How to install macOS High Sierra on VMware Workstation

macOS High Sierra is the latest version of the macOS operating system, you can easily install macOS high Sierra on VMware Workstation.

Introduction

macOS is a proprietary operating system that runs on Apple Macs. There are now many techniques you can use to install macOS on your Intel PC (Hackintosh). From Windows, you can use Clover Boot Disk to create macOS High Sierra bootable USB with just a few clicks. But not all hardware is supported, and you also need to refer to a lot of documentation so that macOS can be installed and running on your computer.

An easier way to experience macOS right on a computer running Windows or Linux is to install macOS on VMware Workstation. The advantage of this is that you will be familiar with the installation and use without affecting the settings on the computer. By using virtual machines, you can use macOS and Windows or Linux simultaneously. Using virtual disks ensures that all data on the real disks will not be affected. But I noticed running macOS on the VM is very slow, although I set it up to 4GB of RAM.

This article will guide you how to install macOS high Sierra on VMware Workstation. I created a virtual disk containing the macOS installer, you just downloaded it, attached it to the virtual machine, and installed it. I’m not sure if VMware Workstation 12 supports macOS 10.13 virtual machines, but version 14 has support. I tested on VirtualBox and it does not work.

How to install macOS High Sierra on VMware Workstation

VMware macOS Unlocker

By default, VMware does not provide the option to create macOS and Mac OS X machines. Fortunately there is a tool that helps me unlock this option, this tool is VMware macOS Unlocker. It supports Windows, Linux and MacOS. Skip this step if you were able to create a macOS virtual machine.

  1. Go to the VMware macOS Unlocker page to download. Click the Clone or download button, then click Download ZIP.
    VMware macOS Unlocker
  2. Power off all virtual machines running and exit VMware.
  3. Extract the downloaded .zip file in step 1.
  4. On Windows, right-click on the win-install.cmd file and select Run as Administrator to unlock. For Linux and macOS, run the lnx-install.sh or osx-install.sh files under root (not tested).
  5. After the unlock process is complete, run VMware to create the macOS virtual machine.

Create macOS virtual machine

Creating a macOS virtual machine is very simple, here are the steps to create a virtual machine on VMware Workstation:

  1. Click File, select New Virtual Machine…
    VMware Workstation - New Virtual Machine
  2. Select Typical (recommended) and click Next.
    VMware Workstation - New Virtual Machine
  3. Select I will install the operating system later. and click Next.
    VMware Workstation - Guest Operating System Installation
  4. Select Apple Mac OS X in the Guest operating system section and select macOS 10.13 in the Version section. Click Next.
    Create macOS virtual machine
  5. In the Name the Virtual Machine window, name the virtual machine and virtual machine directory. I personally would put it on a different drive than the system drive.
    VMware virtual machine location
  6. Select the size for the new virtual disk in the Specify Disk Capacity window. This is the virtual disk to be installed macOS. Click Next and then Finish.

Add macOS image

After creating the virtual machine, we have a virtual disk to install macOS High Sierra. Now we just need to add a new virtual disk containing the macOS installer. You can also create a macOS bootable USB, then boot USB in VMware Workstation to install but using a virtual hard disk will be a lot simpler.

  1. Download the OSX_10.13.5_Installer.vmdk file. This is an installation image of macOS High Sierra. You do not need to use the Hackintosh ISO.
  2. Select the virtual machine just created, click on Edit virtual machine settings.
    Edit virtual machine settings
  3. In the Memory section, you can increase the value to make the virtual machine run faster. I increased it to 4096MB (4GB) but macOS still runs very slowly.
  4. Click Add…, then select Hard Disk and click Next.
    Add hard disk to VMware virtual machine
  5. In the Select a Disk Type window, click Next.
  6. Select Use an existing virtual disk in the Select a Disk window and click Next to continue.
  7. In the Select an Existing Disk window, click Browse… to select the OSX_10.13.5_Installer.vmdk file that you downloaded in step 1.
  8. Click Finish, then click OK in the Virtual Machine Settings window.

