How to Install Etcher USB Image Writer Tool on Ubuntu

Etcher ( also know as balenaEtcher) is a free, cross-platform, and open-source tool used for writing images such as .iso, .img, and .zip files to storage media. It is used to flash OS images to USB drives, SD Cards, or Raspberry Pi devices. This enables users to create bootable flash drives.

Etcher is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux and is available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. It is based on Electron and keeps in mind it's not compatible with the system supporting Wayland.

Etcher also supports the CLI version for command-line lovers, the GUI version is more popular.

In this tutorial, we learn how to install Etcher, the image writer tool on Ubuntu. Two approaches to install are discussed: Using the AppImage and from the official Repo.

Prerequisites

  • Ubuntu 18.04, 20.04 or later installed with GUI
  • A user with sudo proviledge
  • Internet connection to download Etcher.

Method 1: Install Etcher on Ubuntu using AppImage

Etcher Linux is available in AppImage package. You can simply download the file, give execute permission and run the application.

AppImage doesn't need to install, compile or need root permission - apps are in read-only mode.

01. Download Etcher AppImage

Using your favorite browser navigate to https://www.balena.io/etcher/. Click on 'Download for Linux x64' button and choose Save File.

download Etcher on Ubuntu

This will save the .zip file to the Downloads directory.

02. Extract the .zip file

Navigate to the Downloads directory. Right-click on the downloaded .zip file and select Extract Here.

Extract .zip file

This will extract the .zip file to a new directory named balena-etcher-electron-<version>-linux-x64.

03. Give Execute Permission

Navigate to the new directory. Right-click on the AppImage file and select Properties.

In the Permissions tab, check the 'Allow executing file as program' checkbox which gives execute permission for that file.

04. Start Etcher application

Now you can Double click on the AppImage file to start the Etcher application.

Etcher Application

To use Etcher, first select the source image file (file format such as .iso,. img, etc), choose the target device (usually a USB device), and click Flash to create a bootable USB.

Method 2: Install Etcher using Offcial Repo

This is the preferred way if you wish to get Etcher updates automatically by settings up the repo via Software Updater or CLI.

First, add the Etcher Ubuntu repository, type:

echo "deb https://deb.etcher.io stable etcher" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/balena-etcher.list

Now add the repository key:

$ sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 379CE192D401AB61

Finally, update the repo and install Etcher:

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt install balena-etcher-electron

Once Etcher CLI installation is finished, open it from Ubuntu Software or run balena-etcher-electron in the terminal.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, we learned how to install Etcher on Ubuntu. We learned two methods to install Etcher using AppImage and CLI method.

Leave a Comment