I am currently using terminal to early and quickly add APFS volumes to my Mac's APFS container.

Once I make an empty APFS volume in the container, how can I copy a disk image to it and make it bootable? I have tried using dd, but there have been various issues that seem to keep this from working. Thanks!

  • Your question is under-constrained (hence unclear): what's the content of the disk image and what's the file system of the original source?
    – klanomath
    Jan 29, 2018 at 23:35
  • Thanks @klanomath. It's an Apple Diagnostics disk image that's currently formatted as macOS Extended.
    – Jake3231
    Jan 29, 2018 at 23:45

2 Answers 2


I would try rsync. Below is an example of the syntax. Here, I assume the source is the mounted disk image volume and the destination is the apfs volume.

rsync  -a  /Volumes/source/*  /Volumes/destination
  • Will this make the destination volume bootable? If I use dd to copy the image to an SD card, for example, the SD card becomes bootable and works as expected. Running this command just places the System folder on the volume. This volume is still not available at boot when holding the option key.
    – Jake3231
    Jan 30, 2018 at 0:06
  • Probably not. But, you are unclear about what you are trying to do. Can I assume you are trying to take an image created from a bootable JHFS+ volume and restore to a APFS volume and still be bootable? If the answer is yes, then the result will not boot. A single JHFS+ volume can be bootable, while APFS requires multiple volumes to boot macOS. Jan 30, 2018 at 0:18

The ONLY solution to making a disk image of an APFS formatted drive that contains the operating system (macOS) can be found here:

How can you create a valid/reliable disk image of APFS drives?

Apple has either intentionally blocked this or have simply not gotten around to making a solution easily possible. BUT there IS a solution, as shown at the above thread.

  • Does this mean the questions are duplicates of each other? Is there something that differentiates the question you've linked to versus the question you've written this answer on?
    – grg
    Oct 17, 2020 at 11:20

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