Etcher – A Modern USB and SD Card Image Writer Tool for Linux

If you have been like me looking for alternative image burners to use in Linux apart from the ones commonly mentioned then, here is an easy-to-use and also stylish application for you and yes, those are the exact words to describe this application called Etcher.

Etcher is an open-source and cross platform application, so it is also available to Windows and Mac OSX users. This application simplifies everything to do with creating bootable USB drives or even Micro SD Cards. It is a project under the management of

To understand it better, let us look at some of its amazing features:

  • Open source and cross platform built using web technologies such as JS, HTML, node.js and Electron.
  • Validated burning so that you do not burn on corrupted a USB drive or SD Card.
  • Hard-drive friendly where it automatically select drive to prevent a user form erasing entire hard-drive.
  • Beautiful interface and more yet to come as promised by the developers.

How to Install and Use Etcher in Linux

To install Etcher, refer to the downloads page and grab the latest pre-made .appimage installers for all supported Linux operating systems.

Installing Etcher Using AppImage

Open the terminal and on the command line, move to your downloads directory, where you’ve download the file and run the following command to install Etcher:

$ unzip balena-etcher-electron*
$ sudo ./balenaEtcher*.AppImage

Installing Etcher Using Repository

Alternatively, you can use the official Etcher Debian repository to install it on Debian and Ubuntu based Linux distributions using following commands.

$ echo "deb stable etcher" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/balena-etcher.list
$ sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys 379CE192D401AB61
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install balena-etcher-electron

On CentOS, Redhat (RHEL) and Fedora based Linux distributions, use the following repository to install Etcher.

$ sudo wget -O /etc/yum.repos.d/etcher-rpm.repo
$ sudo yum install -y balena-etcher-electron  [On CentOS/RedHat]
$ sudo dnf install -y balena-etcher-electron  [On Fedora]

That is it, you should have Etcher up and running now and be able to burn images on USB drives and most importantly Micro SD Cards.

Etcher Bootable USB Creator
Etcher Bootable USB Creator

You can also view the source code of Etcher on Github page and report bugs that you discover.

Remember, these steps I have provided should work well on all major Linux distributions including Ubuntu and Linux Mint. These are simple steps to follow and in case you get any difficulties, you can let us know by posting a comment and we shall find solutions accordingly.

A Computer Science graduate who is most enthusiastic about Linux and FOSS. Aaron has been using Linux for over two years now and loves to share his ideas and knowledge he's acquired with other Linux users around the world.

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12 thoughts on “Etcher – A Modern USB and SD Card Image Writer Tool for Linux”

  1. I wonder why they don’t just make a “.deb” and a “.rpm” version…it would make it so much easier! Either a simple “dpkg -i *.deb” in a folder..or else a “dnf install *.rpm” and bang! you’re done!…I dunno..this whole Falatpak / Snaps thing is just too much..and now AppImage?…jeez! Sometimes?…simple is better.

  2. Hi,


    I’m a quite old Gnu Linux (now Debian) user and I use to make my bootable usb sticks using dd. I use bootable usb sticks a lot because I need them to repair PCs, recover data, make diagnostics etc…
    Now I need to boot a live on a Mac.
    My question is: if I make a bootable usb on Linux using Etcher, is it bootable on a Mac? In other words, if I want to boot a Linux Distro on Mac do I need to use Etcher on a Mac or it is the same if I create it on Linux?

    Thank you!

  3. How do you remove linux from your flash drive after using etcher? I’ve formatted with Gparted and it appears to clear the drive, but the drive becomes unusable.

  4. Not working in ubuntu 16.04 here get command not found, whether I run it as superuser or just with the sudo command? Oh well, deleted it, waste of space.

    • you have to copy the exact file name…right click on the downloaded etcher tool and select rename after which you’ll copy the name of the tool completely and in your terminal, “sudo ./filename.appimage”

      • You have to:

        sudo chmod +x Etcher-linux-x64.AppImage

        before you can run it. the ./ is so linux will look in the current directory for the command unless it is in the path.

    • This method should work if you just try to follow the instructions, that is what the developers have said. It applies to all major Linux distros. Just use the same filename, if you have renamed it as Jesse has explained. Try it one more time, may be it can work.


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