These are the steps needed to copy a disk image (.img file) directly to a USB Flash Memory Stick.
For example, I wanted to copy a Linux boot image file to a memory stick so that I could boot a Linux server directly from the stick.
What you don't want to do is have Mac OS X mount the stick and just drag the image to the stick in the Finder. This will copy the file to the filesystem that is already on the stick.
You want to replace that filesystem with the one contained in the .img file. Note that this is complete replacement - and existing data on the stick will be erased.
1. Insert the memory stick in the Mac
2. Open the Disk Utility application (in Applications/Utilities)
You should see the name of the USB stick appear in the left panel in the application, below your system disk.
3. Click the memory stick name, then click the 'Restore' tab at the top of the right hand panel.
4. Drag and drop the .img file to be copied into the Source box in Disk Utility.
5. Drag the memory stick icon from the left panel into the Destination box.
6. Click the Restore button that has now become active and click OK in the confirmation window which then appears.
7. Enter your password in the authentication window that pops up.
8. The copy is complete when the Source and Destination boxes in Disk Utility go blank.
9. Click on the memory stick icon in the Finder and you should see the contents have been replaced with those of the disk image.
Those familiar with the ever useful UNIX command dd might expect to use this to copy the image file on the command line. The problem here is that Mac OS X will automatically mount the memory stick into the Finder such that a command like 'sudo dd if=/path/to/my.img of=/dev/disk3' will fail with a 'Resource Busy' error.
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