In Linux, creating bootable USB drives has become easier than ever. It is possible to create bootable drives using a variety of command-line and graphical tools. One such tool is BalenaEtcher, also known as Etcher. The purpose of this guide is to explain what Etcher is and how to use it to create bootable USB drives and SD cards. This guide will provide step-by-step instructions for creating a bootable USB drive with Etcher in Linux.

What is Etcher

Etcher is a tool used to write image files such as .img, .iso, and zipped folders to create bootable USB flash drives. Before its creation, writing images to SD cards and other removable storage devices was difficult. Etcher has made the process much simpler and more user-friendly.

Etcher, also known as balenaEtcher, is a program that writes images to USB flash drives and SD cards. It supports three major platforms: Linux, macOS, and Windows.

1. Directly run Etcher through the app image

The easiest way to install Etcher on your Linux system is to download the AppImage file. Once you have downloaded the file, you can simply run it to begin using Etcher.

Click here to Download Etcher

To begin using Etcher, follow these steps:

  1. Download the ZIP file and extract it to access the Etcher AppImage.
  2. Right-click on the AppImage file and select Properties.
  3. On the Permissions tab, check the box next to “Allow executing file as program.”
  4. Close the window.
  5. Launch Etcher by double-clicking the AppImage file.

You can also assign executable permissions to the file using the chmod command.

sudo chmod +x ./balenaEtcher.AppImage

In the command above, provide the exact name of the AppImage file.

2. Install Etcher Using the Terminal

Alternatively, if you are unable to run Etcher from the AppImage, you can use a package manager to install it via the command line.

To do this, you will need to add the Etcher repository using cURL. The following commands will add the repository and install Etcher on a Debian-based distribution such as Ubuntu:

curl | sudo -E bash
sudo apt update
sudo apt install balena-etcher-electron

For RHEL-based distributions like CentOS and Fedora, you will need to add the Etcher RPM repository and then install the package using a package manager like DNF or yum:

curl | sudo -E bash
sudo dnf update
sudo dnf install -y balena-etcher-electron
sudo yum update
sudo yum install -y balena-etcher-electron

On Arch Linux, you can install Etcher directly using yay, as it is available in the Arch User Repository:

yay -S balena-etcher

Once you have added the repository and installed Etcher, you will be able to launch it and begin using it to create bootable USB drives and SD cards.

A guide to creating a bootable USB drive with Etcher

Etcher is a simple, user-friendly tool that allows you to easily write image files to USB drives and SD cards. In order to use Etcher, you will need to fulfill a few prerequisites and follow three steps.


  • Download the image file
  • A USB drive with a minimum capacity of 32GB or 64GB
  • An image file in one of the supported formats: ISO, IMG, or ZIP

Using Etcher, flash the image file

When you have everything ready, connect the storage device to your computer and launch Etcher. You can flash your storage device with the image file by following the steps below.

  • Navigate to the image file you wish to flash, click on the “Flash from file” button below the + icon.
  • When you click the “Select target” button, Etcher will automatically detect and highlight all the removable media on your computer.
  • To proceed, click on your drive and then click “Select”. To begin flashing, click the “Flash” button.
  • If prompted, please enter a password and click “Authenticate”.