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How to Install OS X 10.x (Snow Leopard to El Capitan) in VMware Workstation 10/11, Workstation Pro/Player 12, Player 6/7, ESXi 5/6

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As a result of my holiday work to create 10.13 installation ISOs, i got the following conclusion.

1. Traditional expanding BaseSystem.dmg and copying some packeges of InstallESD.dmg method does not work. OSInstall.mpkg missing or damaged error occurred. I have no idea to solve this problem.

2. Expanding BaseSystem.dmg only, that is online installation method works fine. But it takes extra time to download files while installation.

3. Just like method creating installation USB stick, we can use a sparse image instead of USB stick! Using createinstallmedia command method works fine and needs no extra time to download. But, createinstallmedia command demands specific environment. On 10.7, createinstallmedia command returns error code 139. I think this method is best.

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I tried to run the unlocker v2.0.9 on all 3 of my ESXi servers and got the following message:

 

[root@esx02:/root/unlocker] ./esxi-install.sh
VMware Unlocker 2.0.9
===============================
Copyright: Dave Parsons 2011-16
Installing local.sh
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "esxi-config.py", line 84, in <module>
    if main():
  File "esxi-config.py", line 28, in main
    with open('samples/config.xml', 'r+') as f:
FileNotFoundError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: 'samples/config.xml'

 

 

[root@esx02:~] esxcli system version get
   Product: VMware ESXi
   Version: 6.5.0
   Build: Releasebuild-5310538
   Update: 0
   Patch: 19

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As a result of my holiday work to create 10.13 installation ISOs, i got the following conclusion.

1. Traditional expanding BaseSystem.dmg and copying some packeges of InstallESD.dmg method does not work. OSInstall.mpkg missing or damaged error occurred. I have no idea to solve this problem.

2. Expanding BaseSystem.dmg only, that is online installation method works fine. But it takes extra time to download files while installation.

3. Just like method creating installation USB stick, we can use a sparse image instead of USB stick! Using createinstallmedia command method works fine and needs no extra time to download. But, createinstallmedia command demands specific environment. On 10.7, createinstallmedia command returns error code 139. I think this method is best.

 

@shela,

 

You can just expand BaseSystem.dmg then replace "Install macOS High Sierra.app" on the root with the full version (>5 GB). 

 

My CHSI.tool automates the process for creating an High Sierra ISO - see post#30,

      CSI.tool for Sierra - see post#13.

 

If you want to prevent APFS conversion on virtual SSD, you can use "startosinstall" from terminal to set --converttoapfs NO, having booted into the High Sierra ISO installer - post#32.

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@shela,

 

You can just expand BaseSystem.dmg then replace "Install macOS High.Sierra.app" on the root with the full version (>5 GB).

 

My CHSI.tool automates the process for creating an High Sierra ISO - see post#30,

CSI.tool for Sierra - see post#13.

 

If you want to prevent APFS conversion on virtual SSD, you can use "startosinstall" from terminal to set --converttoapfs NO, having booted into the High Sierra ISO installer - post#32.

Many thanks! I will try it.

I am fixing my old creating ISO script supported 10.6 to 10.12 versions.

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Many thanks! I will try it.

I am fixing my old creating ISO script supported 10.6 to 10.12 versions.

Curious...any updates yet?  :drool:

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I've been trying Donk's Unlocker 2.08 on an ESXi 6.0.0. I have an ISO that I made myself (of High Sierra 10.13), I'm pretty sure it's good because it boots fine on a real Mac.

 

However, on my ESXi it shows the boot bar filling (very slowly) and eventually a black screen with a spinning beach ball cursor. It doesn't proceed after that (I left it the whole night).

 

I have a feeling that the rc.local script didn't actually successfully complete. Is there any logging on this? Or is there a way I can check if it successfully patched the files? I also tried a more recent version (2.1.0) but it doesn't support 6.0 anymore.

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I've been trying Donk's Unlocker 2.08 on an ESXi 6.0.0. I have an ISO that I made myself (of High Sierra 10.13), I'm pretty sure it's good because it boots fine on a real Mac.

 

However, on my ESXi it shows the boot bar filling (very slowly) and eventually a black screen with a spinning beach ball cursor. It doesn't proceed after that (I left it the whole night).

 

I have a feeling that the rc.local script didn't actually successfully complete. Is there any logging on this? Or is there a way I can check if it successfully patched the files? I also tried a more recent version (2.1.0) but it doesn't support 6.0 anymore.

