Create a bootable FreeBSD or Ubuntu USB flash drive on Mac/OS-X
This article provides step-by-step instructions on how to create a bootable USB flash drive for either FreeBSD or Ubuntu operating systems. The post includes the necessary commands to download and transfer the installation files onto the USB drive using the terminal on a macOS system. The author also includes a reference link for creating a FreeBSD installation memstick on macOS.
Download the files
Start by downloading the installation file for the operating system you want to install. For FreeBSD, you can download the amd64/memstick installation file from the FreeBSD website. For Ubuntu, you can download the desktop installation file from the Ubuntu website.
Prepare the USB flash drive
Insert a memory stick into your computer and open a terminal window. Type the following command to list the available disks on your system:
~ $ diskutil list /dev/disk0 (internal, physical): #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: GUID_partition_scheme *500.3 GB disk0 1: Apple_APFS_ISC Container disk2 524.3 MB disk0s1 2: Apple_APFS Container disk3 494.4 GB disk0s2 3: Apple_APFS_Recovery Container disk1 5.4 GB disk0s3 /dev/disk3 (synthesized): #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: APFS Container Scheme - +494.4 GB disk3 Physical Store disk0s2 1: APFS Volume Macintosh HD 9.1 GB disk3s1 2: APFS Snapshot com.apple.os.update-... 9.1 GB disk3s1s1 3: APFS Volume Preboot 4.7 GB disk3s2 4: APFS Volume Recovery 778.1 MB disk3s3 5: APFS Volume Data 206.1 GB disk3s5 6: APFS Volume VM 20.5 KB disk3s6 /dev/disk4 (external, physical): #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: GUID_partition_scheme *7.7 GB disk4 1: EFI EFI 209.7 MB disk4s1 2: Microsoft Basic Data UBUNTU 7.5 GB disk4s2
Look for the one that reads external, physical and has a size that closely matches your memory stick. In this case, the USB flash drive is /dev/disk4. Unmount the disk by typing the following command, but do not remove the USB flash drive from your computer yet:
~ $ diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk4 Unmount of all volumes on disk4 was successful
Transfer the installation files
We’ll now copy the installation files onto the USB flash drive.
cd to your home directory. Our installation file is located in the Downloads directory. Type the following command to copy the installation file onto the USB flash drive. The process took about 20 minutes in my computer.
~ $ sudo dd if=Downloads/ubuntu-22.04.2-desktop-amd64.iso of=/dev/disk4 bs=1m 4699+1 records in 4699+1 records out 4927586304 bytes transferred in 1362.203712 secs (3617364 bytes/sec)
- if is the input file, which is the installation file.
- of is the output file, which is the USB flash drive, identified as /dev/disk4.
Eject the USB flash drive when the process is complete:
~ $ diskutil eject /dev/disk4 Disk /dev/disk4 ejected
At this point, you can remove the USB flash drive from your computer and use it to install the operating system on another computer.
- Chittenden, S. (2015, July 12). “Create FreeBSD installation memstick on OS-X.” FreeBSD. https://people.freebsd.org/~seanc/freebsd/create-memstick-osx/