How to create a bootable USB installer for OS X Yosemite

It’s great that Apple releases new versions of Mac OS X for free, but there the problem becomes when you have to do a fresh install. You can’t go into their stores to buy a copy or do the same thing online. Upgrading is a breeze through their online App Store, but there is still a “glitch” when it comes to installing their OS onto a blank hard drive.

It’s gotten to the point where I have had to do a number of these installs, so I’m reposting the directions for how I prefer to do this process for my own records.

These directions come from

Starting with Mavericks, hidden inside the OS X installer is a Unix program called createinstallmedia, provided by Apple specifically for creating a bootable installer drive. If you’re comfortable using Terminal, createinstallmedia is a relatively simple tool to use.

As mentioned above, the createinstallmedia tool works only in Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, or Yosemite—you can’t create an installer drive this way while booted into Snow Leopard. If you need to create a Yosemite beta install drive while booted into Snow Leopard, you should use the Disk Utility instructions, below.

Here are the required steps:

  1. Connect to your Mac a properly formatted 8GB (or larger) drive, and rename the drive Untitled. (The Terminal command used here assumes the drive is named Untitled.) Also, make sure the Yosemite installer, called Install OS X, is in its default location in your main Applications folder (/Applications). This means that if you moved it before installing Yosemite, you need to move it back before making your installer disk.
  2. Select the text of this Terminal command and copy it:
    sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --nointeraction
  3. Launch Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities).
  4. Warning: This step will erase the destination drive or partition, so make sure that it doesn’t contain any valuable data. Paste the copied command into Terminal and press Return.
  5. Type your admin-level account password when prompted, and then press Return.
  6. The Terminal window displays the progress of the process, in a very Terminal sort of way, by displaying a textual representation of a progress bar: Erasing Disk: 0%… 10 percent…20 percent… and so on. The program then tells you it’s copying the installer files, making the disk bootable, and copying boot files. Wait until you see the text “Copy Complete. Done.”, which could take as long as 20 or 30 minutes, depending on how fast your Mac can copy data to your destination drive.

You now have a bootable Yosemite install drive. If you like, you can rename the drive from its default name of Install OS X Yosemite, though I think it’s kind of a catchy name.

Once you’ve made the USB installer, reboot your Mac with just the USB drive, keyboard, and mouse connected while holding down the Option-key to choose the USB installer from the Startup Manager when it launches.

I prefer to work in Terminal for functions like this. If you go to the linked article on MacWorld, there are some GUI friendly ways to do the same thing.

Two more through the gates of my high school alma mater

I did it! #classof2014

A photo posted by Anthony Kinley (@anthonykinley) on

Anthony told the people in the row ahead of him and a few of the people around him that he was going to do it. He was going to do a selfie. And he was true to his word.

I had two nephews graduate from high school recently. They’re in the same grade and same school. Ben was born in the fall. Anthony in the spring.

They didn’t go to the exact, same high school I went to, but we’re all still from the same hometown. I’m proud to be their uncle. And as much as I would have loved to be there as they went through the process of becoming men, at least I was there on the day that childhood ended and real life begins.

To the next chapter in life. Here, here.

How did I miss out on Sloan in the 90’s?

A photo I took of Sloan at Surrey Canada Day 2013

This is a question I ask myself every time I hear their song on the radio or randomly coming up on my various playlists. Even at KRUI, you would have thought that I would have at least played Sloan[wiki] once.

Surrey Canada Day 2013

It’s quite possible that I played them at one time and never knew it. That’s the beauty of free form, college radio. Although some would call it a curse.

Surrey Canada Day 2013

These photos are from Surrey Canada Day 2013 where I got to shoot photos for Rebecca.

Surrey Canada Day 2013

Oh well. Late to the party, but I didn’t miss last call.

West End of Vancouver in Spring Time

Looking down Robson Street: From Broughton Street, looking down towards Denman Street. (Photo by John Bollwitt)

I took this photo last April while on a bit of an assignment by Rebecca to “just get some shots of Robson Street”. She sends me out of photowalks from time to time to gather shots for various material that she publishes. Going back through some old photos, I rediscovered this one.

This really captures why we like the West End of Vancouver as much as we do. We you get down to this end of Robson, things slow down a little, and the city isn’t as loud. This was in April when it was just starting to get warm and the sun bathed the city for much longer than anyone expected.

I especially like the nice convertible in this shot, patiently waiting for the guy crossing the street. If this were a Sunday morning, that would probably be a Lamborghini and in multiples of three to five. They seem to have a bit of a driving club around these parts when the weather is nice enough to bring them out.

Of Monsters and Men @ The Orpheum

Of Monsters and Men at The Orpheum Theatre on May 12, 2013.  (Vancouver, B.C.)

Of Monsters and Men at The Orpheum Theatre on May 12, 2013. (Vancouver, B.C.)

Concert photography and perfect lighting is something like the sweet spot on the bat. If you can connect that moment with perfect timing and location, it’s out of the park.

Not only is it about your location in terms of proximity to stage, but you will never be in control of the lighting that is presented to you. Some times, you just have no option other than to turn a shot into black and white, and that’s very rock and roll in its own regard.

Jolted in the West End

Car Explosion in West End of Vancouver, B.C.

It hasn’t been twelve hours since 6:48AM today, and the only reason I’ve been able to sort out that moment as the time of the explosion is to compare the blinking alarm clock time next to my bed and the current time on my cellphone.

I wrote an email to my family earlier, and most of what it said felt like a good summary of how we felt today in the midst of this “freak accident“.

Continue reading Jolted in the West End

Retrospective: Live at Squamish 2011

Live at Squamish 2011

As we head into August, I’m getting a little excited for the third installment of the Live At Squamish music festival.

Embarrassingly enough, I never posted about last year’s experience, highlighting some of my favorite photos that I took during the event. I’m fortunate to get access to this event through, and Rebecca is dialed in for 2012 again.
Continue reading Retrospective: Live at Squamish 2011

Beer Samplers at Howe Sound Brewing in Squamish, B.C.

Howe Sound Brewery Tour in Squamish, B.C.

Continue reading Beer Samplers at Howe Sound Brewing in Squamish, B.C.

Spending a Saturday in New Westminster

Day in New Westminster: May 2012

You can get the full story on Rebecca’s site, but we made our way to downtown New Westminster a few weekends ago to explore the area. And quite honestly, I was really impressed by a place I thought I somewhat already knew.

Day in New Westminster: May 2012

Whatever you think you’ve known about the area of the New West core, it’s probably changed over the past few years.

Continue reading Spending a Saturday in New Westminster

High atop downtown Vancouver

Vancouver, B.C.

Not too long ago, I found myself on top of a high rise in Yaletown for a work related project. The only camera I had on hand was my iPhone, but I knew I had to snap some photos of the city, no matter how much my vertigo played with my knees.

Vancouver, B.C.

Vancouver, B.C.

After reading many of Rebecca’s “Vancouver History” posts, it makes me look at these photos a little differently. Vancouver’s changed a lot in just the six years that I’ve lived here, yet alone the last one hundred.