mac raspberry pi dd permission denied

Raspberry Pi Grayscale Logotl;dr - If you get "permission denied" errors while trying to dd a raspberry pi disk image on your macbook pro, try blowing out your sd card slot to unset its "disk lock" switch. Seriously.

I love Mac's for the almost-linux environment coupled with a nice, rich, high-performance GUI. But every once in a while we Mac users have to search a couple extra error messages when we try to do more "linuxy" stuff - e.g., preparing a raspberry pi sd card.

This morning I got my HDMI cord for my pi, so I went thru the raspberry pi quick start guide including the easy sd card setup. But, even though I unmounted the disk and ran `dd` with `sudo` I still got "Permission denied"

I googled for this blog post title and found a topic on the Raspberry Pi forums, but the answer that seemed to work for most people was down at the bottom of the thread. So I'm re-posting it here, because it's funny, and so someone else having the same problem might fix it faster.

Apparently, 15" 2010 MacBook Pro's built-in SD card reader's get stuck in the write-locked position. So bust out your old Nintendo skills and give it a blow to clear it out. If you never had an NES, your weak under-trained lungs might need you to use a compressed air can instead. Pansy.

mac raspberry pi dd permission denied / groovecoder by groovecoder is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA
  1. Incredible. I just did like you said and blew out the SD card slot on my iMac and it worked! Thanks!

  2. I had the same problem. In my case the memory card I bought had a lock tab on it that was getting pushed over into the lock position when I inserted the memory card into the receptacle on the pi. Once I realised this and inserted the card more carefully – no more problems. A blob of superglue might be heading in the direction of that lock tab soon!

  3. i cant believe this, i couldnt figure out for the life of me why i was getting permission errors, my though process “im running root ?, ive unmounted the disk?, wtf?”

    thank you for this helpful post.

  4. If you ordered through CanaKit, be sure to try the “locked” position of your SD card. I thought the above was my issue but apparently, the lock switch was put in backwards in the card shipped with my kit!

  5. Hah, blowing the dust out of the SD card slot worked for me also. Thanks for the tip! And thanks for the flashback of the Nintendo days :)

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mac raspberry pi dd permission denied / groovecoder by groovecoder is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA