How to Create & Burn a Bootable Mac OS X Lion Install DVD

Apple announced that Lion would be released exclusively through the Mac App Store for $30. This is great because the App Store policy allows a single purchase to install on all your Macs, but what if you don’t have broadband access on all your Macs, or what if you just want a bootable installation disc? Well, you can make your own bootable installation DVD.

Creating a Bootable Install Disc for Mac OS X Lion

This is pretty easy. These instructions are born from the 10.7 developer preview but should remain identical come time for the July public release:

  • Download Mac OS X Lion from the Mac App Store ($29.99)
  • From the Mac OS X Finder, locate the Mac OS X Installation file that was downloaded, right-click, and “Show Package Contents”
  • Find and open the “SharedSupport” folder and locate a disc image file called “InstallESD.dmg”
  • Copy “InstallESD.dmg” to your Mac OS X Desktop, this is the Lion disk image and what you’re going to create the bootable DVD from
  • Now launch Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities/), pop in a blank DVD, select the “InstallESD.DMG” file, and click on “Burn”

After your disk is done burning, you’ll be able to boot from it with any Lion compatible Mac by holding down C during boot up.

The final release of Mac OS X Lion is said to be a 4GB download. Some of the complaints regarding Lion being distributed through the App Store are from users who have ISP’s with bandwidth caps, a particularly common scenario for anyone using a cellular connection. If you’re in this situation, it might be best to download Lion from a public wifi hotspot and then create a boot disk manually using the above method so that you can install it on your other Macs.

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