Introducing Raspberry Pi Imager, our new imaging utility

We’ve made a simpler way to image your microSD card with Raspbian, the official Raspberry Pi operating system, and other operating systems. Introducing our new imaging utility, Raspberry Pi Imager.

Raspberry Pi Imager

Simplifying the Raspberry Pi experience

For me, one of the most important aspects of the Raspberry Pi experience is trying to make it as easy as possible to get started.  To this end, since launching the first Raspberry Pi, we’ve added a GUI to our operating system, a wizard to help you set up your Raspberry Pi the first time you boot it, and lots of books and magazines to get people up and running.  We’ve even developed the Raspberry Pi Desktop Kit to put all the things you need (yes, Alex, I know – except for a monitor) into a single box to make it as easy as possible!

SD cards can be a bit tricky

Despite all these moves towards more simplicity, when it comes to microSD cards, programming them with your favourite Raspberry Pi operating system has always been a little bit tricky.

The main problem comes from the differences between the operating systems that people’s main computers are likely to use: Windows, macOS, and Linux all use different methods of accessing the SD card, which doesn’t help matters. And, for some new Raspberry Pi users, understanding where to find the latest up-to-date image and how to get it onto the microSD card can be a bit confusing, unless you’ve had prior experience with image-flashing tools such as Etcher.

For that reason, we’ve always suggested that you should buy a pre-loaded NOOBS SD card from your Raspberry Pi Approved Reseller.

But what if you want to re-image an existing card?

Introducing the new Raspberry Pi Imager

From today, Raspberry Pi users will be able to download and use the new Raspberry Pi Imager, available for Windows, macOS and Ubuntu.

The utility is simple to use and super speedy, thanks to some shortcuts we’ve introduced into the mechanics.

Firstly, Raspberry Pi Imager downloads a .JSON file from our website with a list of all current download options, ensuring you are always installing the most up-to-date version.

Once you’ve selected an operating system from the available options, the utility reads the relevant file directly from our website and writes it straight to the SD card. This speeds up the process quite considerably compared to the standard process of reading it from the website, writing it to a file on your hard drive, and then, as a separate step, reading it back from the hard drive and writing it to the SD card.

During this process, Raspberry Pi Imager also caches the downloaded operating system image – that is to say, it saves a local copy on your computer, so you can program additional SD cards without having to download the file again.

Open source and ready to go!

Download the Raspberry Pi Imager from our downloads page today.

Raspberry Pi Imager is fully open source and was originally written as a modification of the PiBakery tool, later modified and finished by Floris Bos (the original writer of the NOOBS tool and the PiServer tool). You can see Floris’ other software, for data centres, here.


manuti avatar

Now we only need a Raspbian version of the app to flash new microSD from a Raspberry Pi a close the circle.
Congratulations for the app.

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

Yes, Serge is busy bringing one up… It’s easy enough to build if you follow the instructions on the github sources for a deb build.

manuti avatar

OK, thanks. I give a try this evening.

Gordon77 avatar

I tried using the instructions on the github site to build the raspbian version. The ‘sudo apt install –no-install-recommends …..’ gives an error ‘Unable to locate package qtbase5-dev’and pi@raspberrypi:~/imagewriter $ debuild -uc -us gives ‘bash: debuild: command not found’.Whats wrong ?

Will there be a downloadable Raspbian version ?

K avatar

I want to make a raspberry pi 4 a basic desktop PC. I hate Windows OS. It would be great if the Raspberry Pi Imager worked with Raspbian OS. Does the Unbuntu version work with Ubuntu Mate for the raspberry pi?

Mikael Bonnier avatar

It’s in Raspbian Buster now:
sudo apt update && sudo apt install rpi-imager
I made a new image on a larger microSD card and copied /home/pi to the same folder on the new image. I run from the new image now and it seems to work well. I guess some unnecessary files and folders were copied. I have to install extra programs. I didn’t want to use SD Card Copier because my first image was NOOBs. Maybe if SD Card Copier could remove NOOBs it would be a better option when increasing SD card.

Keith Ellis avatar

Does it provide options to enable ssh and set WiFi details for headless installs?

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

No, this tool is specifically made to be as simple as possible. It’s done this way to reduce the barrier to entry for beginners. For more advanced users this can be set up using the ssh file and wpa_supplicant file in the first partition afterwards

Ian Tindale avatar

Include a discreet means of selection on the app pane itself, that when actuated asks you if you wish to include your wifi stuff – then it simply opens the link you gave.
You could secretly try it by making the right-hand green leaf a hotspot, which when moused-over shows the veins of the leaf in the pattern of a wifi symbol, and when clicked, opens the link in a browser. If that’s not problematic, then it in later version it could become more overt whilst still not getting in the way, yet also catering for all the 3A customers who would otherwise be lost for a while.

