OS X Mavericks DVD

OS X Mavericks DVD

Downloading OS X 10.9 Mavericks from the App Store, will put the installer, or “OS X Mavericks.app”, into the Application folder. Control-click and “Show Package Contents” provides easy access, to the install image inside.

Show Contents

For instance, inside that app bundle is the InstallESD.dmg here:
/Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app/Contents/SharedSupport/InstallESD.dmg
Mounting that disk image (a double click is sufficient), will show a Packages folder.

Let’s open the Terminal to get started, with what will end with a mavericks.dmg, being burned onto a double-layer DVD.

cd /Volumes/OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/Packages

It’s parent folder however, has the image, we are really interested in: BaseSystem.dmg

ls -al ..
-rw-r--r--@ 1 wolf staff 481048972 Sep 29 15:56 BaseSystem.dmg

The “@” indicates that BaseSystem.dmg is hidden. Here we copy the BaseSystem.dmg into the home folder and make it visible:

cp /Volumes/OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/BaseSystem.dmg ~/
chflags nohidden ~/BaseSystem.dmg

Next, we convert the dmg into a sparse image and expand it’s size:

hdiutil convert ~/BaseSystem.dmg -format UDSP -o ~/mavericks
hdiutil resize -size 5.6g ~/mavericks.sparseimage

Next step is to replace the Packages link with the actual contents. Use the OS X Finder, to remove the /System/Installation/Packages link in the mavericks.sparseimage and copy the Packages folder from the InstallESD.dmg, into the same place, i.e., replacing the link.

Back in Terminal, we compact the sparse image and convert it into a dmg:

hdiutil compact ~/mavericks.sparseimage
hdiutil convert -format UDZO ~/mavericks.sparseimage -o ~/mavericks.dmg

Open the Disk Utility Program and in the main menu, select Images.
Select “Burn…” from the appearing menu and navigate the ~/mavericks.dmg
Finally, insert a dual layer DVD and click burn.

OS X 10.9 Mavericks


  1. there is no OS X 10.9 Mavericks at the App Store yet …

  2. Thanks for the explanation – worked great! Cheers!

  3. Thank you so much! I was going absolutely NUTS because the entire internet is full of morons that call it “burning mavericks to a USB drive”. Yes, “burning”… So I spent 15 minutes searching for how to burn it, with every guide speaking about USB drives, until I FINALLY found yours.

    You’re a genius and saved my sanity at the brink of a rage explosion 😛

  4. Great Tuto !
    Thank you !

  5. Thankyou, this is the only working guide.

  6. Thank you for sharing this superb knowledge!
    After hours of searching and trying I finally got a bootable Mavericks DVD.

  7. The sparsebundle says it does not have enough disk space when I try to copy the packages…..

  8. There’re 2 minor issues with the ‘hdiutil compact …’ command. First, it fails if the sparse image is mounted. The solution is to unmount the image using Finder and try again. Second, it fails if the command is ran without the computer plugged in. The solution is to add an option ‘- batteryallowed’

  9. How do you obtain the OS X Mavricks.app file in the first place if all you have is a 2006 Mac Pro? The App Store refuses to allow a download (Stuck with Snow Leopard). I know I can use Mavricks using Chameleon but I can’t even try that if I can’t even get the Mavricks installer.

  10. Wow, great! I was looking all over the Internet for this information, but as you said, everything is talking about USB sticks these days, and nothing is talking about DVD. I still prefer discs, because they are permanent. I don’t have to worry about accidentally making a change to a disc that I wanted to keep as a pristine backup. And, as you said, discs are cheaper in bulk, and easier to store!

    Trying it now.

    Two things:

    1) Watch word wrap. In the above formatting, it’s hard to tell the difference between 2 commands on 2 different lines, and 1 command that was so long that it wrapped around onto a second line.

    2) As others have said, you have to unmount (drag to trashcan, in Finder) the disk images that you are working on, before the “hdiutil” commands will work.

    It’s surprising Apple didn’t do these steps to begin with. Seems pretty simple to do, you’re just fixing a mistake Apple made in the arrangement of their files, by moving a folder around so that it’s in the correct position once again.

    I’m surprised Apple doesn’t have a “Burn” button built into the OS X installation program that runs after you download it, to give you the choice of burning it for later, instead of having to install it on the spot. Would have made a lot of things easier.


  11. Just wondering, won’t the command of “Burn OS X Mavericks to Disc” work? I get the option when already using Mavericks and when I right click on the installation “file” on my desktop.

  12. Okay, after 10 times reading I finally got it.
    I’ve got mavericks.dmg 4.44 GB big.

    Hope to be able to burn it before my Mac freezes again! :-/

  13. After a few minutes? I got it .But I’ve got mavericks.dmg only 515MB big. Can anybody tell me why? My notebook is 2012 last macbook pro 13′.

