Deployment,OS X August 15, 2012 at 7:00 am

Creating a 10.8 Recovery HD Package with Luggage

With the release of Mountain Lion I needed a way of creating an updated Recovery HD partition when imaging our machines. In the past I used a combination of solutions by Clay Caviness and Joel Bruner. After discovering that all I needed was the dmtest tool from the Lion Recovery Update as well as the BaseSystem.dmg and BaseSystem.chunklist from Install OS X Mountain, I was able to put together an Apple Package that would create a 10.8 Recovery HD partition using Luggage.

To get started, make sure you have luggage installed on your system. If you need help with luggage, check out Jeremy Reichman’s Luggage Presentation from PSU Mac Admins Conference 2012. Once luggage is installed you can grab my project files here.  This luggage project contains the Makefile, readme and postflight script that runs when you launch the final pkg.

To copy the dmtest tool from the RecoveryHDUpdate.pkg follow these steps:

pkgutil --expand RecoveryHDUpdate.pkg ./RecoveryUpdate
cp RecoveryUpdate/RecoveryHDUpdate.pkg/Scripts/Tools/dmtest /Path/to/Recovery\ HD\ Package

To copy the BaseSystem.dmg and BaseSystem.chunklist follow these steps:

hdiutil attach /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mountain\ -noverify
cp /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/BaseSystem.* /Path/to/Recovery\ HD\ Package
chflags nohidden /Path/to/Recovery\ HD\ Package/BaseSystem.*
hdiutil detach /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ESD/

Customize the Makefile and modify the Reverse Domain for your company and Package_Version(12A269), then run make pkg. Once the package is created you will be able to deploy it to your machines with the management tool of your choice.

One nice thing about this luggage project is that you can create a Recovery HD package for any build of 10.7 or 10.8. Just swap out the BaseSystem.dmg and BaseSystem.chunklist from any InstallESD.dmg for the desired build of OS X.


Allen is a System Administrator in New York City. He likes Macs, Casper, and Beer.

More Posts

Follow Me:

Comments are closed