Creating a macOS High Sierra installation ISO

By | January 19, 2018

Over the years I have created/extracted installation ISOs from the downloadable upgrades that Apple uses. Each time something changes slightly.

I searched on the web and found lots of broken instructions from the Beta period. Finally I found one that “worked” at MacRumors.  But it doesn’t work.

So I stepped through it line by line, figured out what was broken, and the result here works.

# Generate a BaseSystem.dmg with 10.13 Install Packages
hdiutil attach /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra\.app/Contents/SharedSupport/InstallESD.dmg -noverify -mountpoint /Volumes/highsierra
hdiutil create -o /tmp/HighSierraBase.cdr -size 7316m -layout SPUD -fs HFS+J
hdiutil attach /tmp/HighSierraBase.cdr.dmg -noverify -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build
asr restore -source /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra\.app/Contents/SharedSupport/BaseSystem.dmg -target /Volumes/install_build -noprompt -noverify -erase
mkdir -p /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/System/Installation/Packages
cp -R /Volumes/highsierra/Packages/* /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/System/Installation/Packages/
hdiutil detach /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/
hdiutil detach /Volumes/highsierra/
mv /tmp/HighSierraBase.cdr.dmg /tmp/BaseSystem.dmg
# Restore the 10.13 Installer's BaseSystem.dmg into file system and place custom BaseSystem.dmg into the root
hdiutil create -o /tmp/HighSierra.cdr -size 8965m -layout SPUD -fs HFS+J
hdiutil attach /tmp/HighSierra.cdr.dmg -noverify -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build
asr restore -source /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra\.app/Contents/SharedSupport/BaseSystem.dmg -target /Volumes/install_build -noprompt -noverify -erase
cp /tmp/BaseSystem.dmg /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System
hdiutil detach /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/
hdiutil convert /tmp/HighSierra.cdr.dmg -format UDTO -o /tmp/HighSierra.iso
mv /tmp/HighSierra.iso.cdr ~/Desktop/HighSierra.iso
rm /tmp/HighSierra.cdr.dmg

Note: If you use iCloud for storage, the second to last line is putting a large file on your desktop with the final lines. Change that to an area that is more appropriate, like a data drive or something.

 

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About Bill Plein

I've been in the data storage industry since the 1990's, most recently with 3PAR, Fusion-io, and currently with Pure Storage I'm attracted to bright, shiny new objects.

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