Your browser (Internet Explorer 6) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

Running Mac OS X on Windows VMware Workstation

DISCLAIMER: This post doesn’t express any warranties. It is provided as-is and you are proceeding at your own risk taking into consideration all license and legal ramifications. This post is meant to show you what is possible to do, not whether or not it is legal or allowed to be done.

Sometimes you just need the ability to test an Operating System.  For these purposes this blog post will show you how to run Mac OS X 10.8 in VMware Workstation for the purpose of testing Mac management with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.  As a consultant,, I travel constantly, I can’t exactly carry around a Mac mini in my laptop bag, well I probably could but I have no desire to.  I already ditched my heavy laptop for an Ultrabook, rather than my previous Lenovo W520 that had a power supply I could crush most small rodents with.

There are numerous posts with various bits of information, but didn’t see one comprehensive guide. I’ve also seen pre-created VM’s that you can download and import into VMware Workstation, but I prefer to have my own clean VM that I built and don’t need to worry about where it came from. Call me crazy..

Files you will need:

Step 1: Install VMware Workstation on your machine.

Note that you cannot have Hyper-V and VMware Workstation installed on the same box 🙂

Step 2: Run VMware Unlocker 1.1.0.

1) Extract out VMware Unlocker.

2) Run the install.bat that is in the \windows folder. This will configure VMware Workstation to support Mac OS X.

3) You should now see Apple Mac OS X listed in the New Virtual Machine Wizard.


4) Create a new Virtual Machine for Mac OS X 10.8, Mac OS X will need a minimum of 2GB of RAM.

Step 3: Use 7Zip or a similar program to extract out the InstallESD.dmg from the Mac OS X 10.8 installation DVD.

Step 4: Using the dmg2img program, create a ISO of the Mac OS X install.

Example command line:

dmg2im -I "path\installesd.dmg" -o "path\macosxsetup.iso"


MacOSXSetup.iso successfully created.


Step 5: Extract out the to get the darwin.iso from under \payload.


Step 6: Mount the newly created MacOSXSetup.iso with the VMware Workstation VM.


Step 7: Start the VM and launch the Mac OS X Setup from the ISO we created.


1) Select the Disk Utility so we can format the drive before installing the OS


2) Select the disk and then select Erase, the format should be Mac OS Extended Journaled.


3) Select Erase on the prompt.


4) Close the Disk Utility and Select Reinstall OS X.


5) Select Continue.


6) Select Agree.


7) Select the disk and then Install.


8) Installation will start.


All installed!


9) You’ll have to continue through some additional setup and personalization and create your account.


Finally done and we can see our desktop!


Step 8: Install VMware tools.

1) Mount the darwin.iso to the VM, a restart might be required to get it to properly show up in the VM.

2) In order to see the icons on the desktop, go into Finder Preferences, and check the Hard Disks, External Disks, CD/DVD, and Connected Servers boxes.


3) You should now be able to see the VMWare tools DVD.


4) Double-click the VMware Tools DVD.  Double-Click Install VMware Tools.


5) Click Continue.


6) Click Continue.

7) Click Install.

8) Enter your password to install the software.


9) Select Continue Installation.

10) Restart upon completion.


After the reboot, you should see functional VMware tools. The window should resize etc. per standard VMware tools.

Step 9: Take a Snapshot!

It’s a good idea to have a clean slate to revert to if needed.

Step 10: Enjoy!