Ryan McConkey avatar

Great tool.
One very small request. It auto ejects the SD card from Windows. This is a minor inconvenience, because I like putting the empty ssh file in the root directory to enable ssh on first use.
Can this be a toggle, mount / unmount from Windows?
Thanks :)

reddakota avatar

That would be amazing to expand this to also provide the initial configuration setup.
-Enable SSH
-Enter your Wifi info (spits out wpa_supplicant file)
-Choose language and localization settings.

Faiz avatar

+1 also setting the default password :)

Tony avatar

+1 in general, all common options of config.txt and cmdline.txt

Maeko avatar

Pi Bakery lets you do that. Not to detract from this software.
It’s just a little more robust for the more technically inclined pi users.

Mark avatar

Being able to set SSH and wifi would be fantastic – a one stop shop to get your Pi up and running.

Sean avatar

+1 This tool is great, but as a beginner getting basic access via SSH is very painful right now.

andrum99 avatar

Oooh interesting ?

On my laptop it was blocked by Windows 10’s built-in antivirus as an unknown app:

“Windows protected your PC
Windows Defender SmartScreen prevented an unrecognised app from starting. Running this app might put your PC at risk.
More info”

That’s on a fully up-to-date system. I also did a manual update check, which pulled in the latest definitions, but it still shows that warning.

You may wish to submit this shiny new app to Microsoft, if you haven’t already done so – see That seems to work in getting the block disabled – for example see

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

Just Click “More Info” then you can install it anyway, Microsoft have a method where we can pay more money and you get rid of this right away. But instead it’ll be there until a few people have installed it without complaining!

Hopefully that’s 100s not 1000s!


andrum99 avatar

Thanks I managed to install it OK and it seems to work well. Great to have all that functionality built into a single tool, and cross platform too ? Guess I can now uninstall Etcher ?

Kevin Shumaker avatar

I can confirm, both the problem, and Gordon’s work around. For Noobs, you may want to post the additional step needed to get it to work.

David Wild avatar

Will RISC_OS be one of the systems available?

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

Oops, forgot to add them to my email

Hopefully, they’ll have an image

Anders avatar

I don’t think RiscOS has come along with us on the 4B journey. Not yet anyway.

Freddie avatar

RISC OS isn’t ready for Pi 4 yet but is being worked on. It’s hoped to be cooked for the next ‘stable’ ROS release. Looks like that might be soon-ish.

PeterO avatar

Just tried this on a 64 bit Mint-19 PC and it seems to work, except when you press the “CHOOSE SD CARD” and just get an empty window with no explanation ! While **I** know it’s because there is no sd-card interface on this particular machine, it’s not very helpful for something intended to be for beginners.

PeterO avatar

Just tried on my Mint laptop (which does have a SD card slot) and it still just pops up an empty window. A prompt to insert a card at that point would be helpful !

Cyber Killer avatar

It’s a pity there is no version for GNU/Linux, but “for Ubuntu” instead. There are a lot of various distros, any good software maker should try to make their software working universally across as many distros as possible, covering at least the big 3 and their variants – Red Hat, SUSE and Debian.

Serge Schneider avatar

There shouldn’t be anything preventing maintainers of distros from adding this to their repos. Maybe we can take a look at using something like AppImage later.

PeterO avatar

Which bit of “Raspberry Pi Imager is fully open source” and the link to the sources in github is giving you trouble building it on your mythical GNU/Linux system ?

Kevin avatar

The part where it says it’s for BEGINNERS (NOOBS) who probably don’t have a clue about compiling from source. Which is different from someone (say, like me) who uses Pi-Gen to build my own Raspbian images on a regular basis to fit specific needs.

PeterO avatar

But that’s not what was being complained about though was it !

ComputerKid avatar

Where is the snap/appimage? What about us btw I use Archers

Daniel Jess avatar

What a great idea.
I love watching how things have grown from the humble start of the Pi

Kevin Shumaker avatar

An issue I’ve found:
In Use Custom:
Cant select folders. I have images in “RPi-Stuff” on my Desktop in Win10. Can’t get to it from “My Computer” or my user. Can’t manually type it in “Look in:”
Path to files: C:\Users\kevin\Desktop\RPi_Stuff
Only available: C:\Users\kevin\Downloads
C:\Program Files (x86)\Raspberry Pi Imager
This is in “Select Image”
Also can’t get to my NAS where I keep my archive of older images. No Network Drives show at all.
No USB Attached Hard Drives or sticks show either.

