MacOS high sierra being the successor of macOS sierra 10.12 brings a ton of changes and feature upgrades as well as bug fixes. New features include a new file system (APFS), better photo editing support, new and improved Siri etc. Generally, to experience macOS you have to purchase an iMac or MacBook, while Apple machines are expensive and don’t give much value for money in terms of hardware, you can buy a normal pc or laptop and install macOS on it making it a Hackintosh. However, making a Hackintosh is not that easy if you are not a techie guy. But still, there is a way to experience macOS without making a Hackintosh is to install macOS on VMware.
Things to be noted that by running macOS on VMware you will not be able to run apps that rely on graphics power like video editing apps, games etc. Because graphics acceleration or QC/CI does not work in VMware. In that case, the only option left is to directly install macOS on your pc/laptop using Clover or you can also dual boot macOS with windows so you get best of both worlds. HackintoshPro has plenty of guides on making a Hackintosh check them out.
This guide on installing macOS high sierra on VMware covers all the steps that need to be done in order to install and run macOS on VMware, still if you face any problem following this guide I’m here to help and feel free to post them in the comments.
A new version of macOS which is 10.14 Mojave is released, we have already published a guide on how to install macOS Mojave on VMware.
Download the required files.
Before we do anything we will first download the required files at once so we don’t need to wait for the downloads to finish later.
Download macOS high sierra vmdk file (Google drive)
Download the latest version of VMware workstation player. You can also use the PRO version if you have purchased the licence but if not then the player will work fine.
Download VMware patching tool aka Unlocker tool (We will talk about this tool later).
Update: We have published a guide on installing macOS mojave on VMware so check it out
Installing VMware workstation player.
If you haven’t installed the VMware player after downloading follow the following steps to install it first.
Open the VMware player installed from the downloads folder. Now follow the install instructions displayed in the screen.
After successfully installing the VMware player, click finish. Don’t launch the app right after closing the installation wizard because the next step in which we will do the patching may not work.
VMware for windows by default doesn’t support running macOS in it. As macOS is not meant to run on Windows devices but to make it work, so they don’t provide the option to install macOS. So to install macOS high sierra on VMware we will patch the VMware software using the patch tool we downloaded earlier. The patch tool uses binary from VMware fusion which is the macOS version of VMware in order to inject necessary data and create a suitable environment required to run macOS.
Before using the patch tool make sure that VMware is not running in the foreground as the patch tool will not be able to do the job when it is running.
Unzip the unlocker302.zip (VMware patch tool) you downloaded before from the download section.
Right click on the “win-intall.bat” file and click “Run as Administrator”. Click yes on the prompt and the tool will automatically patch the VMware.
Creating the macOS high sierra virtual machine.
After the patching is finished, we will now create a virtual machine to which we will connect the macOS high sierra vmdk file.
1. Open the VMware workstation player and click “Create a new virtual machine”
2. In the wizard select the “I will install the operating system later” option and click next.
3. Now under selection of operation system select “Apple Mac OS X” and from version select “macOS 10.13”.
If the “Apple Mac OS X” option is not showing in the list, you probably did something wrong while running the unlocker tool. Again perform the patching steps and the option should appear.
4. Name the VM as you like and leave the location as it is and click next.
5. Here also leave the size to default which is 40GB. As it doesn’t matter because we will use our own disk image. Then click next and then finish.
Configuring the Virtual machine.
Now that we have created the macOS virtual machine, we will now configure it so it runs efficiently on your PC.
1. Right click on the Virtual machine you just created and click settings.
2. In the memory tab, use the slider and slide it to 4GB or more if you have more RAM then 8GB.
3. Next on the Processors tab set the number of cores to 2 if you have a dual-core CPU and 4 if you have a quad-core CPU. From the virtualization engine select “Virtualize Intel VT-x”.
4. Now click on the “Hard disk” tab and click remove.
5. Click on Add and select ‘Hard disk’ and click next. Select SATA under disk type then next.
6. In the Wizard select “Use an existing disk” and then next. Now copy paste the path to the vmdk file you downloaded earlier from the download section above or click Browse and select the vmdk and then click finish.
Note: After the selecting the vmdk file if a prompt appears asking “Convert existing virtual disk to newer format?” click on “Keep existing format”.
Editing the configuration file.
Till now we have successfully created and configured the macOS high sierra virtual machine. In this step, we will edit the VMware configuration file and add a line that is required to run the VM correctly.
1. Open the folder of the virtual machine. Default is “C:/Users/username/documents/Virtual Machines/”
2. Search for a file with extension ‘.vmx’. The name of the file will be the same as the name of the VM.
3. Right click on the configuration file (refer to screenshot below) and open with notepad and add the line:
smc.version = “0” to the bottom of the file and save it.
Running the VM.
Moment of truth! Now that everything is finished and the only thing is left is to start the macOS virtual machine.
1. Select the VM and click run.
Note: Depending on the storage from which you are running the virtual machine, it might stuck at the loading screen for a while. So don’t panic and turn off the VM wait at least 10 minutes.
2. In the welcome screen select your country and click continue.
3. Select your keyboard layout, if it is not in the list click show all.
4. Under transfer information select ‘Don’t transfer any information now’ and continue.
5. Now sign in with your apple id if you have one if not click setup later. Later after the setup is complete you can create your Apple ID using iTunes or App store so don’t worry.
6. Agree to the terms and conditions and then create your local account and then the setup will be complete.
Installing VMware tools.
After running the VM you might have noticed that the screen size is too small. This is because we haven’t installed VMware tools until now. To install it follow the steps.
1. Click on the Player drop-down menu from the top left and manage > install VMware tools.
2. Now the installer should automatically open. Click install VMware tools.
3. Follow the instructions of the installer, at last type your password and the installation will begin. It will take a while so keep patience. After the installation is complete restart the VM.
4. After restarting open the settings app, click on ‘security and privacy’ in the first row then click ‘allow’. macOS by default blocks apps from running from unrecognized developers, So you need to manually allow it.
That’s all! If you have encountered any problem while following this guide please post them on comments I will be happy to help.