Lion may be the first release of the Mac OS to be delivered as a digital download, but there has been a circulating method to burn the Lion download onto a bootable DVD. The process still works for the Golden Master version of Lion and is a pretty straightforward process for Mac users who are comfortable making their way around the Finder.
An email from Steve Jobs suggested the only way to perform a completely clean install of Lion was to first install Snow Leopard, then install Lion on top of that. That is a pain in the neck, to say the least. By burning your own Lion disc, you can painlessly do clean installs on all your machines.
Another reason to have a physical install disc is if you have Macs in an area with poor or no Internet. Apple has suggested that Mac owners come into Apple Retail Stores and download Lion on the store Internet connection -- useful for some, but some people live hours from the nearest Apple Store. By burning a disc, users can download Lion only once, and install it easily on all their Macs. Here's how to do it.
As posted by Egg Freckles, this method should work in the final retail release of Lion:
- Once Lion is released, purchase and download it from the Mac App Store.
- Locate the OS X Lion installer and right-click on it. Select 'Show Package Contents'.
- Inside the 'Contents' folder, there is a 'SharedSupport' folder. Inside that is the Lion Installer. It's called 'InstallESD.dmg".
- Copy 'InstallESD.dmg' to the Desktop by clicking and dragging it while holding down the Option-key. You should see a little green plus icon if you did it right.
- Open Disk Utility. Head to the Go menu in the Finder and select 'Utilities'. Disk Utility should be in there.
- Click the burn button.
- Select 'InstallESD.dmg' from the Desktop, insert a blank 4.7GB DVD and wait. Once it's finished, you'll have a shiny new Lion install DVD.
You can now install Lion on whatever machines you like, just as if you'd purchased the install disc from your local Apple Store. Lion is expected to launch on the Mac App Store this week.