Luciano Rabassa avatar

I have a big index for that json, with more than 200 operating systems, you can add and teach how to add it. The app need to be on Raspbian!

Andyroo avatar

Would rather have had you use the time given to helping USB boot for Pi 4 than replacing Etcher to be honest.

Try living in the country with flaky power and a wife who limits the number of UPS boxes in the house.

W. H. Heydt avatar

What makes you think this effort has in any way delayed boot-over-USB for the ePi4B? I think the RPF/RPT are capable of working on more than one thing at a time…

As for the UPS problem…demonstrate the utility (to your wife) of as many UPSes as you think you need.

Andyroo avatar

I did not say that it has delayed it – I said the time should have been used towards it. A year down the line and it’s ‘still coming’.

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

While you wait, just use SD Card Copier to copy from your SD card to a USB drive, (making sure to change the UUIDs), then use lsblk -o NAME,PARTUUID to identify the PARTUUID and change it on the SD card in /boot/cmdline.txt

Now you’re running from the the USB drive…

Turns out we work on more than one thing at a time, so doing this work doesn’t stop us from working on USB boot. So it’s unlikely to be long now.

Monkey10IS avatar

Maybe the Raspberry Pi team should demand your power supplier provide you with a better supply? As, to you, they seem to have time to waste, to be honest.

MW avatar

Great to have a simple tool, though personally use the “Chromebook Recovery Utility” in Chromium Browser.

The only downside is this like other similar software it does not check that the SD Card is suitable for the SD Card Reader… SDHC / SDXC ??

CleoQc avatar

Great job on this tool! I did get hit with the Microsoft warning, but installed anyway (trust you folks)…

You know this question is coming, and I’m sure there’s been some discussions internally. Yes, the tool is open-source, and people who distribute their own version of Raspbian can fork it and make it their own. Or users can use this tool and select the ‘custom file’ option. However that sorta goes against the spirit of the tool to have just one centralized tool.

Would there be a method at one point to become ‘semi-official’ and be integrated in the one central tool ?
There could be an option just before ‘custom’, something like “other unsupported OS”, and developers could do PRs t add their distro.

The Foundation would still be the one handling the merges, so they would make the final decision of course on whether to accept a specific distro or not.

What’s the official stance? (I’m sure this has been discussed internally already) Is it ‘no forever’, or ‘maybe eventually’?

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

I’m happy to add distributions of OSes if we think they will be used and they are suitably supported / updated.

Add as an issue on the github account

CleoQc avatar


Richard Franklin avatar


Great to see that you have recognized an important problem and taken steps to solve it.

Here is the real issue and I hope you and your team will work on this.

Many of us run Rpi’s and have several. I also run X86 Raspian Desktop from a live USB drive on my older Win7 PC at home and work. Both run much faster with X86Raspian, even though from a live USB drive!) and I have identical files, as I take the thumb drive back and forth to work. The X86 Raspian has the same environment at the Rpi Raspian, and I run the latest Arudino IDE on both the X86 Raspian desktop and the Raspian for RPi. Until recently, the X86 Raspian running off the live USB drive on my older PC’s was faster
than the Rpi3B or Rpi3B+. With the new RPi4/4GB, the Rpi’s are now just as fast or faster.






Jay Bacon avatar

An option inside the imaging utility to format existing SD cards before the write would be kind of cool. Has anyone suggested this as an included feature in future releases?

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

The SD card format is contained inside the image, so there’s no point in doing that. But we have added an option just to FAT32 format the card… (Now I’m thinking about whether to allow an option to do a full format, writing 0s to all sectors)

Pearl.852 avatar

That would a nice option when we write to an old SD Card.

Caleb avatar

Currently giving me a “Error downloading OS list from Internet” when running it on a raspberry pi 4b

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

Yes, that’s because needs its SSL stuff updated. It should happen in the next few days!

Otherwise keep loading it, there’s a 1 in 9 chance you’ll get through to the server that does work!


framp avatar


That’s a great step forward which helps everybody – in particular Raspberry beginners – to prime the SD card with an OS. No fiddling around with an OS image and an image burning program any more. Everything is now handled transparently by the Raspberry Pi Imager :+1:

croft avatar

good work but
will not work with buster
please also can ssd boot first
as sd cards are not cost efictive


James Hughes avatar

As mentioned above, we can actually work on more than one thing at a time – this tool was written by someone who is not involved with the USB boot code. Have you considered the hybrid boot where its started by SD card then goes to SSD? That means just a small SD card needed, and it won’t wear out because it only ever read.

The tool is being built for Buster and will go in the repos at some point, but that’s quite a niche requirement.

