Best Etcher Alternatives for Windows, Mac & Linux

Etcher is a full-fledged software for the creation of bootable USB drives and SD cards. The fact that it is comparatively new in the race, makes it lag nowhere since it is fully loaded with all the functionality that is required to accomplish the purpose. Its cross-platform running ability and its easy-to-use interface speaks volume and cannot be compared to any other tool. It simply does what it claims for, though there are some advanced features like Choosing Cluster Partition, File system, etc which are currently under pipeline for Etcher. The secondary need for advanced options can make you surf for its alternative software.

So based on specifications, compatibility, and ease of working, we have created a list of the top 10 alternatives that are currently available in the market. The list also focuses on those tools that offer cross-platform running capability, like Linux Drive on a MAC system and vice-versa. Rufus tops the list, followed by Universal USB installer and so on.

Now we will quickly have each one of these explained, discussing everything from their pros/cons to their functions, and finally I’ll be reviewing some of the features related to each tool(if any) that makes them unique from the rest.

1. Rufus

First, on the list, we have Rufus which is the best alternative for Etcher developed by FOSS. Rufus is a very lightweight USB flash disk utility available in the market and numerous people prefer Rufus because of its simple user-interface. Rufus has the capabilities to turn your normal USB drive into a bootable USB-flash drive or even into a Live USB. You Can easily convert an ISO file of your operating system and you can use it while booting your new PC or make it a bootable pen drive for Linux/ Windows. 

Rufus comes with a pre-loaded configuration so that the booting process is rapid. You can even change those configurations according to your preferences and the needs of your operating system. This application is very light and will only take a memory space of 1.1 MB. You can download Rufus by clicking here.

Rufus

Pro’s:

  • Tiny size
  • Rapid Speed of flashing
  • Advanced settings compatible to work with both: BIOS and UEFI mode

Con’s:

  • No image validation feature
  • Only supports Windows
  • The UI can be a limit overwhelming for a newbie

Features that really stands out:

Definitely, its quick speed and its lightweight size, that makes Rufus crazily popular. Also, not to mention, it provides some very useful settings to allocate the Cluster Size, Partition, also the file system and many more, which Etcher lacks as of now.

2.  UNetbootin

  • USB install
  • Hard Drive install

USB install is used to create bootable media drives while Hard Drive Installer is used to perform network installation without a CD.

UNetbootin aka Universal Netboot Installer is another tool that is widely used by users around the world that use Linux operating systems. UNetbootin has made things so convenient that you do need to install Linux or any other operating system on the base machine you can either boot your USB with this tool and can use Linux or any operating system of your choice by just plugging-in and booting your computer. 

UNetbootin has a very simple and self-explanatory user-interface that makes booting your USB comparatively easier than other tools. UNetbootin is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome browsers. You can download UNetbootin by clicking here.

UNetbootin

Pro’s:

  • The interface is quite clear to understand
  • Supports a variety of platforms
  • Can easily beat Rufus in speed

Con’s:

  • Can only be used with Linux
  • Does not support UEFI mode

Features that really stands out:

The best thing about UNetbootin is that it offers a built-in downloader for ISO images of various Linux distributions.

3. PowerISO

PowerISO is a bundle that is not only used to create bootable drives but is loaded with various other options too. Like etcher, it can also create bootable USB drives in no time. But it also has limitations of working with cross-platforms, like Rufus, it can also be used on Windows operating systems only. Some very useful features of this tool are:

  • converting various image formats to ISO, mounting disk, virtual drives, and more.

Pro’s:

  • Works with any kind of image like daa, bin, iso etc
  • The interface is great, making it a  handy tool
  • Offers wide range of features
  • Offers theming engine which lets you choose themes based on your preference
  • It supports NTFS file system

Con’s:

  • It doesn’t support Linux or IOS.
  • It doesn’t offer a portable version
  • Upgradation to the full version is costly
  • It consumes more time.
  • Limited to ISO images only.

Features that really stands out:

It surely is a small software but is backed up by so many added functionalities which makes it a useful choice.

PowerISO

4. Win32 Disk Imager

Win32isk Imager is an equally comparable tool in terms of speed to Rufus. It is primarily used for flashing low level utilities on SD cards and USB drives, like Raspbian and ARM-based OS. Though it doesn’t support the desktop OS, its user interface is extremely tremendous. It is self-guiding and easy as an etcher. 

