I have been asked if I can do a similar topic for OS X 10.7 "Lion" which I will once Workstation 8 / 2011 and Player 4 / 2011 are released, i.e. not in Beta.
I have created a similar topic for OS X 10.6 "Snow" and OS X 10.7 "Lion" for VMware ESXi 5 now it has been released, see link at the bottom of this topic.
[UPDATED: 07/SEP/2011](Thanks to xarmy9 and especially Donk for his new ESXi 5 Unlocker)
So following the simple steps below and you should in most cases be able to have a guaranteed OS X "Snow Leopard" guestOS installation:
Firstly ensure you have an Intel Processor that support VT-x and that it is enabled in BIOS. Then install the latest version VMware Workstation currently 7.1.4 or VMware Player currently 3.1.4, a restart will be required to complete the installation. Please note version upgrades uninstall the previous version as part of the upgrade processs.
[UPDATED: 01/APR/2011](Thanks to Donk)
Ensure Workstation or Player is shutdown before running the "Unlocker" script, normally the "Unlocker" script will run fine, especially if you use Donk's undated script. However it has been noted that if the "hqtray.exe" process is running the installation will fail with a vmwarebase.dll error, so you will need to start Task Manager, select the Processes Tab, and End Process "hqtray.exe *32" before installing Albert's "Unlocker" ideally using Donk's updated "windows.cmd" script. This should ensures a smooth install and provides support for VMware Player as well as Workstation.
Please note VMware Player does not have the files "vmware-vmx-debug.exe" and "vmware-vmx-stats.exe", so in the install script they will show as Missing files, this is OK and does not stop the "Unlocker" script from completing.
If you get other errors, then it is worth manually stopping all VMware related services as well as killing the "hqtray.exe *32" process.
If you have upgraded from a previous version, you will have in effect done a new installation, so you will need to re-run Albert's "Unlocker".
[UPDATED: 01/APR/2011](Thanks to sofakng and Infected24)
Even manually stopping all the VMware related services and killing the "hqtray.exe *32" process sometimes will still give install errors with Albert's "Unlocker", in these rare circumstances it may be worth starting your Windows in Safe Mode via F8 during boot, then running the "Unlocker".
[UPDATED: 03/APR/2011](Thanks to sammurphy)
Some confusion exists as to the role of the darwin.iso file, firstly NEVER boot directly from the darwin.iso and for Albert's "Unlocker" method the darwin.iso is NOT required at all. Although not discussed here as Albert's "Unlocker" method is the preferred solution for VMware Workstation and Player, as recommended by Donk, Donk's darwin.iso (currently at version 310) is required for his method, and is the only option for getting OS X to run as a guest in a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 4.1 and 4.1u1 (ESXi) environment.
The darwin.iso, either Donk's 310 (which also contains some of Zenith432's drivers) or the latest Fusion Version 3.1.3, can be mounted in OS X and used to install the VMware Tools for OS X (Darwin), in fact this is the only method to install the VMware Tools.
Fusion is the equivalent of Workstation for Windows and Linux but on a Mac running OS X, and has built in support for OS X Server as a guest. Albert's "Unlocker" enables this same functionality for Workstation and Player as they all share a common code base. Albert's "Unlocker" also removes the need to use OS X Server media for Workstation, Player and Fusion.
[UPDATED: 29/JAN/2011](Thanks to TheGreatDeceiver)
Buy a retail DVD of OS X Snow Leopard, 10.6.3 is what is currently shipping, only £26, €28, $29 from Apple.
With Albert's "Unlocker" installed correctly you should have the option to Select Apple Mac OS X as a Guest operating system.
Click on the "New Virtual Machine" icon under the Home tab, or File > New > "Virtual Machine... Ctrl+N"
This will bring up the "New Virtual Machine Wizard" window "Welcome to the New Virtual Machine Wizard"
Select "Typical (recommended)"
Next > Install from: (if you have the DVD in your drive)
Select Installer disc: (if you have the DVD in your drive) or
Select Installer disc image file (iso): (if you have created an ISO image, recommend using ImgBurn, a DMG will NOT work in the latest versions of Workstation or Player)
or finally you can select
"I will install the operating system later.
