Run Vanilla OS X El Capitan, Sierra or High Sierra in VirtualBox 5.0.34 on a Windows Host
Following on from my previous guide on how to create a VMware virtual machine running Vanilla OS X El Capitan in Windows, I’ve decided to write a similar guide for creating a VirtualBox El Capitan VM.
The virtual machine should be useful for testing El Capitan and also for creating installers for use on a real machine/hackintosh.
There are other tutorials and videos on the net about running OS X on Windows machines using pre-made VMDK disk images but you can never guarantee what else is in there….
I’ve gathered info for this guide from several threads in the Multibooting and Virtualisation section of this forum and also the wider internet eg
@dsmccombs comment on faking Ivybridge Processor
@Tech Reviews video tutorial https://www.youtube....h?v=t7X07U63lwg.
VirtualBox Forum: Status of OSX on OSX
- Intel PC with four or more CPU cores running Windows 7 X64 or later OS (2 or more cores needed for OS X)
- 4GB or more RAM (2GB or more will be needed for OS X)
- Hard Disk with at least 40GB free for Virtual Machine
- Oracle VM VirtualBox v 5.0.34
- Install OS X El Capitan app and Mac or Hack to prepare installation iso <-- Now, no longer necessary to have previous access to a Mac or Hack by building the Installer.app from scratch - see post#75
- 16GB or larger exFAT formatted USB stick to transfer El Capitan iso from Mac/Hack to Host PC
Prepare Installation ISO on your Mac or Hack
1. On your Mac or Hack, download "Install OS X El Capitan.app" from the App Store into your Applications folder.
2. Download and unzip the CECI.tool (attached to this post) into your ~/Downloads folder. The commands in this executable script are shown below for informational purposes. Note: you will need approx 16GB of free space on your hard disk for the script to complete.
3. Open OS X terminal, then run the following commands to execute the script:
cd downloads chmod +x CECI.tool ./CECI.tool
4. At the end of the process, you will have an El Capitan iso on your desktop - copy this onto an exFAT formatted USB for use on the PC Host later.
Create an El Capitan Virtual Machine in VirtualBox
1. Open the VirtualBox program and click the "New" button to create a new VM.
VB1 New VM.png 102.57KB 482 downloads
2. Select Mac OS X and Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan (64 -bit) for Operating System type and version. I named my Virtual Machine "El_Capitan", then clicked next...
VB2 Name and operating system.png 144.02KB 288 downloads
3. Leave the Memory size at the recommended 2048 MB, then click next.
VB3 Memory Size.png 127.94KB 187 downloads
4. Choose to "Create a virtual hard disk now", then click the create button.
VB4 Hard disk.png 136.2KB 205 downloads
5. For the hard disk file type, the default is VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) but I have selected VMDK for inter-operability with VMWare. Click next...
VB5 Hard disk file type.png 132.44KB 188 downloads
6. For Storage on physical hard disk, I have chosen the default Dynamically allocated (grows larger to a set limit as you need more disk space).
VB6 Storage on physical hard disk.png 140.58KB 189 downloads
7. On the File location and size screen, you can set the location of the new virtual hard disk and its size - I recommend changing disk size to 40GB or larger. When you click the create button, you will now see your new VM in the VirtualBox main GUI.
VB7 File location and size.png 123.16KB 184 downloads
8. Click the settings button on the Main Menu to tweak a few settings....
a. On the System/Motherboard tab in Boot Order, you can uncheck the Floppy Drive (who has these now?)
VB8 System Settings Remove Floppy.png 134.56KB 225 downloads
b. On the System/Processor tab, you can increase the allocated CPU cores to 2
VB10 Two Processor Cores.png 104.24KB 177 downloads
c. On the Display tab, you can increase the allocated Video Memory to 128MB
VB11 Video Memory.png 105.94KB 173 downloads
d. On the Storage tab, click on the icon of the Optical Drive and select "Choose Virtual Optical Disk File".
VB12 Storage Choose Virtual Optical Disk File .png 304.15KB 244 downloads
Navigate and select the El Capitan ISO we created earlier...
VB13 Choose virtual optical disk file.png 423.88KB 227 downloads
e. Click the OK button to finalise the VM settings.
