Installing Mac Os on a VMWARE

This guide can help you with the installation of Mac OS X on a Windows PC.
I actually plagiarized that disclaimer…Since when do we students of this computer age have the funds to purchase and create extra test systems for the purposes of advancing our education? Sometimes to learn things, we’re required to get a little dirty. This guide was created to make sure you don’t get completely dirty and will provide you step by step instructions for installation.


Step 1 – Purchase/Download and Install VMware

VMware Server is now available for free at
You can also download the freeware VMware Player and effectively have a legally free, full-version VMware Workstation if you are comfortable editting the config without a GUI.
Download a copy of VMware Server and follow the installation guide for that piece of software.

Step 2 – Download OS X 10.4.5 or 10.4.6 or 10.4.7 or 10.4.8 ISO

When possible you should operate from a legal copy of the operating system. This is the only way to ensure that it is free of viruses and future security updates can be applied without worry if the software “phones home”.
If you cannot for whatever reason, the torrent search sites are offering up torrents for images (ISOs) of an installation disc. The image I used was Myzar’s ISO, entitled “Mac OS X 10.4.5 Myzar.iso”. The JaS 10.4.6 release has also been tested using this guide.
Once you have installed VMware and obtained a copy of Mac OS X (x86) you’re ready to proceed to step 3.

Note regarding 10.4.8 iso: JAS torrent will not boot in VMWare (There is no Booting Problem with the latest JAS 10.4.8 Torrent Pre-Patched with PPF1 from the Pirates Bay). AMD torrent works nicely on 32 bit host OS. If BIOS supports Intel Virtualization, it must be turned off or 10.4.8 kernel goes into 64 bit mode and crashes unless you use -legacy switch.

Note: The install DVD that normally comes with a Macintosh system, even with the same chipset, will not work with the instructions below.

Step 3 – Mount the ISO

If you are using an image you will need to make the image available for use by the virtual machine. VMware has the ability to mount CD/DVD images. Unfortunately, as of the writing of this guide, it is unable to properly mount HFS+ images (the file system used by the Mac OS X installation DVD). It will result in the VM hanging when loading the kernel, throwing messages in the console such as:
     Load of /sbin/launchd, errno 8, trying /sbin/mach_init
     Load of /sbin/launchd, errno 8
Personally, I used Alcohol 120% to mount the ISO. This is where I tell you that Alcohol 120% is a great program and the developers deserve compensation. If you can find a way to afford it, please do.
Another alternative to Alcohol 120% is DAEMON-tools. You can download it for free at
You can also get a free trial of Alcohol 120% at
or the free version of Alcohol 52% from
NOTE: Alcohol 120% and 52% mount images very similarly to Daemon Tools, so unless you need any of the other functions that Alcohol offers, using Daemon Tools is all that is necessary.

A very simple way to mount also is by using magicdisc. its a disc mounting program that works wonders.

I’ve heard of problems with people mounting the ISO in other programs and/or burning it to a DVD and trying it that way. Save yourself some trouble and just use Alcohol 120%.

An alternative, which works on any host is to use qemu-img.

* get qemu through a package manager or from QEMU's Download Page (binaries for x86 linux and Windows)
* qemu-img convert -f raw <name>.iso -O vmdk <name>.vmdk
* attach <name>.vmdk as an IDE disk
* attach <name>.iso as a CD disk
* boot

Then boot from the CD as described below. The boot loader on the ISO image will find the IDE disk and start the installation from it. If the 5.5 vmware workstation complains about the the disk image being an older version, just select to use the previous version and select upgrade next time when you power on the VM. — but don’t, because you don’t need to ise the image other than for installing.

Yet another way to do it, which I believe is easier, is to simply burn the .iso file to a DVD disk, then in the Virtual machine specify your DVD-ROM device. It worked with no problem for me in VMWare Server 1.0.3 on a Linux host.

With the ISO Mounted, it’s time to open up VMware Server to start the installation.

Step 4 – Create a New Virtual Machine

Upon starting VMware, click on the “New Virtual Machine” button.
A Wizard will open. Click Next.
Select Typical. Click Next. (On later versions of VMWare, select Custom instead so that you can set your disk drive to IDE instead of SCSI, as required below.)
Select Other, then pick FreeBSD. Click Next.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE! If you are using a Conroe or Core 2 Duo, select “Windows” and then “Windows NT” from the dropdown list. Using FreeBSD will cause a stack fault on boot. Same applies to Core Duo (945PM/Calistoga).

You will likely need to select one [1] Virtual Processor as well. Selecting 2 Virtual Processors will likely cause installation and/or bootup to fail.

  • for Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6: IDE is used instead of SCSI. otherwise the system will not be able to find any installable disk.
  • for Asrock Conroe 945G-DVi: IDE is used instead of SCSI. otherwise the system will not be able to find any installable disk.
  • Dell E1405 and D620 (and maybe other Dell Core Duo laptops): IDE is required instead of SCSI.
  • for Asus P5B-VM IDE is required instead of SCSI, otherwise the system will not be able to find any installable disk.
  • (If you do not see this option, go back to the beginning and choose Custom instead of Typical. You cannot change SCSI to IDE once you have created the VM.)
Name it whatever you want (I used “Mac OS X”), put it wherever you want. Click Next.
  • Location of virtual harddisk drives can be determined at this point in time. For best performance always try to put virtual machines on a separate physical hard drive. Partitions don’t count. This is because the biggest performance hit in virtual machines is disk I/O. If the VM is on the same drive as your OS the VM fights with your OS for disk access. When the OS needs to use a swap file it makes the matter much, much worse. Additionally, today’s USB 2.0 and firewire external hard drives run on a fast interface bus, have large buffers and spin at 7,200 rpm, as opposed to 4,200 rpm for most laptop hard drives.


If you are using a non-legal copy you’ll want to use Host-only networking initially to prevent Mac OS X from registering itself during installation. If this is a legal copy, use NAT. Click Next.
Set the Disk size to anything greater than 6GB. You don’t have to but I recommend that you allocate the disk space now so that disk performance is increased. When done, click Next. You may also split files into 2GB pieces if on FAT partition.
Click Finish.

Step 5 – Setting up your Virtual Machine

Open up your new virtual machine configuration.
Under Devices:
Double click Memory and set the amount of RAM you’d like to use. The minimum is 128MB but the recommended minimum is 256MB. Make sure you don’t use too much of your total RAM as swapping may occur and could lead to big problems! I use 512MB (out of 1GB System) and I have set my Memory Preferences [Edit>Preferences>Memory] to Fit all virtual machine memory into reserved host RAM.
Double click the CD-ROM drive and select the letter of the Virtual Drive with the mounted ISO that you created with Alcohol 120%. If you are using Daemon Tools you may not see your drive listed. See the next step for further details.
Now EXIT VMware. Here comes the boring part =P

Step 6 – Editing your VMware Config

Locate where you’ve stored your Virtual Machine files in Windows Explorer.
Mine is ..\My Documents\My Virtual Machines\MacOSX\
Open up your Virtual Machine Configuration File (.vmx extension) in Notepad.
Add the following line to the end of the file.

(note: If you haven’t CPU with PAE, you can’t run OSx86 under VMWare on your CPU; OSx86 need PAE compatible CPU for work. Intel Pentium M <1.5GHz haven’t PAE, so you don’t have to try it on this CPU)

If you are using Daemon tools you may need to help VMware find the drive. If that is the case then modify the lines in the configuration file referring to the CD-ROM drive similar to this (note replace X: with the drive you have configured in Daemon Tools):
ide1:0.present = “TRUE”
ide1:0.fileName = “X:”
ide1:0.deviceType = “cdrom-raw”
Save the Config file, close Notepad, and continue to Step 7.

Note on 10.4.8 8.8.1 kernel and networking: This is a good time to remove existing ethernet0virtualDev (if any) and add:


Note sometimes scsi0.present = “TRUE” won’t Work So set it to False i.e scsi0.present = “FALSE”

Note also, if you change any settings in the VMWare interface after editing the “.vmx” file, it will overwrite your changes. You will need to go back and change the settings again!

Here comes the fun part =D

Step 7 – Installing Mac OS X

Start your Mac OS X Virtual Machine.
When the Mac OS X boot prompt appears, click the logo then hit F8 to add boot options.
Type in “-v” and hit enter. This puts you into Verbose mode which will let you know if something is going wrong.
It may take a while depending on your hardware to load the installation. Be patient.