  14. How did you ever get the image mounted in read/write mode? On Mountain Lion when I try to mount the sparse image in finder, it will be mounted read only.
    So no “replace the Packages link” with the actual content. I’m just not allowed to delete the link or copy the Packages Folder to the image.

  15. thank you very much for this well working guide!!!
    everything works well for me !! :)

  16. Great!!! I knew there had to be a way to burn the OS X Mavricks boot disk.

    I had a little trouble following the instructions, but that was my fault.


  17. The installation on my MBP late 2007 from the DVD burned using the above method took awfully long, but it worked!

    Finally I had the chance to overwrite the whole HDD with zeros using the disk utility from the installation menu!
    That’s what Apple’s messed up managers have tried to take away from me! No f**ing way!!!

  18. I’m done i’ve had it. First I’ve gotten the sparse image large to copy the packages folder but that made it too big to copy on a DVD. Then I started over. Since then I’ve gotten the sparse image to 53.1mb can’t copy the packages fold now. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Vielen Dank für die detaillierte Beschreibung! Die Erstellung der DVD hat auf Anhieb geklappt.

  20. After burning to a DVD I stuck it into a Mac & it didn’t auto start like the others do, Any thoughts?

  21. Thanks, great guide. I found it quite easy to follow.

  22. Hmmm …. I think it worked. What’s the size of your final image? My mavericks.dmg is 5.311.176.862 Byte.

  23. Hello, I’m trying to do this with lastest OSX 10.9.1 and the result is less than 500Mo?? do you this problem?

  24. I’ve some trouble with the command “hdiutil resize -size 5.6g ~/mavericks.sparseimage”. I’ve copied and pasted the command from your page, but it seems doesn’t work…. It’s my mistake?

  25. Giovanni I’ve got the same issue, now it is just bigger than 5.6g so you can change that number with a bigger one (it requires 6.1, I suggest you 6.2+)

  26. Great tutorial–thanks. 😀

    As a ‘nix geek for >10 years, here’s the real question: why the fsck doesn’t Apple just *make* a damned Mavericks DVD?

    Sure, I have the command line foo to figure this stuff out (and certainly to follow a tutorial!), but I don’t _want_ the assache.

    I’ll gladly pay for a DVD… just make one available Apple. Grr.

  27. The sparsebundle says it does not have enough disk space when I try to copy the packages

  28. For all of you having trouble with the sparse bundle not being big enough.
    Simply increase the size to 5.8GB (not 5.6GB) by using the following:

    hdiutil convert ~/BaseSystem.dmg -format UDSP -o ~/mavericks
    hdiutil resize -size 5.8g ~/mavericks.sparseimage

  29. it doesn’t work in 5.6 or 5.8 gb size setting

    it works well on my mac ( Macbook Pro late 2009 ) in 7.6 g

    set up terminal :

    hdiutil convert ~/BaseSystem.dmg -format UDSP -o ~/mavericks
    hdiutil resize -size 7.6g ~/mavericks.sparseimage

    Thankyou ..
    Warm Regards from Indonesia ….

  30. Thanks!

  31. It works fine with :
    “diutil resize -size 5.8g /Volumes/ARCHIV/Mavericks-ARCHIV/mavericks.sparseimage”

    my Installation-DVD needs 25MB more space, so with “5.8g” it was enough.

  32. Hi. Thanks, it worked for me. I was searching over intertet by hours and this is the one solution worked for me, but I needed to make the following changes:

    * Use 5.8g instead of 5.6g on command
    hdiutil resize -size 5.6g ~/mavericks.sparseimage

    * Unmount the sparse image before the commands:
    hdiutil compact ~/mavericks.sparseimage -batteryallowed
    hdiutil convert -format UDZO ~/mavericks.sparseimage -o ~/mavericks.dmg

    * I got a 5.32 GB DMG at the end.
    MacBook Pro 15′ mid 2010 Mountain Lion, 320GB HD, 8 GB RAM.

  33. Thanks a million for this HOWTO, working with the shel is the greatest, as Linux user no new but without your help i couldn’t do it.
    Thanks again.

  34. Hi all,
    for me it ended after creating the sparse image.
    I cant’t expand the image (1.24 G) to 5.6G (or 5.8G).
    “hdiutil resize -size 5.6g ~/mavericks.sparseimage” just will not work.
    Please can anybody help me to complete the last bit?


  35. Hi, I did all the steps except burning onto a DVD. I tried to install mavericks from the USB drive. It expanded well, but it did not work. After identifying the drive to install it to, I clicked install and then nothing happened. Do I need to burn mavericks.dmg onto a disc or should it also work from USB stick?

  36. I just tested this out with the Yosemite installer. It seemed to work. I just changed all the “mavericks” to “yosemite”. I also made the sparse image 6.1GB just in case…

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