Creating bootable USB Drives with Etcher

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Based on my practice tests, I find Etcher appealing but not entirely convincing. For example, I noticed one small defect that appeared when the software started under Mageia 5, ROSA Linux R8, and openSUSE Leap 42.1. Each time an error message popped up informing me that user rights were missing. This kept happening even though the FUSE libraries had been completely integrated into each system. However, the software started gracefully under Ubuntu 16.04 and Linux Mint 18; the pesky error message did not appear.

The window that is superimposed on the home screen and indicates the possibility of integration in the menu system for the given desktop proved to be a dummy only. Moreover, Etcher was not able to create a bootable flash drive from non-hybrid images with only one El Torito boot sector.

Even so, Etcher proved reliable in recognizing each mounted USB drive and its operating status without the need for additional manual work. The validation function for the write process ensures a high level of data integrity.


Desktop-specific tools for sending OS images to USB drives often rely on external formatting routines. They also often require that the user unmount the prepared flash drive manually. These tools can therefore cause confusion instead of making the transfer easier.

Etcher makes these steps obsolete. All you have to do with this program is to select the image and launch the write process. The software will reliably take care of the rest. Moreover, the software accepts both ISO files as a source, and also images in IMG and archive form.

However, with hybrid images, Etcher also assumes that exotic distribution images with El Torito boot sectors are not suitable. Due to the fact that the project is under constant development, it is entirely possible that existing deficits, like the missing desktop integration, will soon be a thing of the past.

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