General,  Technology

How to Create OS X 10.9 Mavericks Bootable Installer


So, Apple’s latest Mac OS X 10.9 finally released with codename Mavericks.

Like the previous 2 version (Lion 10.7 & Mountain Lion 10.8), Mavs doesnt ship on a disc. it’s available only as an installer app downloadable from the Mac App Store. The installer it self needs no bootable installation disc. But it cant stop you for having a bootable Mavericks installer, right?

It will be very useful if you want to install Mavericks on multiple Macs offline.

And one more thing, users running Snow Leopard and later will be able to nab the update for free via the App Store. No additional cost.

So, i’d like to share how to create a bootable Mavericks installer on a USB stick. It’s not that difficult actually.

  1. You have to get the latest version of Mavericks installer first. Since i’ve downloaded Mavericks today (23/10/2013) from App Store, my version should be 10.9.0. The installer size is about 5.3GB. After downloading the installer a new window will appear asking you to install. Just cancel it.
    There’ll be at least 2 ways to create the bootable installer. Using Disk Utility and the fastest one is using a new feature built into Mavericks for creating an install drive called [highlight]createinstallmedia[/highlight]. I’ll use this method here.
  2. You need to have at least 8GB USB stick. Rename it to something you like. I name my USB Mavericks. Well it’s not to rename the drive. But since we will us Terminal to type the command, I think it will be easier for you to use a simple name for the drive. Make sure your USB is properly formatted.
    If you’re not sure about that, this is the step to prepare your USB drive.

    I use my previous ML USB installer
    I use my previous ML USB installer

    Open Disk Utility, select your USB drive and choose Erase tab
    Open Disk Utility, select your USB drive and choose Erase tab

    Choose format Mac OS Extended (Journaled)Give the name to your driveClick Erase
    Choose format Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
    Give the name to your drive
    Click Erase

    that's all, you'll have your USB ready
    that’s all, you’ll have your USB ready

    [highlight]Warning: This step will erase the destination drive or partition, so make sure it doesn’t contain any valuable data. [/highlight]
  3. Open Terminal, and type/copy paste this command
    sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --volume /Volumes/Mavericks --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --nointeraction
  4. Type your your root/admin-level account password when prompted.
  5. You’ll see the progress in the Terminal window. It will displays a textual representation of a progress bar: Erasing Disk: 0%… 10%…20%… bla bla bla. Wait until everything finished.

    I go inside the installer directory, therefore the command will be a lil bit different for you
    I browse inside the installer directory, therefore the command will be a lil bit different for you
  6. Voila! You have your bootable Mavericks-install drive.


Hi, i am Nuri. Just another IT guy working on fintech and telco at Jakarta, Indonesia. While tech stuff became my daily breakfast, i also love to travel around the globe and taking photos also. I DJ on my spare time while dealing with any mess my 9 cats made at home :)

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