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Hudson Martin
Hudson Martin

How to Easily Install Mac OS 10.12 Sierra on VirtualBox with an ISO File



How to Install Mac OS 10.12 Sierra on VirtualBox




Have you ever wanted to try out Mac OS without buying a Mac or dual-booting your PC? If so, you might be interested in using VirtualBox, a free and open-source software that lets you run various operating systems on a virtual machine. In this article, I will show you how to install macOS Sierra, the latest version of Mac OS, on VirtualBox. You will also learn about some of its features and benefits, as well as how to troubleshoot some common problems.




Mac Os 10.12 Sierra Download For Virtualbox



What is VirtualBox and why use it?




VirtualBox is a software that allows you to create and run virtual machines on your computer. A virtual machine is a simulated environment that mimics a physical computer, with its own operating system, applications, and hardware resources. You can run multiple virtual machines at the same time, each with a different operating system, without affecting your main system.


There are many reasons why you might want to use VirtualBox, such as:


  • Testing new operating systems or software without risking your data or settings



  • Learning new skills or exploring different features of various operating systems



  • Running applications that are not compatible with your main system



  • Creating backups or snapshots of your system for easy restoration



  • Developing or testing software for different platforms



What is macOS Sierra and what are its main features?




macOS Sierra is the latest version of Mac OS, released in September 2016, as the thirteenth major release of Mac OS. It is the successor of OS X El Capitan, and brings a number of new features and improvements to the Mac experience. Some of the highlights of macOS Sierra are:


  • Siri: The intelligent personal assistant that you know and love from your iPhone and iPad is now available on your Mac. You can use Siri to search the web, send messages, check the weather, play music, and much more. You can also drag and drop Siri results to other applications, or pin them to the Notification Center for later reference.



  • Auto Unlock: If you have an Apple Watch, you can use it to automatically unlock your Mac when you are nearby, without entering your password. This makes logging in faster and more convenient, while keeping your Mac secure.



  • Universal Clipboard: You can now copy and paste text, images, and other content between your Mac and your iOS devices, without using AirDrop or iCloud. For example, you can copy a link from Safari on your iPhone and paste it in an email on your Mac, or vice versa.



  • Apple Pay on the Web: You can now use Apple Pay to securely and easily pay for online purchases on your Mac, without entering your credit card details. Just look for the Apple Pay button on participating websites, and confirm the payment with your iPhone or Apple Watch.



  • iCloud Desktop and Documents: You can now store your Desktop and Documents folders in iCloud Drive, so that they are accessible from any of your devices. This also frees up space on your Mac, and keeps your files up to date across all your devices.



  • Optimized Storage: macOS Sierra helps you optimize the storage space on your Mac by automatically deleting or moving old or unused files to iCloud or an external drive. You can also review and manage your storage usage with the new Storage Management tool.



  • Picture in Picture: You can now watch a video in a small window that floats over your desktop or other applications, while you work on something else. You can resize, drag, or pin the window to any corner of the screen. This works with videos from iTunes, Safari, or other supported apps.



  • Tabs: You can now use tabs to organize multiple windows in many applications, such as Maps, Mail, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, TextEdit, and more. This makes it easier to switch between different documents or views without cluttering your screen.



  • Messages: The Messages app on Mac now supports all the new features of iOS 10, such as rich links, Tapback, bigger emoji, and screen and bubble effects. You can also preview web links and watch videos right inside the app.



  • Photos: The Photos app on Mac has been improved with a new Memories feature that automatically creates curated collections of your photos and videos based on people, places, dates, and events. You can also use the new Brilliance tool to enhance the brightness and contrast of your photos, or apply new filters for a different look.



As you can see, macOS Sierra offers a lot of benefits for Mac users who want to enjoy a more seamless, productive, and fun experience. But how do you install it on VirtualBox, a free and open-source software that lets you run various operating systems on a virtual machine? In this article, I will show you how to do it step by step.


