Moonmarch
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:28 pm

I was talking about people who are not familiar with computers at all or even need to know anything about computer storage which includes how to add partitions to any data storage device you can't assume everyone knows how to format computer data or even know how to connect data storage to the computer, preparing SD cards to use NOOBS falls under the category of knowing how to format computer storage which means knowing how to use Linux terminal commands, not all software is automated where you have 2 drop down windows then hit the start button then the program says finished, no using terminal commands requires large amounts of reading, and understanding what you are trying read.

The SD card that contains NOOBS will run out of the box, and will not require additional preparation no all you do is insert the SD card in the SD card slot on the RPI computer then power the computer you hit shift during the splash screen which takes you to the NOOBS menu where you can install the operating system, if the RPI computer is connected to the internet you will have a larger selection of operating systems to choose from that can be installed, here is a link to a website where you can purchase the SD card that includes NOOBS software:

Official Raspberry Pi Foundation Micro SD Card, Pre-programmed w/NOOBS
https://vilros.com/products/official-ra ... -TEALw_wcB

chwe
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:23 am

bjtheone wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:47 am
The whole point of recommending Etcher is it mostly idiot proofs the process so at least a new person gets a working SD card that has a good chance of a successful first boot. Another big win is that it can be done from the "safety and comfort" of the Windows computer they most likely have and at least vaguely understand.
completely wrong.. The whole point recommending etcher is cause the image gets validated after writing and that's not only important for newbies.

scaramonga
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:34 am

jcyr wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:30 am

Hmm... I've never bothered with the verification pass, too time consuming.
It take less time than creating, very quick.

hippy
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:40 am

chwe wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:23 am
bjtheone wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:47 am
The whole point of recommending Etcher is it mostly idiot proofs the process so at least a new person gets a working SD card that has a good chance of a successful first boot. Another big win is that it can be done from the "safety and comfort" of the Windows computer they most likely have and at least vaguely understand.
completely wrong.. The whole point recommending etcher is cause the image gets validated after writing and that's not only important for newbies.
I would be more inclined to agree with bjtheone. Verification is a useful feature to have, but not the main reason I have ever known anyone to recommend Etcher.

Another 'whole point of recommending Etcher' is that it can write an SD Card straight from a downloaded .zip file without the user having to unzip that first. That unzipping step required for other tools has caused problems for a number of users and may require additional windows programs to be installed.

There is no single 'whole point'; it's more a set of features which make it highly recommendable -

Ultra-simple interface
Easy to use
Works with downloaded .zip file images
Auto-formats the SD Card
Verifies written images
jcyr wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:30 am
I've never bothered with the verification pass, too time consuming.
Having wasted far more time on a card which would not complete booting, which appeared to have been because there had been a write failure; I now always enable verification. Better to discover a problem earlier than later.

It's only a small amount of additional time, and effectively none if setting it going and coming back later. And, I would expect for most people, it's not something they would be doing on a regular basis.

Heater
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:16 am

The whole point of Etcher is to make it super easy for Windows users and others to get started with deploying their applications using the Balana deployment and cloud services. Formerly Resin.io. https://www.balena.io/

For serious, professional deployments like hat a verification step is essential.

A brilliant service that works very well. I tried it ages ago with a Pi 1 when it was resin.io. If you can justify the cost. Although hobbyists can use balena with up to 10 devices for free.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

JamesPi123
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:22 am

So I should not update because i'm running 1.5.56

Heater
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:29 am

No reason you should not update Etcher. I used 1.5.57 yesterday. Works a treat.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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DougieLawson
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:12 am

jcyr wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:30 am
chwe wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:23 am
bjtheone wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:47 am
The whole point of recommending Etcher is it mostly idiot proofs the process so at least a new person gets a working SD card that has a good chance of a successful first boot. Another big win is that it can be done from the "safety and comfort" of the Windows computer they most likely have and at least vaguely understand.
completely wrong.. The whole point recommending etcher is cause the image gets validated after writing and that's not only important for newbies.
Hmm... I've never bothered with the verification pass, too time consuming.
Running the verification not needed for known good SDCards. For cheap crap fakes from eBay/Amazon the verification pass should find them before they cause a bucket of grief. Doing that by default is ideal for folks getting started with their first Raspberry.
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HermannSW
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:10 am

Heater wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:16 am
For serious, professional deployments like hat a verification step is essential.
Under Linux you can just "cat" the image onto SD card device.
Under Win10 there is Linux subsystem for Windows that should allow for exactly that as well.

After writing do "sha256sum" of the SD card and compare wih sha256sum value on Raspbian download site.
https://stamm-wilbrandt.de/en/Raspberry_camera.html
https://stamm-wilbrandt.de/en#raspcatbot
https://github.com/Hermann-SW/raspiraw
https://github.com/Hermann-SW/Raspberry_v1_camera_global_external_shutter
https://stamm-wilbrandt.de/working_with_FPGAs

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B.Goode
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:24 am

After writing do "sha256sum" of the SD card and compare wih sha256sum value on Raspbian download site.

