Bootable OS X El Capitan on USB Stick

With the new version of OS X coming out shortly (El Capitan), here’s a way to make a bootable copy of it to your USB stick.  This process isn’t much different than previous versions, but I figured I’d post the instructions.  This wasn’t created by me, I just copied it from Lifehacker’s website because of the clean 1,2,3 layout already typed up.  Here it is.

The DIY Option: Terminal

  1. Download the El Capitan installer.
  2. Insert an 8GB (or larger) flash drive and give it a name. For this tutorial, we’ll use the name Untitled. Make sure the drive is formatted for OS X Extended (Journaled). If it isn’t, open up Disk Utility and format is so it is. Before you do so, back up any important data on that drive.
  3. Open up Terminal (Applications > Utilities).
  4. Type (or copy and paste) this command into Terminal, replacing Untitled with the name of your drive, then press Enter: sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ --nointeraction
  5. Type in your password when prompted and press Enter.
  6. Let the command line to its work and don’t interrupt it until you see the final line that says Done. This can take up to a half hour, so be patient.

When it’s done, you can insert your USB drive into any Mac and the launch the installer by holding down the Option key when you boot up your computer.

EDIT June 27, 2016:
If you’ve run into issues with not being able to download El Capitan through the App Store, I ran into that issue today as well.  There are times when the App Store wants to be a complete pain in the butt.  Some people said to log out and try while logged out, and some say to try option-clicking the download button.  I found I had to take a two pronged approach.  I first had to remove all “Install El” directories in different locations, unmounting the flash drive with “Install El” on it, and rebooting.  All of that together fixed everything, oddly.  Thought I’d share.

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