Popsicle, create multiple bootable USB drives at once

about popsicle

In the next article we are going to take a look at Popsicle. This is a program that offers the possibility of create multiple USB drives at the same time. It is a free program, which has a simple user interface, as well as its workflow, which makes it very convenient to use. Popsicle supports devices USB 2 Y USB 3 in which you can write types of images ISO and IMG. It also has the ability to verify ISO images with checksum MD5 or SHA256.

Over time, this blog has shown several tools to create bootable USB such as WoeUSB, Unetbootin or Etcher, but Popsicle stands out for its ease of use and user interface. This tool is the official USB flashing utility for Pop! _YOU. For those who don’t know what it is, say that Pop! _OS is an Ubuntu-based operating system developed by System76.

General Popsicle Features

  • Has a easy to use graphical interface.
  • Too we will also be able to use it from the command line.
  • Supports USB 2 and USB 3.
  • Its most notable feature is undoubtedly the possibility of parallel write, write to multiple USB devices at the same time.
  • It is free and open source. Its source code is available on GitHub.
  • It gives us the possibility of verify ISO images with SHA256 or MD5 checksum.
  • Allows to write ISO or IMG image types.
  • Is written with Rust and GTK.

Install Popsicle on Ubuntu 20.04

Popsicle comes pre-installed with Pop! _OS by default. Since this distribution is based on Ubuntu, we will be able to install it in Ubuntu and its derivatives using the official PPA of Pop! _YOU as it’s shown in the following. To begin we are going to open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and use the following command to add the PPA:

add repo popsicle

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:system76/pop

When it’s added and the list of available software is updated, we can install the program using the following command in the same terminal:

install popsicle

sudo apt install popsicle popsicle-gtk

Once Popsicle is installed, we will have to remove the PPA. This is so because you will keep asking us to update to the next available version of Pop! _YOU. When we want to update at another time, we can add the PPA to our system again.

After installation we can start the program from the launcher called “USB Flasher that we will find available in our team.

popsicle launcher

Use Popsicle

iso image selection

Popsicle is as easy to use as any other bootable USB creation software. To start just we will have to connect the USB devices and on the first screen choose the image (.iso or .img) that we are interested in writing to our USB device / s. To go to the next screen, you just have to click on the button that says «Next«.

select devices

On this screen we will be able to choose from the list the USB devices to flash. This list of USB devices will automatically update as we add or remove new devices. You will have to click on «Next»To start creation.

creating USBs in parallel

Now USB flashing operation will start. This will take a few minutes. When finished, we will see a message indicating that the creation has completed successfully.

flash finish

When I’m done, just we will have to safely remove the USB drives and use the newly created USB boot devices to install the operating system or test the live environment on the computer of interest.

Popsicle CLI

As I already mentioned lines above, Popsicle has CLI and GUI. If you are interested in being able to write images from the command line, the syntax to use would be the following:

popsicle -a /ruta/a/la/imagen

In this command, the -a option is used to flash all detected USB devices. But nevertheless, we can also flash a particular device. For this we are going to use a command similar to the following:

sudo popsicle /ruta/a/la/imagen /ruta/dispositivo

In the above command, will have to replace / path / device with the path of our USB device.

If you need help, you can check it using the following command:

popsible CLI help

popsicle --help


For remove the PPA that we use for the installation, we just have to open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and execute the command:

uninstall ppa popsicle

sudo add-apt-repository -r ppa:system76/pop

Now for delete the program, in the same terminal you just have to use the command:

uninstall popsible

sudo apt remove popsicle popsicle-gtk

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