Creating a Rockstor USB install drive on your Mac

In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to create a Rockstor USB install drive on your Mac. You can then use it to install Rockstor on a computer system of your choice. As you might have noticed, Rockstor runs a variety of hardware such as the Intel Nuc or ASUS VivoPC. Anyways, lets get started! Firstly, instead of following this tutorial to create a USB installer drive of your own, you can buy one from the Rockstor shop and support our efforts. Secondly, make sure you are on a Mac, because this is a tutorial for Mac.

Make sure you have downloaded the Rockstor ISO – it can be downloaded from here. In this tutorial, I will save the ISO under downloads but you are free to save it anywhere on your Mac. My only advice is that you try not to save it on a high-level folder since you will need to access the root through the command line.



While the ISO is downloading, we can get started on formatting the USB stick. Insert it and check that it is being read by your Mac. You can do this by opening the Finder and looking at the left panel under devices.


Make sure your USB is erased and journaled. This is to make sure that nothing that was previously on your USB interferes with your Rockstor installation. You can do this easily through the Disk Utilities that come with Mac.

This can be found under:
– Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utilities


Select your USB Drive from the side panel. Make sure to select the right drive as all data will be wiped from the drive you select to erase. Once you have selected the USB Drive,
– Click on Partition
– Select 1 Partition from The Partition layout drop down menu.
– Click Apply

This will erase everything from your USB.


There are many articles on the web showing how to mount OS X onto a USB drive using disk utility. This does not work, you will end up getting an error “Could not validate source – Invalid argument” because Apple has pretty much built this feature to only comply with their software – as they always do. Thankfully, this tutorial will help you get around this quite easily.


Open your Mac Terminal. You can find this in your applications by opening
– Finder > Applications > Disk Utilities > Terminal


In your terminal, type:
> diskutil list
This comes standard with Mac. A list of all disks accessible by your mac will show up. Look for your USB drive. A key indicator is the size – In this example, my USB is 16GB so it would be disk 2


Make sure your disk is unmounted. Type:
diskutil unmountDisk /dev/<Your Disk #>
Make sure you get a success message.


Next step is to copy over the ISO you downloaded to the USB (Download the ISO here). We use ‘rdisk’ instead of disk because it is faster Type:
sudo dd if=/Users/Nam-Storm/Downloads/Downloads/Rockstor-3.8-0.iso of=/dev/rdisk2
Entering the sudo command will require your admin password (due to the sudo – Super User do command). It will then take some time to copy your data and you won’t get any feedback from the terminal.


If you are unsure of the location path to the ISO then you can cd into the folder you saved the file and do a pwd.
> cd Downloads/Downloads/
> ls
> pwd



Finally, you should get a message of the transfer that has taken place. This can take up to 20 minutes.


You can now check your USB to make sure the Rockstor is loaded on
That’s it – you now have a mounted USB and can use it to install your very own Rockstor.

To see how to install Rockstor, you can watch this short video.

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