Step 8 – Setting up your Hard Drive

Following along in the installation, you’ll reach a point where it’s time to select your Hard Drive, but nothing is listed.
Open Utilities -> Disk Utility on your disk

Note Re 10.4.8: Disk Utility has been reported not to work (it makes an efi partition). Use a prior version to partition your disk, or partition it with another OS, then use 10.4.8 disk utility to erase (by reformatting) this partition. Otherwise it won’t boot. Note: no need for using a previous version just apply PPF2 to fix the disk utility

Select the VMware drive on the left. Click “partition” on the right.
Change the Volume Scheme to 1 partition and choose a name. The format should stay “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” and the partition should use all space available.
Click “partition”, then “partition” again. After it is finished (progress in bottom right), you can close the Disk Utility.
Your drive now shows up in setup. Proceed, proceed.

Step 9 – Using a Custom Installation

If you have a “patched” installation you should select a custom installation to see if there are patches listed there that you’ll need to include (such as selecting the appropriate patch set for your CPU, see Comment 2). Another place to check is opening up a Terminal window and looking around the installation disc..

Final Notes

You may want to disable your internet connection before you start/finish Mac OS X setup so you can avoid registering on Apple’s servers.
Note that this guide may not work for you because of incompatible hardware.
It may be helpful to create a snapshot of the VM after a fresh installation, to allow for settings reversal at a later time; OSX loads a settings wizard at first boot to customise various settings.
If you are using VMware Server, you may wish to switch to VMware Player after you’ve finished installation and finished tweaking settings. Using Mac OS X in VMware Player is noticeably faster compared to VMware Server’s Remote Console. You can even enable Dock Magnification and it’ll work smoothly. Just move your virtual machine folder to another location, uninstall VMware Server, and then install VMware Player (they don’t let you have both installed at once).
Eventually, support the makers of the software by buying all of the software listed in this guide. . .

Addendum 1: Installing Directly to a Physical Disk

You can install Mac OS X directly to a physical disk using VMware Workstation 5.5:

  • File > New Virtual Machine.
  • Choose Custom, then choose Other/FreeBSD for guest OS.
  • For “Number of processors” choose one… even if you have two.
  • For the disk configuration select “Use a physical disk”.
  • For the “Devices” drop down box carefully select the disk you’d like to use.
  • Close VMware, then goto the location where the configuration file is stored.
  • Open the configuration file in a text editor:
  • Remove the following lines:
scsi0.present = "TRUE"
scsi0.virtualDev = "lsilogic"
scsi0:0.present = "TRUE"
scsi0:0.fileName = "FreeBSD.vmdk"
scsi0:0.deviceType = "rawDisk"
  • Add the following lines:
scsi0.present = "FALSE"
ide0:0.present = "TRUE"
ide0:0.fileName = "FreeBSD.vmdk"
ide0:0.redo = ""
ide0:0.mode = "independent-persistent"
  • Open the Disk Descriptor File (FreeBSD.vmdk) and change the following line:
ddb.adapterType = "lsilogic"


ddb.adapterType = "ide"
  • Reopen VMware and continue configuring the other settings to your liking.
  • Once you get to the Mac OS X installer screen perform the following steps:
Enter disk utility to create partition table. (Utilities -> Disk Utility):
  a. Select drive to install onto.
  b. Click the "Partition" tab and configure partition table like so:
      > 1 Partition, Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
  c. Label the disk... 'Macintosh HD' is the preferred disk label.
  d. Hit the "Partition" button and exit Disk Utility.
Activate the OS X partition:
  a. Open the Terminal to activate the partition. (Utilities -> Terminal)
  b. Use the fdisk tool in Terminal as follows:
      > fdisk -e /dev/rdisk0
      > f 1
      > write
      > y
      > exit
  c. Quit Terminal and return to Installer.

You may now continue on to step 9 (above).

Addendum 2: Installing VMware image to boot your PC

First of all, you can�t install OS X on a new partition, it needs it�s own drive. For this guide Im installing it on my Sony Vaio TR2A. Since I only have one harddrive, it means I�m wiping windows and all my files in the process. You can easily follow the same steps but instead install it on a second harddrive in your PC. Here is how I have succesfully install OS X x86 NATIVELY on my laptop!

First of all, I think your CPU needs at LEAST sse2. For rosetta and to get itunes and other ppc apps working, you need sse3. My vaio has a Pentuim M, so no rosetta for me. Everything else works. Im posting this from the OS X x86 port of Firefox Wink

1. Download �VMWare files for patched Mac OS X Tiger Intel”�from your favorite torrent site. (Hint: Use the search function).