Moe avatar

It would be awesome if this app works on an iPad Pro so that I don’t need a laptop. I’m currently dependent a laptop only for flashing sd cards, everything else can be done on an iPad Pro. Please make it happen.

Dragon0307 avatar

Does this support dual-boot?

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

No, you would need to install NOOBS for that

Tony avatar

+1 for an appimage version please. Great work by the way, thank you.

don isenstadt avatar

The creation of rpi-imager off github went very smoothly. I was able to get the download distribution after trying several times (ie. 1 in 9 chance).
when you get the ssl update finished do I completely reinstall or is there an upgrade process?
Also with rpi-imager it appears that noobs will no longer be needed?

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

When we fix the server it’ll just work! You won’t have to update anything…

Ah, just saw your message below…

We’re not planning the demise of NOOBS any time soon, they do still provide different things (when you buy an SD card if it’s already programmed with NOOBS you don’t have to download anything). But you’re right this has a lot of the best functionality of NOOBS

Neil Small avatar

Adding DietPi to the selections would make it far more useful for Roon Bridge users.

don isenstadt avatar

Sorry .. I see that the change will happen on your side not something in the code .. but my question about the future of NOOBS remains…
Amazing work .. this is far better than any of my laptops or desktops … because they only have usb2 … They are headed for the scrap heap soon … the raspberry pi 4 is truly a all purpose machine… just fantastic!

Mike Haldane avatar

Good new update that helps those of us that are looking for things to be quite straight forward.

Having recently moved to Ubuntu from Windows 10, I have over the last couple of weeks been struggling to get Etcher to work and download NOOBS, eventually discovered that I needed to just flash Rasbian – due to my ignorance I have to admit.

However I wanted to reinstall the OS and this is much more straight forward, much quicker than Windows, slower that Etcher – but ease of use makes it a much better option.

john avatar

Will we see a backup SD to .img feature at a click of a button in the near future?

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

We already have one, its called SD Card Copier and you can access it from the Raspbian menu. It is not a simple thing to create a reliable copier (actually cloner) on Windows, since you need to re-size partitions that Windows doesn’t understand.

Milliways avatar

This looks like a good tool for beginners – although the user needs permission to install a program on the computer – one of the alleged advantages of NOOBS.

I really don’t understand all these people who keep re-installing OS.
I download once when a new OS is released (every 2 years or so) then clone from my backups

Derek Nash avatar

That’s excellent. Great job!

bensimmo avatar

Just keep reporting it as safe if Edge (chromium version) blocks via SafeScreen it with a harsh warning.
SmartScreen is good and it’s easy to report.

Going to make life easier (just needs a future ‘Advanced’ tab/button, for some pre-settings). But no rush, I can cope :-)

Is this going to be bundled with the RPx86 Desktop at some point ?

(I see RPD x86 was updated last month with no changelog, could we have some update info for it?)

Colin Tinker avatar

Using the Ubuntu version it keeps saying it cannot download the list of OS’S?

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

This is a short term problem with our servers, if you keep trying it should work in the end (1 in 9 hits)…

We are trying to update the servers, will be fixed soon…

Colin Tinker avatar

Many thanks for the fast reply.

Tim avatar

Is it possible to cache multiple os images?

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

We decided to limit it to a single image, otherwise we’d have to provide some method of being able to control the caching of images… Which would again make it difficult to use and understand for beginners.

Senden avatar

Not sure if its a hardware issue but I’m getting a report on one of my SD cards even after erasing and re-flashing using this tool;

“Verifying write failed. Contents of SD card is different then what was written to it.”

Also in this context the message should read ‘Than’ not ‘Then’ /pedantry

Simon Long avatar

Actually, to be pedantic, it should read “…different from…” – “…different than…” isn’t particularly good grammar! ;)

Senden avatar

After some further testing seems to have been an issue with the image I was trying to flash (octoprint) rather than anything else, possibly because it creates two partitions on the SDcard?

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

This issue has been fixed and released, please download again

Aleksander Celewicz avatar

Why it does not support compute modules. Etcher can already do the same thing but will also recognise CM over usb and prepare it for programming.

Cole Wiebe avatar

In a future update, you should add a ‘advanced’ mode with more options and features. Like SSH, WiFi, password, overclocking or location settings.

