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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
56,969
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Lion may be the first release of the Mac OS to be delivered as a digital download, but there has been a circulating method to burn the Lion download onto a bootable DVD. The process still works for the Golden Master version of Lion and is a pretty straightforward process for Mac users who are comfortable making their way around the Finder.

An email from Steve Jobs suggested the only way to perform a completely clean install of Lion was to first install Snow Leopard, then install Lion on top of that. That is a pain in the neck, to say the least. By burning your own Lion disc, you can painlessly do clean installs on all your machines.

Another reason to have a physical install disc is if you have Macs in an area with poor or no Internet. Apple has suggested that Mac owners come into Apple Retail Stores and download Lion on the store Internet connection -- useful for some, but some people live hours from the nearest Apple Store. By burning a disc, users can download Lion only once, and install it easily on all their Macs. Here's how to do it.

As posted by Egg Freckles, this method should work in the final retail release of Lion:

- Once Lion is released, purchase and download it from the Mac App Store.

- Locate the OS X Lion installer and right-click on it. Select 'Show Package Contents'.

- Inside the 'Contents' folder, there is a 'SharedSupport' folder. Inside that is the Lion Installer. It's called 'InstallESD.dmg".

- Copy 'InstallESD.dmg' to the Desktop by clicking and dragging it while holding down the Option-key. You should see a little green plus icon if you did it right.

- Open Disk Utility. Head to the Go menu in the Finder and select 'Utilities'. Disk Utility should be in there.

- Click the burn button.

- Select 'InstallESD.dmg' from the Desktop, insert a blank 4.7GB DVD and wait. Once it's finished, you'll have a shiny new Lion install DVD.

You can now install Lion on whatever machines you like, just as if you'd purchased the install disc from your local Apple Store. Lion is expected to launch on the Mac App Store this week.

Article Link: Make An OS X Lion Boot Disc
 
Last edited by a moderator:

CZSZSZ

macrumors member
Jan 27, 2010
39
0
Rubbish. Why publish this how-to before release now apple will close this way, and we are all stuck with leopard-lion way.
 

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
Rubbish. Why publish this how-to before release now apple will close this way, and we are all stuck with leopard-lion way.

Why would Apple "close" this way?

The ability to make a boot-disc won't prevent anyone from buying Lion. You still need the App Store functionality in SL to download Lion in the first place.

Making boot discs is easy. I've been making SD card boot discs since the first Lion developer preview. I'm not sure why people are worried about, first, the ability to make one (since you already can, and have been able to from the beginning), and second, whether Apple will take away this option.
 

djharris

macrumors member
Jun 10, 2009
90
0
Virginia, USA
Here's where the file will live upon download from the App Store

Source

From user brokentoaster:

The files from the Mac App Store are downloaded to

/Users/<USERNAME>/Library/Application Support/AppStore/

and [Apps] once complete moved to

/Applications/
 

mandoman

macrumors 6502
Nov 8, 2005
392
73
Can you boot onto the created CD and use disc utilities?
Is there an option to do a clean install, ie, will it let you reformat/repartition hard drive before the install?
 

striker33

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2010
1,098
2
Rubbish. Why publish this how-to before release now apple will close this way, and we are all stuck with leopard-lion way.

Actually, this method has been available for weeks.

MacRumors are just a few weeks late with posting this.
 

aljoseph

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2008
22
3
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_4 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8K2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Can't I just drag the installESD.dmg file to my flash drive?
 

ksgant

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2006
761
568
Chicago
And this creates a real bootable Lion DVD install disk?

Otherwise, if I'm wanting to do a "clean" install as it is, go ahead and do one with Snow Leopard now...and when Lion comes out (hopefully) on Wednesday, I just an "upgrade" via the App Store?
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
16,308
5,585
Actually, this method has been available for weeks.

MacRumors are just a few weeks late with posting this.

We waited on purpose. :)

It's relevant now, with it working in GM and Lion about to launch. Tomorrow, by some reports.

arn
 

aljoseph

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2008
22
3
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_4 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8K2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Can't I just drag the installESD.dmg file to my flash drive?
 

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
And this creates a real bootable Lion DVD install disk?

Yes.

You can do a clean install. Run the Lion boot disc once you've made it. As in, restart your Mac, hold down the option key and select the boot disc. Before it installs, go into Disk Utility. Reformat your drive. Then continue with the installation process. You can also move your settings to the new OS if you like, but I never do that upon a clean install.

Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_4 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8K2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Can't I just drag the installESD.dmg file to my flash drive?

I believe the instructions provided make it "bootable" so it is recognized as a boot-drive by OS X. However, I'm no expert. I've been following these same instructions since DP1 and it's worked each time like a charm, really.
 

Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
6,319
3,314
How big is the install file? My flash USB drive is only 4GB. Will it fit?
 

Yamcha

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2008
1,818
151
Yup, not too complicated to make a bootable Lion Disc.. But clearly having a retail disc would've save a lot of trouble, especially for those users who know very little about burning an DMG or ISO...
 

Modano

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2003
111
22
New Orleans
Can you just copy that file to an external hard disk or flash drive?

I don't think you can just copy it but you definitely can use Disk Utility to "restore" the DMG to a flash drive. This is a great way to go and much faster than optical media.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
16,308
5,585
The other thing to note, is you need to do this before you install Lion.

Lion deletes the installer after you install it. so you'll have to download it again (free) if you wanted to burn the disc later

arn

edit: yep, fixed to avoid confusion
 

marcre3363

macrumors newbie
Jul 21, 2008
10
0
If I copy it to 5.25 floppies, how many will it take?

I've notched them, so they're double sided, if that helps.
 

Modano

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2003
111
22
New Orleans
The other thing to note, is you need to do this before you install Lion.

Lion deletes the installer after you install it.

arn

Indeed, but you can download it again for free if you wish. Obviously not ideal but I didn't want anyone thinking that you only get one shot at an install after downloading.
 

akaralias

macrumors newbie
Jun 28, 2009
17
0
Don't think so

Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_4 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8K2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Can't I just drag the installESD.dmg file to my flash drive?

.dmg has to be burn to work or you can slip in your USB flash drive, open disk utility create a partition selecting from options GUID Partition table and copy the contents from the mounted image.

You can also use the restore command in Disk utility, select as source the image and as target your Flash drive and...voila!
 

adamtouzani1996

macrumors newbie
Jul 12, 2011
5
1
Berlin, Germany
And this creates a real bootable Lion DVD install disk?

Otherwise, if I'm wanting to do a "clean" install as it is, go ahead and do one with Snow Leopard now...and when Lion comes out (hopefully) on Wednesday, I just an "upgrade" via the App Store?

Yes, this does actually make a bootable disk and you definitely can use it to do a "clean" install of your mac. Also, you can use this newly made disc to just make an upgrade if you wanted. Just pop in the disc in your drive and double click the Lion installer icon.
 

Cynicalone

macrumors 68040
Jul 9, 2008
3,212
0
Okie land
You've been able to do this since DP1.

It's works very well on a DVD but the install is very slow.

It is much faster to make a Lion USB thumb drive. Install times are significantly improved.
 
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