After writing the article on “How to get an Operating System on a SD-Card“, I realized that the existing methods and tools were not to my liking. Of course the existing tools are most certainly not bad and work just fine. I just didn’t like how they worked.
So instead of complaining, I decided to write my own program: The ApplePi-Baker …
This application is for MacOS X only and allows you to prepare an SD-Card for use with Raspberry Pi’s NOOBS, and it allows you to “flash” and IMG file to an SD-Card. ApplePi-Baker can now also be found on AlternativeTo.net and eLinux.org.
Note : This application is also very suitable for creating or restoring an IMG backup of USB drives!
Update : ApplePi-Baker v2 has been released, you can get it here. it offers a lot options, speed and stability than the version mentioned in this article.
ApplePi-Baker – Overview
This is an outdated version: ApplePi-Baker v2 has been released!
The version of ApplePi-Baker in this article has been replaced with a completely new and overhauled version: ApplePi-Baker v2.
For MacOS X users that have read the article on “How to get an Operating System on a SD-Card“; there are several ways to flash an IMG file on an SD-card, or create NOOBS SD-cards.
None of these tools or methods were to my liking so I threw together an application that can do it the way I like it: The ApplePi-Baker.
Some key points:
- It’s FREE!
- Easy detection of the SD-Card device
- Quick creation of NOOBS disk
- Fast flashing of an IMG file to SD-Card
- Easy way to create an IMG backup of your SD-Card
See the Change Log for what has changed in several version.
Please like ApplePi-Baker at Alternative.to …
Copyright, Pricing & Liability
It appears that stuff like this is needed, so before you start using ApplePi-Baker:
- This application is TOTALLY FREE! Nobody is to charge you a penny for it … and yes it’s copyrighted!
- You’re using the application at your own risk – so it can fry your computer and make your house implode …
- I created this application for MY OWN personal use – so keep in mind that I’m not your personal helpdesk.
Images previously created with “dd” are the same format as so called “.img” files.
A previously made “dd” image can be used, by simply adding the extension “.img”.
Reporting issue … here!
Pretty please, when running into issues with ApplePi-Baker: Report them here!
I’ve seen, by accident, one or the other issue report in unrelated forums. Obviously I cannot address issue when they are not know to me, so please: report issues here.
Most recent version (recommended):
DOWNLOAD - ApplePi-Baker
|Platform: ||Mac OS X|
|Size: ||3.0 MiB|
|Date: ||September 30, 2017|
| Download Now |
As of version v1.73 (it might work with older versions as well), Retina support should work. Since the implementation by Apple depends on a few funny settings, you might have to execute the folllowing from a Terminal window:
defaults write com.tweaking4all.PiBaker AppleMagnifiedMode -bool no
Previous (non-SUDO) version:
Use this version in case you’re experiencing issues with your password (please report in the comment section below).
DOWNLOAD - ApplePi-Baker (old)
|Platform: ||Mac OS X|
|Size: ||2.0 MiB|
|Date: ||May 30, 2014|
| Download Now |
This application can DESTROY ALL DATA on the selected drive – so pay attention to what you’re doing!
ApplePi-Baker – Interface
The interface of ApplePi-Baker is straight forward (and yes I tried to be funny) …
You’ll find 4 “sections” in the ApplePi-Baker screen.
- Status bar
- Pi-Crust: Possible SD-Cards
- Pi-Ingredients: Build a NOOBS SD-Card
- Pi-Ingredients: Flash an IMG file to SD-Card
- Pi-in-the-Freezer – Make an SD-Card backup
For those that use a Mac with a Retina screen: Use Retinizer to make the application look better on a Retina screen (Thank Thorin for the tip!).
Unfortunately, at this time anyway, Lazarus Pascal still uses Carbon components, …
MacOS X ApplePi-Baker – User Interface
As of version 1.6, an Authentication window will appear at startup, which will ask your user password. This is the password you use when logging into your Mac and is needed for SUDO access. Rest assured, the password will not be saved and the password will not be used in command line statements (ie. remains invisible in process manager lists).
Per session the password will only be asked once. After restarting ApplePi-Baker, the password will be asked again.
As far as I know, this should work for every user, however the user should be member of the Admin user group (I believe this is done by default). Please report issues in the comments below.
ApplePi-Baker – New authentication window
Selecting your SD-Card
The “Pi-Crust: Possible SD-Cards” section shows a list of possible SD-Card devices. This can be a SD-Card in the card reader in your Mac or an USB-Card reader.
The device is indicated as the actual device name (i.e. /dev/disk1), including size (i.e. 16.6 Gb) and the protocol (USB or SD).
