When you want to create a bootable drive for any Operating System, you run to Rufus, without a doubt. Rufus supports a variety of formats including Windows ISO files and Linux distro files. Many users prefer Rufus because they prefer its lightweight size, which fires up quickly and works like charm. Albeit, Rufus is only available on Windows for now. This makes users to go on looking out for a Rufus alternative on other platforms like mac OS or Linux.
If you fall in the same category, you have reached the right place. This article compiles the some of the best Rufus alternatives for your Windows, macOS, and Linux as well. We made sure that all of them are snappy and easy to use, just like Rufus. So without any further delays, let’s jump into the article.
Best Rufus Alternatives For Windows, macOS, and Linux (2020)
1. Etcher – Best Rufus Alternative
While Rufus remains the best when it comes to creating bootable devices on Windows only. Etcher takes over the spot when it comes to multi-platform support. Etches is an alternative to Rufus that runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux. While that’s good, it is a great program to create bootable USB devices. It supports multiple formats from system images like DMG, ISO, IMG, and many more.
Compared to Rufus, the user-interface of Etcher is straightforward and easy to use. You wouldn’t need additional guides to learn how to use the Etcher program. Connect your USB drive, open Etcher, select the Image file, and click Flash. When it comes to flashing, Etcher is almost same as Rufus in terms of speed. It also supports simultaneous flashing on multiple drives.
A better feature that Etcher hosts is Image Validation. This verifies the System Image file that you are about to flash, and the USB drive before flashing. If something is fishy, it interrupts the process. As a result, this saves a lot of time by notifying about corrupted system images or USB drive, compared to Rufus which notifies it after flashing more than 50% of the System Image. Like Rufus, Etcher is a completely open-source software making it the best Rufus alternative for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
- Multi-platform support
- Flashing Speed as fast as Rufus
- Clean and easy to use UI
- Image Validation for verification of system images
- Support for simultaneous flashing on multiple drives
Availability: Windows, macOS, and Linux
2. PowerISO – Alternative to Rufus
After Etcher, PowerISO comes at second in our search for alternatives to Rufus. PowerISO offers solutions for creating a bootable USB drive. IN addition to that, it hosts a plethora of features given that it’s a full-fledged disc burning tool. Some of those features include converting several System images to ISO, mounting disks, and many more.
Similar to Rufus, PowerISO creates bootable USB drives or CDs faster. The UI is fairly easy to use, but some users might take a bit of a learning curve. The only problem that you’ll face using this is that it is limited to only ISO files at the moment. If you don’t have an ISO file, it needs to be converted to an ISO file using the same software. Indirectly, it supports various file formats like ISO, BIN, CDI, and many others.
Unlike Rufus, you can also edit the ISO image directly without the need of an additional software. Given that PowerISO is only available for Windows and Linux completely, you can still access it on macOS using the command line utility. This can be a big bummer for those who use a Mac. In our opinion, it’s a great Rufus alternative when it comes to ISO images.
- Works best on Windows and Linux
- Good speeds while flashing an ISO
- Converts supported formats to ISO
- Edits ISO files
- Lack of support for macOS
- Limited to ISO file format
Availability: Windows, Linux, macOS (using Command Line Utility)
3. Microsoft Media Creation Tool
Microsoft created the Media Creation Tool to create a bootable Windows 10 drive. It is one of the best Rufus alternatives if you are looking to create a Windows 10 bootable disk. This tool lets you download the latest release of WIndows 10, even if you don’t have the file on your PC. As a result, the work gets done seamlessly without any hassles.
It detects the configuration of your PC automatically, whether it is an x64 or x86 architecture-based system. And then, downloads the respective Windows 10 ISO image to your system. In addition to that, you can also use your own ISO image to create a bootable disk. We aren’t sure about how it takes on other ISO image files, but if its a Windows one, then it’s definitely a jackpot.
The flashing speeds is one thing where it lacks compared to Rufus. However, the other downside being that it’s only compatible on Windows only. So forget Linux and macOS completely. Even though, there are limitations, it can be a good alternative to Rufus on Windows platform.
- Easy to flash WIndows ISO images
- Easy to use
- Slower flashing speeds compared to Rufus
- Lacks support for Linux and macOS
Although the name sounds weird, UNetbootin is a popular alternative to Rufus when it comes to Linux distributions like Ubuntu. It is very lightweight and easy to use as well. The best part, it’s available on all major platforms like Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Just like how Media Creation Tool works best for WIndows, UNetbootin does the same job for flashing Linux images like Ubuntu. Whether you have a Mac or PC, it doesn’t matter. It works without any hiccups for flashing Ubuntu or other Linux Distributions. The flashing speeds on UNetbootin are on-par with Rufus, giving it a tough competition. It can be an amazing Rufus alternative for flashing Linux distribution images.
- Best for creating Linux Distribution’s images
- Faster Image flashing speeds
- Works on all major platforms
- Supports Linux formats only
Availability: Windows, macOS, and Linux
YUMI (Your Universal Multiboot Installer) lets you create multiple boot options on your USB drive. This feature makes it a different yet an amusing alternative to Rufus. If you don’t what multiboot means, it is technically creating a USB drive that lets you boot into different operating systems depending on the flash drive storage.
