How to Install balenaEtcher on Pop!_OS 20.04

balenaEtcher is a free and open-source flashing utility tool famous for writing image files such as .iso and .img files and zipped folders onto storage media to create live SD cards and USB flash drives. balenaEtcher has cross-platform support on Linux, BSD, macOS, and Windows and is developed by balena and licensed under Apache License 2.0.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install baelnaEtcher on Pop!_OS 20.04 LTS and create a Linux distribution boot disk.

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Prerequisites

  • Recommended operating system: Pop!_OS 20.04 or higher.
  • User  Account: A user account with sudo or root access.
  • Internet access

Update the operating system

Update your Pop!_OS operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

The tutorial will use the sudo command and assume you have sudo status.

To check the sudo status on your account:

sudo whoami

Example output showing the sudo state:

[joshua@popos ~]$ sudo whoami
root

To set up an existing or new sudo account, visit our tutorial on adding a User to Sudoers on Pop!_OS.

To use the root account, use the following command with the root password to log in.

su

The tutorial will use the terminal for installation found in Activities> Show Applications > Terminal.

Example:

How to Install balenaEtcher on Pop!_OS 20.04

Install Required Dependecies

The following packages will need to be installed for the installation to be completed.

sudo apt install curl apt-transport-https

Note, if unsure, just run the command.

Import the balenaEtcher Repository

The first task is to import the official Etcher repository. This is relatively easy for Pop!_OS users as there is a bash script that the balena team created that can be downloaded and automates the import.

In your terminal, use the following command to download the bash script.

curl -1sLf 'https://dl.cloudsmith.io/public/balena/etcher/setup.deb.sh' | sudo -E bash

If the above commands fail, the curl package is more than likely not installed. To fix this, use the following terminal command.

sudo apt install curl -y

Then repeat the process to download the bash script.

The command will automatically engage the bash command to engage the script and import the repository, and if you have missed the apt-transport-https package, attempt to install it.

Once complete, you should see instructions at the end of your terminal output.

Example:

How to Install balenaEtcher on Pop!_OS 20.04

Next, run an APT update to ensure the package manager is up to date with the new repository inclusion.

sudo apt update
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Install balenaEtcher on Pop!_OS

Now that the repository is imported, it is time to install the Etcher software. In your terminal, use the following command.

sudo apt-get install balena-etcher-electron

Example output:

How to Install balenaEtcher on Pop!_OS 20.04

Type Y, then press the ENTER KEY to proceed with the installation.

Next, verify the installation using the apt-cache policy command.

sudo apt-cache policy balena-etcher-electron

Example output:

How to Install balenaEtcher on Pop!_OS 20.04

Create Installation Image USB with balenaEtcher

With balenaEtcher now installed, the tutorial will quickly show how to create a bootable installation USB image. This is one of the most common uses for this software, as many Linux users would know about distro hopping and the importance of installation images.

The tutorial will create a Fedora alternative installation image.

First, download the .iso installation image. This will be from Fedora Workstation’s download page for the tutorial case.

Next, back in your Pop!_OS 20.04 system, open the balenaEtcher, which can be found in activities > show applications > balenaEtcher.

Example:

How to Install balenaEtcher on Pop!_OS 20.04

The first screen you will come to is pretty self-explanatory. One of the reasons this software is popular is its relatively easy use compared to alternative options.

On your application screen, click on the button “Flash from file.”

Example:

How to Install balenaEtcher on Pop!_OS 20.04

Once you have selected the installation image you want, click on the button “Select target.”

Example:

How to Install balenaEtcher on Pop!_OS 20.04

In the following window, select the USB you want to use as the target for the Etcher application to burn the image.

Example:

How to Install balenaEtcher on Pop!_OS 20.04

Now to finish off and begin creating the bootable USB installation image disk, click the “Flash” button.

Example:

How to Install balenaEtcher on Pop!_OS 20.04

Once complete and successful, you will see a similar output.

Example:

How to Install balenaEtcher on Pop!_OS 20.04

Congratulations, you have installed balenaEtcher and created your first USB bootable disk with the software.

How to Keep balenaEtcher Updated

The installation method used the APT package manager to install the software from the repository.

To update balenaEtcher, use the apt-update command just as you would with any APT package or system update check.

sudo apt update

Ideally, you should be doing this often to keep your system updated. If an available update is listed, use the apt-upgrade command to proceed.

sudo apt upgrade

How to Remove (Uninstall) balenaEtcher

To remove balenaEtcher is a relatively straightforward process.

First, in your terminal, use the following command.

sudo apt remove balena-etcher-electron --purge

Example output:

sudo apt remove balena-etcher-electron --purge

Type Y, then press the ENTER KEY to proceed with the removal.

This will thoroughly remove the application and any dependencies.

Next, use the following command if you no longer want the repository on your Pop!_OS system.

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/balena-etcher.list

Now finish up by using the last command to refresh your repository.

sudo rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*
sudo apt update

Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned how to install the popular balenaEtcher software on Pop!_OS 20.04 LTS.

Overall, besides the ease of use which is very popular amongst the average user, or better yet, users migrating from Windows or macOS for the first time to create a Linux USB bootable installation disk, balenaEtcher has some great features such as validated flashing, open-source and very lightweight.

More advanced users would probably prefer using Rufus that has extended advanced options, but balenaEtcher excels above the rest for the average needs.

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