12 Best Rufus Alternatives for Windows, Linux, and macOS

Rufus is a wildly popular software for creating bootable USB drives on Windows. It allows you to make a bootable USB of almost any OS in existence, including Windows and Linux distros. Besides, Rufus is also lightweight and flashes USB drives extremely quickly. However, one of Rufus’ flaws is only available on Windows. Hence, if you are on a different OS and searching for a Rufus alternative, here are the 12 best Rufus alternatives for Windows, Linux, and macOS.

No matter which operating system you’re using, this list includes bootable USB creators for every OS to be able to install any OS so that you’d be able to boot into any OS from any OS.

1. Etcher

Etcher solves one of the problems with Rufus, i.e., multi-platform availability. And much like Rufus, it supports all kinds of system images like ISO, DMG, IMG, etc. Some of the best things about Etcher are its open-source nature and beautiful UI. Overall, it works the same way as Rufus — You select a system image, and the USB stick and click on Flash. Besides, Etcher is also quite fast in flashing images and is quite comparable to Rufus.

That said, another best feature of Etcher is Image Validation which verifies the system image and removable drive before flashing. This will help you save time from writing images on corrupt USB devices.

ProsCons
Supports all major OS and system images
Not available as a Flatpak on Linux
Quite fast and comparable to Rufus
Simple and easy to use
Image validation for verifying images

Platform Availability: Windows, macOS, and Linux

InstallWebsite (Free)

2. Ventoy

Ventoy is an incredible tool for Windows and Linux. It allows you to create a multi-boot USB, aka, a USB that can store multiple ISOs to give you the ability to boot into a different OS each time. Ventoy is completely open-source and free to use.

If you love distro-hopping, formatting your USB drive frequently and installing a new OS consumes a lot of time. Ventoy is great because it can save that precious time and you can enjoy your time distro hopping rather than worrying about flashing the USB again. Overall, it is one of the best Rufus alternatives out there.

ProsCons
Supports all major OS and images.None
Great for Distro hopping.
Saves you a lot of time.
Free and open source.

Platform Availability: Windows

Install: Website (Free)

3. PowerISO

PowerISO is our third pick for the best Rufus alternatives in this list. It’s not just a program for creating bootable USB drives but also comes with hosts of other features like converting various image formats to ISO, mounting disk, virtual drives, and more. Besides, PowerISO can create bootable USB drives just like Rufus in no time. What we like about this app is that it’s quite fast at flashing images and does not overwhelm the user with many advanced options. However, bear in mind, PowerISO only works on the Windows operating system. So, if you want to create a Windows bootable USB, PowerISO is among the best alternatives to Rufus.

ProsCons
Best for flashing Windows OSDoes not support Linux or macOS platform
Pretty fast at flashing imagesLimited to ISO images only

Platform Availability: Windows

InstallWebsite (Free, one-time purchase of $29.95)

4. Media Creation Tool

Media Creation Tool is a unique app in this list that is specifically developed by Microsoft for seamlessly installing Windows 10 on PCs. It lets you download Windows 10 from Microsoft’s server and thereafter it creates a bootable USB automatically. You don’t need to manually do anything. That’s awesome, right? Based on your PC’s architecture, it detects the compatible configuration and downloads the latest Windows 10 ISO image. The only downside is that, unlike Rufus, it takes a bit more time to create a bootable USB drive. However, if you are looking for an app like Rufus, but without the extra hassle of downloading an image and ensuring compatibility, Media Creation Tool is the best substitute.

ProsCons
Seamlessly download and flash the latest Windows 10 imageLimited to Windows only
Simple and easy to useA bit slower than Rufus

Platform Availability: Windows

InstallWebsite (Free)

5. UNetbootin

UNetbootin is a popular Rufus alternative for Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. It is an incredibly lightweight tool that is compatible with several Linux distros. The best part is that UNetbootin is available on all major platforms including Windows, Linux, and macOS. Basically, you will be able to create Linux-based bootable USB drives from any machine without any issues. The flashing speed with UNetbootin is also really fast and can rival Rufus easily. So to sum up, if you want a Rufus alternative for flashing Ubuntu or any other Linux distro, there is no better option than UNetbootin. It’s damn good.

ProsCons
Best for creating bootable USB for Ubuntu and other Linux-based distrosSupports Linux file formats only
Pretty quick in flashing images
Supports all major platforms

Platform Availability: Windows, macOS, and Linux

InstallWebsite (Free)

6. Popsicle

Popsicle is a part of the Pop!_OS app ecosystem. It’s a simple USB flasher that can be used to install different ISOs to multiple USB drives, simultaneously. In fact, it is the only tool on this list that supports flashing ISOs to multiple USBs at once.

Although Popsicle comes bundled with Pop!_OS, you can install it from Flathub using the following command on Linux. Yes, it’s a Linux-only tool. Sorry Windows users.

sudo flatpak install popsicle
ProsCons
Extremely easy to useLinux-only tool
Lightweight
Can flash multiple USBs at once.

