jahboater
Posts: 5483
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Location: West Dorset

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

Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:27 pm

GlowInTheDark wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:31 pm
So I'm not sure if "unzip" is always there. gzip, of course, will always be there.
Another advantage of gzip over unzip is that it accepts input from stdin.
That is, you could I think (never tried it) do:-

Code: Select all

# curl URL | gzip -dc >/dev/sda
Download, unzip, and write - all in one go!

(without using any temporary disk space on the PC)
"We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk
about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth."
- Greta Thunberg

fruitoftheloom
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Location: Delightful Dorset

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

Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:03 pm

bzt wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:10 pm
fruitoftheloom wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:54 am
Until a Lawyer is involved, there can not be a definitive answer, so far all the concerns are people's perspectives.
That's wrong. No need for a lawyer to tell it is sending data about its users without their consent, which is something that GDPR explicitly forbids. It is the other way around, they need a lawyer to prove they haven't broke any laws on purpose (which would be difficult as etcher does send these even if the user explicitly turned this feature off, that's an open ticket as we speak. It is hard to believe to be a simple bug when it generates profit for the company).
fruitoftheloom wrote:If it was such a "big issue" there would be more Web Searches flagging this up ??

It is great we have alternatives, but deriding a product to promote an alternative leaves a sour taste.


Maybe Google's ChromeOS SD Card Creator is a good alternative ?

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... hromeos.md

Err no that would send Analytics to Alphabet !!! but at least it should be available in Chromium based Browsers ???
Anything that reads LOCAL files and writes to LOCAL devices and needs internet for that is just bad. Period.
B.Goode wrote:At present usbimager is the work of one lone developer, and is stated by that developer to have 'beta' status. Perhaps a little premature to be promoting it as a panacea?
We probably have different idea about the 'beta' status. Let me phrase it this way: it is fully functional, it works all the times for its author, and it needs to be tested on wider range of machines so that all possible bugs can be located. Therefore it is at the stage where it should be promoted; so that users became aware of it, and can test it out for themselves. But if this bothers you, call the current version release candidate.

About one developer, true, but a very talented and experienced one (everybody says that). Furthermore the entire source is available, it is Open Source, it is not tied to anybody nor to any company. If it happens that tomorrow the tram cuts me in half, all the information accessible and anyone could pick up the project, there's absolutely no disadvantage in currently having one developer only.

Cheers,
bzt

We will agree to disagree, but as I said previously using this as an excuse to promote your software leads to a bad taste.

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=252758&p=1615448#p1615448



There are choices as have been well explained, so at the end of the day it is up to the individual whatever he uses, personally have moved to "Chromebook Recovery Utility" software and turned off the:

Automatically allow access on the following sites
https://dl.google.com/*
https://www.google-analytics.com/*
Rather than negativity think outside the box !

Asus ChromeBox 3 Celeron is my other computer.

GlowInTheDark
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:14 pm

Unzipping in a pipeline

Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:27 pm

jahboater wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:27 pm
GlowInTheDark wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:31 pm
So I'm not sure if "unzip" is always there. gzip, of course, will always be there.
Another advantage of gzip over unzip is that it accepts input from stdin.
That is, you could I think (never tried it) do:-

Code: Select all

# curl URL | gzip -dc >/dev/sda
Download, unzip, and write - all in one go!

(without using any temporary disk space on the PC)
I get what you are saying, and totally agree that it would be nice functionality, but...

The problem is that I think it is illusory. The central, core problem with the ZIP file format is that the directory information is at the end of the file. Therefore, you have to read the whole file before you can tell what is in the file (sort of like the ACA [inside joke...]...) This makes the whole thing impossible.

I've actually read somewhere that while the (gzip) syntax you give above does, indeed, work, it (gzip), alas, creates a temporary file behind-the-scenes.

That's why other file formats are preferable to ZIP, because they can be unpacked in a pipeline.
GitD's list of things that are not ready for prime time:
1) IPv6
2) 64 bit OSes
3) USB 3
4) Bluetooth

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

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

Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:34 pm

Someone above asked why I use Etcher. Someone also said sensible people would use something else.

I use it because it's easy and it works. I don't get paid to do it (and RPF/T do not receive any money if we recommend it) - any more implications in that direction and people will find themselves banned and all their posts removed. First, last, only warning.

I regard myself as fairly sensible. So I also don't like the implication that if I use Etcher I am not 'sensible'. Please see previous paragraph.

