If you’re looking for an easy way to flash install images to multiple USB sticks in parallel check out Popsicle.
This handy tool, which is written in Rust, lets you write an
.iso (or other compatible image file) to more than one USB stick, SD card, or external drive at the same time.
If you’ve been tasked with preparing multiple flash drives for your favorite OS to hand out to attendees at an event or the like then this would certainly be useful.
But even if your needs aren’t as demanding as that being able to prep two installers, e.g., an SD card and a USB stick, to work with two different devices is made easier by this tool.
You may glean from its name that Popsicle is made by System76 who, among a growing list of things, maintain the Ubuntu-based derivative Pop!_OS!
But you don’t need to run Pop!_OS to use the app; Popsicle works on any modern Linux distro and desktop, including Ubuntu.
It features set at a glance:
- Works with both USB 2 and USB 3
- Supports USB hubs for parallel writing
- Verify image with SHA256 or MD5 checksum
- Dynamic USB drive selection
- Check progress, speed, and success of each device
- CLI version (when built from source)
There are a few of areas that could use improvement (such as showing the size of each USB drive so you can be extra sure you’re writing to the one you want).
You can install Popsicle on Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Pop!_OS from Flathub:
Other USB image writer alternatives include Ubuntu’s own Startup Disk Creator, GNOME’s Multiwriter, the Fedora Image Writer, and WoeUSB.
I use (the Electron-based) Etcher when I need to make a Linux installer or flash an image to USB or an SD card. But Popsicle is technically a more capable tool. If you’re a fan of Pop!_OS there’s no reason not to give it a try the next time you need to perform a spot of disk writing.