asr - macOS


The asr (Apple Software Restore) command in macOS is used for cloning volumes, restoring disk images to volumes, and other disk copying tasks. It is particularly useful for system administrators and IT professionals looking to deploy multiple installations across different machines, or for backing up and restoring data.


The basic syntax of the asr command is:

asr [command] [options]

Where [command] can be one of the operations like restore, server, etc., and [options] are various flags that modify the command’s behavior.


  • -source: Specifies the path to the source image or device.
  • -target: Specifies the path to the target device or volume.
  • -erase: Erases the target volume before restoring the image.
  • -noverify: Skips the verification of the source image.
  • -verbose: Provides detailed output about the operation.
  • -list: Lists all available disk and volume identifiers on the system.

Typical use cases:

  • -erase is often used when restoring a disk image to ensure the target is clean.
  • -verbose is helpful for troubleshooting or confirming that operations proceed as expected.


  1. Restoring a disk image to a volume:

    asr restore --source /path/to/image.dmg --target /Volumes/TargetVolume --erase --noverify
  2. Cloning one volume to another:

    asr restore --source /Volumes/SourceVolume --target /Volumes/TargetVolume --erase
  3. Using verbose mode to monitor operation details:

    asr restore --source /path/to/image.dmg --target /Volumes/TargetVolume --erase --verbose

Common Issues

  • Permission Errors: Ensure you run asr with sudo to avoid permission-related errors.
  • Verification Failures: Using -noverify can bypass issues with disk image verification but use with caution.


asr can be combined with other commands for powerful workflows, such as using diskutil to unmount volumes before restoring:

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2
asr restore --source image.dmg --target /Volumes/TargetVolume --erase

In scripted environments, asr can be part of a larger script to automate backups or system setups.

  • diskutil: Manage disks, partitions, and file systems on macOS.
  • hdiutil: Manipulate disk images (create, convert, mount, etc.).

For further reading and more detailed information on the asr command, refer to the official Apple developer documentation.