Also, please keep off the legalities of Etcher. Unless you are a lawyer involved in the case, and are an expert in the GDPR, you don't know enough to comment. The internet is full of backroom lawyers, there are reasons they don't have the training to back up their assertions.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
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Heater
Posts: 15493
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

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

Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:35 pm

I have to take issue with some misinformation going on here:

1) Etcher works perfectly well without a net connection. I just tried it again, no problem.

2) What advertising? I did not see any just now. I think I did see a suggestion for some other Balena product once. Not ideal but, meh, why not. It's not as if it was advertising for all an sundry as we see everywhere now a days.

3) Sure Etcher itself is a big download, but hey, I'm using it to flash 3GB images, the size of etcher is negligible. Ideally the Electron run time would be installed from an OS package, like Python and the like, then Etcher itself would be tiny.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:37 pm

Electron is a massive, literally, PITA.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
I've been saying "Mucho" to my Spanish friend a lot more lately. It means a lot to him.

Heater
Posts: 15493
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:08 pm

jamesh wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:37 pm
Electron is a massive, literally, PITA.
Yes Electron and hence Etcher is huge.

It's the same PITA as downloading and installing a new version of GCC or Clang mind. Hence I say it would be nice if Electron was pre-installed as an OS package, as are C/C++, Python and others. Then a program like Etcher would only be a tiny package to have to download and run.

Even so, Etcher is only a few minutes download on my slow mobile connection and away we go. Not such a PITA as many other things.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Re: What is a good replacement for Etcher (ads and ignores privacy)

Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:39 pm

Heater wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:08 pm
jamesh wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:37 pm
Electron is a massive, literally, PITA.
Yes Electron and hence Etcher is huge.

It's the same PITA as downloading and installing a new version of GCC or Clang mind. Hence I say it would be nice if Electron was pre-installed as an OS package, as are C/C++, Python and others. Then a program like Etcher would only be a tiny package to have to download and run.

Even so, Etcher is only a few minutes download on my slow mobile connection and away we go. Not such a PITA as many other things.
Can Electron be used that way, like a shared library?
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
I've been saying "Mucho" to my Spanish friend a lot more lately. It means a lot to him.

Heater
Posts: 15493
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

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

Sun Feb 23, 2020 3:07 pm

jamesh wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:39 pm
Can Electron be used that way, like a shared library?
I'm not sure. Perhaps it's just a dream of mine.

At the end of the day what we have in Electron is the Chrome web browser engine and node.js. Which in turn runs ones application which is just a bundle of HTML/CSS/Javascript/images etc.

Ideally one could have Electron installed everywhere and then just point it at ones application bundle. In the same way we can run the chrome browser and have it pull up a local HTML file. Or run some Python code from an existing Python installation.

Of course this is not the case so every application, VS Code, Etcher, whatever comes as a huge bundle including yet another copy of Chrome and node.js.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

incognitum
Posts: 467
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Re: Unzipping in a pipeline

Sun Feb 23, 2020 3:36 pm

GlowInTheDark wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:27 pm
The central, core problem with the ZIP file format is that the directory information is at the end of the file. Therefore, you have to read the whole file before you can tell what is in the file (sort of like the ACA [inside joke...]...) This makes the whole thing impossible.
Pipelining .zip files works fine.
Besides having local file headers at the start of each file as well, looking at meta data at all is only needed if there are more than one file inside.
I've actually read somewhere that while the (gzip) syntax you give above does, indeed, work, it (gzip), alas, creates a temporary file behind-the-scenes.
Think you are confusing some things.
There is no reason to have temporary files when pipeling a gzip file to a disk writer application like dd and others.

Some archiver GUI programs do create a temporary file on disk when opening a .tar.gz file, even before you tell it to extract it.
That is because to be able to show all the filenames inside the .tar in the GUI the .gz has to be uncompressed first. And if you spent time uncompressing you might want to save the result in a temporary file, to speed things up for when the user presses the "extract" button in the GUI next. Then only still need to untar it.

GlowInTheDark
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:14 pm

Unzipping in a pipeline

Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:04 pm

I'm not the one who is confused here.

Granted, this discussion has reached kind of a high level, so the outcome is not surprising.
GitD's list of things that are not ready for prime time:
1) IPv6
2) 64 bit OSes
3) USB 3
4) Bluetooth

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 22686
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm
Location: Delightful Dorset

Re: Unzipping in a pipeline

Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:07 pm

GlowInTheDark wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:04 pm
I'm not the one who is confused here.

