Run Mac OS X in a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox

May 5, 2010 - 3 Comments


The latest version of VirtualBox allows you to create a Mac OS X guest host, providing the ability to virtualize different versions of Mac OS X. This is the first official support for Mac OS X running as a VM from VirtualBox, and is part of the latest beta.

Officially this only works when running VirtualBox on Mac hardware (no word yet on Hackintosh) and support for Mac OS X VM’s is considered ‘experimental’ at this point. If you are so inclined, you can download VirtualBox for free and try this out yourself.

Unofficially, you can apparently install Mac OS X Snow Leopard and later and run it in VirtualBox on any PC by using a couple hacks and installing OSx86. This works to run a Mac OS X virtual machine from a Mac, Windows XP, Vista, 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, or a Linux host.

Taranfx has the best guide on doing this if you’re interested in running MacOS in a VM on Windows, and you don’t need the latest beta build of VirtualBox to do this.

virtualize mac os x vm

Running Mac OS X in a virtual machine is supposedly against the Mac OS X EULA, at least with some versions of the system software, but how strictly that is enforced remains to be seen, so it’ll be interesting to see if VirtualBox continues to support Mac OS VM’s.

If you have any other tips, tricks, pointers, or details about running MacOS in a virtual machine, share them with us in the comments!


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Posted by: David Mendez in How to, Mac OS


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  1. Niente says:

    efiboot loaded from device:Acpi (PNP0A03,0)/Pci (1F|1)/Ata(Secondary,Master))/CDROM(Entry0)
    boot file path: \System\Library\CoreServices\boot.efi

    This version of Mac OS X is not supported on this platform!
    Reason: Unsupported 32-bit-only CPU

  2. Aram Fingal says:

    Actually, my understanding is that the SLA (Software License Agreement, the term which Apple uses instead of EULA which is Microsoft’s term) for OS X Server allows it to be run as guest in a VM as long as the hardware is Apple. This is necessary if Apple is going to compete at all in the enterprise server market because data centers are trying to switch to VMs for a whole host of reasons. So in other words, the terms under which VirtualBox is officially supporting OS X guests are exactly the terms which Apple allows. As yet, Apple won’t allow the desktop versions of OS X to legally run in a VM.

  3. Jimmy says:

    Oh now this is going to be good, if support continues I’ll finally be able to virtualize different versions of OS X instead of dual booting an old iMac. Mac developers rejoice! It’s amazing the amount of people that still use 10.3 and 10.4 argh!

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