Patrick Bougie — web developer / entrepreneur from Montréal, Canada. Founder of WorkSked — a web app to manage employee work schedules and time off.

Bootable OS X Mavericks USB install disk

Apple has changed the installer in OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Thankfully, Apple has also provided a utility which makes it extremely easy to create a bootable install disk.

First, download OS X 10.9 Mavericks from the Mac App Store.

For the remaining steps, you’ll need to launch Terminal from the Applications » Utilities folder.

The utility to create the installation media only has a few options but you can list them by executing the following command:

"/Applications/Install OS X" -h

Here’s the output for createinstallmedia -h:

Usage: createinstallmedia --volume <path to volume to convert> --applicationpath <path to Install OS X> [--force]

--volume, A path to a volume that can be unmounted and erased to create the install media.
--applicationpath, A path to copy of the OS installer application to create the bootable media from.
--nointeraction, Erase the disk pointed to by volume without prompting for confirmation.

Example: createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install OS X

This tool must be run as root.

To create the install media, execute this command:

sudo "/Applications/Install OS X" --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath "/Applications/Install OS X"

Where Untitled is the name of the destination volume — your USB flash drive.

You’ll have to enter your account password before proceeding. The utility will then prompt you to confirm that the disk can be overwritten. That’s it.

Feel free to contact me if you require development services or have any questions / comments.