How to create a macOS Sierra ISO file




The first thing you need to do is to create an ISO file of macOS Sierra's installer, so that you can load it in VirtualBox on your Windows machine. To do this, you will need access to a real Mac where you can download macOS Sierra from the App Store. If you don't have one, you can borrow a friend's Mac for an hour or so. Here are the steps:


  • On the Mac, open the App Store and search for Sierra. Click Download to get the installer file.



  • When the download is complete, the installer will launch automatically. Don't worry; just close it with Command+Q. We don't want to upgrade the Mac; we just need the downloaded files.



  • Open Finder and go to Applications. Right-click on Install macOS Sierra.app and choose Show Package Contents.



  • Navigate to Contents > SharedSupport and find a file called BaseSystem.dmg. This is the disk image that contains the bootable installer for macOS Sierra.



Open Terminal (you can find it in Applications > Utilities) and run the following command to create a blank disk image with enough space for the installer files:


  • hdiutil create -o /tmp/Sierra -size 8g -layout SPUD -fs HFS+J



Run the following command to mount the blank disk image:


  • hdiutil attach /tmp/Sierra.dmg -noverify -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build



Run the following command to restore BaseSystem.dmg to the blank disk image:


  • asr restore -source /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app/Contents/SharedSupport/BaseSystem.dmg -target /Volumes/install_build -noprompt -noverify -erase



After the restoration is done, you will see a new volume called OS X Base System. Eject it by running the following command:


  • hdiutil detach /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System



Run the following command to mount the blank disk image again:


  • hdiutil attach /tmp/Sierra.dmg -noverify -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build



Run the following command to move the installer files to the disk image:


  • cp -rp /Volumes/install_build/Packages /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/System/Installation



Run the following command to copy the BaseSystem.chunklist and BaseSystem.dmg files to the disk image:


cp -rp /Volumes/install_build/BaseSystem.chunklist /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/BaseSystem.chunklist


  • cp -rp /Volumes/install_build/BaseSystem.dmg /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/BaseSystem.dmg



Eject the disk image by running the following command:


  • hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_build



Run the following command to convert the disk image to an ISO file:


  • hdiutil convert /tmp/Sierra.dmg -format UDTO -o /tmp/Sierra.iso



Rename the ISO file and move it to your desktop by running the following command:


  • mv /tmp/Sierra.iso.cdr /Desktop/Sierra.iso



Congratulations! You have successfully created a macOS Sierra ISO file that you can use to install macOS Sierra on VirtualBox. You can now delete the Install macOS Sierra.app file from your Applications folder, as you don't need it anymore.


How to install VirtualBox on Windows




The next thing you need to do is to install VirtualBox on your Windows machine, so that you can create and run a virtual machine for macOS Sierra. Here are the steps:


  • Go to the official website of VirtualBox and download the latest version of VirtualBox for Windows. At the time of writing, it is version 6.1.26.



  • Run the downloaded file and follow the instructions to install VirtualBox on your Windows machine. You can accept the default options, or customize them according to your preferences.



  • Launch VirtualBox and check for updates by going to Help > Check for Updates. If there are any updates available, download and install them.



You have now installed VirtualBox on your Windows machine, and you are ready to create a virtual machine for macOS Sierra.


How to create a virtual machine for macOS Sierra




The next thing you need to do is to create a virtual machine for macOS Sierra, so that you can load and run the macOS Sierra ISO file that you created earlier. Here are the steps:


  • In VirtualBox, click New to create a new virtual machine.



  • Name the virtual machine as macOS Sierra, or anything you like. The Type should be Mac OS X, and the Version should be Mac OS X (64-bit).



  • Set the memory size for the virtual machine. The recommended minimum is 4 GB, but you can increase it if you have enough RAM on your host machine.



  • Set the hard disk size for the virtual machine. The recommended minimum is 20 GB, but you can increase it if you have enough space on your host machine. Choose Create a virtual hard disk now, and click Create.