The virtual machine will be created with a blank hard disk." (if you do not have the other two options immediately to hand or just want to progress quickly)
Next > Guest operating system
Select "Apple Mac OS X"
Version "Mac OS X Server 10.6 64-bit"
Next > Virtual machine name: (give the virtual machine a relevant name, i.e. OS X Snow Leopard)
Location: (select a relevant location, I install mine to a partition other than my system partition (C:\), as your guestOS(s) VMDK file's can get very large)
Next > maximum disk size (GB): 40.0 to 256.0 (since this will be thin provisioned be generous)
Select "Store virtual disk as a single file" (my MSoK's preference) but enhanced performance may be gained by selecting "Split virtual disk into multiple files" (Donk's recommendation).
Next > here you have the option to "Customize Hardware..." but this should not be necessary, the only thing I do is switch Network Adapter from NAT to Bridged, as I prefer my OS X to have an IP address on the same network as my Host. Click "OK" once you have made any hardware changes followed by "Finish". Only now will the virtual hard drive (VMDK), configuration file (VMX) and other related files be created.
Unless you have a Core i3, i5 or i7 processor and your retail OS X DVD is 10.6.3 you can now "Power on the virtual machine" and install OS X. If you have the above configuration you need to add the following CPUID Mask in to your VMX configuration file before powering on your virtual machine (cpu code restrictions, specifically within the 10.6.3 release)
cpuid.1.eax = "0000:0000:0000:0001:0000:0110:1010:0101" this can be removed once your OS X is updated to 10.6.4 or later.
At this point you should have a guestOS ready to install OS X, many of you will be familiar with the installation process for OS X, but for those who are not it differs from Windows in that you need to prepare the VMware virtual disk before the OS X installation can proceed. A partial guide can be downloaded, see the links at the end of this topic. However you can follow the steps below to create a virtual disk visible to the OS X installation process. During the boot sequence you may see hit F8 NOW, if you want to set special boot options, or press F8 to enter start-up options, this is not required normally, but it is worth being aware of as occasionally you may be asked to add a parameter during the boot sequence by one of the forum Geeks, Sages or Legends. The boot process should then move on to "Loading Darwin/x86", and finally the grey background with the Apple logo and the timer, you can be sat at this screen for several minutes, so be patient, if in doubt apply the cup of coffee rule!
Eventually you should move on to the language selection screen, select your language and press the right arrow button.
The Install Mac OS X screen should appear; this is the point we need to prepare the virtual disk for use with OS X, so DO NOT click on the Continue button. Instead select Utilities then Disk Utility…
Once in Disk Utility, highlight the VMware virtual disk, then select Partition and change the "Volume Scheme" to "1 Partition" and the "Volume Information Name" from "Untitled 1" to a name of your choice, I generally call it OS X, unimaginative but simple and true! Make sure the "Format" is set to "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". Please note if you are installing from ISO you will only see the VMware Virtual S Media in the left window. Also check under the Options… button that GUID Partition Table is selected.
Next click the Apply button and at the prompt click on the Partition button. This will create the OS X partition on the VMware virtual disk ready for the OS X software installation. Exit Disk Utility via the red button, top left, this will return you to the Mac OS X Installer screen, which you can now click on the Continue button, a software license agreement screen will pop up to which you must agree to continue.
Next you should get the Install Mac OS X "Select the disk where you want to install Mac OS X", with the OS X disk just created in Disk Utility showing as an option, well in truth the only option. Click on the disk and it will become highlighted and show a green down pointing arrow, which means the disk is selected and available to be used for the software install. So go ahead and click on the Install button. The installation will now progress and will take at least 30 minutes depending on your Laptop / PC specification and whether you are installing from DVD or an image.