Patch El Capitan vbox configuration file with DMI Settings from a Mac
1. From the start menu, type cmd and click run as administrator to open an administrative command prompt.
VB14 Open cmd prompt as administrator.png 25.94KB 293 downloads
2. Choose a Mac Model similar to your host system, then type the following lines, followed by <enter> after each line. Make sure you first close all VirtualBox Windows and the VirtualBox program, otherwise any changes you make won't stick...
cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct" "iMac11,3" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemVersion" "1.0" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBoardProduct" "Mac-F2238BAE" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/DeviceKey" "ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/GetKeyFromRealSMC" 1
cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct" "MacBookPro11,3" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemVersion" "1.0" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBoardProduct" "Mac-2BD1B31983FE1663" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/DeviceKey" "ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/GetKeyFromRealSMC" 1
cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct" "Macmini6,2" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemVersion" "1.0" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBoardProduct" "Mac-F65AE981FFA204ED" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/DeviceKey" "ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/GetKeyFromRealSMC" 1
3. Optional- For some host systems eg those with Haswell and newer CPUs, you might have to spoof an older CPU to avoid VirtualBox errors. You can try from one of the following if this happens:
To spoof Lynnfield i5 750 CPU
VBoxManage.exe modifyvm "El_Capitan" --cpuidset 00000001 000106e5 06100800 0098e3fd bfebfbff
To spoof IvyBridge CPU
VBoxManage.exe modifyvm "El_Capitan" --cpuidset 00000001 000306a9 04100800 7fbae3ff bfebfbff
VBoxManage.exe modifyvm "El_Capitan" --cpuidset 00000001 000306a9 00020800 80000201 178bfbff
4. Close the command prompt window.
Installation of El Capitan
We are now ready to start the El_Capitan Virtual Machine....
VB15 Start VM.png 106.05KB 481 downloads
VB16 Verbose Boot.png 108.61KB 473 downloads
VB17 Apple logo.png 64.91KB 292 downloads
Installation should be relatively straight forward, just following the prompts of the OS X installer:
1. Select language, agree to legal terms
VB18 Installer GUI Select Language.png 256.46KB 140 downloads
2. Use Disk Utility from the Utilities Menu to erase and format the virtual hard drive as a single partition GUID Mac OS X Extended. I named my drive "Macintosh HD" but you can enter whatever you like eg El_Capitan.
VB19 Disk Utility Erase HD.png 288.85KB 176 downloads
3. Quit DU and choose Macintosh HD to install El Capitan on.
4. After 20-30 min (depending on how fast your system is), the installation will complete. At this point, unmount the El Capitan ISO by clicking the Devices menu from the VM window, click Optical Drives, then choose Remove disk from virtual drive. The VM is now ready to reboot into OS X from the virtual hard drive.
5. At the welcome screen, choose your country and keyboard layout. You can skip transfer information, location services and logging in with your Apple ID if you wish…
6. Create a User Account and select your Time Zone. You can skip sending diagnostics and usage data to Apple….
7. Finally, you will arrive at the El Capitan Desktop.
VB22 System Information.png 670.39KB 122 downloads
8. Network/internet and audio should work OOB but on my system, the sounds were distorted. Unfortunately, there is no QE/CI and the VM resolution will be fixed without the ability to dynamically resize the VM window (no VirtualBox additions for OS X guests atm).
Customization with VBoxManage
1. You can change the default resolution of 1024*768 (after shutting down the VM) with the VBoxManage command from the Windows Administrative Command Prompt:
cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" VBoxInternal2/EfiGopMode N (Where N can be one of 0,1,2,3,4,5)
referring to the 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1920x1200 screen resolution respectively.
2. Adding serials and other SMBIOS details for the System Information Screen
VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemSerial" "W8#######B6" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBoardSerial" "W8#########1A" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemVendor" "Apple Inc." VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemFamily" "iMac" VBoxManage setextradata "El_Capitan" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBIOSVersion" "IM112.0057.03B"
A listing of known issues with Mac OS X guests can be found in the VirtualBox Manual - link https://www.virtualb...anual/ch14.html.
Vanilla Mavericks and Yosemite, Snow Leopard from Retail DVD
The same VM settings for El Capitan will also boot and run vanilla installations of OS X Mavericks and Yosemite . Attached to this post are installer scripts to create bootable Mavericks (CMI.tool) and Yosemite (CYI.tool) ISOs for VirtualBox and VMware.
With the respective OS X installer apps in the Applications folder, download and run the installer tools using terminal ie
To create a Mavericks ISO on your desktop
cd downloads chmod +x CMI.tool ./CMI.tool
To create a Yosemite ISO on your desktop
cd downloads chmod +x CYI.tool ./CYI.tool
Here is a screenshot of the VM running Mavericks 10.9.5...
Vanilla Mavericks on VB.png 1.57MB 66 downloads
Finally, those without a Mac/Hack to prepare the install media can purchase a retail Snow Leopard DVD directly from Apple and install OSX 10.6.3 on their virtual machines (Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion run quite happily in VirtualBox with 1 CPU, 1-2 GB of RAM and the rest of the settings unchanged from above). Once you update by combo update to SL 10.6.8, you can directly download El Capitan from the App Store for free .
Snow Leopard on VirtualBox.png 996.86KB 55 downloads
UPDATE macOS Sierra 10.12 to 10.12.6: For macOS Sierra, use CSI.tool in post#51.
UPDATE macOS High Sierra 17A365: For macOS High Sierra, use CHSI.tool in post#73.
Good luck and enjoy