How to create nice DMG Disk Images for Distribution

Here’s my findings on how to create those nice-looking DMGs that people distribute their software with…

  • Create a new Disk Image with Disk Utility (Give it a good name, Make the size large enough – we’ll shrink it later, Format: Mac OS X Journaled should be fine, no encryption, single partition, read/write disk image)
  • Make a folder on the new volume and copy the background image into it
  • set up the background image + icons, etc. (Cmd + J)
  • hide the folder by doing this in the terminal: /Developer/Tools/SetFile -a V /Volumes/your_volume/folder_to_hide (big V hides it, small v makes it visible again)
  • If you want a shortcut to the Applications folder in there, simply drag it in there with alt+cmd pressed (this creates an alias)
  • Make sure to empty the trash if you deleted or overwrote something on the new volume (you wouldn’t wanna ship items in the trash with your DMG…)
  • drag the dmg into the bottom left sidebar in Disk Utility, right-click and choose “Convert“. Image Format: compressed, Encryption: none

Your disk image is now as small as it can be and set to read-only!
Bonus: You might want to make your dmg internet-enabled – this only means that if it’s downloaded from the web it will be unpacked into a folder automatically… (use hdiutil for this)
Want to see the result in action? Download the free trial of our curling game!
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