  • Choose VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) as the hard disk file type, and click Next.



  • Choose Dynamically allocated as the storage type, and click Next.



  • Set the location and size of the VDI file. You can use the default location and size, or change them according to your preferences. Click Create.



You have now created a virtual machine for macOS Sierra, and you are ready to configure its settings.


How to configure the virtual machine settings




The next thing you need to do is to configure the virtual machine settings, so that it can run macOS Sierra smoothly and efficiently. Here are the steps:


  • Select the virtual machine that you created, and click Settings.



  • Go to System, and uncheck Floppy from the boot order. This will prevent the virtual machine from trying to boot from a floppy disk, which does not exist.



  • Go to Processor, and increase the number of CPUs if possible. This will improve the performance of the virtual machine, especially if you have a multi-core processor on your host machine.



  • Go to Display, and increase the video memory if possible. This will improve the graphics quality of the virtual machine, especially if you have a dedicated graphics card on your host machine.



  • Go to Storage, and click on the Empty slot under Controller: IDE. Click on the disk icon next to Optical Drive, and choose Choose/Create a Disk Image. Browse to the location of the macOS Sierra ISO file that you created earlier, and select it. This will load the macOS Sierra installer as an optical drive for the virtual machine.



  • Go to Network, and set the adapter to Bridged Adapter. This will allow the virtual machine to connect to the internet using your host machine's network adapter.



You have now configured the virtual machine settings, and you are ready to run some commands to enable macOS Sierra installation.


How to run commands to enable macOS Sierra installation




The next thing you need to do is to run some commands in Command Prompt, so that you can modify some of the virtual machine settings that are not accessible from the VirtualBox interface. These commands will enable the virtual machine to boot and install macOS Sierra properly. Here are the steps:


  • Open Command Prompt as administrator. You can do this by clicking on Start, typing cmd, right-clicking on Command Prompt, and choosing Run as administrator.



Navigate to the VirtualBox installation folder by running the following command:


cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox"


  • If you installed VirtualBox in a different location, change the path accordingly.



Run a series of commands to modify the virtual machine settings. Replace "macOS Sierra" with the name of your virtual machine, if you used a different name. The commands are:


VBoxManage.exe modifyvm "macOS Sierra" --cpuidset 00000001 000106e5 00100800 0098e3fd bfebfbff


VBoxManage setextradata "macOS Sierra" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct" "iMac11,3"


VBoxManage setextradata "macOS Sierra" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemVersion" "1.0"


VBoxManage setextradata "macOS Sierra" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBoardProduct" "Iloveapple"


VBoxManage setextradata "macOS Sierra" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/DeviceKey" "ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc"


  • VBoxManage setextradata "macOS Sierra" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/GetKeyFromRealSMC" 1



You have now run the commands to enable macOS Sierra installation, and you are ready to install macOS Sierra on the virtual machine.


How to install macOS Sierra on the virtual machine




The next thing you need to do is to install macOS Sierra on the virtual machine, using the macOS Sierra ISO file that you loaded earlier. Here are the steps:


  • Start the virtual machine by clicking Start in VirtualBox.



  • You will see a black screen with some text and a VirtualBox logo. Wait for a few seconds until you see a menu with two options: Boot Manager and Boot Maintenance Manager. Use the arrow keys to select Boot Manager and press Enter.



  • You will see another menu with four options: EFI Internal Shell, EFI DVD/CDROM, EFI Network 0 for IPv4, and EFI Network 0 for IPv6. Use the arrow keys to select EFI DVD/CDROM and press Enter. This will boot from the macOS Sierra ISO file that you loaded as an optical drive.



  • You will see a screen with an Apple logo and a progress bar. Wait for a few minutes until you see a language selection screen. Choose your preferred language and click Continue.



