How to install macOS Catalina on Virtual Box?

macOS Catalina was released on WWDC 2019 as a successor of macOS Mojave. Later on, Catalina was succeeded by macOS Big Sur then macOS Monterey took the place. macOS Catalina didn’t bring tons of new features like Big Sur or stability and performance like macOS Monterey; however, still, it is one of the best versions of macOS.

New features as Sidecar (using your iPad as your desktop screen) or replacement of iTunes with 3 different other applications are still great things to count. New Battery Health management tools and many more are part of macOS Catalina.

So, here is how to install macOS Catalina on Virtual Box or many searches for macOS Catalina Virtual Box too.

Steps to install macOS Catalina on Virtual Box

Note: Before you start the installation, make sure you have enabled the virtual machine of your system. If you haven’t then you will need to go to BIOS and enable it (this is only for Intel users, those who are using AMD can ignore the enabling VM from the BIOS section).

Another thing that needs your attention is that you will also need 20+ free storage to run the macOS with 2 GB RAM. Even though 2 GB can run the macOS still, we would recommend you to have at least 8 GB of RAM for a smooth experience.

Your system should be 64-bit. Having an SSD hard drive is way better than a mechanical hard drive. Still, if you don’t possess SSD then HHD can do the work too.

How to install macOS Catalina on Virtual Box?

install macOS Catalina Virtual Box
install macOS Catalina Virtual Box

Here is how to perform the installation:

Download the prerequisites

First thing first. Before we start the procedure, here are some files/setups that need to be downloaded. You will need to download the required files first then we can proceed to the next step.

Download macOS Catalina ISO

Download Virtual Box code

Download Virtual Box setup file

Virtual Box Extension

Perform Virtual Box Installation

Download the setup file of Virtual Box from the link above. Run the app:

The Welcome window will appear, click on Next.

A new Custom Setup page will appear, click on Next.

A window of default options will appear. Change any of the options accordingly, click on Next.

A Warning Network interface will appear, agree by clicking on Yes.

Now, click on Install and again click on Yes. An Oracle Corporation warning will appear, by click on Install you will start the procedure. However, selecting Don’t Install will terminate the entire procedure.

Again another Security warning will appear, click on Install.

Click on Finish to finish the installation of Virtual Box.

Install VirtualBox Extension

install virtualbox extension pack for macOS Catalina on Virutal Box
install VirtualBox extension pack for macOS Catalina on Virtual Box

Both Virtual Box and VMware don’t support macOS by default. To use macOS, there are separate extensions that need to be installed on Virtual Box and VMware. These extensions will enable you to use macOS and also fixes the mouse and keyboard getting stuck inside the virtual machine.

As you have download the VirtualBox Extension pack, run your virtual box.

In your Virtual Box, go to Tools> Preferences> Extensions.

Now, click on the Plus (+) icon and select your VirtualBox Extension. Install or Upgrade (the option that is present), Agree, and OK.

Create a new virtual machine

Creating a virtual machine for macOS Catalina or any other macOS or any OS is the same. It doesn’t matter either you are on Windows OS or Linux, you can create a virtual machine on Virtual Box following these steps:

New-VM-1
New-VM-1
  1. Run your Virtual Machine and click on New.
  2. Now, click Expert Mode.
Name-and-Operating-System-1
Name-and-Operating-System-1

Clicking on Expert Mode will open another window. Here you will need to put your Virtual Machine Name, location of your virtual machine, Type (Mac OS X), and version. You will also need to select the amount of Memory then select the Create a virtual disk now.

Create-macOS-Catalina-VHD-Disk
Create-macOS-Catalina-VHD-Disk

Basically, select the options as follows:

  • Name: macOS Catalina 10.15
  • Machine Folder: …/ (destination of your virtual machine)
  • Type: Mac OS X
  • Version: Mac OS X (64-bit)
  • Once the options above are selected, click on Create. Then put the amount of Memory and Create a virtual disk now and click on Create.
  • Selecting the Create a virtual disk now option will open another window. Here you will need to select the File Location, Hard disk file Type and Storage on physical hard disk and click on Create.
  • File location need to be chosen as to you.
  • In Hard disk file type: VHD (Virtual Hard Disk)
  • Storage on physical hard disk: Dynamically allocated

Note: for better performance, you change the Dynamically allocated option to a Fixed Size. This option will improve your virtual machine’s speed.

Configure your Virtual Machine

Here, you have successfully created a new virtual machine for your macOS Catalina. Now, we are going to configure it. Run your Virtual Box and select the macOS Catalina VM (virtual machine). Now, click on Settings and change the following:

Change-Boot-Order-and-Diskable-Floppy-1
Change-Boot-Order-and-Diskable-Floppy-1

In System> Motherboard, increase the Base Memory, uncheck the Floppy while checking all other options.

Increase-macOS-Catalina-Processors-1
Increase-macOS-Catalina-Processors-1

Click on the Processor tab, maximize the numbers of your processors while also enabling PAE/NX and Nested VT-x/AMD-v. both PAE/NX and Nested VT-x/AMD-v are optional.

Increase-Video-Memory-1
Increase-Video-Memory-1

There is a Display on the left side, select it and input the amount of Video Memory.

