How-to Write a Raspberry Pi ARM disk image to an SD card on a Mac:
This brief explanation describes how to write a Raspberry Pi ARM disk image to a SDHC memory card on a Macintosh. Free Raspberry Pi boot images can be found from their download page: http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads
1. Select the Linux distribution ARM image file you wish to download and save to your “Downloads” folder. Unzip the “xxx.zip” file within a Finder window.
2. Insert a SD or SDHC card (Not SDXC) which should mount to the desktop; you may need a card reader that can attach to a USB port. A 4 GB SDHC should be sufficient to store the Raspberry Pi disk image on.
3. Launch your Terminal application: “Applications ➜ Utilities ➜ Terminal“.
(N.B. only proceed if you understand the basic Command-line Interface and the dangers of Noobs using Terminal)
4. At the Terminal prompt type:
5. Identify the disk volume where the SD card has been mounted, e.g.,
6. Dismount the SD disk; be careful not to dismount other disks you have on your computer, such as your “Macintosh HD” or “Time Machine” backup disk.
At the Terminal prompt type:
sudo diskutil unmountDisk /dev/diskN
(Where “N” is the disk volume no. eg. ”sudo diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk3” )
N.B. You will require administrative (super-user) privileges for sudo commands and will be required to type in your admin password when prompted.
7. Write the disk image to the SD card.
At the Terminal prompt use the dd command to copy the files over.
sudo dd if=/<Path>/xxx.img of=/dev/diskN bs=1m
N.B. *<Path> You need to locate the Path of the Image file .img you previously downloaded. You can drag and drop the file into Terminal to auto complete the correct path at this stage.
For example, the “dd” Command should look something like this:
sudo dd if=/Users/<YourUsername>/Downloads/debian6-17-02-2012/debian6-17-02-2012.img of=/dev/disk3 bs=1m
When complete (10 – 30 minutes) the SD memory card can be ejected and the Terminal application can be closed.
The SD memory card can now be inserted into your Raspberry Pi computer and is ready to Boot.
Please be very careful when using Terminal commands. If you are still unsure what Terminal is or what command line means, then do not attempt any of the steps listed above, for your own safety. This info is for Mac users, if you’re using Windowz then there are thousands of blogs already out there telling you how to do it, just google it.
Great, all we need now is an actual Raspi to boot it on.