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Is it possible to burn a DVD out of the Lion app store install?

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You can also throw it on a bootable USB key:… – Josh Newman Jul 20 '11 at 17:02
Exactly. This is much faster than using a DVD. – Paul Eccles Aug 1 '11 at 17:21
up vote 22 down vote accepted


After you purchase and download Lion from the App Store, the "Install" screen will appear:

Mac OS X Lion Install Screen

Before you click Continue, open your Applications folder and look for the icon labelled Install Mac OS X Lion:

Applications Folder Screen

If you missed this chance (and the App is deleted from your system), you can always re-download the package using the App Store app. Even if it shows Lion Installed, you can hold the option key pressed, then press the button to re-download the Lion installer app.

Right-click (or Ctrl+Click) on this and choose Show Package Contents. Navigate to Contents > SharedSupport and look for InstallESD.dmg.

Package contents of the Install Mac OS X Lion package

Use Disk Utility (in the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder) to burn InstallESD.dmg to a DVD. Drag the InstallESD.dmg file to the Disk Utility window, select it, then choose Burn... from the Images menu.

A dialog appears allowing you to burn it to a DVD. The name of the DVD doesn't really matter, but I named mine Mac OS X Lion.

enter image description here

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Nice tutorial Joel! – Goldorak84 Jul 20 '11 at 19:27
I have a question. Should I accept Joel's answer because it's "nicer", or should I accept palanijara because it's the first correct answer – Goldorak84 Jul 20 '11 at 19:29
Accept the one that solved your problem ;-) I wrote mine because palanijara's depends on an outside link. We generally don't like answers that are just a URL here because essentially you've made a page that doesn't actually answer a question for anyone else who lands there from google, it's just a resting-stop on the way to the real answer. – Joel Spolsky Jul 20 '11 at 20:15
How big is it. What size USB key would I need for this? – GEdgar Jun 28 '12 at 14:38


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Thanks for the info! – Goldorak84 Jul 20 '11 at 13:27
Please see… – koiyu Jul 20 '11 at 19:54
Thanks for the heads up koiyu. I'll post the excerpt next time with the link. Joel already posted detailed answer after my post. – palaniraja Jul 21 '11 at 2:59
@koiyu, Well in fairness, it's not a link only answer, he answers the question with a simple yes and then provides a link. Maybe the answer could use more detail, but it's not a straight link only answer. – James McMahon Jul 23 '11 at 5:17

You can copy Install Mac OS X — in its entirety — to a DVD that is not bootable.

A widely promoted hack involves using only a part of the .app for 10.7 (Build 11A511) to create a DVD (or USB flash drive, or external hard disk partition) that is bootable. Bootable media produced in this way from this source may be good for some uses but please, proceed with caution: other uses may leave a system unusable.

Be aware of the known risks, and unknowns, associated with straying from what is recommended by Apple.

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What are the risks? You are being very ominous here but I've followed your links and I don't understand what you think might happen. – benzado Aug 2 '11 at 0:09
benzado, recently discussed in Ask Different Chat: home-produced bootable media for Lion: known risks and unknowns around 10.7 (Build 11A511) – Graham Perrin Aug 2 '11 at 3:51
Can you summarize that? I have a hard time following the chat dialogue. It seems like there is some FileVault-related issue but that's it? – benzado Aug 2 '11 at 4:28
benzado, the answers may be multiple and complex (more than I alone can answer). I think it would make a good question, if you would like to ask it. Something like 'What risks surround nonstandard uses of .dmg files for 10.7 (Build 11A511)?' … – Graham Perrin Aug 2 '11 at 4:37

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