There are a bunch of pages out there for making a bootable Lion disk (either DVD or USB drive). However, the problem is that they all will only work on the machine they were created on - Apple is trying to be helpful by only downloading what you need for your current machine. What I need to do is to create a Lion install disk on a Mac Pro which I can use on a Mac Mini. I do not have physical access to the Mini at this time. Do I have any options? Is it possible to create a universal Lion install disk?

Thank you.

  • Are you sure the downloaded version of the Installer is not Universal for all machines?
    – Thecafremo
    May 24, 2012 at 8:06

3 Answers 3


If you have the latest "Install Mac OS X Lion.app" procured from the App Store, then you could use the InstallESD.dmg within that to make a universal installer (described elsewhere) -- it will have all the drivers needed for any/all Macintosh machines that meet its hardware requirements. Note if you're handy with SSH, ARD or other methods to remotely control the machine in question, the upgrade/installation could be entirely remotely.


I have a 2008 MacPro and have successfully used the Lion installer I downloaded from the Mac App Store to install Lion on my two MacBook Pros. I believe the installer is universal. Which, if you think about it, wouldn't it have to be? It's in the Mac App Store after all. Bottom line though, I've done it and it worked for me.


My experience doesn't match up with your claim that installers only work on the machine they were created for.

I've used a MacBook Air to create an installer for an iMac at a time when my home internet was not working (I could easily take the Air offsite to download but not the iMac). I've also installed on a USB drive that I use as a rescue boot drive on a variety of machines. What happens on the Mini when you follow the standard procedure to create the installer using the Mac Pro? I'd be surprised if it didn't work, given my experience.

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