Create a bootable Mac OS X Lion Server USB drive

  1. Download Lion from the Mac App Store.
  2. Use Disk Utility to restore /Applications/Install Mac OS X to a USB flash drive.
  3. Download Lion Server from the Mac App Store.
  4. Grab the correct version of ServerEssentials.pkg by running curl “” | grep ServerEssentials in a Terminal, searching for the line that corresponds to your version of Lion (it can be identified by looking at ./System/Library/CoreServices/SystemVersion.plist on the flash drive), and downloading the file from the link referenced by that line (it will look like
  5. Drop the downloaded ServerEssentials.pkg into ./Packages on the flash drive.
  6. If after installing from the Flash drive, you are missing /Applications/, that can easily be extracted from the Lion Server Combo Updater (use the version that corresponds to your Lion version) using Pacifist.

More details here.

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