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[Guide] Simple steps to create macOS Installer for Vmware on Linux or Windows

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Simple steps to create macOS Installer for Vmware on Linux or Windows

 

This guide describes how you can create a Vmware image (vmdk) for installing macOS in Vmware. Most tutorials about this topic require an ISO installer file that was typically created in macOS or you have to download some preinstalled image file from unknown source. None of them are ideal. But if you follow the steps below, you will not need to access macOS and will use official and trusted sources.

 

  1. First of all download gibMacOS from here and set up
    https://github.com/corpnewt/gibMacOS
     
  2. Run the script to download the full macOS installer:
    on Linux:
    gibMacOS.command
    on Windows:
    gibMacOS.bat

     

  3. Install qemu-img converter

    on Linux (Debian or Ubuntu):
    install qemu-tools package

    on Windows use this installer:
    https://qemu.weilnetz.de/w64/
    when you run the installer, it is enough to select the "tools" and "dll library".
     

  4. Convert the downloaded BaseSystem.dmg to Vmware image

    run the following commmand in that directory where BaseSystem.dmg was downloaded (somewhere here: gibMacOS-master/macOS Downloads/publicrelease/061-44387 - 10.15.3 macOS Catalina)
    on Linux:

    qemu-img convert -O vmdk -o compat6 BaseSystem.dmg recovery.vmdk

    on Windows:

    c:\"Program Files"\qemu\qemu-img convert -O vmdk -o compat6 BaseSystem.dmg recovery.vmdk

     

  5. Use the previously created image to install macOS in Vmware

     

    I assume you have a patched and working Vmware already. If not, find another guide but in nutshell:
    - confirm the VT-x is supported on your Intel machine (if you are on AMD you may not able to virtualize macOS or you need to do more work)
    - install VMware Workstation or VMware Workstation Player (free for non-commercial use)
    - use an unlocker to patch the Vmware to support macOS guest
     currently this works well: https://github.com/BDisp/unlocker/
     

    So when you are here you have a patched Vmware and a Vmware image (recovery.vmdk).
    Run Vmware and create a new virtual machine by choosing macOS guest. But add another hard disk as well with selecting to use an existing virtual disk. Browse the recovery.vmdk. You will get a warning about the image is not in the latest format but choose to keep the existing format.

    After you installed the macOS, install the vmware tools as well.

     

Tested on Windows 10 with macOS Catalina 10.15.3 in Vmware 15.5 Player

 

Comments are welcome.

 

Edited by tlac

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Thanks for this guide, I am having some trouble with the last step, when the recovery.vmdk is created its size is only 1,3 gb for Catalina, is this the correct size ? Because from some videos I've seen before that size should be much larger (around 7GB ?). Any way I tried to start the VM with that recovery.vmdk but it hangs at the first apple logo and nothing happens, I tried to wait for 20 minutes but still nothing. If someone can help to point me in what I might be doing wrong I would be grateful.

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Yes, the size is correct. It contains only the recovery tool but it will download the full installer on the fly.

 

Do you have any progress bar under the Apple logo?

What operating system and vmware do you use?

Edited by tlac

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Thanks for what you did, sounds very useful. :) And probably was lots of work.


For me, I historically use various macOS VMs for over 7 years now, on lots of VMware Workstation versions released by VMware over the years, I recall using version 10.x, and probably older too. :)

So, a long time ago I got the 10.7 version VMware VM, and then after that as years go by I usually simply upgrade to the newer one - of course, keeping OLD one too, as I need to test software for my work in ALL supported macOS versions! :)
(and sometimes I download files from strange persons that share them, did not get any issues with that until now..)

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There was no progress bar, and I'm using win 10 with VMware 15.0 but I figured it out, it was the VMware version, I was using the 15.0 VMware version and the mac operating system that was offered went only up to  10.14 now I found a more update version of VMware 15.5 and it offers the Catalina version as well 10.15. Everything works now. Thank you for taking the time to write me :)

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