I've just realised I can't install previous osx partitions with Lion on an iMac 2013. Therefore I would like to try to use Lion in a virtual machine.

I need it to use xCode 3. Am I going to have issues with this approach?


A virtual install of OS X Lion runs without issue on Mavericks.

All the popular VM software understand Lion as an OS and should let you install it. I don't see you having any problems with this setup as long as your hardware is Mac.

  • Thanks. I have few issues with xCode though. It crashes when I try to open a new file. – aneuryzm Feb 21 '14 at 8:24

Yes. You can run OS X in a virtualized environment on another Mac.

VMWare Fusion just added additional/updated support for OS X. I use it every day for development and it is very efficient (for a VM).

I don't know if VirtualBox supports OS X or not, but I am guessing that it does on Mac hardware.

Historically, the problem with OS X in a VM was emulating the EFI firmware. But that is becoming more and more commonplace so support has greatly improved.

  • Thanks. I have few issues with xCode though. It crashes when I try to open a new file. – aneuryzm Feb 21 '14 at 8:24
  • Which virtualization product are you using? And did you install the client tools for that OS if they are available? The client tools for VMWare, for example give tighter integration and emulation to the scheduler, hardware, video card, etc. This allows for things like hardware accelerated 3D graphics (the absence which could cause something wanting to use OpenGL to behave badly) and better power and processor management. – Chad Kemp Feb 21 '14 at 11:07

Lion expects Xcode 4, not Xcode 3. If you want to run Xcode 3, you have two options:

  1. There's a hack to get Xcode 3 working on Lion. I'm not sure how well this will work in a virtualized environment, so you should report back here if it does work.
  2. Purchase a copy of Snow Leopard Server, and virtualize that. Snow Leopard will work fine with Xcode 3. Note that you cannot virtualize Snow Leopard, only Snow Leopard Server.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .