How to Upgrade to MacOS Sonoma Beta in a Virtual Machine

Jun 16, 2023 - 3 Comments

Upgraded MacOS Sonoma beta running in a virtual machine

Want to run MacOS Sonoma beta in a virtual machine on your Mac? It’s pretty easy thanks to the free Viable tool, and if you followed our recent guide on installing Ventura in a Viable VM, you can easily upgrade that Ventura VM to run MacOS Sonoma beta in a virtual machine.

You can update your Ventura virtual machine to MacOS Sonoma using one of two methods, whichever works best for you: The first method is from within the Ventura VM by simply following our guide for installing macOS Sonoma beta, which will download the Sonoma beta from Software Update. The second method, which we’ll cover here, involves downloading the Sonoma beta installer within the virtual machine, and installing it manually. Both approaches will have the same end result and outcome; you’ll be running Sonoma beta in the VM. The first method requires using an Apple ID in the VM that is enrolled in the beta program, whereas the second method does not require using any Apple ID, and that latter approach is what we’re focusing on in this particular article.

We’re going to assume you have already setup a virtual machine running MacOS Ventura using Viable, as we have covered here. If you haven’t done that yet, do that first if you wish to use this particular method.

How to Get MacOS Sonoma Beta Running in a Viable VM by Upgrading from Ventura

  1. If you haven’t done so yet, follow these instructions to get MacOS Ventura up and running in a virtual machine with Viable, it is pretty quick and simple
  2. Boot into your Ventura VM, and within the Safari VM go to this link to access full downloads for MacOS installers and choose to download the latest available version of the MacOS Sonoma beta installer (or use this direct download link to InstallAssistant.pkg for dev beta 1)
  3. Download the Sonoma installer inside the VM

  4. When the InstallAssistant.pkg finishes downloading, open that file to decompress the “Install macOS 14” installer application into the /Applications/ folder in the Ventura VM
  5. Run InstallAssistant.pkg

  6. Run the installer for MacOS Sonoma within the virtual machine to update Ventura to Sonoma beta, just like you would any other MacOS update installer
  7. MacOS Sonoma beta installer running within a Ventura VM will allow you to upgrade to Sonoma in that VM

  8. When the VM finishes installation, you’ll be running MacOS Sonoma beta within the Viable VM, rather than Ventura

And there you go, you’ve successfully updated your virtual machine to MacOS Sonoma beta, from running Ventura.

Upgraded MacOS Sonoma beta running in a virtual machine

Future software updates to the MacOS Sonoma beta will arrive from System Settings > General > Software Update, just as any other software update.

Whether or not this particular method of running the Sonoma beta installer is simpler to get MacOS Sonoma running in the VM than using an Apple ID that is enrolled in the developer beta program and updating directly from System Settings within the Ventura VM, is entirely up to you, your Apple ID status, and your particular configuration.

Running MacOS Sonoma beta in a virtual machine is nice because it’s separate from your host operating system, allowing you to test out the beta operating system without mucking up your stable system software release.

Leave a comment with your experiences and thoughts are regarding Sonoma, Sonoma beta in a virtual environment, or whatever else is relevant and on your mind.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Bev in TX says:

    Those instructions appear to be specific to Apple silicone Macs. Is this possibly on an Intel Mac, perhaps with Parallels or VMWare?

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