How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on Windows

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

It’s been a while that macOS Catalina 10.15 is released and this is the latest Apple Mac Operating system up to now. In this article, I’m going to show you step by step to install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on Windows PC. Indeed, installing macOS on VirtualBox on a Windows PC is not entirely legal according to Apple terms of use, but here we only use it for testing and educational purposes so I think that should not be a huge problem. 

Tip: before reading the rest of the article, it’s recommended to navigate to the Required File section of this post and download macOS Catalina 10.15 then you’ve time to read the item until the downloading gets complete. 

Steps to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on Windows

  1. Extract macOS Catalina Image File
  2. Install VirtualBox on Windows PC
  3. Install/Update VirtualBox Extension
  4. Create a New Virtual Machine & Customize it
  5. Run VirtualBox Code to the Command Prompt
  6. Start the Virtual Machine
  7. Perform Clean Installation of macOS Catalina
  8. Summary

Before we get started, make sure your system can support Virtualization technology (VT), and it is enabled from BIOS so that you should be able to run Virtualization software like Virtualbox or VMware. Also, you should have a 64-bit Windows operating system with at least 2 GB Ram and 20 GB free storage, but we recommend you 4 GB of RAM or higher and more room so you can store more files and install more apps on macOS Catalina. Furthermore, if you have an SSD, it’s highly recommended to use it as storage because SSD is much faster then HDD and macOS run on SSD very smooth. Anyway, it is not %100 per cent compulsory but if you have don’t hesitate to use it. 

Required Files 

All the necessary files are linked in the article below, and you should be able to download them without any issues. 

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Required Files

Step #1. Extract macOS Catalina Image File

Now, you should have downloaded macOS Catalina & VirtualBox code from the link above. Once macOS Catalina is downloaded, you should extract the Image file via WinRAR or 7zip to a new drive or a new folder. If you’ve downloaded the five parts, make sure all five pieces are completely downloaded, and they are on the same location. Right click on of the elements and select Extract to macOS Catalina Beta. If you’ve downloaded the All-In-One part, so just right click on the file then extract to a location where you want to install macOS Catalina.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Extracting macOS Catalina Image

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Extract macOS Catalina VMDK File

Recommendation: It’s highly recommended to create a new drive on your Windows PC and install macOS Catalina on that drive. 

Step #2. Install VirtualBox on Windows PC

From the “Required File” section of this post, you should have downloaded VirtualBox as well and if you didn’t, download VirtualBox latest version and install it on your Windows system. If you’ve already installed VirtualBox, then you can skip this step. Other than that, double click on VirtualBox Setup and click Next for a couple of times and you’re done with the installation.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Installing VirtualBox 6.x

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Window Security

Step #3. Install/Update VirtualBox Extension

This step is not %100 per cent necessary but it’s highly recommended to do this step because macOS Catalina might not be compatible with VirtualBox and for this reason, it will cause a problem during the installation. Download VirtualBox Extension and follow the steps below.

#1. Open up VirtualBox, navigate to Tools>Pereferences>Extensions.

#2. Click on Plus icon and select VirtualBox extension which you’ve downloaded at the beginning of this section. Click Install or Upgrade and then click OK button.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Install

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

VBox Extension

#3. Finally, you should see something like the screenshot below.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Update VirtualBox Extensions

Step #4. Create a New Virtual Machine & Customize it

Creating a virtual machine for macOS Catalina is the same when you create a virtual machine for Windows Operating system or Linux, but here you don’t choose an ISO file. Instead, you use a VMDK file to install the OS. Follow the steps below.

#1. Open up your VirtualBox application and click New.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

New

#2. Type a name for your Virtual Machine. Click Expert Mode and select the following options then click Create.

  • Virtual Machine Location (a separate drive is recommended)
  • Type (Mac OS X)
  • Version (Mac OS X 64-bit)
  • Memory 4 GB (recommended 8 GB or higher)
  • Use an existing virtual hard disk file (select the VMDK file that you’ve extracted in step #1)
How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Name the VM

Your setting should look something like the screenshot below.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Choose macOS Catalina VMDK

#3. It’s time to customise some of the settings according to your choice. Click Settings and from the pane choose System. On the Motherboard Tab uncheck Floppy disk and move it down. If you’re not happy with your memory setting still, you can change it.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Set Memory

#4. Click the Processor tab and select a minimum of two processors or higher. 

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Set Processor

#5. Navigate to Display menu then increase the Video memory to 128 MB

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Set Video Memory

Your final settings should look like the screenshot below.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Final Customization

Step #5. Run VirtualBox Code to the Command Prompt

Once you’ve created and customised your virtual machine, it’s time to run some codes in order to install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox.

First, you should notice your virtual machine name because later on, we will use it. Open the VirtualBox code which you should have downloaded from Required File section of this post.

