Flashing Raspberry Pi on Mac

April 13, 2015

I just got a Raspberry Pi 2 for me and my daughter to hack around on.

Part of the process in setting up a Pi is that you need to flash a SD with one of a number of custom linux images. I was following the official flashing instructions and I was having real problems with the speed. I let the device format for about an hour before I just gave up.

Searching around yielded very little help. Most answers were something along the lines of “Your SD card reader is probably broken”. However, I finally discovered the culprit.

Apparently on OS X the disk2s1 name is actually some sort of pointer or symlink to actual name of the drive. The work around is pretty straight forward:

Simply replace diskn with rdiskn

rdiskn is the actual name of the disk which diskn points to. I’m honestly not sure why this causes such a speed decrease (and it’s definitely worth looking into). Also if anyone knows how to submit a patch to the Raspberry Pi docs please let me know.