README documents the new method to install macOS. The older
This new method does not require an existing physical/virtual macOS
installation. However, this
new method requires internet access during the
macOS installation process. This limitation may be addressed in a future
Note: All blobs and resources included in this repository are re-derivable (all instructions are included!).
Note: Checkout ideas.md. This project can always use your help, time and attention.
A modern Linux distribution. E.g. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS 64-bit.
QEMU > 2.11.1
A CPU with Intel VT-x / AMD SVM support is required
A CPU with SSE4.1 support is required for macOS Sierra
A CPU with AVX2 support is required for macOS Mojave
Note: Older AMD CPU(s) are known to be problematic. AMD FX-8350 works but Phenom II X3 720 does not. Ryzen processors work just fine.
KVM may need the following tweak on the host machine to work.
# echo 1 > /sys/module/kvm/parameters/ignore_msrs
To make this change permanent, you may use the following command.
$ sudo cp kvm.conf /etc/modprobe.d/kvm.conf
Install QEMU and other packages.
sudo apt-get install qemu uml-utilities virt-manager dmg2img git wget
This step may need to be adapted for your Linux distribution.
Clone this repository on your QEMU system. Files from this repository are used in the following steps.
cd ~ git clone https://github.com/kholia/OSX-KVM.git cd OSX-KVM
Fetch macOS installer.
You can choose your desired macOS version here. After executing this step, you should have the
BaseSystem.dmgfile in the current folder.
$ ./fetch-macOS.py # ProductID Version Build Post Date Title 1 041-47723 10.14.4 18E2034 2019-03-25 macOS Mojave 2 091-95155 10.13.6 17G66 2019-01-08 macOS High Sierra 3 041-64745 10.14.5 18F203 2019-05-22 macOS Mojave 4 041-59913 10.14.5 18F132 2019-05-13 macOS Mojave 5 041-71284 10.15 19A471t 2019-06-03 macOS 10.15 Beta Choose a product to download (1-5): 5
Attention: Modern NVIDIA GPUs are supported on HighSierra but not on Mojave (yet).
Next, convert this file into a usable format.
dmg2img BaseSystem.dmg BaseSystem.img
Create a virtual HDD image where macOS will be installed. If you change the name of the disk image from
mac_hdd.imgto something else, the boot scripts will need updating to point to the new image name.
qemu-img create -f qcow2 mac_hdd_ng.img 128G
Setup quick networking by running the following commands.
sudo ip tuntap add dev tap0 mode tap sudo ip link set tap0 up promisc on sudo ip link set dev virbr0 up sudo ip link set dev tap0 master virbr0
virbr0network interface is not present on your system, it may have been deactivated. Try enabling it by using the following commands,
virsh net-start default virsh net-autostart default
Now you are ready to install macOS
CLI method (primary). Just run the
boot-macOS-NG.shscript to start the installation proces.
If you are new to installing macOS, see the older README for help.
For macOS Catalina, use
GUI method (alternate - functional but needs further debugging work).
macOS-libvirt-NG.xmlfile and change the various file paths (search for
CHANGEMEstrings in that file). The following command should do the trick usually.
sed -i "s/CHANGEME/$USER/g" macOS-libvirt-NG.xml
Create a VM by running the following command.
virsh --connect qemu:///system define macOS-libvirt-NG.xml
virt-manager, start the
macOSvirtual machine and install macOS as usual.
Note: You may need to run
sudo ip link delete tap0command before
virt-manageris able to start the
Note: You may need to remove the following block from
virsh --connect ...again. Alternate easier fix: Remove
SATA Disk 3from the macOS virtual machine in
<disk type='file' device='disk'> <driver name='qemu' type='raw' cache='writeback'/> <source file='/home/CHANGEME/OSX-KVM/BaseSystem.img'/> <target dev='sdc' bus='sata'/> <boot order='3'/> <address type='drive' controller='0' bus='0' target='0' unit='2'/> </disk>
See networking notes to setup guest networking.
I have the following commands present in
#!/bin/bash sudo ip tuntap add dev tap0 mode tap sudo ip link set tap0 up promisc on sudo ip link set dev virbr0 up sudo ip link set dev tap0 master virbr0
This has been enough for me so far.
To get sound on your virtual Mac, see the "Virtual Sound Device" in notes.
To passthrough GPUs and other devices, see these notes.
Need a different resolution? Check out the notes included in this repository.
Is This Legal?
The "secret" Apple OSK string is widely available on the Internet. It is also included in a public court document available here. I am not a lawyer but it seems that Apple's attempt(s) to get the OSK string treated as a trade secret did not work out. Due to these reasons, the OSK string is freely included in this repository.
Gabriel Somlo also has some thoughts on the legal aspects involved in running macOS under QEMU/KVM.
My aim is to enable macOS based builds + testing, kernel debugging, reversing and security tasks in an easy, reproducible manner without needing to invest in Apple's closed ecosystem (too heavily).
Backstory: I was a (poor) student in Canada once and Apple made my work on cracking Apple Keychains a lot harder than it needed to be.