Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have purchased and downloaded the 4 GB Mountain Lion update. Can I burn this to a DVD and share it around with my family? Is it locked to my Apple ID or anything?

share|improve this question
No this is illegal – KronoS Jul 26 '12 at 6:35
@KronoS No, not always, see Daniel's answer below. – slhck Jul 26 '12 at 7:54
Have you paid the upgrade fee for each computer you wish to install it on? – ChrisF Jul 26 '12 at 7:57
@slhck I stand corrected. – KronoS Jul 26 '12 at 15:06
@KronoS yeah I knew apple was ok with you doing this for the snow leopard & lion releases so I figured this one might be the same. – Mike S Jul 26 '12 at 23:20
up vote 15 down vote accepted

Yes, you can burn a DVD from it. The instructions are the same as for OS X Lion and need to be performed before you upgrade (otherwise you don't have the Install OS X Mountain Lion application anymore).

If you don't have the download anymore, you can probably get it from somewhere else; since you bought it this could be legal depending on your jurisdiction. The InstallESD.dmg MD5 checksum for Mountain Lion as released yesterday is 8b4869920cd740414fe6b7e3f0b1be3e.

When installing OS X ML from scratch, it (repeatedly) asks for your Apple ID, but entering yours can be skipped in all of these dialogs.

Note that the following restrictions apply (license agreement PDF, emphasis mine):

B. Mac App Store License. If you obtained a license for the Apple Software from the Mac App Store, then subject to the terms and conditions of this License and as permitted by the Mac App Store Usage Rules set forth in the App Store Terms and Conditions ( (“Usage Rules”), you are granted a limited, non-transferable, non-exclusive license:

(i) to download, install, use and run for personal, non-commercial use, one (1) copy of the Apple Software directly on each Apple-branded computer running OS X Lion or OS X Snow Leopard (“Mac Computer”) that you own or control;

This is in contrast to the section A above it, restricting the license of a preinstalled Mountain Lion to the single computer it came bundled with. So in some situations, you are allowed to install one ML purchase on multiple computers.

So it could be legal to install it to other computers in your home you control (e.g. your children's), but it's prohibited to share it more widely.

share|improve this answer
Wow what a detailed an insightful answer. Thankyou – Mike S Jul 26 '12 at 10:55
Voted up, with a side note: in the future, InstallESD.dmg with checksum 8b4869920cd740414fe6b7e3f0b1be3e may not install Mountain Lion to some Mountain Lion-capable hardware. (As a comparison: 10.7.2 is insufficient for some Lion-capable hardware.) For this reason I encourage users to set aside an updatable copy of Apple's Install OS X Mountain in its entirety – to not rely on the .dmg alone. – Graham Perrin Aug 6 '12 at 17:23
@GrahamPerrin True. Newer hardware usually requires a more up to date version of Mac OS X. – Daniel Beck Aug 6 '12 at 18:44

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.