Rufus is a free, open-source, portable application that you can use to format and create bootable USB drives to install operating systems. Rufus was developed by Pete Batard and its source code is present on GitHub. Many power users favor Rufus because it does exactly what it says on the tin.
But, As of February 2020, Rufus is available for Windows users only. Because of that users, are forced to look for other options for platforms like macOS. In this post, we will provide you with an overview of the top 5 Rufus alternatives for Windows, Linux, and macOS.
Win32 Disk Imager
When it comes to functionality, Win32 Disk Imager is the same as Rufus. This is one of the oldest programs for low-level flashing, such as operating systems based on Raspbian and ARM, to SDcards and USB-drives. It is a very high-performance software and comes with a clean user interface. But if you’re a beginner, you may find it a little difficult to operate at first if you’re not that familiar with low-level flashing.
Unlike Win32 Disk Imager, Etcher is a newly launched software. Etcher has an opensource version and a paid version. The paid version offers more features. The intuitive interface of Etcher makes it very simple to use. It is intended to write disk image files such as .iso and .img, as well as archives
for creating Live USB flash drives. To create a bootable device using Etcher, all you have to do is select the system image, plug the USB drive and click on Flash. It’s that simple.
Another convenience of using Etcher is that it is available on all major platforms such as macOS, Linux, and Ubuntu. When compared to Rufus USB, Etcher is slightly slower when creating bootable USB drives. Unlike most other programs, it has a stunning and easy to use graphical interface, and you can create a USB installer in a few clicks without using a terminal and commands. Besides, Etcher supports Windows – from 7 to the latest version of Windows 10 and is compatible with the old Legacy BIOS, MBR partition and the latest UEFI mode. We think that Etcher is the best alternative to Rufus since it has all bells and whistles.
UNetbootin is a very popular alternative to Rufus for Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. Many Linux users use UNetbootin for creating USB devices because of its performance on Linux. When compared to the other software we discussed, UNetbootin is an incredibly lightweight software which is compatible with numerous Linux distributions. UNetbootin is available on Windows too.
However, the performance of UNetbootin is not that great when it is running on a Windows environment. It also offers a quick dual-booting feature. It allows you to subsequently boot both Windows and Linux on the same computer.
PowerISO is not just a software for creating bootable USB drives. It also enables you to create, unzip, compress, encrypt, edit and convert ISO / BIN image files, and mount these files into virtual media. In addition to that, PowerISO can create compressed disk images in its exclusive format (.daa). The only limitation of PowerISO is that it is only for Windows. But if you are a macOS user you can use Boot Camp and install Windows to use PowerISO, but it is too much hassle.
Microsoft Media Creation Tool
The final software on our list is the Media Creation Tool. This is a proprietary utility from Microsoft that allows you to create bootable images of Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 operating systems without using a product key directly from the company’s server. The functionality of the Microsoft Media Creation Tool is very limited. Because it does not allows you to alter any setting manually.
Based on the architecture of your PC, the Microsoft Media Creation Tool automatically detects a compatible configuration and downloads the latest Windows 10 ISO image. Because of that feature, it is kind of similar to Rufus. Because of its simplicity and straightforwardness, Media Creation Tool is ideal for a beginner.