How To Create A Bootable OS X Lion Disk / Flash Drive / SD Card In One Step

You can now create an OS X Lion disk/bootable disk/flash drive/SD card in one simple step using a new utility called Lion DiskMaker!

What you’ll need:

1. OS X Lion (downloaded from the Mac App Store)

2. Lion DiskMaker

3. A 4GB (minimum) DVD/flash drive/SD card

Follow this one easy step to create an OS X Lion disk/bootable disk/flash drive/SD card:

1. Insert your 4GB (minimum) DVD/flash drive/SD card, run Lion DiskMaker and select “Burn a DVD” to create an install disk (DVD only) or, select “Create a boot disk” to create a bootable DVD/flash drive/SD card (4GB minimum)

Here’s more information on Lion DiskMaker and frequently asked questions (copied straight from the official website):

What is Lion Disk Maker ?

Lion Disk Maker is a small application programmed with AppleScript that you can use with Mac OS X 10.6 or 10.7 to burn a DVD or build a bootable USB key from Mac OS X Lion’s Installation programm.

Download the application ( ZIP file, 380 KB).

As soon as you launch the application, it checks the presence of Mac OS X Lion Install in the /Applications folder, or tries to find one using Spotlight. Then, it proposes to build a DVD or create a USB bootable install disk.

To burn the DVD, you’ll need a SuperDrive and a writable DVD (single layer, 4,7 GB). To build a bootable disk, you’ll need a 4GB (minimum) USB or Firewire drive or an SD-Card. WARNING ! The whole content of the drive (including every other volume from this drive) will be erased ! Please backup any data on another disk if necessary.

If you have any question, or wish to report a bug, please send an e-mail : webmaster AT  gete DOT net.


I am told I have no copy of Mac OS X Lion Install available.

Mac OS X Lion Install is automatically erased after you upgrade from Snow Leopard to Lion. If you need to download it again, open the Mac App Store, open the Purchase page while pressing Option (Alt) key. You’ll be able to download Mac OS X Lion Install again.

The best time to use Lion DiskMaker is when you just finish downloading Lion from the Mac App Store.

I just bought a brand new Mac with Lion pre-installed and no boot disk, can I use Lion DiskMaker ?

No, sadly, it won’t work. You won’t be able to reinstall Lion from the Mac App Store… You’ll have to use the Recovery disk to reinstall Lion from the Internet, as explained in Apple’s Knowledge Base.

Can I use a FireWire or SD-Card ?

Yes, you can, though the USB drive is « universal » and works on any Mac.

My drive was completely erased !

Yup. This is how the software works, and you are warned before choosing the drive. Backup any file on your drive before using the software if necessary. And use a dedicated, small drive (a 4 GB USB key is incredibly cheap these days).

Can I redistribute this software ?

Sure, as long as you mention the author and don’t suppress any comment or change anything in its package.

Booting from the DVD is slooooow as hell…

A DVD will always be slower than a USB key, and it seems Lion’s disk image is not optimized for use with optical disks. If you can avoid it, well… avoid it, and use a USB key.

Stay tuned for more great OS X tutorials!