#1. When you opened VirtualBox code via notepad or any other text editor, use the replace function of the program to replace the VM name to your virtual machine name. See the picture below to get an idea of how it’s done.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Replace Virtual Machine Name

Tip: It’s suggested that you should quit VirtualBox program before executing the code. If you don’t do it, your virtual machine might not proceed to the installation step.

#2. Once you replaced the “VM Name” with your virtual machine name, then run the code one by one to the command prompt (CMD). You can open the command prompt by pressing Windows+X key in Windows 10 and select Command Prompt from the list. 

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Run the Code

Step #6. Start the Virtual Machine

Starting macOS Catalina with the older version of the Mac Operating system was a bit different, but with new macOS Catalina still, it’s easy to set it up. 

#1. Open VirtualBox app then click the Start button. A black screen with a few yellow & white text will appear on the screen.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Start the VM

#2. Before 4 seconds ends, you should press ESC key from your keyboard. Type boot.nsh then hit enter.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Boot.nsh

Step #7. Perform Clean Installation of macOS Catalina

#1. Once you hit enter, a whole bunch of code will run on the screen, but you should not worry about it. Wait for a few minutes, and you should see the macOS Catalina installation window. Have a cup of coffee until the installation complete because it’s going to take around 15 minutes to finish.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Installing macOS Catalina 10.15

#2. Once the installation part complete, your system will reboot, and after the restart, you should see macOS Catalina Welcome page. 

#3. Select the following options. You can change most of the settings later on, so don’t worry about that for now.

  • Select your Country and click Continue.
How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Welcome to macOS Catalina

  • Choose a Keyboard Layout and click Continue if you did not see your preferred keyboard click on Show all text.
  • Select Don’t transfer any information now.
  • Click on Set Up Later then Don’t Sign In. You can add your Apple ID later.
  • Click Agree to the Terms and Conditions and click Continue.
  • Fill out the Full name,  Account name, Password, and Hint then click Continue.
How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Create macOS Catalina User Account

  • If you want to customise Express Set Up, you can click on Customize Settings otherwise click on Continue.
  • On-Screen Time, click Set up Later.
How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Screen Time

  • Select an appearance theme and click Continue
How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Choose Your Look

#4. Well done 👍👌😮 you’ve installed macOS Catalina on VirtualBox Successfully.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on PC

Installed macOS Catalina on VirtualBox

Summary

Basically, in this article, I’ve shown you the step by step pictorial guide on how to install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on Windows computer. After reading and following this guide, you should have done the following;

  • Downloaded VirtualBox with its Extension
  • Extracted the macOS Catalina Image from a zipped file
  • Installed VirtualBox on your system
  • Installed & upgraded VirtualBox extension
  • Created a new virtual machine for macOS Catalina
  • Customised macOS Catalina VM
  • Executed the VirtualBox code to the CMD
  • And finally performed a clean installation of macOS Catalina.

We are ready to keep receiving your feedback about this article, and other posts on wikigain. Your suggestion and feedback are highly appreciated.

Warning: All the content of this site is copyright protected, and no-one has the right to copy paste our materials. 

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Mukhtar Jafari is the founder and CEO of wikigain.com and he is a blog writer about different technology platforms such as Android, iOS, PC and Macintosh. He loves to share his experience through this website and help those who are intrested in IT World. Also Mukhtar Jafari is a Cisco CCENT and CCNA certified.

30 Comments

  1. blankDeodato Isaac Gonçalves Sampaio Reply

    i can’t find the password from the gram where macOS catalina is extracted can you help me with password?

  2. blankGabor Biro Reply

    This comment helped me a lot. Not the least to have patience. Thank you very much!

    Couple of notes:
    I didn’t need to do the UEFI settings either, the installation worked without it. Took ages but in the end it worked. Just had to wait and restart the virtual machine a few times.

    I had a lot of trouble with my mouse/keyboard, they kept being hijacked and Right-Ctrl didn’t always worked so I kept having to force restart my PC. It would be great to see how that setup looks like for other people.
    I have an MX Master mouse and K800 keyboard from Logitech, using their Unifying Receiver usb dongle thingy. I have the 6.1.2 extension pack installed (not sure if downgrading is necessary but it’s what worked for me so not touching it).
    The keyboard works fine both in the host and the guest but my mouse had the trouble of not being able to do drag&drop gesture. It immediately drops whatever window I’m dragging. I ended up plugging in an old cabled optical mouse (alongside the wireless). My USB setup in VirtualBox is: USB 2.0 with a “Logitech USB Optical Mouse [5400]” filter (the old mouse also happens to be Logitech). I use this pretty much only for drag&drop, the wireless mouse works for anything else.

