How To Make A Ubuntu Bootable USB with Etcher

Bootable USB flash drives has become popular, given that it is easy to create, it comes in handy, accessible, and very convenient. You might have a damaged installation on your operating system. Or you might need an upgrade to the newest version available. Your new computer or laptop did not have an operating system with it. Whatever the reason may be, bootable USB flash drives makes it easier for everyone to re-install or install an operating system to your laptops and computers. Here is a list of benefits of having a bootable USB flash drive:

  • USB flash drives are compatible to all laptops and computers. You might have noticed that laptops and computers have USB ports but not all laptops and computers have a CD drive or DVD drive.
  • Faster transfer speed. USB flash drives pretty much transfers data faster than SD cards.
  • You can bring the USB flash drive with you anywhere without a hassle. You can just put in your pocket, or in your bag without an added weight since it is very light.

Basically, you only need three things to make a Ubuntu bootable USB flash drive:

  1. Etcher – the software that we are going to use to create a bootable USB flash drive
  2. Ubuntu – an operating system that we are going to write on your USB flash drive
  3. USB flash drive – well, I am just stating the obvious

Etcher, or balenaEtcher, is a free program and an open source utility. Etcher is primarily used to write image files like .img and .iso files to create a bootable USB flash drive. Here is a list of the things that you would love about Etcher (balenaEtcher):

  • GUI (Graphical User Interface) looks great.
  • It works fast.
  • Free to use! Who would not love anything that is free?
  • Easy to use. It is very user-friendly.

Ubuntu, is an open source operating system. It is under the Linux distribution based on Debian. And here is a list of the things that you would love about Ubuntu:

  • You do not have to pay anything because Ubuntu is totally free! Other operating systems would cost you money so why not go with Ubuntu, right?
  • It has better security compared to other operating systems.
  • It is resource-friendly. Meaning to say that it can still run on older hardware. So, that means you can still use your older laptops and computers with this operating system.
  • It is customizable. Which means that you can personalize the user interface however you want it!
  • Ubuntu is an open source program. This means that you can go through the source code and contribute to innovate and improve the operating system.
  • It saves your time. Ubuntu can actually install the updates in the background so you won’t have to restart your laptops or computers.
  • It is suited for development. It is helpful for programmers with all the aid to make things a whole lot easier and convenient.

Here is how to make a Ubuntu Bootable USB flash drive with Etcher (balenaEtcher)

Step 1: Download the latest Ubuntu ISO file

  • To download the Ubuntu ISO file, you can get it here: https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop
  • Go ahead and copy and paste the link above to a browser
  • Look for the latest version of Ubuntu and go ahead and click Download.

As per Ubuntu’s website, please take note of the recommended system requirements:

  • 2GHz dual core processor or higher
  • 4GB system memory
  • 25 GB of free hard drive space
  • USB port for the installer media
  • Preferably with internet access

P.S.

It is always better to download the latest version of this operating system.

Step 2: Download the latest Etcher

  • If you do not have the Etcher yet, you can get it here: https://www.balena.io/etcher/
  • Click Download
  • Once the download has finished, double click on the file
  • The Installation Wizard will be launched, just follow the steps accordingly.

Step 4: Plug in your USB flash drive to your laptop or computer’s USB port

  • Go ahead and plug the USB flash drive to your laptop and computer’s USB port
  • Make sure that the USB flash drive has 2GB of storage or larger

P.S.

To avoid confusion, make sure to only plug in the USB flash drive that you are going to use to create a bootable USB flash drive. And since we are going to write on your USB flash drive, do not forget to back it up otherwise the content will be deleted.

Step 5: Select the Ubuntu ISO file

  • Once you have launched Etcher, click on “Select image”
  • Go ahead and locate the Ubuntu ISO file that you have downloaded earlier (usually this is saved on your Downloads folder not unless you have saved the file on a different location)

Step 6: Select the Drive

  • Go ahead and click “Select Drive”
  • Choose the USB flash drive that you are going to use to create a bootable USB

P.S.

If you have multiple USB flash drives plugged into your laptop or computer, make sure that you have checked the name of the drive where the USB flash drive is plugged into. You do not want to choose the incorrect one. Remember, all files will be deleted.

If you only have one USB flash drive plugged into your laptop or computer, Etcher will automatically detect and have the device pre-selected.

Step 7: Double check your selection

  • Before we proceed with the flashing process, go ahead and double check first that you have selected the correct Ubuntu ISO file
  • And then also double check that you have selected the correct device

Step 8: The Flashing Process

  • Once you are sure that you have all the correct selection, go ahead and click the flash image
  • The flashing process will now then start and a progress bar will be shown directly below the flash image
  • Once the flashing process is completed, it will let you know that the flash is complete

So, there you have it. You have successfully made a Ubuntu bootable USB with Etcher!

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2 thoughts on “How To Make A Ubuntu Bootable USB with Etcher”

  1. I tried this process on my Mac running Catalina. The USB was formated as instructed, but the flash process failed reading the ubuntu 20.20 amd64 iso file. I downloaded Etcher on my work PC (Win 10), put in the flashdrive formated on my Mac, used the Ubuntu 20.20 amd64 iso file and it flashed successfully.

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