Install Hackintosh (Mac OS X Snow Leopard) Using VirtualBox on Windows or Ubuntu

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If you have been intrigued by the hype surrounding Snow Leopard but could afford buying a Mac to check it out. Here is you chance to do it, that too without having to mess with your existing system as we are going to install it using VirtualBox which now with its v 3.2 offers support for Mac OS X Snow Leopard out of the box, without the need for any hacking. You might argue that virtualizing isn’t as robust as dual boot hackintosh, but then you need to remember that you have to work harder to ensure hardware compatibility and getting everything to work on your machine. With VirtualBox almost everything that one typically needs works out of the box.

Requirements

  • You would need at least a computer with Dual Core processor (Intel or AMD).
  • At least 10 GB of hard disk space (15-20 GB recommended).
  • 2 GB or more RAM (would work for less but the result won’t be satisfactory).
  • Snow Leopard Osx86 distro (torrent link to download hackintosh, it contains Snow Leopard as well as the Server, you won’t need to install the server component.)
  • Virtualbox (Thank you Sun/Oracle)
  • A beverage of your choice to get you through the fun parts (optional).

Installation

Install Virtual Box. For Windows installation is straight forward. Ubuntu users look here.

Creation of MacOS X virtual machine. Start by launching VirtualBox.

Click New button to start creating a new virtual machine, and then choose the OS type to Mac OS X Server.

Choose the amount of memory you want to allocate for the virtual machine, at least 1 GB is recommended, my machine has a total of 12 GB RAM so I went ahead with 2 GB.

Now we need to create a new virtual hard drive.

You should be fine by selecting a dynamically expanding storage with at least 10 GB space, I went ahead with 30 GB, which should be more than adequate.

Click next followed by finish to complete the creation of new virtual hard disk. Once the machine is created, click on the Settings button to un-check the Enable EFI option in the Systems tab as shown below

Now go to the Storage tab and browse to choose the Mac OS Hackintosh DVD iso file that you downloaded.

Click Select and then click Ok to save the changes you made. Now hit the start button to start installing the Mac OS X.

Wait for the installer Welcome screen to show up. Click Continue to proceed with the installation process.

Now you need to setup your hard drive to continue with the installation process. Launch Disk Utility as shown below

Now select the hard drive and select the Erase option to format the hard drive with the following settings.

Once the disk erase is completed, exit the Disk Utility and then select the drive you just partitioned and continue with the installation. On the next screen click on customize button. This is important!

The two customization changes that I made were:

  • Legacy Kernel from the Kernels drop down
  • Latest Chameleon Boot loader from the boot loader options drop down

Click done followed by Install. Installation should progress smoothly and should be over in quick time (5-10 minutes).

After the installation gets over and the virtual machine reboot. Just eject the DVD iso drive from the VirtualBox devices menu and let the Mac Goodness boot, after some user setup related stuff you should see this.

Only thing not working at this point is sound and custom screen resolution. To fix the resolution, look here, and for audio fix (not perfect) look here (just need to download and install the audio driver).

Buy Mac product if you like it.

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About the Author

has written 1285 posts on this blog.

Meditating towards his "nerdvana", lifehacker is a teacher by the day and a nerdy blogger by the night. He lives to learn and yearns to learn living.

29 Comments on “Install Hackintosh (Mac OS X Snow Leopard) Using VirtualBox on Windows or Ubuntu”

  • Iryna wrote on 26 July, 2010, 15:54

    why does the installation take a lot of hours for me and meanwhile eats my local disk C: memory. i didnt install it, cos i’m afraid now to, and it ate already 7Gb when i tried to install it

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  • lifehacker wrote on 26 July, 2010, 16:09

    @Iryna

    How much virtual drive space did you allocate for? What is the hardware configuration of the computer are you trying to install this on? Only after I know this can I have a clue to your issue.

