USB writer tools are essential softwares that enable you to write Linux images onto USB drives, so you may run a live system or install an operating system onto a PC or multiple systems.
These tools are usually minimalistic and there are more than a few of them out there; however, I’ve chosen those which I feel are the best in both user experience and functionality for this list.
This USB tool from the GNOME project is quite the multitasker as it can write a single image (ISO or IMG) to multiple drives subsequently.
The little program functions best with desktop environments using GNOME as its base and these include Unity, Cinnamon, and Mate – just to name a few.
The supported USB sizes range from 1GB to 32GB and you can always find the program the in the standard Ubuntu repository should you develop a liking for it.
For other systems, you can find instructions on compiling gnome-multi-writer here.
Etcher – USB and SD Card Writer
This is a relatively new cross-platform and open source image burning tool by Resin that was developed using JS, HTML, node.js and GitHub’s Electron framework. It supports writing both IMG and ISO images to SD and USB cards.
The application is still in beta and has quite some issues that need be ironed out. It is, however, stable for the most part and has a few interesting features that include burning validation, a beautiful GUI, and hard drive friendly.
You can head on to Etcher’s website to make a download, for Linux or other platforms. You can run the application from the terminal in Linux by going to the directory at which you downloaded it and executing the command below from the terminal.
$ sudo ./Etcher-linux-x64.AppImage
Unetbootin – Create Bootable Live USB Image
Unetbootin has been around longer than GNOME Multiwriter and Etcher; it’s a widely used and acclaimed bootable live USB creator on Linux that is also cross platform with support for a wide variety of ISO images including Windows.
The application is opensource and also has the ability to download images directly from their source to write directly on your USB drive.
Unetbootin is available from the standard Ubuntu repo; therefore, you need not add any extra ppa. For other systems, however, you’ll have to find instructions on their website for compiling.
I haven’t had the chance to try a whole lot of USB tools in the past. However, I’d love to hear your thoughts on those I’ve selected on this list or any other you may have in mind in the comments below.