[UPDATED: 03/JUL/2011](Thanks to Mikelli)
A common problem once you have installed OS X 10.6 is that your guest freezes after being left idle for sometime this is OS X going in to sleep mode. To prevent your OS X guest from going in to sleep mode go to the Energy Saver settings under System Preferences, where you need to set "Computer sleep" and "Display sleep" to Never. I also untick the "Put the hard drive(s) to sleep when possible" and "Allow power button to put the computer to sleep". Finally I set "Start screen saver" to Never. Alternatively you can use a free third party utility like Caffeine which, as the names suggests, keeps your OS X guest from going in to sleep mode.
[UPDATED: 10/AUG/2011](Thanks to ewokian)
To provide an enhanced experience of OS X as a guestOS under VMware Workstation or Player it is recommended to install the latest VMware Tools, they are included in the latest fusion darwin.iso (currently 3.1.3), and the ISO needs to be mounted in place of the CD/DVD drive in "Virtual Machine Settings" this will allow shared folders to be enabled, it will also provide enhanced keyboard, mouse & USB support as well as screen auto sizing.
Also Zenith432's Audio and 2D Graphics drivers are reconmmended, however installing the 2D Graphics drivers will disable auto sizing without also installing Z432's GuestD patch.
[UPDATED: 01/JUN/2011](Thanks to g54pcys and Zenith432)
Although not directly related to this topic, Donk's "darwin.iso" method is still very popular, and is the preferred method for OS X as a guestOS under ESXi 4.1 or 4.1(U1). The latest version (310) required a modification to the setup.sh script for use with VMware Fusion 3.1.2 or later (currently 3.1.3). I have therefore applied the modification (supplied by Donk), which now correctly restores the original "darwin.iso" during an uninstall of Donk's "darwin.iso", and provided a link to download the complete package including the modified script file. This method has now been completely superceeded by Donk's new "ESXi 5 Unlocker" and Albert's "Unlocker" for Workstation 7, Player 3 and Fusion 3.
[UPDATED: 13/SEP/2011](Thanks to Nihilator and especially Donk)
Links to all the relevant and related topics in the InsanelyMac forum:
Donk's ESXi 5 Mac OS X Unlocker:
MSoK's How to Install Retail OS X 10.6 "Snow" and OS X 10.7 "Lion" under VMware ESXi 5:
Donk's Workstation 8 and Fusion 4 Mac OS X Unlocker:
Albert's Workstation 7, Player 3 and Fusion 3 Mac OS X Unlocker:
Donk's Updated Installation Script for Albert's Unlocker:
CPUID Mask Information for use with OS X 10.6.3 (ONLY) and Core i3, i5, i7 (including Sandy Bridge) and Xeon 5600 Series Processors:
Links to darwin.iso from Fusion 3.1.2 and 3.1.3 (latest version 3.1.3) to install VMware Tools:
[UPDATED: 04/JUL/2011](Thanks to Zenith432)
Link to a post with a partial guide from MSoK to get started with the actual OS X install:
Latest 2D / 3D Graphics Drivers from Zenith432:
http://www.insanelym...p...t&p=1617931 (3D currently in "Development")
Latest Audio Drivers from Zenith432:
Donk's VMware Mac OS X Guest Package for ESX(i), Workstation, Player,
Donk's now superceeded darwin installation package including darwin.iso (310):
Donk's now superceeded darwin installation package including darwin.iso (310) and updated setup.sh for Fusion uninstall:
[UPDATED: 13/SEP/2011](Thanks to Nihilator and Donk)
Not strictly on topic, but a link to Zenith432's topic "SnowKitty running on VMware Workstation", which offers support for processors without VT-x support using a modified kernel:
[UPDATED: 02/JUL/2011](Thanks to Zenith432 and InsanelyMacMember)
Link to ImgBurn Website:
I hope this update helps with installing retail OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard under VMware Workstation or Player on an Intel VT-x enabled PC or Notebook.
Special thanks to Albert, Donk and Zenith432 without who's continued time and commitment none of this would be possible.
(I will try to keep this post updated, with all relevant contributions gratefully received and credited)