Well, it’s that time of the year…
It’s been like a little song coming back every year now for 5 years… A new version of OS X is released, and with this version, comes a new release of DiskMaker X (né Lion DiskMaker). And this year will not be very different.
However, I have first to apologize.
Though I spent quite a lot of time on DiskMaker X these last years, version 4 was far from being excellent. It’s been plagued with annoying bugs. I hardly had enough time to fix them, I’ve been quite busy on other things, and, well… Not a good year, not a good release. However, it’s interesting to understand why things were harder this time.
(WARNING: fairly technical and annoying things below. Skip them if you feel overhelmed 😉 )
At the beginning of DiskMaker X, things were pretty easy : I was relying on the hdiutil tool, which uses the DiskImages framework to manipulate disk images (as it says in its manual page). So the first version of Lion DiskMaker just had to find the Install OS X app, then block-copy the DMG on a physical drive, and everything was done.
But with Mavericks, things became much more convoluted, with different OS relying on different tools, especially a new one: the createinstallmedia command. It made building a boot disk easier (sort of), but it was not backward-compatible with previous OSes. And this made my work much more difficult.
Add to this that the language I use (AppleScript) is not always the easiest one to deal with, and… well, it made thing very difficult to manage internally. And I was also a bit demotivated, maybe (4 years on the same product may seem a bit annoying for someone like me who loves jumping from one project to another).
(End of boring stuff)
Enter DiskMaker X 5
I will not dare to say that DiskMaker X 5 is a complete rewrite of DiskMaker X: I’m really too lazy for that 🙂 However, by eliminating pre-OS X 10.9 from the equation, I could rely only on createinstallmedia to build the install disks for OS X 10.11, 10.10 or 10.9. I could also make the process much faster as we return to the block-copy way-of-life. MUCH more reliable.
And how is the process reliable on every OS since 10.7? Here are the facts:
Yup ! 100% success with DiskMaker X 5 on OS 10.7 and later. Though I am sure some of you will report some bugs (especially with diacriticals, parenthesis or quotation marks in path names which are always a pain to deal with), the process should be pretty smooth if you just use DiskMaker X the way it should work : Installer app in /Applications, DiskMaker X 5 copied in /Applications and a simple 8GB USB thumb drive connected to your Mac.
And BTW, DiskMaker X does not support using the single DMG alone, as some of you did previously: the full OS X installer is required.
So, this is it. DiskMaker X 5 should be the release you waited for, and the next small releases should essentially focus on localizations (at this time, only English and French are provided, but you can get in touch if you wish to translate it in other languages).
Enjoy DiskMaker X 5… and El Capitan, of course!