EtcherPro: Flash All Your Devices At Once!

Balena EtcherPro
(Image credit: Balena)

The Raspberry Pi community is no stranger to BalenaEtcher. For years, this application has been used to flash Raspberry Pi OS and other distributions to micro SD cards and USB sticks. While the free application can write to multiple devices at once, it relies upon having the hardware to do so. EtcherPro is a physical device unit that can write to 16 SD/micro SD or USB devices at once, and it is now up for pre-order at an eye-watering price of $990 + tax!

EtcherPro is a purpose-built device designed to write operating system images directly to SD/micro SD or USB devices. The image source can be a local file or a URL to an image stored online, which can be downloaded via the onboard 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz Wi-Fi or Gigabit Ethernet. Write speeds are up to 200 MB/s for a single device, or up to 52 MB/s for multiple devices. Another neat feature, something that is also present to a smaller scale in BalenaEtcher, is writing directly to a carrier board, such as the Raspberry Pi Compute Module. EtcherPro can also backup/clone an existing drive to many drives.

You control the EtcherPro via a built-in seven-inch touchscreen, with an undisclosed computer inside the unit controlling the show. The unit self-updates to ensure that it is running the latest software, and you can daisy-chain multiple units (up to ten) to create a single unit capable of writing up to 160 devices at once.

But who would need an EtcherPro? At $990 + tax, these are not destined for the average home user. Rather, these are useful for companies/groups who deal with single board computers as a business – for example, retailers who sell pre-written cards with the latest operating systems.

Available for pre-order in midnight blue and a limited edition metallic grey, EtcherPro is a niche device that will change the workflow of those that need it.

Les Pounder

Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".