Heyo, I'm trying to build a Vagrant box for command line access to a macOS virtual machine, to make it easier to build macOS applications. I managed to script up most of the macOS High Sierra installation with packer, however the boot after SetupAssistant completes, fails with the message "An error occurred installing macOS", and I can't seem to find much more detail than that. Can someone recommend a VMX configuration or provide some tips for getting High Sierra installed better in VMware Fusion?


Installing: About 15 minutes remaining


Installing on "Macintosh HD"


An error occurred installing macOS. To use Apple Diagnostics to check your Mac hardware, shut down, press the power button, and immediately hold the 'D' key until diagnostics begins.

Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again.






System Specs

  • Guest OS: macOS 10.13 High Sierra
  • Host OS: macOS 10.13 High Sierra
  • Hypervisor: VMware Fusion 10
  • Physical hardware: mid-2013 13" MacBook Air


VMX: https://gist.github.com/mcandre/df4a69809afb8103ef37ae32371c6e23

ISO generation scripts, packer configuration, and VMX settings are available as a work-in-progress "macos" branch in my packer templates repository:


Mitigation steps attempted

I've already tried:

  • Re-generating the installer ISO image.
  • Re-running the packer VM build.
  • Tweaking VMX settings.
  • Disabling SMC (which results in a VM that never finishes booting).
  • Increasing virtual RAM to 4GB.
  • Specifying the virtual hard drive as a solid state drive.
  • Using VirtualBox (unfortunately, packer sends the wrong scancodes to VirtualBox for macOS guests, so packer + macOS guests + VirtualBox doesn't integrate very well at the moment).
  • Pressing 'D' during boot (no change in behavior, no diagnostics displayed).

I'm new to hackintoshing, so I'm not sure if I'm missing some critical VMX configuration, or perhaps if High Sierra introduces further complications compared to earlier editions of macOS. Or even if an alternative EFI bootloader (Clover?) is necessary, I just don't know. I'd prefer to install macOS with as vanilla/default a configuration as possible.

If anyone else has experience getting macOS to boot in VMware, let me know how the VMX configuration can be improved, or if some kind of SMC toggling intervention is necessary to get the thing to boot better. I've already tossed so many hacks and workarounds into the mix that I'm starting to run out of ideas :P

  • I've never had any luck with the ISO, so I used a bootable USB image via pass-thru VMDK. The instructions here is for VirtualBox but are identical for VMWare except for the "create raw media" command will be different - everything else should be the same. Give that a shot....
    – Allan
    Nov 29, 2017 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


After some more tinkering, I realized that packer was supplying a sloppy configuration to VMware Fusion, compared to how VMware Fusion prefers to configure macOS VM's. When I create the VM by using the VMware Fusion wizard rather than with packer, then the VM installs and boots successfully. Here is my working VMX configuration for posterity:


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