Isn't the published checksum for the downloadable zipped archive? Won't that be different to the unzipped .img file, which is what gets written to the bootable media?

hippy
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:24 pm

HermannSW wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:10 am
Under Linux you can just "cat" the image onto SD card device.
That may be a perfectly good way of doing it for those familiar with Linux but not so good for those who have never used Linux before or only have limited experience and/or cannot figure out what to 'cat' to and how that should be specified.

Etcher simplifies things greatly for noobs and those with only limited Linux experience.

Andyroo

Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:10 pm

Interesting comments...

I use Etcher because of the verify - acts as a check on the SD card for me and given that I have gone to the effort of checking the SHA value, why would I NOT check the write of the OS (esp. as the destination is known to fail - rare but possible)?

Yes - I use Etcher to check HDD and SSD builds as well.

hippy
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:21 pm

Andyroo wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:10 pm
why would I NOT check the write of the OS
To save a few seconds or minutes. We can all fall victim to 'being in a hurry', becoming willing to cut corners to get there quicker, but it can be a false economy.

jamesh
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:40 pm

chwe wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:23 am
bjtheone wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:47 am
The whole point of recommending Etcher is it mostly idiot proofs the process so at least a new person gets a working SD card that has a good chance of a successful first boot. Another big win is that it can be done from the "safety and comfort" of the Windows computer they most likely have and at least vaguely understand.
completely wrong.. The whole point recommending etcher is cause the image gets validated after writing and that's not only important for newbies.
Here's are actual reasons that Etcher is recommended, by the person who writes a lot of the documentation, me.

1. It's very easy to use (no unzipping, decent GUI), which makes the documentation shorter, clearer and easier to maintain.
2. It's multiplatform, so the instructions are valid on all commonly used platforms.
3. Much more difficult to get it wrong and destroy your desktop OS installation by, for example, selecting the wrong drive to write.

I hadn't even considered the verification stage when we changed the docs to Etcher, but that is a valid reason.
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:07 pm

chwe wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:23 am
bjtheone wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:47 am
The whole point of recommending Etcher is it mostly idiot proofs the process so at least a new person gets a working SD card that has a good chance of a successful first boot. Another big win is that it can be done from the "safety and comfort" of the Windows computer they most likely have and at least vaguely understand.
completely wrong.. The whole point recommending etcher is cause the image gets validated after writing and that's not only important for newbies.
Humm... I never claimed that verification was bad. I like Etcher and tend to use it myself as it simplifies the process and does the verification for me, and yes I certainly could do it other ways as I was using Linux and Unix and Dos before all the nice GUI tools were available.

My point was "I recommend Etcher to new folks as it is the simplest way to create a good bootable SD card". As others have pointed out, the factors that make it the "simplest" are:

* easy to use tool with a very simple interface
* standalone tool, with no external dependencies
* works with the downloaded zipped image directly
* runs on Windows and MacOS (which should cover off any computer they already have, plus runs on Linux)
* is graphical, point and click
* tries to just do the right thing (autoselects SD card)
* produces useful error messages
* validates image

That is why I recommend it. Verification is part of the "makes good bootable cards". You are welcome to have different reasons, however I don't believe that makes my view "completely wrong".

Heater
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:24 pm

It's not your view about Etcher that is completely wrong. It was your view that the other posters view about Etcher was completely wrong. Unless I'm completely wrong of course.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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davidcoton
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:54 pm

Heater,
I have no hesitation in saying that you are, in this case, completely wrong. :lol:
It was chwe, not bjtheone, who introduced the concept of the possibility of anyone here being completely wrong. :(
Which of course, for the reasons others have given, is completely wrong. :o
Unless I am completely wrong. Which has serious consequences. :shock:
The answer is 42. :roll:
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Heater
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:46 pm

davidcoton ,
I have no hesitation in saying that you are, in this case, completely wrong.
Why thank you.

I get bored with being right all the time :)
Last edited by Heater on Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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jahboater
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:26 pm

HermannSW wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:10 am
After writing do "sha256sum" of the SD card and compare wih sha256sum value on Raspbian download site.
Can you do that? I thought the published checksum was for the zip file.

I use "cp" by the way instead of "cat".
Two characters less to type :)

Does cat actually work with sudo?
Otherwise you could just do "unzip -p *.img >/dev/sdX"
Last edited by jahboater on Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

thatchunkylad198966
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:32 pm

Nothing as good as Etcher.
If you're on a Linux distro, use DD.
If you're on a Windows system, used Win32DiskImager. :D
One man's trash is another man's treasure! :) Pi's I have; Pi Zero, Pi Zero W, Pi 2 x2, Pi 3 x2, Pi 4 4GB x2.

chwe
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:41 pm

lol.. so much garbage for only two words.

