Saturday, July 2, 2011

How to Install Mac OS X 10.5.5 Leopard on VirtualBox 3.1.4

Everybody likes work with Mac OS X without buying Mac Hardware on your normal PC, If you are a person like this, then you reached correct place. This article explains how to install Mac OS X 10.5.5 Leopard on VirtualBox 3.1.4.  No any additional hardware or software needs to be purchased for this installation. This method is completely for testing purpose and not to use permanently or in production environment.
Mac OS X 10.5.5 installation DVD is not required and this method will work with  AMD or Intel processor X 86 computers.
After two posts published about,
Install Mac OS X 10.5.5 Leopard on VMware Workstation in X86 Computer and
Install Mac OS X 10.5.5 Leopard on VMware Player 3,
I wanted to try the same Mac OS X image on Sun VirtualBox,  because it is faster.
Two Issues I faced on installing Mac OS X in Sun VirtualBox with this image and without Installation DVD.
1) This VMware Image did not boot in VirtualBox.
2) Mac OS X admin password did work once it booted.
I will be explaining how to fix above issues and successfully install Mac OS X on VirtualBox. So far I did not find any articles on web to install and run Mac OS X 10.5.5 on VirtualBox without installation DVD.

Required Products for Mac OS X 10.5.5 installation.

1) Sun VirtualBox
2) Mac OS X 10.5.5 VMware image
3) Intel and AMD processor virtualization utility

Installation Steps

1) Download the Mac OS X VMware Image here. ( it’s an torrent download & approx 1.9GB size)
2) Extract the downloaded image by WinRar.
3) Now, Open VirtualBox. Create a new virtual machine with following configuration.
Operating System - BSD
Version – FreeBSD
Mother Board Extended Features – Select Enable IO APIC,
Processor Extended Features -Select Enable PAE/NX
Acceleration Hardware Virtualization – Select Enable VT-x/AMD-V
If you can’t see Acceleration tab under system settings, it means hardware virtualization is not enabled on motherboard BIOS. This Mac OS X VMware image works only with hardware virtualization enabled computers on VirtualBox. If this is not available on your computer, then you can use same Mac OS X image with VMware Player 3 to run Leopard 10.5.5 on X 86 computers.
Allocate memory – Minimum 1GB
Hard disk – Select Existing hard disk and add converted Mac OS X VMDK file. You can see the hard disk size as 30GB. When adding the Mac VMDK file, attach as ICH6 or PIIX4 only. If you select PIIX3, Mac will hang with booting screen.
Read more here how to add vmdk files in VirtualBox as hard disk.
4) Here we go; we are ready to start Mac on VirtualBox. Don’t start the virtual machine, because it will not work now. After configured following settings, close VirtualBox application completely and change the XML file. Add the string mentioned in below step.
5) VirtualBox creates and saves virtual machine’s configurations in a XML file. Normally location isuser profile -> .Virtualbox -> machines -> machine name.
Edit the XML file and add
<ExtraDataItem name=”VBoxInternal2/SupportExtHwProfile” value=”on” />
My Mac OS X XML file looks like below,
Mac OS X 10.5.5 Leopard VirtualBox 3.1.4
If you are facing difficulty to start Mac OS X on VirtualBox after above settings, open the XML file and look for this string again.
6) If Mac booting screen stuck with Mac logo on VirtualBox as below, I’m sure something wrong with hardware virtualization.
7) Mac admin password with for Mac OS X Vmware image is Xelabo, as hinted below.
8) Now start the virtual machine, I’m sure you can see a real Mac OS X 10.5.5 leopard on VirtualBox. Below is the screen shot of running Mac OS X inside Sun VirtualBox.
Mac OS X 10.5.5 Leopard VirtualBox 3.1.4
9) As you could see in above screen, network is working fine with this image. I can ping to my host Windows 7 computer from Mac OS X. I set up ‘Host only’ network in VirtualBox.
To use this method to run Mac OS X in VirtualBox, hardware virtualization in BIOS and Acceleration Hardware Virtualization – Enable VT-x/AMD-V in Sun VirtualBox should be enabled. To check whether hardware virtualization is enabled in motherboard BIOS, use AMD and Inter processer utilities.
Read more about check and enable virtualization technology in motherboard BIOS.
That’s it. Installation is done. Unfortunately VirtualBox additions cannot be installed and increased the screen resolutions. Other than these, if you face any difficulties, feel free to share.
If this method useful for in any case, just drop a comment.


I showed the all steps what I did to run Mac on VirtualBox in my PC.
PC configurations is,
Intel Core2duo 2.66GHz,
P35 Intel Chipset.
If stuck with Mac logo (without loading arrows), then check the following checks.
1)      Enable IO APIC
2)      Enable PAE/NX, make processors numbers 1
3)      Enable VT-x
4)      You can Try Enable Nested Paging. ( it worked for me without enabling it, but Tony said it worked for him after enabled)
5)      IDE Controller ICH6
6)      Close VirtualBox completely and open the XML file to make sure extra string is there.
7)      Still it hangs? Shutdown the virtual machine and restart several times. It will work. ( Don’t ask me why)
If stuck with Mac logo (with loading arrows), then check the following checks.
1)      Enable VT-x
2)      Check BIOS whether hardware virtualization is enabled.
3)      Run virtualization detecting tools to make sure host OS is detecting hardware virtualization. Because in some PCs, even when VT is enabled in BIOS but OS will not detect.
4)      Close VirtualBox completely and open the XML file to make sure extra string is there.
I tried the same Mac OS X Leopard image in VirtualBox 3.2 beta. It worked without any changes in XML file, and I could feel the performance improvement inside virtual machine.