Granted, this discussion has reached kind of a high level, so the outcome is not surprising.

I am not confused either, basically if one removes the fud, it is all about getting an .IMG to a SD Card......
Rather than negativity think outside the box !

Asus ChromeBox 3 Celeron is my other computer.

Heater
Posts: 15493
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Unzipping in a pipeline

Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:37 pm

GlowInTheDark wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:04 pm
I'm not the one who is confused here.

Granted, this discussion has reached kind of a high level, so the outcome is not surprising.
Well, I'm confused. I did not understand what you are talking about.

What we want is a nice tool to flash SD cards. You were commenting on internet services. As far as I know flashing SD cards does not require an internet service.

I think I will go back to using dd. Just to avoid any confusion :)
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

GlowInTheDark
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:14 pm

"Unzipping in a pipeline" and various other topics

Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:53 pm

Well, I'm confused. I did not understand what you are talking about.
Well, you did notice the Subject line change for this and the last several responses?
What we want is a nice tool to flash SD cards. You were commenting on internet services. As far as I know flashing SD cards does not require an internet service.
Totally agree, of course.

The discussion had evolved to the point of being about whether or not "etcher" had become an Internet service rather than just an SD card writer. I should not say anything more on this topic, so I won't.

Then the discussion evolved into a discussion of various methods (some of them esoteric) of copying the Raspbian image to an SD card. Part of that esoterica had to do with using the "gzip" program to unpack files in the ZIP format (i.e., that format originally designed by Phil Katz) - something which is possible and does work, but is kind of out-of-the-norm and unexpected. This, in turn, plays on the rather unfortunate choice of name on the part of the "gzip" creators, which has led to occasional bouts of confusion over the years.

I do so hope that this little bit of exposition on my part has been helpful to you.
GitD's list of things that are not ready for prime time:
1) IPv6
2) 64 bit OSes
3) USB 3
4) Bluetooth

jahboater
Posts: 5483
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:38 pm
Location: West Dorset

Re: Unzipping in a pipeline

Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:54 pm

Heater wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:37 pm
GlowInTheDark wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:04 pm
I'm not the one who is confused here.

Granted, this discussion has reached kind of a high level, so the outcome is not surprising.
Well, I'm confused. I did not understand what you are talking about.

What we want is a nice tool to flash SD cards. You were commenting on internet services. As far as I know flashing SD cards does not require an internet service.

I think I will go back to using dd. Just to avoid any confusion :)
Its not confusing at all.
The question was, does the zip format require reading to the end of the file to get the size and other details (which would likely need temporary storage for a very large zip file).
So is:

curl URL | gzip -cd >/dev/sdX

possible? (download, unzip, write, in one command).
I'll try it for the next Raspbian release.
"We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk
about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth."
- Greta Thunberg

incognitum
Posts: 467
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:34 pm

Re: Unzipping in a pipeline

Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:56 pm

GlowInTheDark wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:04 pm
I'm not the one who is confused here.
You mentioned reading "somewhere" that using "gzip -dc" to pipe decompressed content to other programs (like dd) produces temporary files.
Trust me, that is not the case.


I was just speculating where the thought that working with .gz files do can result in temporary files being generated do may come from.
If my guess is wrong, I do am curious what you read exactly.

Heater
Posts: 15493
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

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

Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:19 pm

GlowInTheDark,
Well, you did notice the Subject line change for this and the last several responses?
I don't care about subject line changes. I went back to your last post here and was commenting on that. It said nothing about zip, gzip or pipelines, it spoke of internet services.

So please forgive my confusion at a confusing situation.
I do so hope that this little bit of exposition on my part has been helpful to you.
Thanks but no, not really helpful. This is general knowledge is it not?

When a beginner is flashing a Raspberry Pi SD card for the first time they should not need to know anything about that. In which case Etcher works very well.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

jahboater
Posts: 5483
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:38 pm
Location: West Dorset

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

Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:26 pm

Heater wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:19 pm
When a beginner is flashing a Raspberry Pi SD card for the first time they should not need to know anything about that. In which case Etcher works very well.
Of course it does.

The thread title starts with "What is a good replacement for Etcher", so we are looking for alternatives.
"We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk
about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth."
- Greta Thunberg

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 26074
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

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

Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:26 pm

OK, so I reckon this thread is now a waste of time and getting worse, so closing it.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
I've been saying "Mucho" to my Spanish friend a lot more lately. It means a lot to him.

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