Platform Availability: Linux

7. Universal USB Installer

Universal USB Installer is primarily built for Linux-based distributions, but it can also flash Windows ISO images flawlessly. In essence, Universal USB Installer is a great alternative to Rufus if you want support for both Windows and Linux system images. Besides that, the tool is absolutely quick and can create bootable USB drives within minutes. In fact, it’s very close to Rufus in terms of performance and platform compatibility. There is also an in-built USB formatting tool that can help you free the storage on your USB stick after installation. Simply put, Universal USB Installer is among the best alternatives to Rufus and you can definitely give it a try.

ProsCons
Great app for flashing Windows and Linux imagesDoes not support macOS
Very fast

Platform Availability: Windows and Linux

InstallWebsite (Free)

8. Diskmaker X

Diskmaker X is one of the best Rufus alternatives for macOS users. It’s a small utility that can seamlessly build a bootable macOS image on your USB stick. The process is quite simple. Launch the application and it will find the installation file using Spotlight. After that, it will detect the USB drive and will offer you to flash the system image. In terms of performance, the app is decently fast and works for the most part. Having said that, the great part about Diskmaker X is that it supports Mojave as well and that’s awesome. Simply put, if you are looking for a Rufus alternative for macOS, this is certainly the app to go for.

Note: In case, you want to create a Windows bootable USB on a Mac computer then you can use the native Boot Camp Assistant app.

ProsCons
Best Rufus alternative for macOSNone
Supports Mojave

Platform Availability: macOS

InstallWebsite (Free)

9. Win32 Disk Imager

Win32 Disk Imager is one of the oldest programs for flashing low-level utilities like Raspbian and ARM-based operating systems on SD cards and USB sticks. In a true sense, Win32 Disk Imager is a Rufus alternative because the performance is exceptionally great and the flashing speed is in its own league. And that is not all, the user interface is as simple as it can get. You provide the source of the system image and select the device to flash on. Press “Write” and you are done. To sum up, if you are looking to create bootable flash drives for small projects, Win32 Disk Imager will take you right home.

ProsCons
Best for flashing low-level utilitiesDoes not support desktop-class operating systems
Exceptional performance just like Rufus

Platform Availability: Windows, Linux

InstallWebsite (Free)

10. WoeUSB

WoeUSB is an interesting app that lets you create a Windows bootable USB drive on a Linux machine. Basically, if you use Ubuntu or any other Linux distro, you can use WoeUSB to flash Windows ISO images on a removable drive. The best part about WoeUSB is that, unlike most Linux programs, it has a GUI interface and you can build a USB installer in a few clicks. No need to mess with commands and Terminal! Further, it supports Windows from Vista to the latest version of Windows 10. And it is compatible with older Legacy BIOS, MBR partition, and the newer UEFI mode. All in all, WoeUSB is a godsend for people who want Rufus-like features on Linux for creating Windows bootable drives.

ProsCons
Best for creating Windows USB bootable drives on Linux or UbuntuLimited to Linux OS
Simple and easy to use
The flashing speed is pretty good

Platform Availability: Linux

InstallWebsite (Free)

11. TransMac

If you want to create a macOS bootable USB using a Windows PC then TransMac is a great app. Similar to Rufus, all you have to do is download the macOS DMG file and import it to TransMac. Further, insert the bootable USB drive and TransMac will format the drive in APFS file format. The flashing process is a bit longer given the DMG image is encrypted and the difference in the file system. However, the app works for the most part and you can create a macOS bootable media on a Windows computer. In terms of performance, it’s a bit slow and does not compare with the likes of Rufus, but it gets the job done. To conclude, if you don’t have an extra Mac in sight, TransMac is your best bet.

ProsCons
Best for creating macOS USB installer on Windows PCA bit slow
Supports Apple File SystemPretty expensive

Platform Availability: Windows

InstallWebsite (15-day free trial, one-time purchase of $59)

12. Windows 7 USB Tool

As the name suggests, Windows 7 USB Tool is a program that lets you create a Windows bootable media for Windows 7, 8, and XP. It’s the most straightforward program where you select the ISO image, removable device and you are done. Since it’s pretty lightweight, Windows USB Tool does not take much time to flash system images. The flashing speed is very comparable to Rufus. In tandem, if you are using Windows 7/8/XP, you can use this simple tool to create a USB bootable drive in no time.

ProsCons
Best Rufus alternative for Windows 7/8/XPLimited to Windows only
Simple and pretty fast

Platform Availability: Windows

InstallWebsite (Free)

Comments 12
  • I tested all avaiable software to linux. all dont work. only rufus on windows working good! all other is crashed!

  • You should not miss another great too: SYSGeeker’s WonderISO, it enable users to Burn ISO, Create ISO, Extract ISO, Edit ISO and Copy ISO from Disc.

    • I agree, and think this is also a favorite by many. Ventoy is able to boot for multiple ISO images not just one bootable flash drive. Very easy to use, and just add an additional ISO file to add to your boot menu without reflashing or imaging.

  • Is it possible to create a bootable USB HDD? I have an external 500gb hard disk but I don’t see this option in all these pendrives. USB Flash Drive only

    • Try use balena etcher. Then click show hidden, it will show yout hard drive.
      Note: Make sure your hard drive it’s not your Operating System you use or it will crash your computer.

  • use wine on universal USB installer…
    it works, however, you must make it into an app and enable framework for it to work

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