How To Run Mac OS X In VirtualBox On Windows

If you need to use OS X but don't want to build a new computer, reader Bobby Patton shows us how to run Snow Leopard in a virtual machine with just a few tweaks.

We've shown you how to install Snow Leopard in VMWare, but if you haven't purchased VMWare, you can now do it using previously mentioned, free program VirtualBox. Apart from VirtualBox, you'll also need an OSX86 iso such as this one. After you have them both install Virtualbox. Open up Virtualbox and click on New at the top left.

At the Create New Virtual Machine window, click Next.

At this window type OSX as the name and it will automatically change the system and version. The next window will let you choose your RAM amount:

If you can spare it, crank it up as far as you can go, but 1024MB should be sufficient.

This is where you'll make your hard disk. 20GB should be enough so what it comes down to is dynamic or static. Dynamic will expand on use and Static will be a fixed 20GB no matter how much data is actually in it. Dynamic is better for not taking up your hard drive but Static should give you better performance. I normally use Dynamic. Click next unless you want to change it from Dynamic or if you want to increase the disk size or file location.

It will show a summary of your settings. Click Finish, then click Settings at the top. At this window click on System at the left and uncheck Enable EFI.

Now click on the Storage button on the left. From there click on Empty under the OSX.vdi, then click the folder with the green arrow on the right (next to "CD/DVD Device").

At this window click the Add button at the top. Then find and add the OSX86 ISO you downloaded earlier. Then highlight it and click Select at the bottom. Then click OK, and hit the Start button on the left side of the main VirtualBox window.

As it starts up, click inside the window and hit F8. Then at the boot: prompt type –v so you can see what exactly went wrong if something does go wrong. All the services will run and eventually you should come to the language screen. Choose your language then click next. If you are unable to move your mouse around then hit Right-Ctrl + I. Click Continue and Agree. Next, start up Disk Utility by going to Utilities in the menu bar.

At this screen highlight 20GB VBOX HARDDISK. Then click the Erase tab, name it what you want in the name box and click the erase button on the bottom right of the window. It shouldn't take long. Then click Disk Utility in your menu bar and quit it. Now you're back at the installer. Highlight the drive that is now showing up and click Continue.

The next window is important. Click the customise button on the bottom left.

AMD Users check:

Any Updates included at the top.

Drop down Kernels and choose Legacy kernel.

AMD option below System support.

Intel Users check:

Any Updates included at the top.

Drop down bootloaders and check the newest Chameleon.

Drop down Kernels and choose Legacy kernel.

Then click Done and hit the Install button. To speed up the process you can click Skip when the disc check pops up.

As soon as it says installation finished and starts counting down to restart press Right-Ctrl and then click on Devices at the top of the VirtualBox window. Hit CD/DVD Devices and click Unmount CD/DVD Device. Then go to Machine > Reset and click Reset at the prompt. Next you'll see the Chameleon loader and then OS X will begin to boot.

After it boots you will see the setup screens for OS X! You're good to go. The only hiccup I've found is that it can only be virtualised with one core. It could be the OSX disc I was using or it might not be. And I have yet to find the right kext that will allow audio to work and the resolution is limited also. But other than that you'll have a fully functioning OSX virtualised!

If you find a different OSX86 disc works better, or if you fix any of the audio or resolution issues, let us know how you did so in the comments!


Comments

    Don't have the link on me now but you can actually do this with a retail Snow Leopard DVD (rather than a hackintosh distro) and the Empire EFI boot loader.

    Works a treat...

      Here it is but it only works on compatible CPUs:
      http://martinml.com/en/how-to-install-mac-os-x-snow-leopard-in-virtualbox/o

    Is linking to an illegal torrent on Pirate Bay really a good idea? Not a very good look if you want to be seen as a legitimate website...

      are you from the MAFIA?

      I don't think it matters as the file is corrupt.

        Can anyone confirm if the file is corrupt, i would doupt that it is concidering that based off screenshots lifehacker used the torrented iso for their setup.

      Absolutely bad idea. They should mention how to install from the DVD of snow leopard.

      The people who do want to pirate it...will surely do that. But for lifehacker its safe to not link to it.

      But i am sure they have lawyers and know what they are doing.

    "Dynamic is better for not taking up your hard drive but Static should give you better performance"

    You've got the dynamic & static mixed up.

      John - I think it's you who has it mixed up.

      Dynamic gets bigger as you need it - the act of expansion slows things down. Less disk space required and less performance achieved.

      No they don't.

    Interesting to see you link to the pirate bay. I don't have a problem with it myself but I'm fairly sure its illegal to so in Australia.

    Also please don't use JPEG for screenshots, PNG is designed for stuff like that and can even end up having a smaller file size.

    Great guide! Thanks!

    I didn't have visualization enabled in my hosts BIOS, once I enabled it everything run smooth as.

    Thx lifehacker for finding me a new toy :P

    I've downloaded the iso, appear to have installed (it went through the motions of installing for about 30 mins), but as soon as it tries to boot of the hard disk for the first time, I get "FATAL: No bootable medium found! System halted."

    Anyone seen this ?

    Any ideas on how to fix ?

    I think that:

    "
    AMD Users check:

    Any Updates included at the top.

    Drop down Kernels and choose Legacy kernel.

    AMD option below System support.

    Intel Users check:

    Any Updates included at the top.

    Drop down bootloaders and check the newest Chameleon.

    Drop down Kernels and choose Legacy kernel.
    "

    is a bit too vague. Can someone please elaborate on this as I'm having issues customizing the installation options part?

    Changing resolution is pretty easy task.
    follow the link
    http://pcwizcomputer.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=32

    I got to wonder if some of these wimpering Girly men really have time for this. They should be in school learning to spell

    I had this working nicely. When I had to reinstall windows, I backed up the virtual machines and virtual disks, but I couldn't find a way to reload them in VirtualBox after my machine rebuild. Guess I'll have to reinstall from scratch.

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