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Etcher - A simple way to "burn" disc images to SD cards and USB drives

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I recently discovered Etcher, which is a nice utility you can use to easily write disc images to USB drives and SD cards. It's great for things such as bootable Linux Live OSes or flashing an SD card for an IoT/SBC device.

Some notable features:

* It prevents you from overwriting your internal drives.
* It verifies that the media was flashed correctly.
* It's cross platform, working on Linux, Windows, and MacOS.
* It's portable. No need to install.

Check it out at

How is this better than, for example: Rufus?

I've never actually used Rufus, so I can't say I'm especially qualified to answer that question. But I do have it in my PortableApps folder, so I ran it real quick and I can see it's a lot more complicated than Etcher.

That's not to say that it's impossibly difficult to figure out. And in some cases those advanced features in Rufus may be wanted or needed over what Etcher provides.

My impression of Rufus from looking at it for a minute or two is that it seems to be a USB drive formatter, which also offers flashing images to the drive as an almost hidden feature. And on that note, it seems Rufus only accepts .iso formatted files. Etcher supports a variety of formats, such as iso, zip, img, dmg, raw, xz, and more.

So that's one way in which Etcher is ostensibly better than Rufus.

That said, I'm not saying it's absolutely better than everything else in every way possible. But I like that it's simple, straightforward, and does what I need without complicating things. I feel like I could send a link to Etcher and a disc image to a person who is "computer illiterate" and trust that they could operate it successfully on their first try. And since most of the time when I'm flashing an image onto a drive I don't care for any other settings or customizations and just want the drive to have the data on it, Etcher will fit my needs 99% of the time.

And since it hasn't been mentioned here before, I thought the good folks of DC might be interested in learning about it. :Thmbsup:

For me it is weird that a tool like Rufus (which writes .iso, .img, .zip, .vhd, .gz, .bzip2, .xz and .lzma files) only needs around 850KByte to its job, while Etcher claims more than 18MByte for doing the same, while hiding everything in a dreadfully simple interface. Rufus has always been among the fastest when writing an .iso/.img file as boot-able pen drive. It even allows you to make a portable hard disk boot-able if you so desire (but that requires the portable hard disk to be formatted).

Etcher comes with an interface that is dreadfully similar to a lot of websites today. All graphics and barely any useful content. I guess that is what is Etcher's most appalling "feature" to me.

I guess the question I'd have, and one I've been pondering lately is, why does either have to be better or worse?  If you don't like the interface, then don't download it.  Too many times developers (including me, which is why NANY is hard for me at times) think that unless they have a new idea, they have nothing to say.  It's not just in development, but writing, art, movies, etc.  And it's not just about the product itself, but about the themes.  As long as it does what it says it does, and there isn't a non-obvious flaw that would be a potential weakness to those that are using it, and that they might not know, then just introduce people to other software (I'd not heard of rufus) while getting away from the negativity towards them.

And as far as the size and what they're doing- both are open source.  Neither is hiding anything.  The size is probably due to libraries or something, but I haven't looked.

Just my opinion, and something I've been thinking about a lot lately.


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