menu. It will be probably found under System settings menu.

Usage

Here it is how Etcher default interface looks like.

As you see in the above picture, the Interface is really simple and beautiful. You can easily find out how to burn an Image, can’t you?

Let me show you how to create an Ubuntu bootable USB drive.

To do so, insert your pen drive. No need to select the usb drive, Etcher will do it automatically for you. Click on “Select image” and select your OS image. once you selected the image click Flash.

Now, Etcher will start to burn image on your USB drive.

After burning the image, your USB drive will be safely ejected automatically.

Remove the USB bootable drive and start installing OS.

Like I said, Etcher is also available for command line mode. To install it, you must install Node.js with npm.

Run the following command to install npm depending upon the distribution you use.

On Arch Linux:

sudo pacman -S nodejs npm

On Debian/Ubuntu:

curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_6.x | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt-get install -y nodejs

On RHEL / CentOS / Fedora:

curl --silent --location https://rpm.nodesource.com/setup | bash -
sudo yum -y install nodejs

After installing npm, run the following command to install Etcher:

npm install -g etcher-cli

To burn an Image, just use the following command with exact OS image path:

sudo etcher <path/to/image.img>

Conclusion

While testing Etcher, I noticed that Etcher is not only simple to use, but also fast and safe. It burned a 4+ GB sized CentOS 7 OS image to my USB drive within 2 minutes. As far as I tested Etcher on my Arch Linux desktop, I didn’t find any issues so far. The developers of Etcher are working to extend its features such as writing images simultaneously to multiple drives and more. Hope this tool will help you. Give it a try, you won’t disappointed.

That’s all for now. I will be here soon with an another interesting article. Until then, stay tuned with OSTechNix.

Cheers!

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  • James Carroll

    Is it possible to make a windows 7 usb install stick with this?

    • SK

      I never tried Windows ISO. Sorry I couldn’t help. Check yourself and let us if it works.

  • Ofir Reuveni

    This is the only guise that helped me to install Etcher, The others only wasted time
    Thank you 🙂
    Can you update link to the latest version ?

  • blue

    Will etcher replace reFind’s boot manager capability? I would like to run Ubuntu 16.04.2 Server LTS side by side with my MacOS Sierra on my laptop. Which means I want to be able to choose the OS I would like to run, OR better yet if I want to run MacOS I would just turn on the Mac. And if I want Ubuntu, then that is the only time I will hold on to the Alt/Option key and then I can choose Ubuntu Server to run.