Setting up ESXi for running Apple Mac OS X 

Vmware ESXi 6.0 doesn’t support OS X out of the box.

  1. So, the first thing you need to do is to customise the hypervisor layer by executing an Unlocker script by insanelymac.com. Please note that you will need to register on the site in order to download the Unlocker tool.
  2. You need to enable SSH on your ESXi host. In order to do that, login to the host using VMware vShpere Client and navigate to Configuration->Security Profile. From here click on Properties in the upper right corner where it says Services. The dialog Services Properties should appear and from here you can click on SSH->Options and choose Start and stop with host. Click Start and then close all the open dialogs.
  3. Transfer the Unlocker-files to the host using any SFTP client. Make sure you extract the files somewhere on your client before transfer and connect to the ESXi host using the user root. Once connected navigate to /vmfs/volumes/datastore01/ , replacing datastore01 with your actual datastore name. Create a new folder (mkdir) called tools and transfer your unlockerXXX directory.
  4. Now cd into the uploaded directory and ensure the ESXi scripts have execute permissions by running chmod +x esxi-install.sh. Now run ./esxi-install.sh in order to install the Unlocker.
  5. Reboot the ESXi host.

Download and create the bootable OS X El Capitan ISO

Grab the El Capitan installer app from the Apple Appstore. Note, you need  a real Mac in order to download and convert the El Capitan installation disk. Once downloaded minimize or close the installer.

Open the terminal and change directory to /tmp using command cd /tmp

Create a new script file: nano ElCapitan.sh

Paste the following into the script file and save:

#!/bin/bash
# Mount the installer image
hdiutil attach /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan.app/Contents/SharedSupport/InstallESD.dmg -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_app

# Create the ElCapitan Blank ISO Image of 7316mb with a Single Partition – Apple Partition Map
hdiutil create -o /tmp/ElCapitan.cdr -size 7316m -layout SPUD -fs HFS+J

# Mount the ElCapitan Blank ISO Image
hdiutil attach /tmp/ElCapitan.cdr.dmg -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build

# Restore the Base System into the ElCapitan Blank ISO Image
asr restore -source /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg -target /Volumes/install_build -noprompt -noverify -erase

# Remove Package link and replace with actual files
rm /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/System/Installation/Packages
cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/Packages /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/System/Installation/

# Copy El Capitan installer dependencies
cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.chunklist /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/BaseSystem.chunklist
cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/BaseSystem.dmg

# Unmount the installer image
hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_app

# Unmount the ElCapitan ISO Image
hdiutil detach /Volumes/OS\ X\ Base\ System/

# Convert the ElCapitan ISO Image to ISO/CD master (Optional)
hdiutil convert /tmp/ElCapitan.cdr.dmg -format UDTO -o /tmp/ElCapitan.iso

# Rename the ElCapitan ISO Image and move it to the desktop
mv /tmp/ElCapitan.iso.cdr ~/Desktop/ElCapitan.iso

Now ensure that the script file has execute permissions by running chmod +x ElCapitan.sh and run with sh ./ElCapitan.sh. This will take some time, so just be patient. Once done it should have created a file called ElCapitan.iso on your desktop.

Create a virtual Mac OS X VM

The next step should be fairly simple if you have used ESXi before. As usual open your datastore and transfer the iso to wherever you normally store your installation files. Then create a new vm, select Typical and you should be able to select Other and then Apple Mac OS X 10.10 (64-bit). Complete the wizard, mount the ISO and install Mac OS X as usual. Please note that you must format the hard drive using the disk utility before it will be visible in the install wizard.

Configure Mac OS X

It’s very important to install the VMware Tools as soon as possible after the install has finished. Without it Mac OS X might not awake from sleep and in general be very unreliable. I also recommend to turn off sleep and the screensaver in settings as these may cause issues.

Finally, reboot and start enjoying your virtual Mac on non-Apple hardware.

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