How To VirtualBox VMware

How to Upgrade macOS Catalina in Virtual Machine to the Latest Version

Written by John

Operating macOS on a Virtual Machine and you would like to how to upgrade to macOS Mojave and Catalina? If so, that’s a perfect move. I mean, there are several cool features to enjoy with this new release. But how do you go by it? Well, in this guide, we have provided a step by step tutorial to make sure that you upgrade to avoid losing your data and ensure that the upgrade is successful. In this post, we are going to focus on the best 2 available tutorial, upgrade Mojave to Catalina and upgrade Catalina to new version.

Options 1: Upgrade Mojave and Catalina on VMware

Step 1: Upgrade to new VMware Player 15.5

If you are running macOS Mojave on Vmware, make sure that you have the latest version. Only this release has enough resources to support macOS Catalina. If you are not running on the newest release, go ahead and download. Here are the step by step instructions.

Install new VMware Player 15.5

  1. Open VMware Player Link and look for free version 15.5.0.
  2. Click on the green download button located on the top right corner of the download page. This will download the installer to your computer.
  3. Once downloaded, double click on the exe.
  4. After your computer starts again, double click on the exe file to finish the installation.
  5. Once the installation is complete, a popup window will appear. Click on Finish to close the installation wizard.

Next step is reinstall your Patch Tool

Install Patch Tool

Step 2: Edit VMX File for macOS Catalina

Navigate to virtual machine containing the “Virtual Machine configuration” file. If you didn’t specify, the default location will be Document > Virtual Machine. Once you’ve found it, right-click on it. Select Open the file with Notepad.

Find the code: guestOS = “darwin18-64” and replace it to guestOS = “darwin19-64”. Scroll down to the bottom of texts and add this code: smc.version = “0”

Edit VMX File with Darwin19

Click on File tab then Save the VMX file, darwin19-64 is new macOS Catalina. Open your VMware and you will see VMware player 15.5 now support macOS Catalina.

Step 3: Download and Install a Catalina

Using the steps, explained previously, download macOS Catalina, and configure your virtual machine. With your VMware configured, you can go to the last step and install macOS Catalina.

Upgrade to Catalina

  1. Turn on VMware Player, select your virtual machine then click on Power on the virtual machine.
  2. Download a new version of macOS Catalina from Mac Apps Store.
  3. After the download has completed, the installer will start running.
  4. Go ahead and follow that wizard instruction to install macOS Catalina on your VMware.

Options 2: Upgrade Catalina and Mojave on VirtualBox (not support with new version)

If you were looking for information on how to upgrade macOS Mojave to Catalina in Virtual Machine or upgrade Catalina to new version, this guide will help you with everything there is to know. In case you experience any errors or problems, you can always use the internet or recheck the steps to see where you went wrong. At the end of it all, you will be running on the all-new macOS Catalina. And with it, there are a lot of features that you will be in a position to enjoy. All the best in your endeavors!

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May 28, 2020 4:16 pm

The update from macOS Catalina 10.15.4 to 10.15.5 in VMWare Player 15.5.1 worked fine for me. A couple of automatic reboots were required for the update. Tested on 2 systems with 2 different VM’s.

April 21, 2020 10:29 pm

I am using VMWare Workstation Player 15.5.2. I have two Catalina VMs. One worked until I updated the OS from 15.2 to 15.4. The other is 15.2. Neither will go passed the Logo/progress bar screen. The progress bar goes all the way and just hangs. Any suggestions?

March 24, 2020 9:07 pm

The update from macOS Catalina 10.15.3 to 10.15.4 in VMWare Player 15.5.1 worked fine for me. A couple of automatic reboots were required for the update. Tested on 2 systems with 2 different VM’s.
One of the VM’s had a disk space problem when I also tried to update Xcode from 11.3.1 to version 11.4. That was a VM with a virtual HDD of 80 GB. I will have to increase the disk size of that VM. The other one already had a virtual HDD of 120 GB.

Andrew M
Andrew M
March 19, 2020 1:39 am

THANK YOU SO MUCH! I spent hours trying to figure out how to update my virtual machine, and this guide worked perfectly!

March 18, 2020 10:09 am

Any news on this for Virtual Box? The update is still not working.

January 25, 2020 5:38 am

Hi, Jhon is there news about this on virtualbox?, thanks for your work.

January 9, 2020 3:16 pm

No funciona como actualizar mi catalina 10.15 a una superior, como lo debo de hacer estoy usuando Virtualbox 6.1

January 3, 2020 1:59 pm

Can you please share update disk again?!

Joe Speers
Joe Speers
December 23, 2019 12:38 pm

10.15.2 is now out and I cannot get it to work, same issue as everyone else, it hangs on the script. Now there is no way for me to use 10.15.1 either, so I am stuck

January 2, 2020 2:17 pm
Reply to  Joe Speers

me too, this how-to is not helpful at all. it explains nothing correctly.