Install to USB From within Mac OS

From DSL Wiki

A few people have asked about installing to USB from Mac OS (any Mac OS at all). "Nobody has posted their experience yet, though.

If you're here, you're probably the right person for the job! Try it, and write down your notes, even if you don't have any luck."

One experience

It's probably a three-step process like installing from any other OS:

Ok, well I guess I'll give it a try...

  1. Prepare the drive by formatting it to an MS-DOS file system

Start by opening your Applications folder and then the Utilities folder. Next, click on Disk Utility. Once it opens you should notice that it has recognized you USB drive (and has probably named it "NO NAME"). Click on its name (or lack there of..) and then the Erase tab, under which, you should see a field labeled "Volume Format". If it already says MS-DOS (FAT), you're in good shape. Processed to the next step. If not, select MS-DOS (FAT) from the drop down menu (give it a name if you'd like) and then click Erase.

  1. Unzip/unpack DSL onto the drive
  2. Install Syslinux or GRUB or another boot loader

Another experience

I wrote this "How-to" out of frustration USING VMWARE FUSION!!!

1. using a 128mb fat32 USB set to Master Boot Record

2. create new Virtual Machine in Fusion and "continue without disc", pick your DSL ISO for installation media, pick Linux -> Debian5 for OS type, then "customize settings"

3. pick a place and file name, remove hard disk (although not necessary), start up the VM, patch the USB Drive, send a "ctrl-alt-del" and type "install" "enter"

4. hit "5" "enter" for USB install, confirm with a "Y" "enter", verify boot options and language, then confirm "Y" "enter" to proceed

5. hit "enter" when done and "0" "enter" to exit from the installer. you may shutdown the VM with "shutdown -h now" (for an unnecessary but by force of habit, clean shutdown), then "enter" when prompted

i tried several different methods from the Terminal, but i always hit a brick wall. i will try other ways, but for now this works, and should work on any platform or VMware flavor, not just fusion.

If you having problems with mac recovery

A third experience

I had luck with the following procedure:

  1. formatting the USB drive (MS-DOS file system)
  2. extracting the DSL iso onto it
  3. installing syslinux using VirtualBox