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Building for macOS

Prerequisites

  • Xcode 7.2.1 or later
  • OS X 10.10 SDK (archived here)
    • Use xcodebuild -showsdks to list installed SDKs.
    • It is also possible to build HAXM using a newer version of macOS SDK. However, using an older SDK ensures that the generated kext is compatible with older versions of macOS.
  • NASM 2.11 or later
    • Install to /usr/local/bin/ using Homebrew: brew install nasm
    • Note that Apple NASM (/usr/bin/nasm) cannot be used.

Build steps

  1. cd /path/to/haxm/
  2. cd platforms/darwin/
  3. xcodebuild -configuration Debug
    • Use -sdk to override the default macOS SDK version (10.10), e.g. -sdk macosx10.12 (to select SDK 10.12) or even -sdk macosx (to select the latest SDK installed).
    • Use Release instead of Debug to build an optimized kext that is suitable for release.

If successful, the kext (intelhaxm.kext/) will be generated in /path/to/haxm/platforms/darwin/build/Debug/.

Testing on macOS

System requirements

Note that these are requirements for the test environment, which does not have to be the same as the build environment.

  1. Hardware requirements are the same as those for Windows.
  2. OS X 10.10 or later.

Loading and unloading the test kext

The intelhaxm.kext generated by the Debug and Release build configurations is not signed. Unless you can sign it using a special kind of Apple Developer ID Certificate, you must configure your test Mac to allow unsigned kexts to load:

  • For OS X 10.10, the solution is to add the kext-dev-mode=1 boot-arg. More details can be found here.
  • For macOS 10.11 and later, the solution is to turn off System Integrity Protection (SIP). More details can be found here.

To load the test kext:

  1. Make sure no other HAXM kext is loaded. If the output of kextstat | grep intelhaxm is not empty, you must unload the existing HAXM kext first: sudo kextunload -b com.intel.kext.intelhaxm
  2. sudo chown -R root:wheel /path/to/intelhaxm.kext
  3. sudo chmod -R 755 /path/to/intelhaxm.kext
  4. sudo kextload /path/to/intelhaxm.kext
    • Note that kextload can load a kext from any folder, so there is no need to copy the test kext to /Library/Extensions/ first.

To unload the test kext:

  1. sudo kextunload /path/to/intelhaxm.kext
  2. Optionally, you may want to restore the original HAXM kext, which is usually the signed one installed to /Library/Extensions/: sudo kextload /Library/Extensions/intelhaxm.kext

Viewing kext logs

On macOS, HAXM debug output goes to the system log database, and can be retrieved at almost any time.

  • On OS X 10.10, HAXM log messages are written immediately to /var/log/system.log. You can monitor this file for real-time updates using Console.app or the syslog -w command.
  • On macOS 10.11 or later, HAXM log messages are no longer written to /var/log/system.log, and there is no good way to capture them in real time. However, you can still retrieve them at a later time using one of the following methods:
    1. log show --predicate 'sender == "intelhaxm"' --style syslog --last 1h, which is complex but very flexible. In this example, --last 1h indicates the past hour, and can be replaced with other queries.
    2. sudo dmesg | grep hax, which is simple, but does not show the timestamp of each message.
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