In the world of technology, there are countless applications and tools that make our lives easier. One such utility is BalenaEtcher, a versatile software designed to simplify the process of flashing disk images onto various storage devices. What sets BalenaEtcher apart is its remarkable compatibility with Linux, iOS, and Windows operating systems, making it an ideal choice for users across different platforms.
In this blog post, we will explore the features, benefits, and ease of use offered by BalenaEtcher, highlighting why it has become a go-to tool for image flashing enthusiasts.
Funny story, the tool was built principally because the creators worked with many users and there was no easy way for those users to flash an SD card that they could recommend to everyone. So, they basically wrote this tool from scratch to address this.
They built Etcher, an SD card flasher app that is simple for end users, extensible for developers, and works on any platform.
What is BalenaEtcher?
BalenaEtcher is an open-source utility that allows users to create bootable USB drives or SD cards by flashing disk images. It provides a streamlined and user-friendly interface for the process, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced users alike. BalenaEtcher supports a wide range of disk image formats, including ISO, IMG, and ZIP, allowing you to create bootable media for various operating systems, such as Linux distributions, Raspberry Pi, and other embedded devices.
One of the standout features of BalenaEtcher is its ability to run seamlessly on Linux, iOS, and Windows operating systems. This cross-platform compatibility eliminates the need for users and developers to switch between different tools depending on the operating system they are using. Whether you’re a Linux enthusiast, an Apple aficionado, or a Windows loyalist, BalenaEtcher has you covered.
With BalenaEtcher, you can enjoy a consistent experience and access its full range of features, regardless of the platform you are working on. The developers behind BalenaEtcher have worked hard to ensure a smooth user experience, resulting in a reliable and efficient tool for all.
You can flash from file, flash from URL or clone drive. A very minimalistic user interface giving you 3 principal options to start with.
The main user interface
BalenaEtcher boasts a simple and intuitive interface that makes the image flashing process a breeze. Upon launching the application, users are greeted with a clean and minimalistic design, focusing on the essential functions. The main screen provides clear instructions, allowing users to select the desired disk image and target device effortlessly.
To flash an image, simply select the image file, choose the target device, and click on the “Flash!” button. BalenaEtcher also performs a validation step after the flashing process to ensure the integrity of the flashed image. This added step provides an extra layer of confidence, assuring users that their bootable media is ready for use.
Once you have selected the source ISO, click Select target to choose the destination. If there is only one external device connected it will be preselected. If not, you have to pick your device to burn the image to.
Select your target
Safety and Reliability
BalenaEtcher prioritizes the safety and reliability of the image flashing process. It incorporates several features to minimize the risk of data loss or corruption. For instance, BalenaEtcher verifies the integrity of the image before and after the flashing process, reducing the chance of creating faulty bootable media.
Additionally, BalenaEtcher prevents accidental selection of the wrong target device by clearly displaying the device’s name and capacity, preventing costly mistakes. This safety measure ensures that users have full control over the flashing process, minimizing the potential for errors.
At the end, you’re presented with the results. Traditional tools might show you successful while the underlying SDCard gets corrupted (can happened), but BalenaEtcher has a verification mechanism that confirms that your flash has completed so you can enjoy peace of mind that your card will boot and isn’t corrupted.
While BalenaEtcher provides a straightforward image flashing experience, the tool also offers advanced features for power users. These features include support for flashing multiple devices simultaneously, enabling users to create multiple bootable media quickly.
BalenaEtcher also allows the creation of custom settings files, enabling automation and batch flashing, making it an ideal choice for system administrators or those who frequently work with disk images.
The PRO Version SD Duplicator
If you need a full blown device for writing a multiple SD cards at once, you might have a look at their PRO device too.
EtcherPro is a fully standalone hardware device allowing you to write up to 16 destinations per unit. It allows for duplication from and to SD cards, USB drives or external hard disks, as well as flashing an image file sourced from any of these locations or an internet/network location. In addition, EtcherPro is able to flash the Raspberry Pi Compute Module and other eMMC devices such as the balenaFin.
BalenaEtcher stands as a remarkable utility for image flashing due to its compatibility with Linux, iOS, and Windows operating systems. Its cross-platform support, combined with its user-friendly interface, makes it a go-to choice for users across different platforms.
With its emphasis on safety, reliability, and advanced features, BalenaEtcher simplifies the process of creating bootable media, whether you’re a novice or an expert. If you find yourself needing to flash disk images onto USB drives or SD cards, give BalenaEtcher a try, and experience its seamless functionality and convenience firsthand.
The principal advantage of Etcher is that it is an easy-to-use tool for burning OS images. However, you can also select multiple destinations, which is a plus in certain cases. However, the required disk space is significantly higher compared to similar tools as I could witness on several IT forums so if you have a larger project, you might do your own research first.
If you’re novice admin and prefer security, then BalenaEtcher is built for you. For Windows images however, you might prefer Rufus which is specialized in burning Windows images.