Write SD Card Images Using Etcher On Windows, Linux & Mac


In the Raspberry Pi Weekly #147 newsletter they mentioned a new tool for writing SD card images. This tool is called “Etcher”. Now I’m a great fan of Win32DiskImager but I liked the look of Etcher’s clean and simple interface. It also promised to make it clearer what device you were about to nuke which is a good thing if ever you’ve written a Pi image over one of your hard drives.

Etcher can be downloaded from http://www.etcher.io/ and is available for Windows, Linux and Mac. I’ve installed it on both my Windows 7 Desktop and Ubuntu laptop. I like using common apps on both platforms wherever possible.

To our surprise there was nothing out there that fitted our needs. So we built Etcher, a SD card burner app that is simple for end users, extensible for developers, and works on any platform. – resin.io Team

The interface looks like this :

Etcher SD Card Image Burning

You browse to the image file and select a drive. The list of drives provides a nice set of information so it should be clearer exactly what physical device you are selecting.

Once the process has finished you have the option to burn the same image again or to choose a different image.

Etcher SD Card Image Burning

When selecting image files you can select IMG and ISO files as expected but also Zip files. This allows you to burn Raspberry Pi images without even extracting them from the source Zip files.

Depending on the state of the SD card you are using you may need to format it first. On Windows I always use the official SD Formatter application.

Overall I’m very impressed and not sure if SD card image burning can get any easier than this! Their site lists “simultaneous writing for multiple drives” as a future feature which would be a very welcome addition.



  1. The Chromebook recovery utility is also excellent for writing SD card images. This tool can be installed as an extension and run from any Chrome browser or Chromebook (most Chromebooks come with SD card slots so this is a complete no brainer if you own one of these handy devices).

    This utility is usually used to create backup media for the Chromebook, but instead of using an online Chromebook image, you can choose any disk image by clicking the cog icon after starting the tool. A zip file containing the disk image is the expected format, although I think it will use a .img file as well.

    This tool is a Google product so is pretty well guaranteed to be free from malware etc., and it is small and works reliably.

  2. Would it be possible to fix this issue. For example the issue happens when you write an image from your RPI SD card that is 8 gig. You won’t be able to write that image to another 8 gig SD card you will have to write it to a 16 gig. For some reason the Win32DiskImager app would append more information when it would create an image. I would love to be able to make a 8 gig image go onto another 8 gig image.

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