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  • Iryna wrote on 27 July, 2010, 8:39

    Hello again, so today i tried to install it again since it returned 7Gb after the computer restart. Now i installed it :)), but i cant boot it though i checked Chameleon install. It just want me to install it again and again! I’ve got AMD Turion X2 2Ghz, NVidia, 3 Gb RAM. I made a hard disk of 30Gb and 1.5Gb RAM.

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  • lifehacker wrote on 27 July, 2010, 9:54

    @Iryna
    If you are getting repeated reboots. Check if at the Customize stage of the installation you have installed AMD patches or not. You don’t need to reinstall from scratch, just proceed with the install without formatting stuff, and in the customize option, just unselect everything except the one you want to install, which in this case would be AMD patches. Installing these should fix your repeated reboot problem.

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  • Iryna wrote on 29 July, 2010, 11:05

    Hello again! So i tried to install amd patch, but it’s the same like with intel. In custamose options i tried to choose amd patch only, then i tried amd patch + csmos fix legacy rtc, it didn’t work for me. It always asks me to install something else of 483Mb size, but when i try to install it, it can’t be installed on my computer, it says so. So can i install hackintosh at all on my computer?
    Plus when i choose amd patch in customize options, it says that later i should go to applications folder and use marvin’s app for cpuids, but i dont know how to get there. I tried Disk Utility->open image, i find apps, i can see marvin amd app, but i cant access it, the folder’s in gray color and inaccessible. So do you have any more advice on this please?

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  • lifehacker wrote on 29 July, 2010, 11:12

    @Iryna
    Unfortunately I don’t have an AMD machine available at my disposal to replicate your situation. Trying seeking some help at the VirtualBox forum at http://forums.virtualbox.org/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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  • iryna wrote on 3 August, 2010, 11:15

    ok, thank you anyway

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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  • Chris wrote on 27 August, 2010, 12:53

    Great Article! Installed fine per your instructions, though upon first restart, I am getting kernel panic and the vm halts. I am running VirtualBox 3.2.8 in a Windows 7 x64 host with an Intel Core i5 M450 cpu. Any idea what could be the cause?

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  • lifehacker wrote on 27 August, 2010, 13:35

    @Chris
    Double check on what kernel you installed, i.e. Legacy kernel worked fine for me. I installed it on a Core i7 Ubuntu 64bit host machine. Second thing you should check is that you have “Enable EFI” not ticked, in your Guest OS setting. I can’t think of anything else at this moment. Good luck.

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  • ashok wrote on 4 October, 2010, 15:54

    Its Work fine for me
    My Config – AMD TurionX2 64 bit – nVidia (Installed on Virtualbox)

    Settings Worked fine for me in customize:

    Snow_Leopard_10.6.2
    AnV_10.2.0_Kernel
    Chamelon_RC3_PCEFI_10.5
    AMD_Patch
    NVEnabler
    VoodooHDA_v2.5.3
    nVidiaATA – nvidia checked
    nvidia -audio
    nforceLan
    ElliotForceLegacyRTC
    IOATAFamily_Fix
    OpenHaltRestart

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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  • steve wrote on 13 October, 2010, 17:15

    I loved installing it. Looked like it was actually gonna work… unfortunately, after installation completes, I cannot get past the boot screen with the chameleon and apple logo.
    VirtualBox//3.2.10r66523
    Win//7×64
    Intel//DualXeon//E5504//2ghz(8cores)
    12GB
    Is there anyway to debug the hang?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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    steve Reply:

    Oh. interesting. If i re-mount the installer disc image, and press f8 when it displays startup options, I can select to boot to OSX. It booted, ran through first time user creation, registration,etc… launched finder and some other apps… worked fine.

    kernel panic upon reboot tho. Any help would be appreciated.

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    lifehacker Reply:

    @steve, which Kernel did you install? You might wanna try a different Kernel, but before you do that try booting with option -v (verbose). It might tell you more about the Kernel panic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

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    steve Reply:

    @lifehacker, I used legacy as instructed… where can i specify the -v switch?

