If you’re anything like me, you probably have a folder on your computer to keep your collection of various different images for things like Raspberry Pi based projects. When you want to make a new SD card with one of your images, dragging and copying the files onto the card won’t work, you need to “DD” them so that the image will write correctly into the file system and you can boot it up.
I can’t seem to find a conclusive answer to what “DD” actually stands for, but its origins appear to come from a Unix command. Depending on who you talk to, it’s generally referred to as either “Disk Dump”, “Data Definition” or “Duplicate Data” however for some it’s also referred to as “Disk Destroyer” as the “DD” command incorrectly executed can easily wipe out all your data! Answers on a postcard please, or a comment below if you have the answer.
My laptop runs Windows, but I can also dual boot it to run Ubuntu, a Linux based operating system. Here I can create/burn my Raspberry Pi images at command line level. However, Linux is not the most user friendly experience for newer users and if you’re not careful, you can wipe your hard drive, so command line DD’ing is not for the faint hearted!
The easiest way to copy and burn images is to use a tool. There are quite are few free tools out there to choose from for both Windows and Mac platforms. I’ve used a few of them, but I still break out in a cold sweat whilst I triple check that my hard drive is not about to get obliterated!
Then I discovered a new tool, one that means I don’t feel like I’m about to wipeout my universe.
The guys behind Resin.Io, a company involved in Internet of Things based applications that supports a number of single board computers, have developed a simple but safe tool that means I can go easier on the deodorant when I want to burn a new image.
Made with JS, HTML, node.js and Electron, Etcher is a free Open Source application with versions for Windows, Mac and Linux. It has a simple interface, will detect corrupted cards and is hard drive friendly. The application makes target drive selection obvious, by only looking for external storage devices such as USB sticks and SD Cards, if nothing is plugged in, it prompts you to connect a drive.
Etcher is free to download and use, it’s a brilliant little tool that you can use to burn images for your Raspberry Pi or other Single Board Computers. I’ll be using it for all my image burning tasks in the future. Nice job guys!