Select-macOS-Catalina-ISO-Image-2-1
Select-macOS-Catalina-ISO-Image-2-1

Go to the Storage section, click on the Empty>DVD icon. Click on Choose a disk file. You should select macOS Catalina ISO which you’ve downloaded.

Select-macOS-Catalina-ISO-Image-1-1
Select-macOS-Catalina-ISO-Image-1-1

Once all the options are selected, click on OK to exit the configuration window.

Run virtual box

You might be thinking, the VM is created and configured. Now, is the time to perform the installation. Well not exactly. As we started the installation of macOS, almost in the end; instead of installation being completed, it got failed.

virtualbox error on macOS Catalina
virtualbox error on macOS Catalina

Due to some errors, you can’t continue to the next step. To solve them you will need to run come codes.

Go to your VM and note down the name. Open the downloaded Virtual Box code (we have provided the link at the start).

Replace-VM-Name-1
Replace-VM-Name-1

cd “C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\”

VBoxManage.exe modifyvm “VM Name” –cpuidset 00000001 000106e5 00100800 0098e3fd bfebfbff

VBoxManage setextradata “VM Name” “VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct” “iMac19,1”

VBoxManage setextradata “VM Name” “VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemVersion” “1.0”

VBoxManage setextradata “VM Name” “VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBoardProduct” “Mac-AA95B1DDAB278B95”

VBoxManage setextradata “VM Name” “VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/DeviceKey” “ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc”

VBoxManage setextradata “VM Name” “VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/GetKeyFromRealSMC” 1

Execute-VirtualBox-Code-by-CMD-1
Execute-VirtualBox-Code-by-CMD-1

Before you execute the code, please take a while and try to understand the procedure. Open the downloaded VirtualBox code with a notepad and replace the “VM Name” with the virtual machine that you have created. Change all the VM Names with your virtual machine name and HxV with a screen resolution such as 1280×720 or 1440×900.

VBoxManage setextradata “VM Name” VBoxInternal2/EfiGraphicsResolution HxV

In simple words, copy and paste both of the codes given and replace the VM Name and HxV.

Note: make sure you have closed your Virtual Box before executing the codes. As remaining open, while performing won’t change the results.

Run Virtual Box in CMD

Now, you will need to run CMD (command prompt) as Admin. Running the app, you will be asked for permission. Grant the permission and paste all the codes given above (or the code from your notepad).

Once all the codes are executed, you will need to move to the next step.

Start your virtual machine

Form here all the steps are easy. So, open Virtual Box and click on Start.

Select-Start-up-Disk-1
Select-Start-up-Disk-1

The machine will ask for a startup disk. Here your macOS Catalina ISO will do the work. go and select the ISO file.

Make the disk bootable for macOS Catalina

Soon, a bunch of codes will run. Wait for a while until you will see the macOS Language window. Click on Continue.

Catalina-Disk-Utility-1
Catalina-Disk-Utility-1

You will be taken to the macOS Utilities window. There you will need to select Disk Utility, click on Continue.

Erase-Catalina-Disk-1
Erase-Catalina-Disk-1

Inside the Disk Utility, select the disk you want to install macOS Catalina on and format the file. You will need to select the following options:

Name: macOS Catalina Disk (or something you like)

Format: APFS

Scheme: GUID Partition Map

When you have selected all the options, click on Erase to start formatting your disk. Exit the Disk Utility and again macOS Utility will appear.

macOS-Catalina-Utilities
macOS-Catalina-Utilities

In this step, select the Install macOS and click on Continue.

macOS-Catalina-Setup-Process
macOS-Catalina-Setup-Process

macOS Catalina installation window will appear, click on Continue.

Agree-to-the-Terms-and-Conditions
Agree-to-the-Terms-and-Conditions

Agree with the macOS Catalina license agreement by clicking on Agree.

Select-Installation-Disk-for-Catalina
Select-Installation-Disk-for-Catalina

Select the disk (you have formatted) and click on Install.

Note: Installation will take place. the process might take an hour or 20 minutes. Be patient and don’t disconnect your power supply from your system.

Clean installation

It is time to perform a clean installation of macOS Catalina on Virtual Box.

  1. Select your Country and click Continue.
  2. Choose a Keyboard Layout and click Continue. If you’re not happy with default settings, you can customize the Settings.
  3. On the “Data & Privacy” window, click Continue.
  4. Select Don’t transfer any information now.
  5. Click on Set Up Later Then Don’t Sign In. Click Skip. You can add your Apple ID later.
  6. Click Agree to the Terms and Conditions and click Continue.
  7. Fill out the Full name, Account name, Password, and Hint then click Continue.
  8. If you want to customize Express Set Up, you can click on Customize Settings otherwise click on Continue.
  9. On the Analytics window, click Continue.
  10. On-Screen Time, click Set up Later
  11. Skip Siri
  12. Select a theme for your macOS and Continue.
  13. Close Feedback Assistant and close mouse & keyboard window for now.

There it is, you have successfully installed macOS Catalina on Virtual Box.

Extras

An issue as “[EB|#LOG:EXITBS:START] (AND CURRENT DATE/TIME)” can be fixed by the code given below:

VBoxManage modifyvm “VM Name” –cpu-profile “Intel Xeon X5482 3.20GHz”

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