    In setting the screen resolution, this article helped a lot: https://www.nakivo.com/blog/make-virtualbox-full-screen/
    especially the command
    > VBoxManage setextradata “UR VM NAME HERE” VBoxInternal2/EfiGraphicsResolution 1600×900

    Again, thanks a lot!

    And thanks for the great article Mukhtar, without it we’d be ded.

  3. blankKnut Reply

    Why are the RAR archives password protected. What’s the password so I can open them? Using zipfile because winrar can’t open them,

  4. blankChris Reply

    I’m getting a loop of “too many corpses being created”. Will it still install? Or will this go on forever?

  5. blankChristopher Aiezza Reply

    I’m getting a loop of “too many corpses being created”. Will it still install? Or will this go on forever?

  6. blankBorrowedWifi Reply

    Cannot thank you enough. I now have a fully-functioning copy of Catalina, running in a VirtualBox VM, which is running in Linux Mint 19.3 Mate, which is running on an old Dell Studio-XPS-435T-9000 that has 24 gigs of memory.

    I already had a copy of VirtualBox 6.1 installed, complete with Extensions, and it’s been working just fine, running a copy of Win10, so that end of things was already well taken care of.

    I downloaded the VMDK file, created a new VM and applied all of the the settings as per your instructions above, and just for anybody who might be wondering, the directory to open a terminal (command prompt) in, to effect the 6 VboxManage commands (for Mint Linux) is /home/your-own-username-in-lowercase-letters/VirtualBox VMs, and then opened it up.

    It went into the Mac Installer mode, with no end of white gobbledygook lines of code against a black background, and it took forever, and then it said it was unable to complete the install, and said it was shutting down BUT IT DID NOT SHUT DOWN. Instead, it rebooted, and more or less picked right back up where it left off. This whole process took most of an hour to complete. Very very slow. So give it time, ok? Keep an eye on it, and verify that every once in a while, it will look like it’s hung on one line or another, but eventually it will kick back into gear, and this will repeat itself many times. (Or at least for me it did.)

    In the end, I was presented with a proper Mac setup GUI which asked for language and a few other things, and then it finally got to the Network part, and it defaulted to “Manual” and I changed that to ‘Automatic’ and it spun merrily along for another too-long time, and then it suddenly rebooted again, without ever having made it to the actually set up screens for creating a user account and passwords.

    When it came back up after this reboot, it picked right back up where it left off, and I was able to create the user account and password. All of which was none too fast, but it got there in the end.

    Following all of which, it finally opened up with a proper desktop in the default 1024×768 resolution, at which point I googled for “change mac vm screen resolution” and got plenty of hits, and I followed those instructions, and now I’m up and running with 1600×900 screen resolution.

    The thing works PERFECTLY.

    I cannot thank you enough!

    And for everyone else, please be more than patient. Give it time. If you have more than one monitor, move it over to a secondary monitor and just kind of keep it in the corner of your eye, while you engage yourself elsewhere. In the end, you shall prevail.

  7. blankColin Reply

    I managed to get it to install but am stuck in the setup on the screen “How do you connect?” It wont let me select wi-fi, only local network (Ethernet). But I don’t know what details to put in the LAN page… any help?

  8. blankHarry Reply

    It appears that I was able to get it to install successfully without running boot.nsh. Hitting the escape key did nothing but bring up the Virtualbox bios, and that was of no help.

  9. blankChuck Reply

    I thought I would give this a whirl but like other comments I have read – system never gets past the WARNING! You’re about to install macOS on a Non-Apple device……

  10. blankRobert Reply

    I couldn’t get into UEFI shell to write execute boot.nsh but it did show logs of executing code and started the installation.
    Could this be a problem?

  11. blankAnatolii Reply

    ‘boot.nsh’ is not reconized as an internal or external comand, operable program, or script file

    So, the installation is impossible

  12. blankDave Reply

    All worked great apart from typing “boot.nsh” which said it wasn’t recognised as an internal or external command. I googled it and it and found something which said to type “exit” then select “Boot Maintenance Manager” followed by “Boot from file” and selected the second option. Everything else was great. Thanks.

    1. blankPENDRAGON Reply

      Thanks for this. I had to actually keep clicking through (after the second option you mentioned) until I actually found that boot.nsh file and when I hit ENTER on that it ran for me.

  13. blankKavx Reply

    Hello,

    Step 7

    #1 Hit enter :
    I’m stuck with VM freeze on the warning message :

    “WARNING ! You’re about………../////………. take any responsibility.”
    – Image ‘FS0:\VBoxApfs.efi’ loaded at DBD65000 – Success

    Any Help ?

    Thank You

      1. blankCorgier

        Hi Mukhtar,
        I have the same issue with VirtualBox 6.0.14 on CentOS 7.6.1810.
        Can you help me ?
        Philippe

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