Etcher is not the only utility out there to write image files. There is a long list of softwares that are capable to do so and UNetbootin is one of them. UNetbootin is also used to burn OS images to USB drives and the comparison here is to announce a winner!
To choose a perfect image writing software, there are various things that need to be considered and we will be talking about all of the points. Firstly, both are cross-platform utilities which means they work on Windows, Linux, and MacOS. Battle tied here!
Now, let’s get to the installation. Etcher and UNetbootin can be downloaded from their official websites. The size of Etcher is more than 100 MB while UNetbootin is just around 5 MB for Windows. There is no complex installation as you just have to run the downloaded file and the application will launch after performing some stuff. For Linux, the commands to install/run the softwares are similar. Any winner here? We will leave that to you!
As now you have both software up and running in front of you. The thing to notice here is the user interface. Both the softwares have a graphical user interface. Anyone can spot the difference in both the interfaces. Etcher has a pretty sleek look and UNetbootin is like an old traditional software with multiple options to configure. The more user-friendly interface is of Etcher and is as simple as 1 2 3. With the looks of it, a beginner would have to refer to a video guide to use UNetbootin but that won’t be the case with Etcher. A clear winner here is Etcher!
Next comes the steps and the process to burn an OS image file. As there are just three options available in Etcher, the user has to select the OS image file by browsing to the location, then select the USB drive/SD card from the list and click Flash. For UNetbootin, you get two options. Either, you can choose the OS image file if you have downloaded or you can select the distribution image and version you want to download. Next, select the USB drive (SD Card is not supported) and click on OK. So, you get an additional option here to avoid the searching for OS image files. Etcher helps us avoid overwriting a hard disk by identifying the USB drive/SD Card and that functionality is not available in UNetbootin and users might select their own hard drive to write the OS Image file to. After a tough battle, Etcher is ahead here as well and is the winner in this section!
Just two more things to go! The first is “Validated Flashing”. Etcher validates the checksum of the selected OS image file. This means that if an OS image file is corrupted, Etcher will let you know and won’t proceed further to burn it. This feature isn’t available in UNetbootin and the software will burn the corrupted ISO file as well to the USB drive.
The second thing is the writing speed of both the softwares. Etcher is 40-50% faster than UNetbootin and this flash speed makes Etcher the ultimate winner!
After considering all the points, we would definitely recommend Etcher for burning image files to USB drives/SD cards. At the end of the day, we all want something that is easy to use and won’t cause harm to our system or files. Etcher is the answer to this. With enhanced security, easy to use interface, and fast flash speed, Etcher wins the race. Also, dedicated forums are available for this open source software to solve errors and to suggest improvements. So what’s your pick? Have you tried it yet?