I am guessing in you client you get the option to install an OS X / MacOS VM, this generally indicates the unlocker has worked.

 

The most common problem is you have not added smc.version = "0" in the vmx configuration file as this is required if hardware compatibility is set to greater than 10.

 

Apologies if you have already added the line in your vmx configuration file.

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I am guessing in you client you get the option to install an OS X / MacOS VM, this generally indicates the unlocker has worked.

 

The most common problem is you have not added smc.version = "0" in the vmx configuration file as this is required if hardware compatibility is set to greater than 10.

 

Apologies if you have already added the line in your vmx configuration file.

 

I did get that option, yes. I'm pretty sure though that this was already present before I used the unlocker. But I'm not entirely sure. But good point, I'll uninstall the unlocker and doublecheck.

 

I did indeed try adding the smc.version = "0" both in the .vmx file and under 'Advanced configuration' in ESXi for good measure. I also tried the cpuid.1.eax = "----:----:----:0010:----:----:1010:0111" which I found somewhere else, but the same happens.

 

That about the hardware version reminds me though. I might set that to 10 just to see if that helps. Thanks! I was just wondering: Is this even supposed to work with ESXi 6.0.0 and OS X 10.13? The client only shows 10.10 as the latest supported version.

 

And also thank you for all your contributions to this project - I know you've been very active. Pretty sure I used one of your unlockers years ago before Donk's.

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I did get that option, yes. I'm pretty sure though that this was already present before I used the unlocker. But I'm not entirely sure. But good point, I'll uninstall the unlocker and doublecheck.

 

I did indeed try adding the smc.version = "0" both in the .vmx file and under 'Advanced configuration' in ESXi for good measure. I also tried the cpuid.1.eax = "----:----:----:0010:----:----:1010:0111" which I found somewhere else, but the same happens.

 

That about the hardware version reminds me though. I might set that to 10 just to see if that helps. Thanks! I was just wondering: Is this even supposed to work with ESXi 6.0.0 and OS X 10.13? The client only shows 10.10 as the latest supported version.

 

And also thank you for all your contributions to this project - I know you've been very active. Pretty sure I used one of your unlockers years ago before Donk's.

Thanks for the kind comments, and unless you are running ESXi on a real Mac then the option to install OS X or macOS does not appear, hence the need for the unlocker for non Mac hardware. Installing OS X / MacOS is fully supported by both VMware and Apple on Mac hardware.

 

Unless you have an unusual intel processor or want to install Snow Leopard the CPUID mask should not be required, if you look at the first couple of posts on this thread you will see the details regarding the CPUID mask generated by myself and Donk.

 

As you say with ESXi 6.0.0 macOS 10.13 is not officially supported, you need ESXi 6.5 or Workstation 14, but generally using 10.10 should work, but I have not tried it myself.

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This is because of the Apple EULA for OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) which only allows virtualisation of the OS X 10.6 Server version not the workstation version you are trying to install, this was changed from OS X 10.7 (Lion) forward to allow virtualisation of the workstation versions of OS X.

 

If you are looking to use Snow Leopard as a stepping stone to the latest version of OS X El Capitan then you could install either Workstation 10 or Player 6 with unlocker 1.3.x which includes the patch to remove the server check, then once upgraded to a later version of OS X, reinstall Workstation Pro 12 and unlocker 2.0.8.

 

Alternatively a patch was created by Donk to resolve this issue, it has been degraded and is no longer included in the latest unlocker 2.0.8, but may still work and was still included in unlocker 2.0.7 in a folder called firmware, the topic and readme have instructions for deployment, see link below:

 

http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/303311-workstation-1112-player-712-fusion-78-and-esxi-6-mac-os-x-unlocker-2/

 

I would not recommend uninstalling unlocker 2.0.8, instead just copy the relevant ROM file to your guest folder and add the relevant line to the VMX configuration file from the firmware folder in the unlocker 2.0.7 zip file.

 

I know its a 2 years old post, but man, you saved the day with it! I almost pulled off my hair because of this stupid "not an OS X server" message with all Snow Leopard DMGs, ISOs, VMDKs. Tried every method, googled the message, messed with the log file, nothing. And bang, the answer was already on this forum where I started everything. So thank you, here's a screenshot of my working (Hungarian language) Snow Leopard on VMWare 12.  :P 

 

K_pkiv_g_s.jpg

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