Install macOS

Now you can boot the virtual machine to install macOS High Sierra. I encountered an error when I clicked the Power on this virtual machine button:

VMware Workstation unrecoverable error: (vcpu-0)
vcpu-0:VERIFY

vmcore/vmm/main/physMem_monitor.c:1279

If you get the same error, you can fix this by adding the line “smc.version = “0”” to the “%ProgramData%\VMware\VMware Workstation\config.ini” file. The easiest way is to run Command Prompt under Admin (find cmd.exe, then right-click and select Run as Administrator), then run the following two commands:

echo.>>"%ProgramData%\VMware\VMware Workstation\config.ini"
echo smc.version = "0">>"%ProgramData%\VMware\VMware Workstation\config.ini"

Ok, my virtual machine has booted, I’ve seen the screen to install macOS.

Install macOS High Sierra on VMware Workstation

On the macOS Utilities screen, you need to run Disk Utility to create an APFS partition to install the macOS High Sierra.

macOS High Sierra Disk Utility

  1. In the left column, you will see the virtual hard disk you created above (VMware Virtual…). Select it and click the Erase button.
  2. Under Name, enter a name for the new partition.
  3. macOS High Sierra requires a partition in APFS format for installation. Select APFS from the Format drop-down list. For older versions, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
  4. Click the Erase button to continue.
  5. Once you have an APFS partition, close Disk Utility to start installing macOS.

Go back to the macOS Utilities screen:

  1. Select Install macOS and then click the Continue button.
  2. Continue to select Continue, then Agree and Agree.
  3. In the next window, select the APFS partition you created above. Then click Install to install macOS High Sierra on VMware Workstation.
    Install macOS on VMware Workstation
  4. The virtual machine will restart several times until it allows you to set up. Please be patient.

Once installed, you can remove the virtual hard disk that you added in the Add macOS image step. Open Virtual Machine Settings, select the disk and click the Remove button.

Install VMware Tools

It is very important that you install VMware Tools in the virtual machine. Installed VMware Tools will improve the performance and support for additional features. Learn more about installing VMware Tools for the macOS virtual machine at VMware’s Web site.

  1. Select the VM from the VMware menu, then select Install VMware Tools…
    Install VMware Tools
  2. VMware will automatically mount the darwin.iso file and the VMware Tools icon will appear on the virtual machine screen. Double click on this icon to install.
    Install VMware Tools
  3. Click the Open Security Preferences button if you see the message “System Extension Blocked“.
    macOS System Extension Blocked
  4. You will see the message “System software from developer “VMware, Inc.” was blocked from loading.“. Click the Allow button.
    System software from developer was blocked from loading
  5. Restart the virtual machine.

So you have finished installing macOS High Sierra on VMware Workstation. Good luck!

 

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19 thoughts on “How to install macOS High Sierra on VMware Workstation”

  1. “This virtual machine required AVX2 But AVX is not present. This virtual machine cannot be powered on.”
    i have this error msg pops up.
    using vmware workstation 14 , on AMD ryzen 2200G (support AVX & AVX2) both enable checked using CPUZ

  2. Hi
    When I Go back to the macOS Utilities screen and Select Install macOS and then click the Continue button to get the Install macOS High Sierra window and then click Continue on that, I get a message box saying “The recovery server could not be contacted”
    I have no idea what that signifies but I am connected to the internet.
    Thanks
    Dave

        1. Hi
          I have just found that the reason for the “The recovery server could not be contacted” message was that I had Network Connection set to Nat.
          I changed it to Bridged and set Replicate physical network connection state on.
          Now it is installing High Sierra

  3. hey!

    thanks for your post! I have a problem when i click on instal. It says “The recovery server could not be contacted”.

    Any help with that?

    THANKS!

  4. I got a message saying “The CPU has been disabled by the guest operating system. Power off or reset the virtual machine.” how do I fix it??

  5. It seems that at the end screen, when we should wait for the install to complete, the installer want to download 5.1 GB !

      1. I restarted my virtual machine but the same process will be repeated and the installer always start downloading 6 packages (~5.1 GB)