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

There’s already a complex version, it’s called PiBakery… Allows you to do all those things

Peter Jones avatar

Are you able to release a ‘portable version’ so you don’t need to install it? Thanks

Gary avatar

I have been using Raspberry Pi from the beginning, and Linux from its beginning also. I applaud all of the “ëasing” progress that you continue to make … but now not being able to also download and flash images the “old fashioned way”, directly or by torrent, does start to remove your product from the old Linux family ways of doing things. Many of us use Raspberry Pi to teach Engineering, Computer Science and Mechatronics. No longer being able to teach the old ways too disables our ability to show our budding computer professionals what goes on “behind the curtain”. Remember budding computer experts must eventually know more than Word and Excel.. The idea for my students is to have them move quickly beyond being “NOOBS”. Please proceed carefully…

Helen Lynn avatar

Don’t worry – you can still download Raspbian and other operating systems from our Downloads page; we wouldn’t even think of removing the option to do things that way.

MW avatar

The download page is still available if one wants to use .IMG (zipped) files and prefer to use a different method to create a SD Card.

Todd avatar

I have drank the raspberry juice, so now at my house I ONLY have a Raspberry Pi as my personal computer. So the downfall is that I don’t have a good/easy way of formatting the SD card or installing the OS. Tools like this new imager and the official SD Formatter utility do not offer versions that run directly in Raspbian. :( I would think that if Raspberry Pi (Foundation) offers some official tooling — they would make that tooling available to run on their own hardware/OS. Raspberry Pi users should not have to rely on some other kind of computer to get a new Raspberry Pi up and running. I realize there probably are (manual or command line) ways of using a Raspberry Pi (with Raspbian) to set up another Raspberry Pi, but it won’t be nearly as easy or straight forward as these other utilities that are designed to run on Windows10/Mac/Ubuntu. I know, I know — I’m expecting a lot out of my $35 desktop!

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

Don’t worry Todd, it will soon, but we’re having a little trouble with the SSL TLS on the servers. As soon as that’s sorted we’ll add it to the repo so you can sudo apt install it..

Hank Bishop (HPB) avatar

I have a new 64GB SanDisk Extreme which I have tried to load over many different avenues to load and and get to boot ALL did not work/load. When I examine the card it seems to have ALL the programs for starting and loading the OS but it just doesn’t BOOT. I have successfully loaded and booted a Lexar 32GB which works perfectly. Kindly let me know your thoughts and suggestions.
Thanks for your assistance!


Gordon Hollingworth avatar

Hi Hank, it’s probably best to discuss this on the github issues list, we can go into more detail there. Create a new issue…

Herman avatar

64 GB micro SD cards are exFAT formatted when you buy them, and since Raspbian is not compatible with exFAT, you will have to reformat them first to FAT32.

SEO Cantabria avatar

A great tool for newbies with RaspberryPi

John Smith avatar

Are we by any chance being prepped for something special on Pi day?

Thorsten avatar

Where is the cache located on Windows? Can it be changed?
A expert mode would be nice.

Ray Allen avatar

Shame does not work under 10.11 on Mac, so I will continue with Etcher :(

Nylan avatar

No link to the Raspberry Desktop image in the tool…

That should be added. Definitively.

David Horn avatar

I tried this on a MacBook Pro. The Raspberry Pi Imager was able to see my 32G FAT32 blank micro SD card, and I selected Raspbian Full desktop OS and clicked on Write.
It said “Writing.. 0%”
Some 5 minutes later I got an error message:
Failed to connect to port 80: Operation timed out
.. to cut a long story short, I found the “imager.dmg” app just kills the internet access on my Macbook.
I keep my windoze PCs airgapped. the only other option I have is my Raspberry Pi 4 running Raspbarian on a 16G micro SD card. I want to upgrade to a 32G card.
This app is supposed to make it easy.

Ryan avatar

My 32GB Samsung EVO micro-SDHC UHS-1 Card cannot be read with my Mac now after failing to be formatted with the Raspberry Pi Imager.

Herman avatar

Download the Lumix “Gparted” application on your Raspberry Pi (with the Raspbian OS on another micro SD card) and reformat your micro SD card. Then download the Raspbian image on your Mac and use Etcher to copy Raspbian on your original micro SD card.

Antonio Toscano avatar

I have tested this application with 3 different SD cards and in all cases it fails. Moreover after retrying the procedure the SD card become unusable and my Windows 7 computer can not longer read it, it looks like that thy have been damaged by the tool.

I have used 1 32GB and 2 64GB and in all cases the 3 SD cards are broken due to the tool.

Have you experienced this problem?
Any workarround recover my damaged SD cards ?


Gordon Hollingworth avatar

The best place to follow up on this is on the github issues list

Ryan avatar

@Antonio: hope this helps. You can contact maxnet on the specifics to resolve the issue on your windows machine.


DaHai avatar

“Verifying write failed. Contents of SD card is different then what was written to it.”

2018-11-13-raspbian-stretch-lite.img – from local HD to 8GB SDHC Card.

Windows 10 Pro 64bit

Tried Twice. Failed Twice.

