I want to create a live USB to run a Linux derivation and followed these guides:

Make and create Live USB Linux for Mac? How?

Making a Bootable USB Stick on an Apple Mac OS X from an ISO

Everything just went fine following the tutorial, but when I restart my MacBook Pro I cannot choose the USB drive, it just doesn't show up.

2 Answers 2


I looked at the second guide and the actual process is much simpler than the method suggested there.

Do the following, it works.

Go to Disk Utility, click on your USB drive on the left pane and click on the Info button at the top. Make a note of the Disk Identifier (Disk0, Disk1 etc.). Then, unmount any mounted partitions on your USB drive, but don't eject the drive itself.

In Terminal type the following, without pressing Enter afterwards...

sudo dd bs=1m if=

Then, drag your .ISO file to the Terminal window so its path is entered quickly and easily.

Add the following line onto the end of the command line, altering the number at the end if your USB stick's Disk Identifier is other than Disk1


You should end up with a command like this...

sudo dd bs=1m if=/Users/s.darkly/Desktop/Linux/crunchbang-11-20130506-amd64.iso of=/dev/rdisk1

Hit enter, put your password in and wait for the magic to happen. It will take a few minutes and there won't be a progress bar so be patient.

  • First MANY THANKS for your help Jawa :-)) I did exactly what you said, one time with the iso and one time with the img file. But after I reboot the USB still doesn't show up. I can choose between my normal start-up drive and my recovery drive, but no USB, it still doesn't shows up. Here is a paste from terminal Marc_MBP$ sudo dd bs=1m if=/Users/Marc_MBP/Desktop/Xiaopan\ OS_0.4.7.2.iso of=/dev/rdisk1 Password: 69+1 records in 69+1 records out 72491008 bytes transferred in 15.521136 secs (4670470 bytes/sec) So you see I did everything correct.Need I to format the drive in a particular way first? Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 13:43
  • 1
    @Marc This answer was by ScunnerDarkly, not Jawa.
    – grg
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 17:34

To boot from an non-UEFI Linux Distro on a USB drive on a Intel based Mac you need to use a boot manager like rEFInd as it can chain load what's necessary to boot the non-UEFI Linux Distro.

As an example, I have no problem booting from USB Linux Mint 17.1 (Cinnamon) 64-bit natively without a third-party boot manager. The Xiaopan is not UEFI.

Compare the image below with the contents of the Xiaopan ISO Image, in particular the expanded folders showing *EFI.

enter image description here

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