How can I create an OS 10.9 Mavericks .dmg?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by tuna, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. tuna macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2010
    I work in a small business where about 95% of our computers are Macs and I am the main person that maintains them. One approach that has saved me many hours of time is that I've been keeping OS X install images on my hard drive, ready to be transformed into a bootable drive, at all times.

    I would like to do the same for Mavericks but I have been unable to find directions that don't involve making a one-off bootable disk.

    What I want to achieve is the setup I have now:
    * I have OS 10.8's InstallESD.dmg file sitting in my application installer folder
    * Whenever I want to image a mac, I plug in an 8GB+ USB drive and use Disk Utility to format it appropriately and restore it with the InstallESD.dmg file, creating a bootable USB install drive

    Right now I have the 10.9 installer sitting on my computer, so I'm ready to do whatever I have to do to achieve my former setup for Mavericks. I want to create a single .dmg install file that I can use to restore a disk and create a bootable USB drive at will.

    How can I achieve this?
  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    One little app and your USB stick...step by step here:
  3. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
  4. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2007
    Another idea since it seems like you want a basic install on all these machines is this. Go through an install to an external drive but don't boot it for the last step the user setup this will give you a basic install with a recovery partition on it. Now when it comes time to do a new machine boot the recovery partition on that external then restore the basic install you have on that external to the machine you are working on.
  5. drambuie macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2010
    From what you say, it appears that all you want is 10.9's InstallESD.dmg file. If you have the Install OS X file, you already have the .dmg file. All you have to do is expand the .app to Contents, then you will find the .dmg in the SharedSupport folder.
  6. tuna thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2010
    This creates a bootable USB drive but it doesn't say anything about keeping the installer image on my hard drive for easy access. Plus, for some reason, it asks you to use the command line, which I never had to do before. I just used the "Restore" functionality in Disk Utility to restore a USB drive with the OS X install disk image.

    How can I create a simple OS X Mavericks install disk image that can be used to create an OS X Mavericks bootable install disk using Disk Utility?
  7. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Aug 24, 2013
    Far from here
    You can keep the installer, why do you want to keep a .dmg ?

    The installer weighs 5.31 GB, the .dmg 5.29 GB.

    When you want to create a bootable installer, use DiskMaker X and you are done.

    This no longer works with Mavericks (or, say, needs some more job).
  8. tywebb13, Nov 2, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013

    tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    Unlike Lion and Mountain Lion, the InstallESD.dmg file is not bootable for Mavericks, and so alternative methods are required for this.

    The best way is to use a bootable USB because it boots up faster than a DVD and there is no need for a DMG file if you make a bootable USB.

    But you will have to make an iso file only for the purposes of making a bootable DVD if that is what you want.

    So here are instructions both for the USB and DVD and making an iso file:


    Your 8 GB USB drive should be called Untitled and formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). The installer should be called Install OS X and should be in your Applications folder.

    Run this in terminal and wait about 20 minutes:

    sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --nointeraction

    You should see something like this:

    Erasing Disk: 0%... 10%... 20%... 100%...
    Copying installer files to disk...
    Copy complete.
    Making disk bootable...
    Copying boot files...
    Copy complete.

    You can then boot up from the USB by holding down the option key, then install the Mavericks from the USB.

    Note that this will also install a recovery partition.

    ISO file and DVD

    If you want such a DVD, then after downloading the Install OS X file from the Mac App Store, run these 12 commands in Terminal to create a Mavericks.iso file and then burn it to a dual layer DVD with Disk Utility. You may then boot up from it by holding the option key down and then install mavericks. This will not install a recovery partition. To do that, uncompress and run the script file from Partition Creator

    hdiutil attach /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_app

    hdiutil convert /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg -format UDSP -o /tmp/Mavericks

    hdiutil resize -size 8g /tmp/Mavericks.sparseimage

    hdiutil attach /tmp/Mavericks.sparseimage -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build

    rm /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/Packages

    cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/Packages /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/

    hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_app

    hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_build

    hdiutil resize -size `hdiutil resize -limits /tmp/Mavericks.sparseimage | tail -n 1 | awk '{ print $1 }'`b /tmp/Mavericks.sparseimage

    hdiutil convert /tmp/Mavericks.sparseimage -format UDTO -o /tmp/Mavericks

    rm /tmp/Mavericks.sparseimage

    mv /tmp/Mavericks.cdr ~/Desktop/Mavericks.iso
  9. voodoojaron macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2008
    tywebb13 -

    Do I click on the ESB Install or Mavericks.sparseimage to burn the DVD, sorry I'm a newbie.


Share This Page