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

This issue has been fixed and released, please download again

DaHai avatar

Updated with new download just now – but without any version information, its impossible to tell what I have.
However, it did work ‘better’.
It verified OK, but when it auto ejected, Drive F still shows up in Windows Explorer even though I removed the SD Card as well.
If I reinsert the SD Card and Manually Eject through Windows System Tray, both F and G drives go away as they should.
Looks like it still needs more fixing before its ready for general use – and VERSIONING (seriously, any software released without visible version information is embarrassing)

DaHai avatar

Standard Windows 10 Pro 64bit install with built-in SD Card reader: ASUS ROG Strix
Local File: 2019-07-10-raspbian-buster-lite.img
SD Card: 8GB SDHC in Drive F:

Win32 Disk Imager:
Write time: 6:18 – Sucessful
Drive F has boot partition. Drive G: is standard format not known to Windows.

Raspberry Pi Imager: Write time: 8:14 – “Verify write failed. Contents of SD Card is different then[sic] what was written to it”
Drive F: “Please insert a Disk into Boot F:\”
No Drive G:
Ejected Drive F: from Windows System Tray, but it does not go away from Windows Explorer.
SDHC Card is completely unusable. Had to Reboot Windows to clear Drive F from Windows Explorer and access SDHC Card again and then reformat with SDFormatter.

So Raspberry Pi Imager is not usable on my PC.

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

This issue has now been fixed, please try again (reinstall from the downloads)

CJ Lowe avatar

I tried flashing multiple cards of different types using the new tool. I did the ssh addition and the wpa_supplicant.conf

It says the default password “raspberry” is not recognized

Ryan avatar

Yes I am also trying a headless setup like @CW Lowe and would like to find out if this is possible using the tool

Ryan avatar

@ CJ Lowe*

Joakim Uppsäll-Sjögren avatar
tinker2much avatar

Where is the cached image stored?

Mikael Bonnier avatar

The image is stored in “/home/pi/.cache/Raspberry Pi/Imager/” on my Raspberry Pi 4B with Raspbian Buster.
ls -l /home/pi/.cache/Raspberry\ Pi/Imager/

Koen Wouters avatar

Is there a way to disable the verify process?
During a CoderDojo session I sometimes need to reimage up to 5 SD-cards. This takes a lot of valueable time, so if i can save out the verify it would be a lot faster.

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

Just hit “Cancel Verify” and it’ll skip the stage

Sebastian Rivera avatar

Just in time! I just got a Pi 4, and didn’t have anything installed to flash the SD card on my computer yet

Esbeeb avatar

I look forward to an AppImage!

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

What you mean like this? :)

Actually the problem with an AppImage is the difficulty we’ll have documenting installation and use on various different OSes. So for the moment, we’re not including it on the download page…

Pearl.852 avatar

Is there a plan to have a version for raspbian?

Rody avatar

The software can’t find my micro SD card, so crazy.
He just give me choices of my Hard drives and usb empty storage, why by the way ???

So I can install a RPI linux on one of my computer hardrive, and it’s safer for people who are not aware about computers ?! ?! ?!

I think this software is very dangerous.

I can’t detect any of my cards, he propose me letters (L: K: things like that) that have no sd card …

I have no problems to read everything on my windows computer, but this software just can’t see the sd card i put in my card reader …

WTF ?!

Feel sad, feel strange, feel … I don’t know what to feel right now

I can’t use this software …

JoyLondon avatar

Umm I fell for that too but… you need to scroll down (use mouse wheel) to see more options, the card reader (empty drive) is listed first before the actual card which is further down the list and not displayed in the initial view.

Pidreams avatar

see here its just a UI issue, you need to using your mouse scroll wheel to see more options in the list:

Richard avatar


Great that you partially recognized the need.

The real need is to have a version that will let us format AND IMAGE for Rpi OR X86 Raspian desktop.

Many of us want to wean completely from ANY windows dependence in the process. I run x86 Raspian desktop from a live USB drive, (not installed) on both my old Win7 machine at home and my older Win 7 PC at work.

This allows me to have identical files at home and work and also to access the numerous Win7 files on the older drives.

With the recent price reductions in the 256GB micro SDXC cards, I can put a lot of my total files from both the older PC’s on my X86 Raspian drive, and then copy the files to my Rpi4/4GB. This is the way to go.

This is the biggest need long run, including for the new users, once they start working with Pi’s. Also, I am introducing students to the RPi/Raspian environment for free using the X86 Raspian. This is defintely the way to go in the future, especially for students and schools that can not afford to invest even in new RPi4/4GB computers! Can just run the X86 Raspian desktop without even installing it!

