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I'm primarily interested to know whether installation of Lion included the Recovery System.

I understand you can enable extra formats and debugging in Disk Utility, using the following commands:

defaults write com.apple.DiskUtility advanced-image-options -bool true

defaults write com.apple.DiskUtility DUDebugMenuEnabled -bool true

Is this safe? What can this be used for?

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There's really not much you can't do if you already are in the terminal issuing commands.

It appears to be mostly for the people that made/maintain the Disk Utility program itself to debug the inner workings of the program than something an end user might need.

diskutil list will show the presence or absence of the Recovery HD on systems prior to 10.8. You may need diskutil cs list to show core storage volumes if you are using FileVault 2.

I've not had any issues enabling it other than you might get confused. I used it recently to debug why Boot OS X was appearing in the BackupLoupe utility that scans Time Machine destinations.

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If you need to ask, you probably don't want to mess! ;)

It's going to let you see things like the Lion Recovery Partition etc that are normally hidden from use.

It's certainly safe to turn the debug menu on. Whether it's safe to do anything once it is enabled depends very much on your skills.

But it can;t hurt to take a look if you are curious, just remember to turn if off if you don't intend to do anything other than poke about.

  • Yeah … people are too often confused after forgetting that a debug option is enabled. Some options make certain tasks difficult or impossible to perform. – Graham Perrin Aug 2 '12 at 8:24

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