A DMG file is Apple's equivalent of an ISO installation file or disk image. It usually contains all the information required to install a program on a Mac computer running Mac OS X or macOS. It is also a container to hold macOS installation image. If you want to create a bootable macOS bootable disk, the first step is to burn DMG to USB or DVD.
However, native support for DMG files is only available on Apple's desktop operating system. For Windows or Linux, you will need to use different methods. For example, if you want to burn a DMG file to USB on a Mac, it's as easy as using the built-in Disk Utility tool. On Linux and Windows, you obviously have to use other ways. This article explains how to burn a DMG file to a USB flash drive on a Mac, a Windows computer and a machine running Linux.
If you have a Mac, then Disk Utility will help you create your bootable USB drive. Since this is a native application, no downloads are required. The built-in tool will be able to directly burn the DMG file to a disk or drive. You simply have to follow the process as described below:
Step 1: Open Disk Utility by going to Applications >> Utilities and clicking on the tool.
Step 2: You should be able to see all the drive names in the left-side panel. Now open a Finder window and drag your DMG file into Disk Utility. Drop it in the blank area below the drive names on the left panel.
Step 3: You can now insert your USB drive and wait for it to appear in the drives list. Next, click on your mounted DMG file on the left panel and click on ‘Burn' in the top toolbar. When you see the ‘Burn Disk In:' message, click on the USB drive.
The DMG file will now be burned to the USB drive, and you can use it to do program installations. Disk Utility has a good burn success rate, so hopefully you won't have to repeat the process to get it right.
Since Windows doesn't natively support DMG files, you will need to first download and install a utility that can handle such disk images. The best software for the job is WizDMG, a Windows-based desktop solution for authoring Apple's disk image files in a non-Mac environment.
WizDMG requires no technical expertise to use. The clean interface only shows the user the necessary functions, and all the heavy lifting is done at the back end. One of the unique features of this increasingly popular software is the amount of beta testing it has gone through. Extensive and gruelling tests with different storage media brands and Windows versions have made this one of the most reliable DMG utilities for Windows. With one of the industry's highest burn success rates, it's no wonder that WizDMG is emerging as the leader in its class.
Download WizDMG to your Windows PC and install the program by following the setup instructions in the wizard.
After launching the program, you'll see various options on the home page. Click on "Burn" to kick off the process. Now click on "Load DMG" to add the file to the program, and insert a USB flash drive.
The drive will be automatically detected by the software, so all that's left is to click on "Burn" and wait for your drive to get ready.
The USB drive will contain the DMG image you selected, and this can now be a portable boot drive to install that particular program on any Mac computer.
The process of burning a DMG to USB in Linux is a little more complicated since it requires converting the file to an ISO before burning it to a drive. It also requires command line executions, but if you own a Linux machine you may already be familiar with command line work. Please note that in order for the USB drive to be bootable, the original DMG must have boot information. In here, we take Ubuntu Linux as an example.
Step 1: Download and install dmg2img by using the following command: sudo apt-get install dmg2img
Step 2: Convert the DMG to IMG with the following command: dmg2img sample.dmg
Step 3: Change the filename of the resulting .img file to .iso. Remember, this is still an IMG file, but it will have a .iso extension. Use the command below to do this: mv sample.img sample.iso
Step 4: Insert the USB drive, but make sure it is not mounted. If it is, you can unmount it with the following command: sudo umount /media/
Make sure you know the file path to the mounted USB drive. Although external drives are generally mounted in /media in Linux, it could be in a different location. To check, you can use this command: lsblk
This command reads the sysfs file system and shows you information about block devices. Your drive can usually be identified by the size, but make sure you use the correct disk name, not the partitions within the disk.
Step 5: You can now burn the DMG to the USB drive with the following command:
sudo dd bs=4M if=sample.iso of=/dev/sdX %% sync
If the original DMG file was bootable, then this .img version on your USB will also be bootable. The process looks a bit complicated, but it should work as long as you follow the steps described above.
As we can see, burning DMG to USB on Mac is the easiest solution as you don't need to install any other tools or type command to complete the task, which could be annoying for some users. How about the Mac was broken and you want to create a bootable macOS disk to repair the computer? That depends what kind of computer you get at hand. Just follow the steps listed above according to the computer model.