Writing SD card images on Macintosh, and archiving them

I’ll just cut to the chase and tell you the best all-around product for writing SD card images on a Mac. It’s called ApplePi-Baker. Get it? It’s for the Raspberry Pi, but it works on an Apple computer? But it’s hard to locate and authored by a one-man band. So I’m giving you the quick link without all the hubbub.

Why it’s the best SD imager

  • It’s free
  • It’s much easier to use the the command line methods
  • easily detects your SD device
  • also works with USB sticks
  • best of all, it has the added feature of creating backups with it’s Pi-in-the-freezer feature, keeping the pie gag running throughout

Good alternative program

There’s one. It’s called Etcher.

The #2 option out there is Etcherwhich may one day become your best option when the bloke who develops ApplePi-Baker loses interest and it stops working with Mojave (just hypothetical.)

Professionally-maintained and robust, you can always find this app to download at Etcher.io. It’s open-source, and at the time of this writing, seems to be taking the SD-writing world by storm.

The disadvantage it has under ApplePi-baker is that it cannot archive your SD card for backup and saving progress revisions. That’s something Raspberry Pi fanatics will come to miss. They’ve also recently changed their name to BalenaEtcher so it will be harder to find in your applications folder if you’re accustomed to typing “Etcher” to find it.

What not to use

Under no circumstances should you use “SD Clone 3” from Two Canoes software on account of false advertising. The “fully functional 7-day evaluation” period doesn’t last 7 seconds. It’s intuitive to use, and I had high hopes for it – even considering which account I should pull the $40 from to buy a copy. But it wouldn’t perform a single clone without prompting me for $$. Also Two Canoes is a dumb name for a software company.

If your time is at all valuable, you’ll find partially functional software advertised as fully functional to be an affront to good taste and basic humanity. The abrupt break in your workflow will force you to:

  • quit the program
  • use AppCleaner to remove it from your system
  • stop to write a blog post about how annoyed you are
  • go back to ApplePi-Baker to clone your SD card.