Cloning an ISO to a USB flash drive (or anywhere) using DD in Snow Leopard 10.6 with a progress-ish meter

Stamped: 31 Aug 2009 | Show comments

Oh, and Leopard too.

What a title. I recently needed to use G-Parted, but didn't have any blank disc's laying around, and the method they describe on the gparted wiki to do this with a USB disk doesn't work on OSX. So, I used DD.

Open up terminal (from Applications/Utilities or use Spotlight) and type what follows substituting as necessary. My USB device was located at /dev/disk3. You can find the device name in Disk Utility by right-clicking on the device, and choosing 'information'.

THIS WILL OVERWRITE WHATEVER'S ON THE DISK.

sudo dd if=/path/to/iso.iso.dmg.img of=/dev/disk3 bs=1024

And voila, you have a read-only replica of the iso on your usb device. Please note the emphasis on read-only in the case of an ISO.

To see a progress bar (of sorts), open up a new terminal window and type the following

ps auxww | grep " dd " | grep -v grep | awk '{print $2}' | while read pid; do kill -SIGINFO $pid; done

I originally got the progress bit from here, but changed it to work with OSX.

tags: dd, snow leopard, leopard, terminal, unix
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