How to install Lion as a guest OS in VirtualBox 4 running on Mountain Lion?

I have:

  • Legitimate owned copy of Install Mac OS X Lion.app
  • Flash drive formatted as GUID partition, restored with InstallESD.dmg found and mounted from inside the Lion installer app using Disk Utility.app.
  • Mac mini runnning Mountain Lion (10.8.4, 16 gigs memory, i7 chip)
  • VirtualBox 4.2.16 installed and running.

I have successfully installed Windows XP, Windows 7, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint in VirtualBox many times on my Mac. In those cases I have a .iso file to feed VirtualBox when it first runs a newly created virtual machine.

Instead of a .iso file, what am I to feed VirtualBox when if first runs my newly created 'Mac OS X' virtual machine?

Using Parallels 8 in place of VirtualBox is so easy: We simply feed the Install Mac OS X Lion.app app as the virtual machine is created. We need not even bother to choose Show Package Contents.

I have read many articles, blog posts, and Question/Answer pages here. But none of them are helpful. They are all:

  • Outmoded, for hacking older versions of Mac OS X
  • Irrelevant, for hacking Mac installers to install on Windows boxes
  • Old, for hacking old versions of VirtualBox that did not directly support Mac OS X guests.
  • You may not be able to do it without using Lion Server. – MattDMo Jul 30 '13 at 17:53
  • @MattDMo If you are referring to the Apple licensing restriction to allow only the Server edition, you are incorrect. That restriction applied to Snow Leopard, but not Lion and Mountain Lion. Please refrain from posting information you have not bothered to verify. StackExchange is for facts not conjecture. And technically, Lion installs just fine in Parallels 8 VM – I did so today. macrumors.com/2011/07/01/… – Basil Bourque Jul 31 '13 at 3:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .