I want to make a back up of my raspberry pi because I have done a lot of work and repeating the process would take a lot of time. How does one go about making an image of a Raspberry Pi SD card for the following operating systems:

  • Windows
  • Linux
  • macOS

A step by step guide would be very helpful!

  • On Windows i am using WinDisk32 sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager and on Linux cat /dev/mmcblk0 > /rpi.bin
    – Misaz
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 15:53
  • 1
    There are literally hundreds of posts on this site. These offer many different methods. You could start with the official Foundation Documentation
    – Milliways
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 0:41
  • Can't add an answer but for windows the best tool for cloning an SD card is Balena Etcher Commented May 13, 2022 at 23:15

3 Answers 3


On Linux or OSX I use dd to make a backup from SD card. Reverse if and of (i.e. to where they point - source and destination) afterwards to restore, but be careful not to restore to a wrong disk. It will be destroyed without a warning!!!

First use fdisk to get the device id of you SD card (check the size)

fdisk -l

then I use dd to make a diskimage (change /dev/sdb with what you found with fdisk -l):

dd bs=4M if=/dev/sdb of=image1-`date +%d%m%y`.img

or this to make a compressed imag:

dd bs=4M if=/dev/sdb | gzip > image1-`date +%d%m%y`.img.gz

on OSX find device with:

diskutil list

then dd with something like if=/dev/rdisk1 (the 'r' in rdisk1 stands for raw which is faster)

On OSX you can also use 'Disk Utility'

by making a crontab like this it will give you a status every minute:

* * * * * /usr/bin/pkill -USR1 -x dd
  • 1
    For me, on OSX, -USR1 caused dd to die .. -INFO worked as expected - Just the same, I have given this my vote for correct answer - thanks for sharing ! Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 23:24
  • dd will also respond to ^T to provide status while its running. Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 22:24

I recently had to make a backup image for my Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and found an incredibly helpful guide from Beebom.

The guide outlines the process for cloning and restoring a Pi SD image for all three operating systems. (Windows - Linux - MacOS). For this detailed and helpful guide visit:

How to Clone Raspberry Pi SD Card on Windows, Linux and macOS


There exists a backup tool for Raspberries called raspiBackup. If you restore this backup on a different SD card you're actually cloning your Raspberry.

  • I have no clue why the link doesn't work for you. The URL is valid. You can visit raspibackup.linux-tips-and-tricks.de to get a quick overview about raspiBackup. Next I suggest to use your favourite search engine and search for raspiBackup. You'll get a lot of hits :-)
    – framp
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 19:16
  • It does now. I've deleted my comment.
    – tomh
    Commented Dec 20, 2023 at 7:35

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