Creating a bootable OS X installer in OS X Mavericks

With OS X Mavericks, you can create a bootable OS X installer which can be used to install the operating system while started from removable media, such as a USB flash drive.

Before being able to create a bootable OS X installer, you'll need to do the following first:

  1. Use the Mac App Store to download the OS X installer app.
  2. Mount the volume you wish to convert into a bootable installer. This could be removable media such as a USB flash drive or a secondary internal partition.
  3. You can then use the createinstallmedia tool to convert the volume from step two into a bootable installer based off the installer app from step one. To learn how to use createinstallmedia, use the following command in Terminal:

    /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\

For example, assuming you have a volume mounted at /Volumes/MyVolume and the OS X installer app is at /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ you could erase /Volumes/MyVolume and convert it into a bootable installer with this command:

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\

You may need to adjust the path to the OS X installer app in the above command.

Note: createinstallmedia is an advanced option for system administrators and as such, requires some knowledge of the command line in order to be used properly. It is only intended to be used with the version of OS X installer app it came with.

Last Modified: Jul 28, 2014
  • Last Modified: Jul 28, 2014
  • Article: HT5856
  • Views:


Additional Product Support Information

Start a Discussion
in Apple Support Communities
See all questions on this article See all questions I have asked