As written on the official website, Etcher is an image writing utility that can be used to burn USB drives or SD cards with image files and zip files. Mostly, IT professionals and computer users use this application to burn OS images for installing a fresh operating system on their computers. But there’s more to it.
Etcher is capable of doing a lot more than you think. With a cross platform support and easy to use interface, you can do some more things with the help of Etcher. Let’s take a closer look at it!
Flash Multiple Drives at Once
You can connect multiple USB drives and SD cards to your computer. When using Etcher, choose the OS image file you want to write and then while selecting the drive, checkmark multiple USB drives and Etcher will flash all the drives you want at the same time. The developers tested upto 16 USB drives at a time and it went smooth. You can try more than these as well. The speed totally depends on your computer’s resources and if you have a high end PC with good RAM and SSD in place, the validation and transfer speed will be faster.
Flash Raspberry Pi Compute Module Devices Directly
By downloading Etcher, you can flash image files directly to the Raspberry Pi compute module devices. This feature is for all the platforms. It is basically connecting your Raspberry Pi board to the laptop/PC and then running Etcher to flash the OS image directly to the board. Etcher recognizes the drive installed on the board and initializes it to flash the operating system files.
The great thing here is that Raspberry Pi Zero and Raspberry Pi Zero W are also supported. Users won’t have to connect their SD cards separately using an adapter to flash OS images. Just connect the SD card to the Raspberry Pi board and Etcher will take care of it. One thing to mention here is that you need to erase the SD card before flashing it with Etcher. This feature will only work if the SD card is empty because of the complex nature of Raspberry Pi bootloader. Also, if you are trying to do it on your Linux OS, then make sure to run etcher as an administrator.
TIP: To run Etcher as an administrator/root user, type the following command in Terminal window(Ctrl + Alt + T) (Replace applicaton_name with Etcher filename stored in your PC)
The developers are always working on this project to add new features and make the application more fast. Being an open source application, users/programmers and other app developers can always contribute to the development/improvement of Etcher which open further doors for new functionalities and support. As of now, you can pretty much burn or write any genuine OS image to your pen drive or SD card using Etcher. You will experience a low failure rate which is less than 5% and a fast flash speed which is around 50% faster than the other Etcher alternatives.