Unlike Rufus, or any other alternatives on this list, YUMI lets you use the left storage after flashing one boot image. This option lets YUMI arrange all the boot files in a separate multiboot folder. It is very similar to Rufus, but with added capabilities of multiboot support. But for now, it is only limited to the Windows and Linux platforms, yet it supports formats like ISO, ZIP, Linux Distros, and many more for flashing. It is one of the best Rufus alternative on this list.
- Ability to create Multiboot USB Drive
- Lets you use entire storage of the USB Drive
- Supports multiple System Image file formats
- Limited to Windows and Linux
Availability: Windows and Linux
6. Universal USB Installer
From the creators of YUMI, Universal USB Installer was made for Linux Distributions, but no wonder it supports Windows ISO images as well. If you are looking for a great alternative to Rufus that supports both Windows and Linux, Universal USB Installer is what you should try. Apart from that, this program lets you create bootable USB drives in no time.
When it comes to performance, you can expect it close to Rufus. Additionally, we get to see a USB formatting option, that frees up the excess storage. As for the final words, Universal USB Installer works on both Windows and Linux, while there is lack of support for macOS. Hence making it one of the best Rufus alternatives that runs on Windows and Linux as well.
- Best for flashing Windows and Linux system images
- Faster speeds when flashing to USB drive
- Doesn’t support macOS
Availability: Windows and Linux
7. Diskmaker X
When it comes to macOS, the list of programs gets limited. Diskmaker X is one of the best Rufus alternative for macOS platform. It is a small utility program that creates a bootable macOS image to your USB drive. Once you the launch the application, you can easily find the installation file using the Spotlight feature on Windows. Once done, it’ll detect the USB drive you inserted and will flash the system image.
Coming to the performance, Diskmaker X is fairly quick compared to Rufus. The best part about Diskmaker X is that it is compatible with macOS Catalina. Besides that, it isn’t compatible with the latest macOS Big Sur unfortunately. If you are running on macOS Catalina or lower, then go for Diskmaker X.
If you want to create a Windows ISO file on your Mac, then it’s best to use the native Boot Camp Assistant app.
- Best alternative to Rufus for macOS
- Quick at creating USB bootable drive.
- Doesn’t support macOS Big Sur
Availability: macOS (up to Catalina)
If you want to create a macOS bootable USB drive on a Windows PC, then TransMac is the one of the best Rufus alternatives for Windows. Before you start with TransMac, you need to get the DMG file of macOS. You can easily import it to TransMac. Once you insert the USB drive, your drive will be formatted to support Mac, that is in APFS format.
The process might take longer than usual because DMG uses a different encryption system compared to the usual ISO images. Although the best part is that it can create a macOS bootable USB drive on Windows OS. It’s a bit slow compared to Rufus, but gets the job done. In the end, TransMac is a great Rufus alternative to create bootable device on Windows OS.
- Best for creating bootable disk of macOS on Windows
- Supports APFS
- Slower compared to Rufus
- Very Expensive
When it is about creating a Windows bootable drive using Linux machine, it’s best to consider WoeUSB in that case. WoeUSB is an alternative to Rufus when creating a Windows bootable drive on a Linux machine. Unlike most of the Linux programs that are based on command line inputs, WoeUSB comes with a GUI of its own.
You can flash any Windows OS, whether it is Windows Vista or Windows 10. Being an old player in its league, WoeUSB supports legacy partitions like BIOS, MBR, and even the new UEFI. If you are looking for a Rufus alternative on your Linux machine, then look no further. WoeUSB is one of the best Rufus alternatives out there.
- Best for creating Windows bootable drive on Linux/Ubuntu
- Easy to use
- Faster flashing speeds
- Only available on Linux
10. Win32 Disk Imager
If you are planning to flash low-level utilities like Raspberry Pie or any ARM-based OS on to an SD Card or a USB stick. Then, Win32 Disk Imager is the outstanding Rufus alternative for you. It provides an exceptional performance similar to Rufus whether it’s the features or the flashing speed. All you need to do is provide the system image and select the device to flash on to, and it’s good to go.
The UI of Win32 Disk Imager is pretty straightforward by itself. hence, if you are looking to flash system images on low-utility devices, then Win32 Disk Manager is the right Rufus alternative for you.
- Best for Low-level utilities flashing
- Amazing performance like Rufus
- Not available on macOS
Availability: Windows and Linux
That concludes our list of the best Rufus alternatives out there when it comes to Windows, macOS, and Linux. The list includes all possible scenarios you face when looking for a Rufus alternative. One thing about these Rufus alternatives is that most of them come with terrific flashing speeds. We hope the Pros and Cons will help you decide which alternative to Rufus you should get. That sums up this list, and if you know more Rufus alternatives that we don’t, let us know in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I use Instead of Rufus?
You can use Etcher as a better Rufus alternative, which performs the same as Rufus. It is also available on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
Which is better, Rufus or Etcher?
Rufus and Etcher are almost same in terms of comparison. But if you put them side by side, most people will choose Rufus instead of Etcher. This is because of the reason that Rufus detects USB drives automatically, which minimizes the risk of accidentally formatting your Hard Drive.
Is there a Linux version of Rufus?
Rufus is not available on Linux platform, yet. But you can use the “dd” command on Ubuntu to create a bootable disk. Instead, there are various other alternatives like Etcher, PowerISO, etc. that are available on Linux as well.
Which software is best for making bootable USB?
There are tons of softwares that lets you create a bootable USB. Although, it’s always preferable to use Rufus or Etcher to make bootable USB.