How to Use and Install Etcher on Linux

Wondering how to use and install Etcher on Linux?

There’s no doubt that a bootable USB has its fair share of advantages. It allows you to give a shot to the different OS or bootable programs without going through installing them on your main device. Furthermore, they are portable and allow storing other data in the same flash drive.

There are many ways to create a bootable USB, with programs designed to create such devices. One of these programs is called Etcher. Created by Balena, Etcher is a fast and free-to-use tool that is used to create live USB flash drives.

Through its easy-to-understand GUI and support for Linux distributions, Etcher is one of the go-to programs for many Linux users.

Most people, however, are unfamiliar with Linux-based Operating Systems and find it hard to navigate through the User Interface. Have no fear, as this article is meant to guide you step-by-step on how to install and use Etcher on Linux.

It should be noted that we will be using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for this tutorial. However, the process shouldn’t be any different for other Linux distributions, and changes will be mentioned as needed. With the help of this tutorial, you’ll be creating live USB drives in no time.

So, without further ado, let’s begin!

Step 1: Installing Etcher on Linux [Terminal].

Whether you’re using Ubuntu, Fedora, or any other Linux distribution, you’ll hear the word terminal get tossed around. Although many people are intimidated by the CLI, it’s not difficult to use once you get the hang of it. Learning how to use the terminal might just turn out to be your biggest asset.

Here, we shall see how to install Etcher with the help of the Linux terminal. Just follow these steps to install Etcher by simply typing some commands in the Linux terminal.

It should be noted that the syntax somewhat varies for different distributions. To avoid difficulties, ensure you know what Linux distribution and build you’re using.

To install Etcher, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Linux terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T keys.
  2. Once you open the terminal, you need to install repositories for Etcher. This varies based on what distribution you’re using. For Ubuntu and Debian, enter the following: 
$ echo “deb stable etcher” | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/balena-etcher.list



For Fedora, CentOS, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, enter the following:

$ sudo wget -O /etc/yum.repos.d/bintray- resin-io-redhat.repo
  1. Next, enter the following commands to update and install Etcher. For Ubuntu and Debian:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install balena-etcher-electron

Enter the following if you’re using Fedora, CentOS, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux:

$ sudo wget -O /etc/yum.repos.d/etcher-rpm.repo
$ sudo dnf install -y balena-etcher-electron

Having followed the steps correctly, you should now have Etcher installed on your device. However, if you find it hard to follow through with the steps, you can try the GUI route instead.

Step 2: Installing Etcher on Linux [GUI].

Using the Linux terminal might not be your forte. For this purpose, we also provide you with the GUI method. Although it involves more steps, the procedure is easier to understand.

One thing to keep in mind is that we will be using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for this tutorial, which uses the GNOME graphical interface. However, this doesn’t mean the tutorial wouldn’t be of any help to you. As long as you follow the steps correctly, the installation should be a walk in the park.

For GNOME users, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Firstly, open your browser (Firefox is the default for Ubuntu).
  2. Then, navigate to Etcher’s main website by searching ‘Balena Etcher‘ or clicking here.
  3. Choose the installation package and click Download.
install etcher on linux
  1. Click on Save File and press OK
  1. Once it finishes downloading, double-click the application to open it.
  2. Click Extract, and choose where you would like to extract the file.
install etcher on linux
  1. When the extraction is finished, navigate to the location where you extracted the application. Before we execute the AppImage, we need to make sure it has permissions. For this right-click the AppImage file and select  Properties.
  2. Next, click on Permissions and check Allow executing as a program.
install etcher on linux
  1. Lastly, double-click the AppImage file to run Etcher.

With the instructions followed carefully, you have now finished installing Etcher. The next section of the guide will instruct you on how to use Etcher to burn files onto your USB flash drive.

Step 3: Using Etcher on Linux.

Now that we’re finished with the installation process, all that’s left is to teach you how to use Etcher. 

As you will see, the process isn’t complicated, and the simple procedure is what makes etcher a fast, easy-to-understand program that gets the job done.

Before we begin, we’d like to remind you that Etcher requires a portable drive. This means that you need to have a USB flash drive or SD Card with you. Creating a live USB can take some time, so ensure your power supply does not disconnect during the procedure to prevent corruption.

Follow these steps to use Etcher:

  1. Start by searching for the Etcher AppImage file by typing Etcher in the search bar.
  2. Double-click on the file to open it.
  3. The first option asks about the location of the file which is to be burned onto the target device. Select the option which seems appropriate to you.
install etcher on linux
  1. The next prompt asks you to select the removable drive. Click on Select target and choose the drive that suits you.
install etcher on linux
  1. Once you’ve selected the target drive, click on Flash! It will ask for administrator permissions by asking for the password. Enter the password, and you’re good to go.

With all steps followed correctly, congratulations! You have now successfully created a live USB flash drive. We really hope this guide helped you understand how to install Etcher and how to properly use it. The process should be the same for different distributions, so there’s no need to hesitate to try it out on your device.

      If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂

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