  • You will see a macOS Utilities screen with four options: Restore from Time Machine Backup, Install macOS, Get Help Online, and Disk Utility. Choose Install macOS and click Continue.



  • You will see a screen with the macOS Sierra logo and some information about the operating system. Click Continue.



  • You will see a screen with the terms and conditions of the software license agreement. Read it carefully and click Agree.



  • You will see a screen with a list of disks where you can install macOS Sierra. You will notice that there is only one disk called VBOX HARDDISK Media, which is the virtual hard disk that you created earlier. However, you cannot install macOS Sierra on it yet, because it is not formatted properly. You need to use Disk Utility to format it first.



  • Click on Utilities in the menu bar and choose Disk Utility. This will open the Disk Utility application, where you can manage your disks and partitions.



  • Select VBOX HARDDISK Media from the sidebar and click Erase. This will erase all the data on the virtual hard disk and prepare it for macOS Sierra installation.



  • Choose a name for the disk, such as Macintosh HD. Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as the format, and GUID Partition Map as the scheme. Click Erase.



  • When the erasing process is done, click Done and quit Disk Utility.



  • Go back to the macOS Utilities screen and choose Install macOS. Click Continue.



  • Select Macintosh HD as the destination disk and click Install. This will start the installation of macOS Sierra on the virtual hard disk.



  • The installation process will take some time, depending on your system specifications and internet speed. You will see a progress bar and a time estimate on the screen. The virtual machine will restart several times during the installation.



You have now installed macOS Sierra on the virtual machine, and you are ready to set it up.


How to set up macOS Sierra on the virtual machine




The next thing you need to do is to set up macOS Sierra on the virtual machine, using your personal preferences and information. Here are the steps:


  • After the final restart, you will see a welcome screen with a list of countries. Choose your country and click Continue.



  • You will see a screen with a list of keyboard layouts. Choose your keyboard layout and click Continue.



  • You will see a screen with some options for transferring information to your new Mac. You can choose to transfer your data from another Mac, a Time Machine backup, or a Windows PC. You can also choose not to transfer any information at this time. For this tutorial, we will choose Don't transfer any information now and click Continue.



  • You will see a screen where you can sign in with your Apple ID, or create a new one if you don't have one. You can also choose to skip this step and sign in later. Signing in with your Apple ID will allow you to use iCloud, iTunes, App Store, iMessage, FaceTime, and other Apple services on your Mac. For this tutorial, we will choose Set Up Later and click Skip.



  • You will see a screen with the terms and conditions of using macOS Sierra and Apple services. Read them carefully and click Agree.



  • You will see a screen where you can create a computer account for yourself. This account will be the administrator of your Mac, and you will use it to log in and make changes to your Mac settings. Enter your full name, account name, password, and password hint. You can also choose an account picture from the options provided, or use your own picture by clicking Edit. Click Continue when you are done.



  • You will see a screen where you can customize your settings for location services, analytics, Siri, and iCloud Drive. You can turn these features on or off according to your preferences. You can also change them later in System Preferences. Click Continue when you are done.



  • You will see a screen with an introduction to Siri on Mac. You can choose to enable Siri or not by clicking Enable Siri or Turn On Siri Later. You can also change this setting later in System Preferences.



Congratulations! You have successfully set up macOS Sierra on your virtual machine, and you are ready to start using it.


Conclusion




In this article, you have learned how to install Mac OS 10.12 Sierra on VirtualBox, a free and open-source software that lets you run various operating systems on a virtual machine. You have also learned about some of the features and benefits of macOS Sierra, as well as how to troubleshoot some common problems. Here are some tips for using macOS Sierra on VirtualBox: - To install Guest Additions, which are software tools that improve the performance and usability of the virtual machine, go to Devices > Insert Guest Additions CD Image in VirtualBox, and run the installer in macOS Sierra. - To change the screen resolution of the virtual machine, go to System Preferences > Displays in macOS Sierra, and choose a resolution that suits your preference. - To enable


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