On linux there are a bunch of tools.. even dd, but I still use Etcher. And the whole point of using etcher is image verification (if there's a tool which uses less resources, etcher generates 'a lot of load' for a simple job, I would happily switch). (Some) people will always use cheap unreliable SD cards for their SBCs. I even wrote a tutorial on doing this :mrgreen: F3 (https://fight-flash-fraud.readthedocs.i ... usage.html) got it that the card is corrupted, etcher told me that something is wrong and finally the SBC was powered with the worst smartphone charger I could find (the goal was to create a unreliable system - unfortunately the system became never unusable).
Back then, a lot of SBC linux projects recommended win32 disk imager, now most projects recommend Etcher. Likely cause it simply reduces the 'support noise' for the project maintainers (for the same reason RPT sells their own 5.1V PSU - and I even recommend this PSU sometimes for other SBCs :shock: - it's a reliable one when microUSB powering is the only option, there are others, but it's a good one which is often available locally).
We have now known good tools (for powering and for writing images), if someone really dislikes the way Etcher is going I recommend to fork it and adjust it to your needs (Etcher is under the apache 2.0 license which makes it easy to do it, the code contains even some comments to understand it better).

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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:43 pm

I respectfully disagree with you, in terms of verification being the most important. If for example, we assume Etcher did not exist but there was an Etcher like tool that did everything but verification and a manual Linux/Windows/MacOS command line method that included verification, for new folks I would recommend the "Etcher like" tool.

I completely agree that verification is good, and if possible should be included, but many folks getting started cannot successfully complete a fairly simple step by step command line process, especially if the base requirement is running it on a Linux system. I buy name brand electronics from reputable places and have never yet gotten a bad SD, microSD, USB stick, or SSD. I am sure it happens but the quality control is pretty good these days. OTOH, I continue to be amazed at how difficult it is to write a clear, concise set of instructions in language that is accessible to someone that is basically computer illiterate. Given that, I see simple GUI based as most valuable, and then multiplatform, and then validation.

Your experience and opinion obviously differs.

Andyroo

Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:41 pm

JamesPi123 wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:22 am
So I should not update because i'm running 1.5.56
Why update if it’s doing the job you need?

If nothing is forcing you to update (cough Microsoft Windows) then do not.

chwe
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:50 am

bjtheone wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:43 pm
I respectfully disagree with you, in terms of verification being the most important. If for example, we assume Etcher did not exist but there was an Etcher like tool that did everything but verification and a manual Linux/Windows/MacOS command line method that included verification, for new folks I would recommend the "Etcher like" tool.
And I would recommend the command line tool (there was an etcher-cli version which I was quite happy about it, unfortunately they stopped development of it). IMO if someone isn't able to read a tutorial how to do something on linux in a terminal he or she'll have a hard time anyway, better to learn it from the beginnings... The validation is the only point to recommend etcher compared to other tools. Things can go wrong, and you better know it before (they still can die during usage - but different topic).
bjtheone wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:43 pm
I completely agree that verification is good, and if possible should be included, but many folks getting started cannot successfully complete a fairly simple step by step command line process, especially if the base requirement is running it on a Linux system.

1. insert the sdcard into your cardreader, check dmesg for the new device popping up

Code: Select all

[474498.558903] mmcblk0: mmc0:0007 SL32G 29.0 GiB 
2. unzip the compressed image

Code: Select all

gunzip image.zip
3. write the image to the sd card

Code: Select all

dd if=image.img of=/dev/mmcblk0/
well maybe with a format of the sd card before.. etc.

writing a tutorial which is more or less secure isn't a problem. Linux isn't fun without being able to use a command line. One of the reasons nobody uses linux (except android) is cause most GUIs in linux just suck (honestly IMO MS and apple does a better job here :mrgreen: )..

bjtheone wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:43 pm
I buy name brand electronics from reputable places and have never yet gotten a bad SD, microSD, USB stick, or SSD. I am sure it happens but the quality control is pretty good these days.
I got faked ones from local stores (not the smallest and cheapest one in town) and online as well. It was a bigger issue in 2016/17 as it seem to be now but still, I test all my cards prior to use with f3 just to be sure.

bjtheone wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:43 pm
Your experience and opinion obviously differs.
As someone being involved in another SBC linux project, yes my opinion differs here. "We" had a hard time to tell our users they should follow the recommendation to check SD cards first (with f3 or h2testw), burn them with etcher (and use a reliable powering source). The first one is probably not done by everyone, the second one is likely done by the majority and the last one isn't that much an issue anymore (a bunch of SBCs use barrel plug those days, a few have USB-C and at least one has a proper PD implementation and only a few still rely on micro USB). We should eliminate all possible variables for 'wrong doing' when setup an SBC. Writing the image properly is the first step to get it properly done (btw, with some extra work, you can validate an image written with DD, we do it since etcher-cli is no longer an option for our scripts to generate images).
Andyroo wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:41 pm
JamesPi123 wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:22 am
So I should not update because i'm running 1.5.56
Why update if it’s doing the job you need?

If nothing is forcing you to update (cough Microsoft Windows) then do not.
well I don't agree on this one as well but for other reasons and it would go a way off topic here.

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Imperf3kt
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:49 am

A command line interface would be next to useless for my step father, a complete beginner.
He still has trouble understanding what a "mouse" is.

So I would disagree that validation is the only useful reason behind suggesting a program that does it all for you.
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