macOS Tips and Tricks

Getting balenaEtcher to Work on macOS Catalina

H. Kamran
Jan 31, 2020

I just recently upgraded to macOS Catalina, and needed to flash a microSD card for my Raspberry Pi. However, balenaEtcher was throwing an error when trying to flash the image.

The error thrown by balenaEtcher

After a little while, I realized that Catalina included some extra privacy protections. I went into System Preferences and turned on “Full Disk Access” for balenaEtcher. But lo and behold, the error still persisted.

The Solution

After doing a bit of research, I found that balenaEtcher, and Etcher (the former name of balenaEtcher), had a command-line utility to launch the app.

sudo /Applications/
balenaEtcher after being opened with sudo from the command-line

The command booted up a graphical interface of balenaEtcher, the difference that, because of the “sudo” in the command, it ran under the root user. This bypassed the security/privacy restrictions placed (wisely) by Apple on Catalina.



H. Kamran

I am a developer experienced in Python, JavaScript, Vue.js, Swift, and Git. I write about content that I find interesting or useful to share with the world.