2. Copy tiger-x86-flat.img from the archive to an external USB drive (it�s 6gb)

3. Download Ubuntu Live CD (link) …�be sure you get the �Live CD”!!

4. Burn the ubuntu iso, stick it in your pc, and boot it! (make sure you have your bios set to boot to CD)

5. Once ubuntu boots and the gui finally comes up, hook up the USB drive you copied the 6gb image to. A window should pop up showing the contents of the drive. Take note of where its mounted. It should be /Devices/Yourdrivesvolumename

6. Open a terminal window and cd to that directory (/Devices/Yourdrivesvolumename). Do an �ls”�to make sure you are in the right place (you should see the 6gb img file.

7. In the terminal window type:

dd bs=1048576 if=./tiger-x86-flat.img of=/dev/hda

Replace hda with the correct drive! If you only have one drive, its probably hda. Thats what mine was. You are about to erase this entire drive so make sure youve got it right and make sure you want to do this! Hit enter. It takes a while…�took my vaio about 9 minutes.

8. When it�s done, remove the ubuntu disc and shut down the pc. Disconnect your usb drive. Thats it! When you power it back on, OS X should boot!

For whatever reason, mine hangs when its loading. If this happens to you, boot with the -x option (hit a button at the darwin screen when you boot your pc. enter “�x”�and hit enter). Should work without any problems, and I dont see any restrictions being in safe mode.

You�ll notice there is a login screen, and you dont know the password! This image was created by �deadmoo”�and we can easily change his password. Reboot the machine again. Again, hit a button at the darwin screen. This time type “�v”�and hit enter. At the command prompt screen type:

sh /bin/sh passwd curtis (change the password to what you like)

passwd deadmoo (change the passwrod to what you like)

Done! Now reboot once more, and again use the “�x”�option. Everything should boot, and at the login screen enter your new password.

WELCOME TO THE OS X x86 CLUB! Look ma, no vmware!

Note: If you are installing this in a PC and have multiple drives, you dont need to use an external drive or linux distro. Simply dd the image in the same manner to any physical drive in your pc, and when its done boot to that drive and it should work. For windows users, there is a port of dd for windows you can use here.

I messed around with this in vmware before installing natively, and I can tell you running it native is a million times faster! Its full speed. USB works, ethernet works, all the x86 software works. Enjoy!


7 Replies to “Installing Mac Os on a VMWARE”

  1. Great document! I need help though… I can’t get my VM to boot to the iso! I asked others and nobody was able to help. I’m using a 10.4 CD. I converted it to an .iso using Alcohol 120% plus I also tried buring the .iso to a DVD. When I point the VM to the virtual drive letter nothing happens. It just tries to boot off the network. Has anyone encountered this before? Do I have to specify configuration settings before I burn / create the .iso?

  2. If you are using an image you will need to make the image available for use by the virtual machine. VMware has the ability to mount CD/DVD images. Unfortunately, as of the writing of this guide, it is unable to properly mount HFS+ images (the file system used by the Mac OS X installation DVD). It will result in the VM hanging when loading the kernel, throwing messages in the console such as:
    Load of /sbin/launchd, errno 8, trying /sbin/mach_init
    Load of /sbin/launchd, errno 8

  3. “Load of /sbin/launchd, errno 8, trying /sbin/mach_init
    Load of /sbin/launchd, errno 8”

    I don’t even get that. I realize the disc is a different file format HFS. I thought converting the disc to .iso would correct that problem for VMWare to recognize it? Are you saying its hopeless? What is it that I’m doing wrong?

  4. Well here are some of my steps…

    1. I have an original Mac OS X 10.4 CD. If you put it in a cd rom drive in a PC, you can’t see anything in Windows Explorer because naturally the CD is in the HFS file system.

    2. After reading some online documentation, I downloaded Alcohol 120%, inserted the Mac OS X Tiger Disc and converted it a mountable .iso plus I also burned that .iso onto a DVD

    3. I created a VM and for the operating system, I chose Linux (as well as many others), disabled networking at the moment, allocated disk space. For the CD/ROM drive configuration, I pointed the VM to boot off the virtual drive that contains the mounted .iso I maded from Alcohol.

    4. I powered on the VM. I hoped it would start booting from the .iso but no luck. It goes immediately to “Operating System Not Found”

    5. As an experiment, I tried another .iso (i.e. BartPE) and that worked fine.

    My only guess is that I’m configuring the .iso wrong before burning it? There are so many options in Alcohol to burn an image to DVD or create an .iso from a disc.

    I need to create the VM from scratch and can’t use the turrent. I can’t use unlicensed software at my current location.

  5. i think the disk mounted or built using alcohol is not a bootable one…
    bartpe builts and checks the requirements of wat it actually the user needs.