Yesterday (28 Sep 2016) a new version of Raspbian was released with a brand new skin called PIXEL. I downloaded it on my Mac and tried to unzip it in the usual way. It threw an error, so I assumed the download was faulty and downloaded again. But the error persisted. GAH!!!
Didn’t Unzip on Pi
I tried unzipping it on a Pi, but that failed too. BOO! However, it was soon revealed on twitter what the issue was…
— Simon Long (@simonlong23) September 28, 2016
Files Over 4 GigaBytes Need a Modern Unzipper
The unzipped Raspbian image is larger than 4 Gigabytes, which means the default unzipping software cannot cope. So I took Simon’s recommendation and looked in the App Store for “The Unarchiver”. It turned out to be a free app, which installed easily…
I used it to unzip the 1.52 GB “2016-09-23-raspbian-jessie.zip” file to its full 4.35 GB as “2016-09-23-raspbian-jessie.img”
7-Zip Works for Windows
If you’re using Windows, you can use 7-Zip instead. You can download 7-Zip here.
“Great!” I then thought. “I’ll shove the 4.35 GB .img file on a memory stick and use a Pi to flash it to the micro-SD card with dd”
But the file refused to copy onto the memory stick (something to do with the stick’s format), so that idea was shelved. Could I use
dd directly? I don’t really like using
dd on my main computer. It’s not by accident that it’s nicknamed “destroy disk”, which isn’t something I want to do to my work machine. I sometimes use it in a Ubuntu virtual machine on my Mac, but…
Etcher is the New Way
…then I remembered Matt Richardson recently mentioned Etcher, which is a lovely piece of FREE software that handles the SD flashing process for you. It not only works well and has a lovely interface, but there are versions for Linux, Mac and Windows. So finally we have a system that works on all three major platforms. YAY! You can find and download Etcher here. (It will also write an image directly from a .Zip file if you prefer to do that, but it is slower.)
Etcher installed beautifully and worked perfectly the first time. It also has built-in safeguards to prevent you from accidentally destroying your hard drive. Using a USB3 card reader/writer, it took 12 minutes and 21 seconds to flash the new Raspbian image “2016-09-23-raspbian-jessie.img” to a micro-SD card.
And then I was able to have a play with the latest OS and see the new PIXEL UI improvements. But that’s a story for another day.
The new Raspbian is 4.35 GB and may not unzip without using a newer “unzipper” than the defaults on OSX and Windows.
Unzip Raspbian images >4GB with The Unarchiver on OSX, 7-Zip on Windows, it should “just work” in Ubuntu.
Flash Raspbian images with Etcher – works on all 3 platforms (but not yet on Pi)