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Latest commit 403f6f6 Aug 20, 2018



  • Enoch bootloader is not used for macOS High Sierra. Clover is used instead.

Host System Details

Known to work on:

  • Fedora 26/27 running on Ryzen 7 1800X CPU.

  • Fedora 27 running on i7-6600U CPU.

  • Fedora 27 running on i7-5820K CPU.

  • Ubuntu 18.04 running on i5-6500 and i7-8750H CPUs.

  • Gentoo (October-2017) running on AMD FX-8320 CPU with AMD RX 470 GPU passthrough.

  • Arch Linux (February-2018) on i7-6700HQ CPU.

Tested with QEMU >= 2.12 (QEMU 3.0 works too) and Linux Kernel >= 4.10. A CPU with SSE4.1 support is required for macOS High Sierra. Intel VT-x / AMD SVM is required.

Installation Preparation

Preparation steps on your current macOS installation

  • Download macOS High Sierra installer from Apple App Store.

    If you are getting a partial installer from the Apple App Store, follow the instructions here to get the full (5GB) version instead.

  • Clone this repository. Files included in this repository are needed for ISO creation.

    git clone https://github.com/kholia/OSX-KVM.git
  • Run the ISO creation script create_iso_highsierra.sh included in this folder. Run it with sudo.

  • Copy the generated ISO image from your Mac's Desktop to your QEMU/KVM machine.

Preparation steps on your QEMU system

  • Clone this repository again on your QEMU system. Files from this repository are used in the following steps.

  • Install required software packages.

    sudo apt-get install qemu uml-utilities libguestfs-tools
  • For QEMU versions < 2.10.1, build and use QEMU from source. See http://wiki.qemu-project.org/Hosts/Linux for more help. QEMU 2.10.1 in Fedora 27, QEMU 2.11.1 in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and QEMU 2.11 in Arch Linux already work fine.

    # First edit /etc/apt/sources.list to add/uncomment deb-src lines
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get build-dep qemu
    git clone https://github.com/kholia/qemu.git
    cd qemu
    git checkout macOS
    git submodule init
    git submodule update --recursive
    ./configure --prefix=/home/$(whoami)/QEMU --target-list=x86_64-softmmu --audio-drv-list=pa
    $ make clean; make -j8; make install
  • See networking notes to setup guest networking.

    • Note: The repository version of the boot-macOS-HS.sh script is configured to use 'tap' networking - change networking style and the boot script if your needs are different.
  • Create a virtual HDD image where macOS will be installed.

    qemu-img create -f qcow2 mac_hdd.img 128G
  • Create bootable Clover disk.

    Edit clover/config.plist.stripped.qemu and set the desired screen resolution (default is 1024x768).

    sudo ./clover-image.sh --iso Clover-v2.4k-4644-X64.iso --cfg clover/config.plist.stripped.qemu --img Clover.qcow2

    This command only works on a Fedora (>= 27) host machine.

    Instead of building your own bootable Clover disk, you may use the included Clover.qcow2 disk image, which offers 1024x768 screen resolution.


To install macOS High Sierra, use the included boot-macOS-HS.sh script.

Note: Ensure that the OVMF resolution is set equal to resolution set in your Clover.qcow2 file (default is 1024x768). This can be done via the OVMF menu, which you can reach with a press of the ESC button during the OVMF boot logo (before Clover boot screen appears). In the OVMF menu settings, set Device Manager -> OVMF Platform Configuration -> Change Preferred Resolution for Next Boot to the desired value (default is 1024x768). Commit changes and exit the OVMF menu. Relaunch the boot-macOS-HS.sh script.

Installer Steps

  • After booting, the initial language selection should show up.

  • After selecting the language, select Disk Utility and erase your target disk.

    In some cases if the target disk doesn't appear in the Disk Utility, then fire-up the Terminal program and prepare the hard drive for installation manually.

    diskutil list
    diskutil eraseDisk JHFS+ macOS disk0  # adapt this according to your system

    High Sierra's (< 10.13.3) Disk Utility does not recognize unformatted disks, unless you click View > Show All Devices, quit Disk Utility, then relaunch it.

    Thanks to https://tinyapps.org/blog/mac/ and xenadu02 for this tip.

  • When done, quit Terminal.

  • Now, you can continue with the installation as usual.

  • When finished, the VM will reboot automatically and the first time setup continues as usual.

Post-Installation Recommendations

  • Install Clover to the main hard drive where macOS High Sierra was installed in previous steps. See UEFI notes for details.

  • For debugging and general tips, see the main README.md file and notes.md file.

  • For USB and GPU passthrough notes, see UEFI notes file.