It’s really easy to use the terminal to install Debian on SD Card for Raspberry Pi with Mac OS X. This method works great and also much better than these AppleScript programs which are asking for your password.

Download latest Debian Raspbian image

Get the latest Raspbian imagen (currently Debian Wheezy 7.5) with your browser from http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads or directly with curl from your terminal:

cd ~/Downloads/
curl -L http://downloads.raspberrypi.org/raspbian_latest -o raspbian_latest.zip

When the download is complete it’s safer to compare the the SHA-1 checksum with the one on the downloads page:

shasum raspbian_latest.zip

If the checksum matches you can finally unzip the image:

unzip raspbian_latest.zip

Install Raspbian on your SD card

Insert your SD card in your Mac or any SD card reader attached to your Mac, open the terminal and run this:

diskutil list

Now we have to find our SD card. Watch for the correct size or the name and please don’t use your system hard drive!
I use a 16 GB SD card, so I have to take the 15.9 Gi entry which has the name (mount name) NO NAME. It’s the /dev/disk3s1 identifier entry.

/dev/disk0
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *121.3 GB   disk0
   1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:          Apple_CoreStorage                         121.0 GB   disk0s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Boot OS X               134.2 MB   disk0s3
/dev/disk1
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *1.0 TB     disk1
   1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk1s1
   2:          Apple_CoreStorage                         999.3 GB   disk1s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk1s3
/dev/disk2
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:                  Apple_HFS Macintosh HD           *1.1 TB     disk2
/dev/disk3
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:     FDisk_partition_scheme                        *15.9 GB    disk3
   1:                 DOS_FAT_32 NO NAME                 15.9 GB    disk3s1

You have to unmount this card (remove the “s1” from /dev/disk3s1):

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk3
$ Unmount of all volumes on disk3 was successful

Use dd to copy the image on your SD card:

  • You could drag & drop the .img file directly behind sudo df if= to get the correct path
  • Use the same device as used with diskutil unmountDisk
sudo dd if=~/Downloads/2014-06-20-wheezy-raspbian.img of=/dev/disk3 bs=1m

It’s very easy to install Debian on an SD card for a Raspberry Pi, but to copy the image could take really long – depends on the size and performance of the SD card and from your card reader performance.
dd gives us no output but if you want to check if it’s still running just press CTRL + T.

load: 2.01  cmd: dd 32139 uninterruptible 0.00u 1.56s
201+0 records in
200+0 records out
209715200 bytes transferred in 107.578531 secs (1949415 bytes/sec)

dd finishes without any feedback on success, it’s done when it’s done.

Running mount | grep disk3 shows us the new mount point for your SD card:

mount | grep disk3
/dev/disk3s1 on /Volumes/boot (msdos, local, nodev, nosuid, noowners)

Thats it, your SD card is ready to use in your Raspberry Pi after you run:

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk3

Simply put your fresh created Raspbian SD card in your Raspberry Pi and power it up.

I have 2 SD Cards for my Raspberry Pi: One is always in use, the second one has a fresh install, so I don’t have to wait if I want to work on a new system.