Virtualized Mac OS X

by on under Technical
1 minute read

In preparation for an upcoming lecture I installed Mac OS X in a virtual machine. Getting the Mac OS running in a VM is pretty easy, if one uses the right tools. I chose iATKOS L2 (Mac OS X v10.7 “Lion”) in combination with VirtualBox.

For anyone trying to get iATKOS L2 running under Qemu/KVM: I did not succeed. Both iATKOS v7 and L2 require a machine with APIC >= 0.14. Qemu/KVM exports a machine with APIC 0.11. The installation does work, when using the following boot options (press F8 to enter), but when starting the installed OS, the system will not boot, stating that APIC >= 0.14 is required.

-v -x -f platform=acpi idlehalt=0

VirtualBox on the other hand, works like a breeze. Ensure, that EFI is disabled in the VM settings and boot from the ISO image. The installation options provided by iATKOS do not need to be modified. Using the default install, pretty much everything works as expected.

See this guide on how to get another screen resolution apart from 1024x768. The important steps are summarized here. To get a native screen resolution, VirtualBox must provide the correct resolution and Mac OS X must be told about this resolution. Execute the following to set the resolution 1280x800 in VirtualBox:

vboxmanage setextradata "VM Name" "CustomVideoMode1" "1280x800x32"

Continue with editing the file /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.Boot.plist. This file should contain following:

  
<key>Graphics Mode</key>  
<string>1280x800x32<string>

I experienced the sound to be choppy, but good enough for basic usage. Listen to music would be a no-go. System updates can be installed as usual and propably won’t break the OS.

To be able to sign up to an iCloud account, the machines serial number must be set in the smbios.plist file. This can be done using the application Champlist.

Isn’t it beautiful? :)

Mac OS X Lion on a Thinkpad

virtualization, Mac OS X, VirtualBox, KVM