How To Burn An ISO File To A USB Drive In Linux Using Etcher

Learn how to burn an ISO to a USB drive in Linux using a graphical program called Etcher.

How To Burn An ISO File To A USB Drive In Linux Using Etcher

Etcher is a tool which helps you to create a bootable USB flash drive from an ISO file. In this tutorial, we’ll show you step by step how to do it with its help in Linux.

Bootable USB drives are a great way to try out a new Linux distribution to see if you like it before you install. But you can’t simply copy an ISO file to a USB drive. Instead, you must “burn” the ISO image to the USB drive so that it’s bootable. Etcher is software that allows you to easily create bootable USB flash drives to install or use operating systems.

Of course, there is always the option to use dd command to create bootable media on the command line, but even for the experienced user, that’s still a pain. However in this tutorial we’ll use Etcher to accomplish the task.

For those don’t know about Etcher, it is a free, open-source USB bootable tool available for Linux. It has beautiful user interface and was created by Balena. Etcher help users quickly burn image files to USB devices or flashcards. It has recently become very popular in the Linux community.

How to install Etcher on Linux so You Can Create a Bootable USB

To be able to install Etcher, you need to:

  1. Add repository for Etcher
  2. Add the repository key to authenticate the package source
  3. Update the packages list
  4. Install Etcher

Installing Etcher on Ubuntu / Linux Mint / Debian

echo "deb stable etcher" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/balena-etcher.list  
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkps:// --recv-keys 379CE192D401AB61
sudo apt update
sudo apt install balena-etcher-electron

Installing Etcher on Fedora / Red Hat / Alma Linux

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

Installing Etcher on Arch Linux

Arch Linux users must first be sure that yay is installed. Then you can run the below command.

yay -S balena-etcher

Once you have installed it successfully just launch the application. 

balena Etcher icon in GNOME Dashboard

Create a bootable Linux USB flash drive

Warning: This will erase the contents of the target USB drive. To ensure you don’t accidentally write to the wrong USB drive by mistake, we recommend removing any other connected USB drives before continuing.

1. Connect the USB flash drive to your system and Launch Etcher. Click on the “Flash from file” button. This lets you browse to the ISO image you want to select for writing.

Etcher Select Image

2. Now you will see the “Select target” button highlighted. Click on it.

Etcher Select Target

3. Next, you need to select a USB drive where to write this ISO file. Etcher finds USB drive automatically, but make sure it has selected the right USB drive because if you have several USB drives connected to your computer it might select the wrong one.

Etcher Select USB Drive

4. When you have done this, all that is left to create your bootable USB device on Linux, is to start the burning process. To do this, click on the “Flash!” button. Etcher takes care of the rest of the process.

Etcher Flash Now

5. Wait the process to finish and you should be done.

Etcher Burning ISO

6. At the end of the whole process you will see a window like this one.

Etcher Succeed

Congratulations! That is it. The ISO has been burned to the flash drive successfully. Once Etcher alerts you that the image has been flashed, you can safely remove the USB drive.


Etcher is a very user-friendly and reliable program to make a bootable USB drive in Linux. And it does this with amazing speeds in times. On top of that, it has a beautiful interface and works really well. In addition, the process is pretty much the same when writing images on an SD card.

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