Win32 Disk Imager

Pro’s:

  • Easy to understand interface
  • Used for flashing low-level utilities
  • Flashing speed is extreme
  • It also calculates the hash.

Con’s:

  • It is not available for MAC.
  • Does not support desktop-class OS

Features that really stands out:

This software’s User Interface is nearly as clean as Etcher itself. It is a quick straight-forward tool that just asks for the image file, selects the drive, and clicks on “Write” and you are done.

5. RMPrepUSB

RMPrepUSB is another USB flash disk utility that was developed by RM Education customers. RMPrepUSB is a very useful tool that can convert your USB drive to a bootable USB drive that you can use if you are into OPerating Systems. The GUI of RMPrepUSB is highly used for booting windows USB drives which support multi-booting too. 

The key-feature of RMPrepUSB is that it allows users to quickly test, partition, format, and install a boot manager install also it supports extracting and copying of files that are required to test a USB drive. The size of the application is also very small i.e. 9.79 MB and supports the operating system of version Windows 7 and above. You can get this amazing tool by clicking here.

RMPrepUSB

Pro’s:

  • One can set their frequently used settings as default.
  • Calculate the MD5/CRC32 and SHA1 checksum values.
  • Change the partition order of the USB drive.

Con’s:

  • The interface is quite busy and haphazard.

Features that really stands out:

Partition, Format, and make a bootable USB drive, we can perform all this with RMPrepUSB and it offers us a one-stop solution for everything that’s needed to be done to make your drive bootable.

6. YUMI – Multiboot USB Creator (Windows)

YUMI also known as Your Universal Multiboot Installer is a very simple and handy tool that is used to create bootable USB drives. It majorly focuses on Linux-based operating systems, it also has the capability to format antivirus testing programs and can clone disc, windows program, and more. If you are into penetration testing or into Debian-based operating systems then you can check this utility by clicking here.

Pro’s:

  • Upload multiple ISO files onto a portable USB key.
  • Very basic interface
  • It is a later version of the Universal USB installer, thus, is loaded with advanced features like multiboot abilities.
  • Has support for UEFI.

Con’s:

  • Focussed on Linux.

Features that really stands out:

Its multiboot option is very useful in making useful bootable USB.

YUMI – Multiboot USB Creator (Windows)

7. WinSetupFromUSB

WinSetupFromUSB is yet another tool that has a lot of features that you can use to turn your normal USB drive to a bootable USB drive to load any operating system. WinSetupFromUSBis a windows based program that can be used to install any Windows version into your computer, Linux operating system, and other DOS-based utilities. You can get this utility by clicking here which is available for Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7/ 10.

WinSetupFromUSB

Pro’s:

  • Supports multiple Linux-based distributions and utilities from ISO files.
  • Can prepare Windows XP (2000, 2003) setup files
  • Supports many other ISO images as long as they are compatible with grub4dos CD emulation.

Con’s:

  • Is not compatible with MAC.

Features that really stands out:

The fact that it can create bootable drives for Windows as old as Vista, XP etc, really stands out.

8. Windows 7 USB/DVD tool:

Windows 7 USB/DVD tool that was developed by Microsoft to make installation of ISO files easier. The Windows 7 USB/DVD tool will permit you to copy the installation file of any operating system into a USB drive or a DVD that can be used to boot your PC with a new operating system. The user-interface of the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool is so simple that any individual can understand it just by looking at the tool’s interface. You can get Windows 7 USB/DVD tool by clicking here.

Windows 7 USB/DVD tool

Pro’s:

  • Speed is commendable.
  • The UI is super simple.

Con’s:

  • Works with Windows 7 and 8 only.

Features that really stands out:

The speed and the simplicity of the application really stand out.

9. Diskmaker-X

DiskMaker X is an AppleScript-built program that can be used with any OS X/macOS version to generate a bootable drive from an OS X/macOS installer. As soon as you open the script, you can try to find the Spotlight OS X Install package. It then proposes to create a bootable disk to load to make it look as fine as possible.In a few taps, it is the fastest way to create an OS X/macOS Installer! You can get this tool by clicking here.

Diskmaker-X

Pros:

  • Best for the macOS
  • Built-in support for Mojave

Cons:

  • None

Features that really stands out:

Works wonderfully with MacOS with a very easy-to-understand UI.

 

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