Heads up on Etcher

I was just surfing docs, while you mention excellent methods for creating usb installers in there, including GUI ones…

I need to raise awareness, that there was huge problem with Balena Etcher privacy reported somewhere on Manjaro forums lounge about a year ago (don’t have access now, so can’t find source - but it was confirmed and removed from Manjaro .iso as well).
Surely you can still find a lot of that on internet, was big buzz about home-calling, very suspicious heavy network activity etc…

I say - once failed privacy & trust, will fail in future.

So it’s a good idea to get rid of this sneaky one as recommendation and leave good ones like Suse Image Writer for Linux & Rufus for Windows :wink:

We value our privacy here on Linux! :cowboy_hat_face:


I use it and haven’t noticed anything.

Yeah, many people still use it regardless, which is a matter of preference, besides it was always popular choice.

Maybe they’ve even patched / mitigated that already (not following), i just think it’s not a good precedent to any kind of recommendation :slightly_smiling_face:

It’s probably worth verifying there’s an issue first… ? :wink:

1 Like

ventoy is also a good candidate

1 Like

Maybe you try popsicle. This is a really good alternative. :smiley:


I can give you a link, if you still have Manjaro lounge access, they’ve verified it back then…

Heh, no. :rofl:

1 Like

I just use what I think is mintstick (no visible branding - and it shows up as USB Image Writer in XFCE). It has been completely trouble-free - and even quick (compared to the dd results I’ve had… which also has been trouble-free.)


Yeah i think for Linux Suse Image Writer and mintstick are best ones, both extremely simple and just do what they told :slightly_smiling_face:

Haven’t tried ventoy before though :slight_smile:

1 Like

There is whole topic here where we discuss the privacy issues in detail. I am sure I can find it if I look around.

Yes, this is what I use as well now. It is isn’t as well known but I like it a lot.


I hear both good things and and things about it (as usual) but I am thinking about building an example with the ISO’s of all the distros I multi-boot - just because :grin:

Yeah after that discussion about Etcher on EOS forum I also switched to popsicle. Quite a neat little utility, it’s the first time I ever checked the md5 checksum of the iso i was burning, just because it’s so easy to do with this tool.


Every usb recorder with a gui may raise data out there … so as not to have problems not there as dd

I do not invent anything with what I say, but it is the truth of always, only that.

1 Like

I found the previous post, it starts here is if anyone wants to read it:

I would stress that while there are real privacy issues they are pretty far from the worst I have ever seen. For many, what they are doing is well within the bounds of acceptable.

The bigger issue for me is the way in which the company handled it and their casual disregard for it being an important issue.

Of course you haven’t. The nature of privacy leaks is that they do what they do in a way that isn’t obvious unless you purposefully inspect the network traffic. :wink:


I think there was more, but that’s already enough.

Both of those factors to me sound like it’s not something i would recommend to firend or family…
Or wider community for cool distro :upside_down_face:

I was using Etcher back in the day, but transitioned to SUSE Image Writer. Seems to always do the trick. :wink:

1 Like

Frankly, the whole concept of Balena Etcher is utterly absurd to me.

It’s a program that writes image files to drives. That’s all it does. That is its main, and only, purpose: to write image files to drives. The size of that simple, single purpose program, however, is 223.5 MiB (at least the version in Manjaro repos).

223.5 MiB! :astonished:

dd does exactly the same thing, plus much more. The size of dd is 75 KiB, and that’s dd from the GNU Utils, i.e. one of the most bloated versions of dd in existence.

In other words, Balena Etcher is approximately 3000 times bigger than dd!

That’s bloat.

In fact, that’s more bloated than me after devouring a whole tin of Heinz baked beans for dinner.

Why is it so bloated? Because it’s an Electron App. It has the entire Chromium browser embedded in it. Millions of lines of code. For what purpose? To display a button that says “Burn” or whatever. But hey, it has rounded corners!

Don’t get me wrong, Electron is an interesting technology, great for creating complicated GUIs and desktop versions of web apps. I’m not hating on Electron (much). But why on Earth would any team of software developers think that it is a good idea to write an image writing utility as an Electron App? The only possible explanation for such absurdity is that they are utterly incompetent as programmers and that JavaScript is the only programming language they know.

And yes, it connects to the internet (because a program that writes images to drives needs an internet connection, right? Wrong.), and yes, there were many rumours of it spying on its users and collecting sensitive data. So it’s not only bloat, it’s probably malware, too.

I don’t understand why any sane person would use such a ridiculous utility. Or why any distro would recommend it (or even worse, in case of Manjaro, keep it in its repos).

Just stop it. Use dd or Ventoy, or Popsicle…


Here is a solution I have been using for years. Disks is available for most GTK DEs.



I use it because it always works for me.

1 Like