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Simple Guide on how to Clone a Raspberry Pi SD for Mac OSX

Updated: Oct 4, 2018

Having recently setup my Raspberry Pi to be my home automation server I wanted to be able to get a copy of the SD card backed up.

Raspberry Pi's do not offer a clone or backup feature natively, but I found the most reliable way would be to backup the SD, is as an image.

Having once previously lost all my configuration of my lovely Raspberry Pi after setting up all the home automation stuff I can tell you, you will be kicking yourself for not backing up your Pi when you had the chance!

Anyone familiar with Linux is that the most features are all accessed and set up through Terminal command line. Predominantly being from a Windows and MS-DOS background this transition hasn't been the easiest (a lot of googling).

Anyhow enough waffling, let's get down to it:

To be able to backup your Pi's SD card you will need a card reader, I would recommend the adapter that came with Pi, or if you haven't got it you can get one from here

Put this into your Mac and let it mount.

Once inserted 2 partitions should load up, and depending on your settings these would either show up on your desktop or in your disk utility.

You will then need to open Terminal

Open spotlight

cmd ⌘ + spacebar

Find Terminal by typing into spotlight:

Once in terminal you need to find the mounted disk your SD card has been assigned to:

diskutil list

You should see something like:

What is important for us in the next process is the /dev/disk5. This tells me that the Raspberry Pi is located here and what we will need to clone.

The command needed to clone is:

sudo dd if=/dev/disk5 of=/Downloads/RaspberryPi_20180202.iso bs=1m

To read more about this UNIX command go here

if= Is the location of what you are backing up

of= Is the destination location of your image. I would like my image to be .iso type.

Once you are happy with the location and want to clone hit your enter key (you may have to enter your user account password) and watch it create an ISO image.

That's pretty much it, wait for your image to be completed (there's no progress bar or timer in Terminal).

Let me know what you think and if you want to see another handy tip let me know!

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