Writing OS images to SD cards

Raspberry suggest using BalenaEtcher but it's ENORMOUS. Does anybody use something else?

I have Version 1.5.45 here and the installer is 141 MB - that's moderate.

I guess we have different perspectives. For example Yumi, which creates a PC boot able USB stick with a menu to run several appications ISO images, and it's less than 2MB. I was just going to go into an "I only had ... on my first computer" but I realize nobody cares (and why should they).

Keep in mind that BalenaETCHER includes a complete UNZIP subroutine.

And yet, balenaEtcher seems to always work.

Maybe upgrade from that 1200 baud modem

1 Like

On which os are you writing the images?
For windows there is a tool with the name win32diskimager.
Just google it
Always did the job for me


Sorry I assumed as this was a Pi based forum, Octopi (and perhaps Noobs just to have a play while waiting for printer to arrive).

Well then you can use dd

  1. Insert your SD card into your computer.
  2. Locate the device, by running sudo fdisk -l . It will probably be the only disk about the right size. Note down the device name; let us suppose it is /dev/sdx . If you are in any doubt, remove the card, run sudo fdisk -l again and note down what disks are there. Insert the SD card again, run sudo fdisk -l and it is the new disk.
  3. Unmount the partitions by running sudo umount /dev/sdx* . It may give an error saying the disk isn't mounted - that's fine.
  4. Copy the contents of the image file onto the SD card by running sudo dd bs=1M if=your_image_file_name.img of=/dev/sdx Of course, you'll need to change the name of the image file above as appropriate.


In first place it's the OctoPrint and OctoPi support forum.

True but it seems the user base use almost exclusively Pi hardware, am i wrong? I know it's possible to use other hardware but I got the impression that nobody did.

Actually it can on every system that can run Python...

Just out of curiosity, are there any usage stat for non-Pi hardware?

Some have installed OctoPrint on Windows, some on common Linux PCs, some on other single board computers than RasPi.
@foosel may has statistics on that.

Foosel definitely has statistics on usage by operating system. One could farm the blog's videos to find out or maybe she could provide that info.

The economics make sense for dedicating a Pi computer. The annual cost for the electricity is perhaps $5 versus $120 for a PC power supply.

1 Like

I´m using WinDiscImager. There are no problems

That should not add more than a couple of KB to a program.

USB Image Tool works for me and isn't nearly as bloated as Balena Etcher.

For such a great program the size is a small price to pay, but for an alternative you might try a program called Rufus, though I don't know the size and it may not be as comprehensively good as Etcher.

Also, if you have a Windows machine, you might like Win32 Disk Imager. I find it a great addition to make backups of my Raspberry Pi SD Card. The card has to be removed from the Pi and mounted on Windows but it gives good peace-of-mind to know you have a backup of the complete card, so no worries about losing plugins when you do an upgrade.

I use rufus for bootable cd images and stuff.
Great tool :+1:

I also mentioned Win32DiskImager but he wants to flash sd cards with his pi.

1 Like

Just saw it :slight_smile:
I always use it before doing an octopi update as there are sometimes issues (I use a Pi Model 3A+) so it's great to have a good backup. I used to use Rufus but switched to Etcher. Can't remember why but maybe because it can handle archives.