USB Installation from OSX

Note: this procedure requires an .img file that you will be required to create from the .iso file you download. TIP: Drag and Drop a file from Finder to Terminal to 'paste' the full path without typing and risking type errors.

  • Download the desired file
  • Open the Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities/ or query Terminal in Spotlight)
  • Convert the .iso file to .img using the convert option of hdiutil (e.g., hdiutil convert -format UDRW -o ~/path/to/target.img ~/path/to/mintppc.iso)

Note: OS X tends to put the .dmg ending on the output file automatically.

  • Run diskutil list to get the current list of devices
  • Insert your flash media
  • Run diskutil list again and determine the device node assigned to your flash media (e.g. /dev/disk2)
  • Run diskutil and unmount disk /dev/diskN (replace N with the disk number from the last command; in the previous example, N would be 2)
  • Execute sudo dd if=/path/to/downloaded.img of=/dev/rdiskN bs=1m (replace /path/to/downloaded.img with the path where the image file is located; for example, ./ubuntu.img or ./ubuntu.dmg).
  • Using /dev/rdisk instead of /dev/disk may be faster.
  • If you see the error dd: Invalid number '1m', you are using GNU dd. Use the same command but replace bs=1m with bs=1M.
  • If you see the error dd: /dev/diskN: Resource busy, make sure the disk is not in use. Start the 'Disk' and unmount (don't eject) the drive.
  • Run diskutil eject /dev/diskN and remove your flash media when the command completes
  • Restart your Mac and press alt while the Mac is restarting to choose the USB-Stick

Notes: Also those instructions worked for converting the businesscard and mini images, but I can't get it to work with the netinstall image, the largest one of the three recommended at ~240 MB. I suspect the hdutil command in Mac OS X 10.5.8 PowerPC can't handle .img files over a certain size, because the same command works perfectly on the smaller files and I even verified the source file matches the md5 sum given by Debian!