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Tools to set up a quick macOS VM in QEMU, accelerated by KVM.
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Documentation to set up a simple macOS VM in QEMU, accelerated by KVM.

By @FoxletFox, and the help of many others. Find this useful? You can donate here!

New to macOS KVM? Check the FAQs.

Getting Started

You'll need a Linux system with qemu (3.1 or later), python3, pip and the KVM extensions installed for this project. A Mac is not required. Some examples for different distributions:

sudo apt-get install qemu-system qemu-utils python3 python3-pip  # for Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, and PopOS.
sudo pacman -S qemu python python-pip            # for Arch.
sudo xbps-install -Su qemu python3 python3-pip   # for Void Linux.

Step 1

Run to download installation media for macOS (internet required). The default installation uses Catalina, but you can choose which version to get by adding either --high-sierra, --mojave, or --catalina. For example:

./ --mojave

Note: You can skip this if you already have BaseSystem.img downloaded. If you have BaseSystem.dmg, you will need to convert it with the dmg2img tool.

Step 2

Create an empty hard disk using qemu-img, changing the name and size to preference:

qemu-img create -f qcow2 MyDisk.qcow2 64G

and add it to the end of

    -drive id=SystemDisk,if=none,file=MyDisk.qcow2 \
    -device ide-hd,bus=sata.4,drive=SystemDisk \

Note: If you're running on a headless system (such as on Cloud providers), you will need -nographic and -vnc :0 -k en-us for VNC support.

Then run to start the machine and install macOS. Remember to partition in Disk Utility first!

Step 2a (Virtual Machine Manager)

If instead of QEMU, you'd like to import the setup into Virt-Manager for further configuration, just run --add.

Step 3

You're done!

To fine-tune the system and improve performance, look in the docs folder for more information on adding memory, setting up bridged networking, adding passthrough hardware (for GPUs), and enabling sound features.

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