How To VirtualBox

How To Install macOS Big Sur on VirtualBox on Windows PC

Written by John

A lot of articles and posts have suggested different ways you can install macOS Big Sur on Virtual Machine. We have a lot of articles that will guide you on how to use macOS Virtual Machine. Some of the ways include but not limited to. VMware, Bootcamp, Virtual Box, and other virtual machines. Explore our previous articles for steps on how to install macOS and other operating systems on your Windows PC.

Enough beating around, let’s move on to what we have in stock for you today. Like we have earlier mentioned, there are tons of articles and posts on installing windows on your mac but what about installing mac on your windows? We are going to be explaining in-depth on how to install macOS Big Sur 10.16 on VirtualBox on your Windows PC.

macOS Big Sur Version 11? What are they about?

It is a normal to expect a new macOS and iOS from Apple every year’s September or October. As a top company in the tech world, it is important for Apple to constantly introduce new devices and Operating Systems. Tech Enthusiasts and developers are treated preferentially as we often know what Apple is going to release months before the major Apple Event in September/October. The preferential treatment to developers and tech enthusiasts is because Apple runs a beta program for developers and those who sign up for the public beta program, the developers will have to report if there are any bugs or anything wrong with the macOS or IOS before they are officially released.

macOS Big Sur New Features?

Safari: During the event, Apple revealed that Safari is getting the "biggest update ever since it was introduced." According to the keynote speaker, the new Safari will load pages 50 percent faster than Chrome. Not only that, there will also be a new "Privacy Report" button on the toolbar that will provide info on website tracking. There are a number of design changes coming to Safari, but perhaps one of the biggest changes will be the ability to customize your new start page.

Control Center: This was actually one of the most desired changes for macOS. The control Center feature has made it super easy to control iPhones and iPad and bringing similar functionality to the Mac will be amazing.

Notification Center: Notification Center is also getting some changes. You will be able to see more interactive notifications and redesigned widgets. With Notifications grouped by app, locating app notifications won’t be stressful. Lastly, with Big Sur installed you can play a podcast episode straight from the Notification itself.

What is VirtualBox?

According to virtualbox.org, VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. In simpler words, VirtualBox is a virtualization program and its major purpose is to create virtual machines that can run on Linux, macOS, or Windows operating systems on a desktop that is already under the control of another operating system. Using this VirtualBox, you can easily create a virtual machine, manage and access it with ultimate ease.

With VirtualBox, the functionalities of your computer are limitless. One unique thing about VirtualBox is that it is very easy to integrate both your Windows 10 and macOS Big Sur virtual machines allowing you to share files. Amongst these are many other interesting features included in VirtualBox.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VirtualBox on Windows PC

Below are the steps on how to install macOS Big Sur on your Windows PC.

Install macOS Big Sur 11.0 on VirtualBox

Step 1: Download macOS Big Sur Installer file.

It is imperative to say that without the Big Sur installer file, you can’t go further. Do not worry, that is why we are here to help you. The installer file can be easily downloaded from the Apple Developer portal.

1. Go to “developer.apple.com” on Safari.
2. On the top bar, you will see the “Discover” tab and then select “macOS.” Click "Download".
3. Once you are signed in, scroll down then select the “Install Profile” button for Big Sur 11.0. Big Sur Installation file will be downloaded automatically

2. Create a macOS Big Sur ISO file

It is important to note that the installer file downloaded from the mac app store does not come in an ISO file. This brings us to this step; creating an ISO file. All you have to do is to firstly, locate the downloaded macOS Big Sur installer file It is located in the Application folder and labeled “Install macOS Beta.app”. Then use ‘Terminal’ to Create an ISO image file. search for ‘terminal’ at the top right corner of your mac and open it or go to “Utilities” and select “Terminal”.

# Create a macOS Big Sur Virtual Disk Image
hdiutil create -o /tmp/bigsur -size 10250m -volname bigsur -layout SPUD -fs HFS+J
# Mount this Image to macOS
hdiutil attach /tmp/bigsur.dmg -noverify -mountpoint /Volumes/bigsur
# Use macOS Big Sur Createinstallmedia Tool to create a Installer Image
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Beta.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/bigsur --nointeraction
# Unmount Volume Install macOS Beta
hdiutil eject -force /Volumes/Install\ macOS\ Beta
# Convert the bigsur.dmg to a bigsur.iso for Virtual Machine
hdiutil convert /tmp/bigsur.dmg -format UDTO -o ~/Desktop/bigsur.cdr
# Move and Rename bigsur Image to Desktop
mv ~/Desktop/bigsur.cdr ~/Desktop/bigsur.iso

Following the above commands correctly, you should see an ISO image on your desktop labelled “bigsur.iso”

Step 3. Install VirtualBox 6.1.10 and VirtualBox Extension Packs

The next thing to do after converting the macOS installer file to an ISO file is to install VirtualBox on your Windows PC. You have to make sure you install the latest VirtualBox. You can download it for free by clicking here.

Install new VirtualBox 6.1.10

While downloading VirtualBox 6.1, also download the extension pack by clicking here. The extension pack offers you more functionalities and options to make your macOS experience better.

