purchased bought a license of Lion and heard that it supports virtual machine install.
I want to install Lion into my VirtualBoxVM on Lion on an iMac. How can I do this?
10.7 (Build 11A511) guest in VirtualBox 4.1 greater
Whilst end user forums are currently limited to Mac OS X Server, not updated for Lion, there is discussion of Lion (not always Lion Server) in that context.
With the most recent VirtualBox it is unnecessary to convert disk images; .dmg files are recognised.
Depending on your approach, you might see:
— (example) — I saw that at least once.
Suggestion A: await media from Apple
I recommend this most strongly.
Await Apple's provision of Lion on a USB thumb drive. It may be something greater than 11A511 and if so, that greatness may be more suitable for use in virtual machines without the need to hack (see caution below).
Suggestion B: attempt upgrade from Snow Leopard within the virtual machine
In the virtual machine: install Snow Leopard then (honouring Apple's license for Snow Leopard as far as possible in this situation) use that installation for nothing other than an immediate upgrade to Lion. Attention please to agreements at Apple — Legal.
Suggestion C: hobby hacking with BaseSystem.dmg
Suggestion D: hobby hacking with InstallESD.dmg
At least one Apple Exchange user reports some success with a home-produced DVD burnt from an
This may be most tempting and most likely to yield immediate success, of sorts, but in my estimation: hacking with this particular .dmg (ignoring Apple's .app for 11A511 as a whole) carries the greatest long-term risks.
By using any .dmg out of context, as suggested above, you may be risking the integrity of your installation in ways that we can not predict. Please consider the following extract from Ask Different Chat:
With that caution in mind, my strongest recommendation is (A) to wait for Apple to provide USB flash media (scheduled for August 2011) with the assumption that it will be both (i) greater than 11A511 and (ii) more suitable for virtual machines and other environments that lacked broad support from Apple on the day of Lion's release.
(Bear in mind: day one was almost totally oriented to download-based upgrades from Snow Leopard.)
I found a solution for running Mac OS X in VirtualBox on Mac hardware at http://ntk.me/2012/09/07/os-x-on-os-x/. I've not tried the 10.9 setup yet, but I have successfully installed and run Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) in VirtualBox 4.3. I found I had to go searching for and download a copy of NullCPUPowerManagement.kext in order to get the installer to finish booting, but that was the only extra thing the script needed. I also had to run the installer a couple of times, but that could have been only due to running out of disk space partway through the first install.
10.7.x or 10.8 (Build 12A269) in VirtualBox
A preferred alternative to my earlier answer, a simpler approach to installing then imaging what's required to run 10.8 in a VirtualBoxVM.
Assume that a similar approach will be equally good for 10.7.
A template, a reasonably small virtual disk image that can be copied for use in any VirtualBoxVM.
VirtualBox 4.1.18 or greater.
A spare drive. For a virtual machine with 2 GB memory, a 16 GB device will suffice.
Create a template
First use of a copy of the template
For a virtual machine configured in the way outlined above:
Whenever you start the virtual machine
For verbosity, use boot option
Whenever you attempt to restart the virtual machine
Verbosity will allow you to see when things are done, after which a MACH Reboot is attempted:
If OS X does not proceed beyond that point, use the Machine menu of the VirtualBoxVM:
For a first test, I chose Chimera 1.10.0.
MultiBeast 5.0 for Mountain Lion can install Chimera 1.11.1.
Getting the size of a device
In this example I want the size of
The second command –
Creating a virtual disk image of a device
For the example above:
As zeros were written when free space was erased, the resulting image should be far smaller than the size of the device – probably less than 8 GB.
Why image the entire device?
Assume that a future version of VirtualBox will be able to use
Serial number and hardware UUID
I don't know what's normal for VirtualBox.
A screenshot of my test result (machine type Mac OS X, machine version Mac OS X (64 bit), Chimera 1.11.1):
It's possible to change such things, but methods of changing are beyond the scope of this question.
A longer approach
Revision 7 of this answer outlined a longer and more complicated approach to installing and running 10.7 in a VirtualBoxVM. That approach, originally for 10.7, may be equally good for 10.8.
With VMWare Fusion 4 there is a very elegant approach to installing Lion into a VM. Its essentially using the Lion Installer image from the Mac App Store. It boils down to drag and drop of the Lion installer to get started. No disk image conversion, no spare partitions needed as indicated in Installing Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) as a virtual machine in Fusion 4 Additionally there are VMWare Tools available for OS X once you get OS X Lion installed too.
NVRAM for Lion in a virtual machine
I don't use VMware, and I don't know which version was in use by the person who posted the following article, but it seems to contain interesting information about NVRAM.
Installing Mac OS X Lion in VMware — obviouslogic : solutions (undated, bookmarked by me on 2nd July)
Could help people to think about how to get an installation of Lion started, without upgrade from Snow Leopard, in virtual machines hosted by things other than VMWare Fusion.
Use the .dmg as your source disk. You may have to convert it first to an .iso: if that's the case, use Disk Utility to convert it to a "CD/DVD Master" image (.cdo) and simply rename it to .iso.