How to Flash/burn OS Image with Etcher on Ubuntu?

There can be various reasons you have landed on this post.

  1. You want to install your OS again because of viruses or corrupt files causing problems to your system. (as we all have confidential data on our systems)
  2. You have got a new PC or you simply want to refresh your system with a new OS due to speed issues.
  3. You want to run two operating systems in a dual-boot mode.

Well, your go-to tool Etcher- a free open source application available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, can easily flash/burn OS images to SD cards and USB drives. The graphical user interface of Etcher makes it easy for the users to copy OS images for installation.

The guide is pretty universal and simple. You can burn any OS image file using Etcher on Ubuntu by following this guide.

Important points to note:

  1. Make sure you have enough memory on your USB drive or SD card (it’s recommended to have at least 8 GB free)
  2. Always download the OS image files from the official website.

Let’s get right into the steps below.

  1. Download the latest version of Etcher for Ubuntu from this page. (32 bit and 64 bit according to your OS version). 

Tip: You can check your Ubuntu’s version by entering the following command in Terminal – lscpu

  1. The .zip file will be downloaded in the Downloads folder. Extract the .appimage file by entering the following command in Terminal. Enter the name of your .zip file instead of the one shown below.
    unzip ~/Downloads/
  2. Enter the following command in terminal to run Etcher –
  3. Etcher will launch and you will see the application window.
  4. Click on the “Select Image” button and browse to the location where you have downloaded the OS image file.
  5. Click on “Select Target” and choose your pen drive or SD card that you inserted.
  6. Click on Flash! The application will display the estimated time along with the transfer speed. Wait for the flash to finish successfully. Close the application and eject the USB drive or SD card.

You are done.

The flash speed is significantly higher than the other alternatives of Etcher and you won’t get any error message if you follow the steps correctly. Happy flashing!


  1. How to fix image file verification error (Checksum error)?
    If you have downloaded the image from torrent or an infected source or website, you may get this error. Make sure you are only using the official website to download OS images. 
  2. The flash process is stuck in between. What to do?
    Make sure that the pen drive or SD card is connected properly. Close Etcher and format the pen drive/SD card. Again run Etcher and try flashing it.
  3. Can I burn a Windows OS image file to my pen drive on Linux using Etcher?
    Yes, you can do it. Simply download the Windows OS image file from the official website. When you click on “Select Image” in Etcher, choose the downloaded file and proceed to burn it to your pen drive.
  4. Can I use Etcher on Linux to create live USB?
    Yes, you can do it. Download the live image file of the operating system you want to burn and follow the same steps mentioned above.
  5. I have data stored on SD card/pen drive. Will it be deleted while burning the OS with Etcher?
    Yes, Etcher will format the SD card/pen drive. Make sure to copy your files stored on the external drive as it will be erased to burn OS.
  6. How can I open the Terminal window in Ubuntu?
    You can open the Terminal window by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard.
  7. I extracted the .appimage file but I am getting an error while executing it. How to run it?
    Right click on the .appimage file and click on Properties. Go to the Permissions tab and checkmark “Allow executing file as program”. 
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