There are plenty of tools for writing to USB drives on Linux, but most are specialized to writing bootable USB images of one distro. For example, fedora has its own tool which makes Fedora Live USB, and other distros also have the same. So we decided to find and test a generic ISO writing tool for USB and SD cards. It is called Etcher and it is still in beta phase (at time of writing this article) but it is quite usable.
The etcher GUI is installed same way on any distribution because it is an AppImage. So first we download etcher AppImage from the official site. You can use also download it for the terminal, but it will download current version at the time writing of this article. For latest version use official site.
We need to set executable and access permissions to the AppImage
chmod a+x Etcher-linux-x64.AppImage
And then we run it with sudo or as root:
You should get the etcher started like this:
Using it is straightforward, you pick iso image on your hard drive, then pick drive where you put USB drive to be etched, then you click Flash! button and wait Etcher to do its work.
Note that for proper operation, you must have fuse installed. In most distros, it is installed by default, but if you don't have it for some reason, you install it with following commands
sudo apt-get install fuse
On CentOS as root
yum install fuse
After the image burning was completed, you will get this screen:
From there you can flash another image or same image again.
If you are running a server without desktop environment, or you simply don't want GUI, you might want to install etcher-cli. As it is written in nodejs and there is no appImage we first need to add repository for nodejs and install nodejs
On CentOS as root:
curl --silent --location https://rpm.nodesource.com/setup | bash - yum install -y nodejs
On Ubuntu as normal user:
curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_6.x | sudo -E bash - sudo apt-get install -y nodejs
Install the cli (on ubuntu or centos with sudo or as root)
sudo npm install -g etcher-cli
Then you only need to invoke it from terminal with the path to image:
miki@miki-X550JK:~/Downloads$ sudo etcher FreeBSD-11.0-RELEASE-amd64-dvd1.iso ? Select drive /dev/sdc (15.5 GB) - DataTraveler 3.0 ? This will erase the selected drive. Are you sure? Yes
It will burn the image same as the GUI utility.
Now I have a flash drive with FreeBSD 11.
The only drawback is that developers have stated that they don't plan on making RPM and deb packages, AppImage, npm, nodejs packages is all we will get. The installation process is simple enough and burning iso images to USB flash drives or SD cards is really easy with Etcher. This is all for this article, thank you for reading and have fun with Etcher.