Lion DiskMaker Will Make A Bootable OS X Lion Disk For You In Just One Click


Screen Shot 2011-08-02 at 9.15.30 AM

Despite Apple’s best efforts, you can make a bootable install disk of Mac OS X Lion… but it’s not for the faint-hearted, or those who aren’t tech inclined.

Luckily, there’s an even easier way to make a bootable OS X Lion disk now. It’s called Lion DiskMaker, and it turns making your own installable Lion USB key drive into a one-click affair.

The program’s in French, but don’t let that stop you. It’s as easy as downloading the installer, unzipping it, dragging the Lion DiskMaker to your Applications file, plugging in a 4GB or larger USB key or SD card and running the app.

As long as your Lion installer is in the Applications folder — which is where it goes by default when you download it under Snow Leopard — Lion DiskMaker will then format your key appropriately and make the key bootable with Lion.

Pretty great. Let’s hope for an English translation down the line, though.

  • bvar


  • Josh Oldenburg

    Your applications FILE?

  • Francois Maurin

    Localization US scheduled for the next episode!

  • Guillaume Gète

    Hi James,

    Thanks for the kind article :-) I am working towards an English version, it should be on the radar within the next 24 hours :-)

  • lsla49
  • cyberb0b

    Spammer douchebag.

  • Michael Black

    This is once again, another one of those perplexing things with Apple. They had to have known that people were going to want their own physical backup copy of Lion. Hell, they’re going to be selling the USB version of it this month for more than double the price. So why not just have this ability natively built-in to the OS install? Ugghhh…very annoying and frustrating!

    Anyways, thanks for posting this and more importantly thanks to the app developer for picking up the slack for Apple.

  • 300AShareMakesMeSmile

    Apple discovered that they can’t make money by giving things away.  You think it’s going to be easy for Apple to become the world’s wealthiest tech company by offering free utilities.  Uh-uh.

  • Guillaume Gète

    The English version and FAQ are now available here :….

    Have fun :-)

  • Gareth Barlow

    i aint got it in my applications folder??

  • niunai58
  • crateish

    While I appreciate the effort of the developer (Vive la France!), making your own boot disc is an incredibly easy process.

    I think anyone with even the most basic computer skills could follow the easy series of steps to do it themselves.

  • twitter-22232723

    Can this work with an external harddrive that is partitioned for Lion? 

  • cyberb0b

    I can confirm as well that once the file is installed, it’s deleted from your Applications Folder. You’ll have to do this BEFORE you install, which of course is too late for many of us. 

  • dcj001

    But what’s not easy, for me at least, is to fit it on a 4GB flash drive. The article says that this is the solution.


    Well I installed it, used it, and, about ten to fifteen minutes later, I now have a 4GB Lion Installer Flash Drive.

    Well done, Guillaume.

  • Quad356

    installed it,on a 4GB Flash Drive. Works beautifully! 

  • Brandon Pacheco

    I keep getting this message 
    “the disk couldn’t be created because of an error: an error occurred : 1. hdutil: attach failed – no such file or directory”

  • dcj001

    Yes. You can use this to put the Lion Installer DVD into a partition on an external drive. The Lion DiskMaker asks you to choose the drive into which the Lion Installer DVD is to be located.

  • cptr6c

    Yeah, me too, got the same error message. Any one could help us with this?

  • Joel Balderas

    FIX for: “The disk could not be created because of an error : An error occured : 1. hdiutil: attach failed – No such file or directory”

    English Version:

    This happens when you don’t have the Lion Install in your apps folder. The program is looking for the dmg in Lion Install. Solution I received from Guillaume Gète is to create the directory. /Applications/Install Mac OS X Lion/Contents/SharedSupport

    1) Create a folder “Install Mac OS X Lion” in /Applications.
    2) Add the Contents/SharedSupport folders in it.
    3) Add the InstallESD.dmg file in the SharedSupport folder.
    4) Now add .app at the end of Install Mac OS X Lion folder. There should be a Forbidden sign on it, but it does not matter.

    Worked for me. Give it a shot.
    FYI: Lion DiskMaker lets you use a 4GB USB flash drive , while the manual way won’t.

  • Joel Balderas

    See my post for a solution.

  • Joel Balderas

    See my post for a solution.

  • Joel Balderas

    See my post for a solution.

  • charlie edwards

    Piece of shit! 

  • twitter-22232723

    But why DVD? Is it really a DVD?

  • Tommy Peters

    Gete is a champ. His instruction “The best time to use LionDiskMaker
    is when you just finish downloading Lion from the Mac App Store” is simple to

    1. Download and Install LDM in Applications. 2. Download (but
    don’t install) Lion from AppStore. 3. Stay put at the first screen that shows
    up “To set up installation, click Continue”. 4. Launch LDM from Applications.
    5. Wait a bit and a little menu will appear to either burn the Lion Installation
    file on a DVD or Thumb.

    Note:- no progress bar is available during burn.

    Many beers to Guillaume Gete.    

  • Joe Baltimore

    I noticed that if you go to the Lion DiskMaker Home Page, just above the French title, there is a link to an English version of the page.

  • Jim Allen

    No – this doesn’t work for everyone. Didn’t for me.This is what I did:-
    1. Created the Install OS X Lion folder
    2. Created a \Contents folder
    3. Created a \SharedSupport subfolder inside the \Contents folder
    4. Copied the InstallESD.dmg file into the \Contents\SharedSupport folder
    5. Renamed the Install OS X Lion folder to Install OS X

    Lion Diskmaker won’t accept this as an install location. It is greyed out when you try to select the source.

    I tried creating a new folder and putting Install OS X inside it. This allowed LionDiskmaker to select the new folder as a source.

    Unfortunately the hdutil error is still there.

    [Edit: Actually this does work – you just have to be *very* precise with the naming of the source folder. It needs to be this:-

    Install Mac OS X

    Anything else and it just won’t work.]

  • Jim Allen

    Making the installation fit on a 4Gb drive is not nearly as straightforward. Guillaume Gète has done an excellent job here.

    I still have the hdutil error, which I can’t get around, so I still can’t make a 4Gb installer.

  • Jim Allen

    Please stop saying this – it doesn’t work for everyone. Either your instructions aren’t quite as simple as you intended, or the situation is a bit more complex

  • silsurf

    I am trying to make both an bootable SD card and a TechTool Pro eDrive on my 27″ iMac for maintenance purposes. I created the SD card iusing LionDiskMaker and TechTool Pro to make the eDrive. Both sources were built without issues. Neither show up as an acceptable bootable drive in the Startup Disk Prefs Pane.
    (the eDrive shows up for a few seconds on startup, then greys out, then
    disappears all together) I zapped the P-RAM.  I previously had a SNow Leopard bootable SD card that worked great (same card that now has the Lion install on it) I
    have read around, seems this is not an isolated experience, but I have
    yet to see any solutions other than it might be a firmware issue? Thanks for any guidance, Henry