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Etcher burns images to USB keys, SD cards, more

23 April 2017, Mike Williams

EtcherEtcher is an open-source cross-platform tool for burning images to SD cards, USB drives and other removable devices.

The program keeps operations to the bare minimum, all of them clearly displayed on a simple interface. Choose your image, then your drive, and finally click the “Flash!” button.

Etcher supports many different image formats: ISO, IMG, RAW, BZ2, DMG, DSK, ETCH, GZ, HDDIMG, XZ and ZIP.

The program burns images only and can’t compete with more versatile products, but does at least warn you of this. We chose a Windows image, for instance, and Etcher warned us that extra processing was required to make the image bootable, and we should use a tool like Rufus instead.

The “Choose a drive” step only enables selecting removable devices, reducing the chance that you’ll accidentally trash a system drive. If this doesn’t suit your needs – maybe a removable device isn’t being detected correctly – you can disable this protection by turning on “Unsafe Mode” in settings.


Choose image. Pick storage device. Click “Flash!” That’s the Etcher manual, basically.

Once the image is written, Etcher validates the results to make sure it’s worked correctly. That’s usually a good idea, but can take a while, and if you prefer you can disable validation in Settings.

The program can also burn the same image again immediately afterwards, handy when you’re working with a batch of drives.

Overall, while it’s not doing anything too clever, Etcher is a convenient and easy-to-use image burner which works almost everywhere. And that’s just fine with us.

Etcher is an open-source tool for Windows 7 and later, Linux and Mac.

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