Tim Purves avatar

WARNING – I just download and installed this on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Desktop, when I tried to flash the SD, it correctly identified the 16GB card, but wrote the image to my PRIMARY hard drive, rendering the desktop inoperable, and not touching the SD card.

Thankfully this was a test desktop. When I went to rebuild the desktop, the Ubuntu installed asked if I wanted to install side by side with Rasberian OS.

This was a physical machine, not a virtual machine.

Jens avatar

Very cool app! It would also be nice if you could add the possibility to make a bootable usb-stick with this app.

TimM avatar

Can you confirm that rpi-imager does on the fly decompression as appears to be the case? To me the ability to go directly from internet to sd card even with compressed images is a major improvement, especially as images get larger. Last I used them, none of etcher, Win32 Disk Imager, or dotNet Disk Imager could do this.

Also the ability to invoke rpi-imager with a custom url pointing to a json file of images is a great feature.

I think this is the new gold standard.

cwall avatar

failure on “write error” when I select custom to downloaded image file.
but etcher can write successfully.

mohammad hassan avatar

thanks for this great tools
could you please to know the location of image save on my hard drive in windows version .

Vladimir avatar

Nice and (too) simple. Works OK. It is simple. But, as it is often the case, when one needs to flash the SD again sun after the first time, the program goes and downloads the OS image again. Time consuming! Program should store the downloaded image an reuse it unless there is newer image available to download. In the later case it should offer choice between the already downloaded or the new one.

Andrew Baker avatar

Used this to create a new install of NOOBS but without 100% success. During initial setup on RPi it failed to find my wifi network. I tried to setup wifi later using raspi-config and got “Could not communicate with wpa-supplicant”.
Also, during setup it asked for my location but it still gave me a US keyboard and an incorrect time zone.

Andrew Baker avatar

I have tried 6 different OS’s before finding a reference to 2018-06-27-raspbian-stretch-lite.img which does not give the WiFi error and it worked!
Interestingly the imaging software wrote 240% of the image file, according to the installer.

Mikael Bonnier avatar

I think the cache should not be downloaded if you have very little space left. After the cache was downloaded I had only 4 MB left. It might be difficult to reboot after that. I didn’t have to reboot because I started to use the new image instead, but others might have that problem.

Another improvement would be if you could see estimated time left. It would also be good if an alarm sounded when it finished.

jim brown avatar

For those who are still stuck with windoze 10 on a PoC (Piece of C…) a simple check box on the imager UI to automatically reformat the card (or not, if unchecked) using the industry standard SD Card formatter (i’m on version 5.0.1)
would be nice. That way we’d know we were getting a fresh start on old/used (or is that previously owned) cards.

me avatar

GSHolling tweets on 20th March that rpi-imager is now in the downloadable in Raspbian!!! This is big news. One more thing I used to do on the laptop, but can now do on the Pi. You guys should update the top of this blog post, or create a new one because a lot more pi-enthusiasts would utilise it if they knew

me avatar

Now that raspberry pi imager is available from within Raspbian, will there be an update to save images from sdcard? Further up you say that this is difficult in Windows, I wonder if it is easier in Raspbian..

Mark Hutchings avatar

The imager is not working on my HP EliteBook running Windows 10. I have selected the Rasbian OS ok but when I click on “Choose SD Card” the app falls into a “not responding” state. The SD card is a samsung 64Gevo plus using the card sd card reader built into the laptop. Windows can read the card without issue. Any ideas?

Thanks, Mark

Mark Hutchings avatar

So I found the solution to my problem. I deleted the pre-installed partition on the SD card using disk manager and the app then sprung into life.

A.R. avatar

Hello there,
No tutorial mention how to find and open the rpi-imager, as if it was trivial…
The rpi-imager is desperately not user-friendly to use for a Ubuntu 18.04.4 newbie since I could not locate/which/find where the rpi-imager has been installed after download from the official rpi download page ( & gdebi install…
It’s not in the usual apt repositories either!
Someone here talked about snap… so I tried this command found nowhere else and got it installed:
sudo snap install rpi-imager
Then I found it under the Accessories Applications’ menu (depending on your Ubuntu desktop).
Hope this will help someone…

Philggg avatar

When I use this tool to create a boot disk from a 32 GB flash card, When complete the flash card becomes 265 MB. Why did the card size shrink??

Steven C. avatar

I believe that is just the boot partition. The rest of the card is not accessible in Windows, but you can see it in Windows Disk Management.

Juggi avatar

Hi, Just downloaded the Ubuntu 19.10 image file but after inserting the sd card into my pi its asking for Username and Password??
Can any one help

me avatar

username and password are both “ubuntu”.
please post further questions about ubuntu at ubuntu forums

Luca avatar

it can do an automatic filesystem expand?

