Catalina is the sixteenth instalment in the Mac OS franchise and was announced earlier this month at the Worldwide Developers Conference. The OS itself will be released as a free update later this year and the name comes from an Island aptly named Santa Catalina that is near California. Today we’re going to be looking at how you create a mac OS Catalina Virtual Disk through a Virtual Machine on your desktop.
Catalina is currently in the Beta stage which means it’s still under development. All OS’s that are in the Beta stage will subsequently come as a larger file in comparison to a standard final OS image. Mac OS Catalina’s image file will come in two parts and in total these two partitions will add up to around 14GB once you have set it up and installed in on your Virtual Machine. After compression, fortunately, the file size will decrease to just 9GB and I can't share this image with you.
But once you have got a installer image (6GB) for macOS Catalina now is the time to create Virtual Disk Image (vmdk) on either VirtualBox or VMWare. The extension of the Catalina installer image file will end with *.VMDK. You can download this here:
How to create a macOS Catalina Virtual Image for VirtualBox and VMWare
Step 1: Start by extracting the macOS Installer image
After you’ve downloaded the image you’ll find that rather than being in a standard folder it is in a zipped folder. You will only be able to get into this folder by unzipping it through an unzipping program. The most common ones that people use are Winrar and 7Zip. Once you have installed the program, right click on the image file and click ‘Extract Here’. Once you have unzipped the file you will be able to see the Catalina Installer.vmdk image within the folder.
Step 2: Time to install VirtualBox
Now you should have access to the folder and inside you should see the image file. If this is the case the next step is to install VirtualBox, the program that is going to allow us to run macOS Catalina. The last thing you’re going to want to ensure is that when you download VirtualBox that you’re downloading the Windows version rather than the version intended for Mac OS. Once you have installed VirtualBox move on to the next step.
Step 3: Open up the Installer Image for macOS Catalina
Once you have installed VirtualBox in the top left corner click the add [+] button.
Next, you should have your file explorer open, navigate to where your downloads folder is and select the file that says ‘Create Mac OS Catalina Virtual Image.vbox’ and then proceeds to the next step.
Step 4: Open up your Command Prompt and add this code to your VirtualBox
VBoxManage.exe modifyvm "Create Catalina Virtual Disk Image" --cpuidset 00000001 000106e5 00100800 0098e3fd bfebfbff
VBoxManage setextradata "Create Catalina Virtual Disk Image" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct" "iMac11,3"
VBoxManage setextradata "Create Catalina Virtual Disk Image" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemVersion" "1.0"
VBoxManage setextradata "Create Catalina Virtual Disk Image" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBoardProduct" "Iloveapple"
VBoxManage setextradata "Create Catalina Virtual Disk Image" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/DeviceKey" "ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc"
VBoxManage setextradata "Create Catalina Virtual Disk Image" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/GetKeyFromRealSMC" 1
Step 5: Reopen VirtualBox and Boot with Flags
If you have successfully copied the above code into the command prompt and pressed enter and it has worked successfully, close down command prompt and reopen VirtualBox and click ‘Start’ in the top left-hand corner. This will start up your Virtual Machine.
Once it has booted up and you see the first initial screen quickly press the ESC button to bypass the booting stage and then type in: “install.nsh” and then press enter.
Step 6: The completion of the installation
Now it’s time to wait for the installation to finish, this can take around 10 to 20 minutes, dependent upon the speed of your SSD. Once you have seen that the installation has completed close down VirtualBox.
Them 6 steps conclude the process of finding your installer image and installing it on VirtualBox for Mac OS Catalina. To find your image file navigate to your Installer folder for Mac OS Catalina and in here will be an image file which is roughly around 20GB in size. This is what you’re now going to know as your Mac OS Catalina Virtual Disk.
If you’re wanting to use this image the best two virtual machine programs to use it with are either VirtualBox or VMWare. We have a tutorial that supports both of these:
Hopefully, this guide today has made the process a lot more simple for you.