Creating OS X Mavericks install media

It’s been a big morning for Apple punters: OS X Mavericks, new iPads, iOS 7.0.3 and a bunch of new apps.

The only downside (aside from the “later in November” ETA on the Retina iPad Mini) is the downloading involved. Mavericks is ~5.5GB, and with 4 machines to upgrade [just in my house – there are a bunch more at work], downloading through the App Store each time would be painful.

As usual, Apple haven’t made it TOO easy to download-once-install-many (you can’t just restore a DMG onto an install partition anymore), but at least there’s an install media console utility built into the Install OS X Mavericks app.

Here’s how you use it:

  1. Use the App Store to download Mavericks. It’s pretty hard to miss at the moment; go to the Updates tab if it’s not immediately obvious.
  2. After downloading, cancel the installation process that will automatically start. (I just used Cmd-Q to quit the installer, but I think there’s a proper Cancel button too.)
  3. Prepare your install media. I partitioned off 8GB on a USB hard drive. A USB stick might be your weapon of choice (8GB minimum, unless 6GB sticks exist). For the command below to work without alteration, you’ll need an empty Mac OS Extended (Journaled) partition called “Untitled”. Disk Utility makes light work of this.
  4. Open a terminal and run the command below. When it asks for a password, give your OS X user account password.
  5. Press and hold the Option key while rebooting. Select your new install media and proceed.
sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --nointeraction

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