Morgan avatar

Program worked great for a while but now when i try to use it starts as a white page on desktop and will not progress father then that.

Ulrik Søren Kofod avatar

The Ubuntu image that should support Raspberry Pi 2 does not work? I get 7 blink error when booting and that should mean that the kernel.img is missing, and it is also not pressent on the SD card. The Raspbarry image works fine, but would prefer to use the Ubuntu server image….

Ashley Whittaker avatar

Hi there, here is the best answer from our forum from the last time this topic came up:

“Check whether their application shows ” v 1.2″ in the title bar, if not they need to update from the latest release here:


Otherwise, ask them to try a different SD card, we’ve seen this before with a customer who had a bad SD card”

Our forum usually has all the answers and, if not, ask and there will be someone somewhere in the world who should be able to help :-)

Wojtek avatar

When I click WRITE I wait a while and then get a message Error Removing Existing Partitions. What is it wrong?

Robert avatar

Everything goes great until I try to write the image. I’m getting the error “Cannot open storage device ‘/dev/sde'” when I try to write to my SD card. Linux Mint 18.3, RPi Imager v1.2 installed from snap.

jnscas avatar

try run the tool as root ‘sudo rpi-imager’

8675309 avatar

W10 s(intel/amd) the gift that keeps on taking

Robert Simpson avatar

There’s quite a delay while it downloads the json file and no indication of what’s happening while it does so. Until the file is downloaded you only get the choice of erase or install custom img. The result is that is looks like it works one day but not the next.

That aside, it was very easy to use. Thanks!

Larry avatar

Doesn’t work. Constantly fails on Win 10. Attempts to start writing image and then fails leaving a malformatted SD card every time.
I have tried an 8GB, 32GB, 32GB, and a 128GB brand new SD card, along with three different microSD/SD adapters.

Alex Bate avatar

Hi Larry. Can we confirm that you’re using the most up-to-date version of Imager? Do you get any error messages when this happens? And, are you using a USB SD adapter for the micro USB? Or an SD adapter directly into your PC?

Gordon has asked, if you’re able, to record the issues on GitHub so the right team can look into it

Joakim Uppsäll-Sjögren avatar

Please add a SD-Card backup and restore function.

Ray Leiter avatar

I used Raspberry Pi Imager ver. 1.2 to write ubuntu server 64 bit to an SDHC 32GB card (SanDisk Extreme). When the card was new, it worked, but if I tried to do the same operation twice in a row, it FAILED on write the 2nd time. Before doing the 2nd write, I would do a quick format of the card. IF I instead, did an “Overwrite” format operation before trying the write for the 2nd time, it always worked? I wonder why?

Peter avatar

The Raspberry Pi imager on Mac OS hangs after “Select own .img image” and then in the pop-up try to change folder via the Favorites pane. After killing the imager it will not restart ….

Grahame avatar

The version of RP imager won’t open in my applications on Mac.OS is 10.11.6 Suggestions please

PSS avatar

how do I use this to load the chromium OS ?

Christopher Dobbing avatar

Brilliant app. Have used it successfully to install Raspian Openelec and Ubuntu. Unfortunately the Ubuntu version of pi-imager from the snap store will not launch in Ubuntu 20.04 running on a Pi4. The terminal window just flashes on and off.

Tony Barrett avatar

When selecting a custom image:
a) it is necessary to double-click directories, even when my PC is set for single- click.
b) could it maintain a registry entry of “Last directory used” and default to that rather than C:/User………

Robin Mordasiewicz avatar

Does the formatting part support SSD cards larger than 32GB ? I have a 128GB SSD and I am hoping all the space will be available ?

Steven C. avatar

Where on Windows is the cached, local copy of the downloaded image saved? Thanks

Steven C. avatar

Nvm,I found it in C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Raspberry Pi\Imager\cache

Bruce Calder avatar

I’m interested in the SSD option as well. I got tired of my SD cards going bad so I now boot with a 128Gig SSD and will never go back. It has worked flawlessly for many months now. Now if I can just figure out how to make a backup that doesn’t take up 128Gig of space. :-(

GallusAnonymous avatar

Lacks a lot. We have 2020 and there is still no imager capable of setting images before writing. A lot of people that I talked with complained that it is not possible to easily write images with preconfigured wifi connection and other options that are possible to set via raspi-config.

Alexander Wright avatar

Chrome on OSX blocks the imager_1.4.dmg download.
Could you please supply hashes for the downloads so we can verify integrity.

Rishi avatar

It’s a fantastic tool. However, I couldn’t figure out how to clear cache after the installation is done.

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