Flash OS

Essential Utilities: Flash OS Images

Linux offers a gamut of open source small utilities that perform functions ranging from the mundane to the wonderful. In our eyes, it’s the breadth of these tools that help to make Linux a compelling operating system.

LightbulbFor beginners to Linux the range of distributions can be daunting. Should I investigate Ubuntu, Arch Linux, openSUSE, elementaryOS, or even try Solus? A good way to experiment with Linux distributions and find the one that best fits your needs is to create a bootable SD card or USB drive flashed with the Linux distros. The tools featured in this article make this process simple and safe. They are all easy to use with a simple interface, and hard drive friendly.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts is a very famous quote from Aristotle, a Greek philosopher and scientist. This quote is particularly pertinent to Linux. In our view, one of Linux’s biggest strengths is its synergy. The usefulness of Linux doesn’t derive only from the huge raft of open source (command line) utilities. Instead, it’s the synergy generated by using them together, sometimes in conjunction with larger applications.

Good open source developers writing utilities seek to make sure the utility does its job as well as possible, and work well with other utilities. The goal is that users have a handful of tools, each of which seeks to excel at one thing. Some utilities work well independently.

Etcher is not the only admirable open source tool for flashing operating system images. To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 5 high quality open source tools. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to install various Linux distributions and operating systems on a removable flash drive or external hard disk.

Flash OS images

Let’s explore the 5 tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screenshot of the software in action, together with links to relevant resources.

Flash OS Images
VentoyCreate bootable USB drive for ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files
EtcherImage burner with multi-platform support
UNetbootinCreate bootable Live USB drives for Ubuntu and other distros
MultiBootUSBCreate multi boot live Linux on a removable USB disk
MultiWriterWrite an ISO file to multiple USB devices at once

Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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