The list can be refreshed by clicking the refresh button (top right) and a selected device can be ejected by using the eject button (bottom right).
How to create a NOOBS SD-Card
After clicking the desired device, click the “Prep NOOBS Card” button in the “Pi-Ingredients: NOOBS recipe” section.
This will first erase the entire disk, create one single partition (MBR) and format it FAT-32 so it will be ready for NOOBS use.
More details about NOOBS can be found on the Raspberry website or in “How to get an Operating System on a SD-Card” article.
Simply put: unzip the NOOBS ZIP file and drag the files on the SD-Card and boot your Raspberry Pi with this SD-Card.
How to flash an IMG to SD-Card
In the “Pi-Ingredients: IMG Recipe” section, one can flash an IMG file to your SD-Card.
Clicking the “IMG to SD-Card” button will open a dialog, asking you to select an IMG file or a compressed IMG file (ZIP, 7Zip, GZip).
If however you used the “…” button next to the “IMG file:” field, then no file dialog will appear and the file selected there will be used instead (practical if you’d like to flash the same image more than once).
The process for flashing an IMG is a little more complicated:
First the device will be totally erased and a single partition will be created (FAT-32/MBR).
After that the partition will be unmounted and the IMG file will overwrite the entire device (just like when you use “dd”).
Both speed and ETA will be indicated in the status bar.
How to create an IMG backup of your SD-Card
Creating an SD-Car backup is easy: simply select the device you’d like to backup, and click the “Backup SD-Card” button in the “Pi-in-the-Freezer” section.
This will create an IMG backup of your SD-Card with the option to Zip, GZip of 7Zip de IMG file on the fly.
Note that the filesize of the backup, no matter how much space you use on your SD-Card, will be exactly the size of the SD-Card.
Restoring such an IMG file might come with complications when the target SD-Card is not exactly the same sime (or bigger).
Both speed and ETA will be indicated in the status bar.
As of version 1.6, an “Abort” button has been introduced, allowing you to abort/cancel any restore or backup process.
Be aware though that aborting a restore might leave you with a corrupted SD-card or USB-drive – repartitioning or restoring another image will make the card or drive useable as usual.
The button only appears when a process can be aborted.
ApplePi-Baker – New “Abort” button
Change Log ApplePi-Baker
Over time several things have changed with ApplePi-Baker, obviously.
It was originally just a little tool for myself, but it seems it has become quite popular even amongst non-Raspberry Pi users for flashing not just SD cards but also USB sticks.
Changes in v1.9.1:
– First of all, sorry for not keeping properly track here, seems I forgot to mention a few version
– Improved backup/restore specifically for larger SD cards
– Fixed bootable restore issues when restorin a NOOBS/Raspbian image
– Fixed bug with ZIP backup/restore
– Added activity indicator
Changes in v1.73:
– Hopefully, finally, resolved the freeze after entering the Sudo password
– Retina support
– Enabled making backups of read-only drives
Changes in v1.71 and v1.72:
– New great icon by Kray Mitchell – thanks again Kray for the excellent work!
– Addressed a minor bug in refreshing the device list
– Hopefull fixed the hanging ApplePi-Baker with some users when running under El Capitan
Changes in v1.7:
– Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) compatibility.
– Sudo password dialog improved (hidden password and entry handling).
– Better Media information (type and if it’s read-only or not).
Changes in v1.6:
– Compression for Restore and Backup on the fly (ZIP, 7ZIP and GZIP).
– “Abort” button to abort a restore or backup process.
– Authentication through SUDO instead of the Apple Security dialog (please report issues).
Changes in v1.5/v1.5.1:
– Compression of Backup IMG to a ZIP file (with progress-bar).
– Supports USB drives now as well.
– Compatible with other filesystems like ext3 or ext4.
Changes in v1.4:
– Bug fix (SD-card size)
– Speed improvement
Changes in v1.3:
– Minor bug fixed in detecting SD-Cards and SD-Card readers
– Cosmetic change: Window wide oriented
– Cosmetic change: All elements are now Retinizer compatible (use it to make it Retina style)
– Cosmetic change: Removed resizer icon (lower left corner)
Changes in v1.2:
– Fixed minor bug with USB SD-Card readers
– Changed “Look” a little bit
Changes in v1.1:
– Improved SD Card detection: detect weirdly partitioned SD-Card (after screwed up dd) properly
– Fixed error message after clicking “Write IMG to SD-Card” and not selecting a file
– Fixed random numbers in speed and ETA indication at startup of IMG writing
– Added filesize vs SD-Card size verification
– Added option to backup an SD-Card