NOTICE: This article was written in Apr. 2022, and some links / methods might be outdated.
All relevant preparing works are done on Arch Linux.
Step 1: Fetch macOS Installer Package
gibMacOS.py and select the wanted macOS version:
The installer will be fetched at its
The only necessary file here is
Step 2: Extract the Installer
Some extra tools should be installed:
xar -xf InstallAssistant.pkg, a large dmg file
SharedSupport.dmg will be extracted.
darling-dmg supports mounting dmg images, the usage is shown below
mkdir /tmp/sharedsupport darling-dmg SharedSupport.dmg /tmp/sharedsupport
then the contents of
SharedSupport.dmg should be available at
Step 3: Get macOS Recovery Image
There is a zip archive in
com_apple_MobileAsset_MacSoftwareUpdate. Use your preferred tools to browse it and you will find another dmg image called
BaseSystem.dmg inside it.
Use your preferred tools to extract it. This is the recovery image of macOS. (some stuff like Windows PE / Live CD of Linux distros)
Step 4: Convert DMG to VMDK
BaseSystem.dmg cannot be directly used by VMware or ESXi.
qemu-img is a useful utility to convert disk images between several formats (e.g.
qemu-img convert -O vmdk -o compat6 BaseSystem.dmg BaseSystem.vmdk
a VMware-compatible disk will be generated.
The disk can used directly by VMware Workstation (but not ESXi).
Step 5: (ESXi Only) Convert Disks to Flat Models
In VMware ESXi, virtual disks are using flat models. So the disk converted by
qemu-img is not compatible with ESXi.
You should first upload
BaseSystem.vmdk in Step 4 to your ESXi host (via
scp / Web UI).
Log in ESXi via
ssh, switch to your previous upload directory and run
vmkfstools -i BaseSystem.vmdk Recovery.vmdk
Now, an ESXi-compatible disk
Recovery.vmdk is generated.
Step 6: VMware Unlocking
Due to designated restrictions, you still cannot run macOS virtual machines on VMware. However, these restrictions are removable by unlocking.
Unlockers for different products
- VMware Workstation: https://github.com/paolo-projects/unlocker/releases
- VMware ESXi: https://github.com/hugepants/esxi-unlocker/releases
See their READMEs for details.
Step 7: Start up Virtual Machine and Install macOS
Create a virtual machine with proper OS type, new virtual disks (70GiB+ recommended). Then add
Recovery.vmdk as an extra disk of new machine.
Boot up and you will see Apple logo. If nothing goes wrong, you will see the Recovery system.
Erase your by
Disk Utility and you can go with the installation. Cheers!