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Balena Etcher

Balena Etcher is an application that can write an operating system's file, usually in ISO format, to an external drive, so the drive can be used to boot a computer.

The application works equally well on Windows, MacOS, and Linux operating systems. There is a portable version that can be put on an external drive and taken from Windows computer to Windows computer.

An operating system on an external drive is typically how Linux operating systems are installed on a computer and shared with others.

The page linked here lists several Linux distros. There are links to the Websites for them on the page.

Balena Etcher: Welcome

Creating a boot drive

The three steps below can be followed on any version of Etcher, regardless of whether it is used on Windows, MacOS, or just about any Linux operating system. Etcher is designed to look the same on all these systems and has the same features.

These instructions will focus on flashing an ISO from a file. Etcher can also flash an operating system from a URL, and it can clone a drive.

  • Flash from URL

Balena Etcher: Text
balenaEtcher.FlahFromFile.png

Step 1: Click Flash from file

Click the Flash from file to launch a dialog that allows you to select a distro from your hard drive or connected drives. The dialog is the standard open dialog for your operating system. Click the Open button after you have selected the desired file.

Step 2: Select target

  1. Click the second button, called "Select target," to see a list of external drives connected to your computer.

  2. Then click the check box next to the desired drives. More than one can be selected.

  3. When all the desired drives have been selected, click the select button in the dialog.

BalenaEtcher3a.png
BalenaEtcher4.png

Step 3: Flash

This button will start the writing process. It will first erase and format the selected drives before it writes the operating system file to the drives.

It will show advertisements for other Balena software and hardware. When it is done, it has a button called "Flash another". Clicking it will return you to the main Etcher window, where you can choose another operating system file and different external media.

Balena Etcher: News

Downloading and Installing

Jump to instructions: Windows - MacOS - Linux

There are several different ways that Etcher can be downloaded. Windows, MacOS, and the various Linux distros have different ways of downloading and installing Etcher.

Balena Etcher: Text
BalenaEtcher.WebPage.DownloadButton.png

The Download Etcher button on the Etcher Web page, pictured here, will cause the Web page to jump to a section called Get Your Assets. Get Your Assets is where the links to the files are located.

Balena Etcher: Image

Windows

There are two versions that can be downloaded, one that can be installed and a portable version that can be taken from computer to computer. The instructions below are for the installed version, that works on 32-bit systems and 64-bit systems.

BalenaEtcher.Windows.Install1a.png

Step 1: Download the file

  1. When you visit the Etcher Web page, click the Download Etcher button and the Web page will scroll to the list of Etcher files.

  2. Click the Download link for the one with the word "Installer."

BalenaEtcher.Windows.Agree2.png

Step 2: Agree to license

This is the first window you will see after double-clicking on the Balena exe file that was just downloaded. In the window, click the Agree button.

BalenaEtcher.Windows.InstallWait3.png

Step 3: Practice patience

The installation begins after clicking the Agree button in the previous step. The process will only take a minute or two, so not much patience is required. After the process is done, the application will open.

Balena Etcher: News

MacOS

There is only one option for MacOS, unlike the files for Windows and Linux operating systems, which have two each. The official Etcher application is designed for Intel Macs. There are community versions on GitHub for the Apple Silicon chip.

BalenaEtcher.Mac.Download.1.png

Step 1: Download .dmg from Website

  1. When you visit the Etcher Web page, click the Download Etcher button, and the Web page will jump to the download section of the page.

  2. Click the Download link for MacOS.


This will start the download.

BalenaEtcher.MacOS.Install2.png

Step 2: Double-click .dmg and drag it to Applications

  1. After the file has downloaded, you can either click the item in your browser's downloaded list, or go to the folder where you downloaded it.

  2. Double-click the file.

  3. Drag it to the applications folder by using the balenaEtcher dialog (as shown in the image).

  4. After the file has downloaded, you can either click the item in your browser's downloaded list, or go to the folder where you downloaded it. Double-click the file.

  5. Drag it to the applications folder by using the balenaEtcher dialog (as shown in the image).

Balena Etcher: News

Linux

Etcher is an AppImage for Linux operating systems. This is a package that can run on any Linux distro, and it can be put on an external drive and run on different computers that have a Linux operating system. An AppImage does not need to be installed. It can run directly from the folder you downloaded it to.


The only version available from the Website is a 64-bit Intel/AMD computers.

Step 1: Download the file

  1. When you visit the Etcher Web page, click the Download Etcher button, and the Web page will jump to the download section of the page.

  2. Click the Download link for the Linux AppImage one.


This will start the download.

BalenaEtcher.Linux.Download1.png

Step 2: Prepare the file

After the download is complete, go to the folder where the file is stored.

  1. Right-click on the AppImage.

  2. Click on Properties in the menu that appears.

  3. A dialog appears with two tabs, Basics and Permissions. Click the Permissions tab.

  4. In the Permissions tab, click the box in the Execute line so there is a check in it.

  5. Close this dialog.

BalenaEtcher.Linux.Prepare2.png

Step 3: Launch the app

Double-click the file to launch the application.

BalenaEtcher.Linux.Launch3.png
Balena Etcher: News

Related Links

Linux pages/blogs

  • Linux intro

  • Balena Etcher - Flash URL

  • Balena Etcher - Cloning

  • Why Linux?

  • Why these three?

Balena Etcher: List
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