Install or Upgrade New VirtualBox Extension Pack

After downloading VirtualBox 6.1 and its Extension Packs, install them and then we are ready to proceed.

Step 4: Create a New Virtual Machine

With the ISO image and VirtualBox ready, we are ready to create a new virtual machine for macOS Big Sur. A virtual machine is an emulation of a computer system. To create a virtual machine on VirtualBox, the first thing to do is to go to the top of your VirtualBox window and click "New" button. A pop-up wizard will guide you through the process of creating a new virtual machine.

macOS Big Sur Guest OS and Virtual Disk Size

The following information should be inputted when prompted:
Name for Virtual Machine: macOS Big Sur
Type: Mac OS X.
RAM: We suggest that you allocate about 50% of your ram or at least 4GB for the best performance.

Create a Virtual Hard Disk for macOS Big Sur

After deciding on the Name, type, version and ram allocation of the new virtual machine, the next step is to select which hard disk to use. Out of the three options presented, you should select "Create a Virtual Hard Disk" and allocate at least 100gb of storage to the new Virtual Machine then select where the where the "macOS Big Sur.vmdk" file is located and then create the virtual machine.

Step 5. Make changes to the Virtual Machine

After creating a new virtual machine, you are halfway done. the next step is to edit the new virtual machine. For your sake, we have made it simple by providing you with the settings needed to make the new virtual machine perform optimally.

First of all, go to settings and select “System”. There will be three tabs at the top, select “Motherboard “and tick the “Enable EFI” box and for Chipset from the drop down list select”PIIX3”. Then move to the process tab and tick the “Enable PAE/NX” box then increase the CPU cores allocated to the virtual machine. We advise to allocate about 50% or at least 2 of your CPU cores to the virtual machine.

System Tab with PIIX3 Chipset

Click on “Display” from the list on the left and then click on the “Screen” tab and decide the decide the Video Memory you want for your Virtual Machine, its ideal to set it at least 128 MB and Graphics Controller is VMSVGA.

Graphics Controller and Video Memory Size for Big Sur

Lastly, click on “Storage” from the list on the left and select the CD/DVD icon and open your "Big Sur.iso" image.

Add macOS Big Sur ISO image

Then, click on “USB” from the list on the left and tick the checkbox “Enable USB controller”. Make sure you select “USB 3.0 (xHCI) controller”, this is because the OS natively supports only USB 3.0.

Step 6: Open up Command Prompt and add the following codes to VirtualBox

Make sure VirtualBox is closed and run command prompt as an administrator and input the following codes:

Open Command Prompt (cmd)

Note: Replace “YOUR VM NAME” in the following commands with the name of your Virtual Machine.

  • cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\"
  • VBoxManage.exe modifyvm "Your VM Name" --cpuidset 00000001 000106e5 00100800 0098e3fd bfebfbff
  • VBoxManage setextradata "Your VM Name" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct" "iMac11,3"
  • VBoxManage setextradata "Your VM Name" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemVersion" "1.0"
  • VBoxManage setextradata "Your VM Name" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBoardProduct" "Iloveapple"
  • VBoxManage setextradata "Your VM Name" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/DeviceKey" "ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc"
  • VBoxManage setextradata "Your VM Name" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/GetKeyFromRealSMC" 1
Add Commads to Virtual Machine in VirtualBox

Step 7: Install macOS Big Sur in VirtualBox

Go Disk Utility to Format your Virtual Disk

Reopen your VirtualBox and click "Start" in the left corner. This will turn on your VM and the macOS utilities window will pop up. Click on “Disk Utility”. Select VBOX Virtual Disk and format it as APFS Partition.

Format macOS Big Sur with APFS Partition

Then Install macOS Big Sur on your VirtualBox Disk.

Install macOS Big Sur on Virtual Disk

Step 8: Create a New Account

Once the installation has completed, restart VirtualBox. It is advisable to remove the Big Sur.iso image file that was put in the storage tab earlier. Wait about 10 min to create a new account.

Create a new account in macOS Big Sur Ver 11.0

You have successfully installed macOS Big Sur on VirtualBox!

Install macOS Big Sur 11.0 on VirtualBox

If you followed the above steps, you should be able to start using macOS Big Sur for whatever purposes you need it for. Hopefully, this guide has made the process of running macOS Big Sur on VirtualBox easier than ever.

How to fix BIErrorDomain error 3 on VirtualBox

Add new code to VirtualBox to fix this problem (read more here).

  • cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\"
  • VBoxManage.exe modifyvm "Your VM Name" --cpuidset 00000001 000106e5 00100800 0098e3fd bfebfbff
  • VBoxManage setextradata "Your VM Name" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct" "hw.model"
  • VBoxManage setextradata "Your VM Name" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemVersion" "1.0"
  • VBoxManage setextradata "Your VM Name" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBoardProduct" "board id"
  • VBoxManage setextradata "Your VM Name" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/DeviceKey" "ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc"
  • VBoxManage setextradata "Your VM Name" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/GetKeyFromRealSMC" 0
Fix BIError on VirtualBox

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Abdul Mannan
Abdul Mannan
June 29, 2020 1:34 pm

great article. thanks very much.