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    lifehacker Reply:

    @steve, That option has to be specified right at the beginning of the boot process, i.e. as soon as you see the Chameleon scree.
    I think you need to press space bar or something and then type -v and press enter.
    Also, there should be a drop down menu option in the boot loader for “Boot Verbose”, or something if I remember correctly (don’t have it handy to check it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Steven wrote on 5 November, 2010, 19:28

    The osx86 distro pointed to has the iso zipped up. Everytime I re-download and try to unzip it, I get a “corrupt” file error message. Does anyone have a better download than the one to which this torrent points?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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    lifehacker Reply:

    Which unzip software did you use? Try unzipping it with this

    http://www.7-zip.org/

    The same file linked here worked for me.

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  • Terryn wrote on 19 November, 2010, 14:09

    Just about everything has worked for me minus a few things. The biggest one I have notices is I am unable to connect to a USB drive. Now idk if thus just because of how a virtual drive is formatted or what but if a fix is known that would be awesome :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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    lifehacker Reply:

    @Terryn, For that to work, we would need to install the guest additions, haven’t checked up its status. I would look in to it and see if we can install guest additions inside Mac, that should fix all remaining issues.

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  • Austin Simonson wrote on 1 January, 2011, 15:53

    I run the OSX, but it goes to the Chameleon (sp?) loading screen where I press F8. After that it loses the “Press F8 for options”…i then press -v and Enter (I don’t think it recognizes the -v because if I just press Enter, it does the same thing). It then proceeds to load Darwin (it is successful, and Darwin boots up), but then as Darwin does its thing…it gets stuck at “BDS root: disk1s2, major 14, minor 3.” and never gets to the install screen. What can I do? Here is my computer’s information: http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=1563581

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    Austin Simonson Reply:

    @Austin Simonson, my bad…it never get to the Chameleon screen…i meant the startup (loading) screen

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    lifehacker Reply:

    Sorry but it is not clear to me whether you have installed Mac OS already or you are stuck with the installation itself?
    I am getting the impression that you are unable to get the installation screen? Which version of VirtualBox are you using?

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    Austin Simonson Reply:

    @lifehacker, No, I never got to the installation screen. I get to the part where you type in -v (but I don’t think it works…), then where Darwin starts up. Here’s a picture of the Darwin info (http://twitpic.com/3mfnvu) and where it gets stuck (http://twitpic.com/3mfo5l)and of the Virtual Box settings (http://twitpic.com/3mfq9g). I am using Version 4.0.0 r69151 of Virtual Box. Thanks for the help!

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    lifehacker Reply:

    @Austin Simonson, I am not sure why all this is happening. I tried this on a Linux based VirtualBox, let me try it on a PC (I don’t think thats gonna help but I would give it a try) and I would reply back again in a day or two. Not sure what is going on! It is easier to zero in on the problem if things don’t work after the installation, but in your case you are not even getting to the install screen!

    Only thing I can think of is that somehow your downloaded DVD got corrupted, do a checksum on it and see if you can get hold of the source checksum. If not, try downloading the DVD again. I would let you know if I am able to reproduce your issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Austin Simonson Reply:

    @lifehacker, Ok, so I did a check on the MD5 of the .iso file, and it checks out with what it is supposed to be. So I guess that means that the download wasn’t the problem…

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    lifehacker Reply:

    @Austin Simonson, I was caught up with some other work, so didn’t get a chance to try it myself. Let me do it tonight and get back to you on this. With virtual box I didn’t except this to happen, as except for the CPU everything else is identical (because of the virtual hardware).

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  • Granada wrote on 11 February, 2011, 2:15

    Is hardware virtualization a must for running OSX in virtual Box?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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    lifehacker Reply:

    @Granada, I suspect so. Without it the response would be very very slow. 

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