I'm tying to make a bootable Debian USB drive. All I need to do is restore the USB drive from the Debian dmg. I get this error. The debian.org documentation is not helpful with this specific issue. Here's what I keep running into.

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  • How was the image created and explicitly from what source? Jan 22, 2016 at 18:05
  • I downloaded the ISO, formatted the USB to OS X Extended Journaled, and in terminal i used 'hdutil convert -format UDRW -o destination.dmg source.iso' (this is the template of the command) to make the disk image.
    – rbApostate
    Jan 22, 2016 at 18:21
  • This method worked fine with Ubuntu, but I must be skipping a step. I had a little bit of luck using Ubuntu to download the debian.iso file, then making a bootable disk on a FAT format, but the boot-loader does not work on a mac. The disk is bootable only on a windows computer. Footnote: Unetbootin does not work with Debian, for some reason.
    – rbApostate
    Jan 22, 2016 at 18:21
  • What was the original name of the Debian ISO Image? Have you tried just using dd to write the original ISO Image to the USB drive? Jan 22, 2016 at 18:28
  • hdiutil convert -format UDRW -o /Volumes/debian/debian.img /Users/Jacob/Desktop/debian-8.2.0-amd64-DVD-3.iso
    – rbApostate
    Jan 22, 2016 at 18:34

1 Answer 1


I would suggest using dd, from the command line (Terminal).

The syntax is as follows:

sudo dd if=/path/to/file/<file> of=/dev/disk<your drive number> bs=1m

It will prompt you for your password, and you will not be able to see it as you type.

To get your disk number, you can run diskutil list from Terminal, and find the disk that most closely matches your drive's stats.

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