Running osX as a VM

I am sorry this is my first post, but …

I work in health care and am being required to work from home.
Does anyone have success running macOS in a vm? Hypothetically.
And If yes, how functional is it?
Can you use usb attached devices? Can you sync data from vm to attached devices? Hypothetically.

Thank you, and again, I am sorry this is my first post but this is a crazy time in the hospital setting right now.


It’s a ROYAL pain in the arse. I’ve only successfully run macOS in a vm on Intel based machines. I’ve also got an intel nuc from 2018 that I successfully turned into a hackintosh but put Linux back on it after a few weeks.

The only things that didn’t work were ‘find my mac’, airdrop and wifi/bluetooth.

There is a snap package for this, that Alan Pope made over on Install Linux apps using the Snap Store | Snapcraft

Forget the name, but I’ll chime back when I find it.

Sosumi is the name.


What version of macOS are you trying to run in a VM?

It’s called Sosumi ?!

Absolutely brilliant Mr. Pope.

Since the Mrs. is running High Sierra, I imagine the easiest, hypothetically, would be that or Catalina.
I have done some research regarding this and I believe I am aware of the prep work needed to get the drg (?) to an iso.
I have just not come across anyone posting their experience. Successes and/or failures. Hypothetically.

Good one @vskye

@MehGyver this install guide might be useful, never used it myself though:

Sosumi seems like a great suggestion but, if it does not work for you like you want, let me know. My better half has a spare Mac and I could help troubleshoot a different solution if you need.

Not to take away from @popey’s cleverness - but “Sosumi” is a reference to a Mac OS System 7 sound file created in response to Apple Corps’ edict that Apple Computer not make any music or risk trademark infringement. It may be a bit of a deep cut these days. Still clever, but credit where credit’s due.

edit - Haha. So to paraphrase Mr. Pope, “that’s the joke.” Guess I went all Comic Book Guy there for a second.

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That’s exactly why the name for the snap was chosen.


Yep, there was a problem.

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So, The name Sosumi is potentially a taunt, and mocking Apple for a failure?

(Standing ovation) Bravo, Mister Pope, Bravo!

Thank you all for the suggestions.
Thank you charlesDelaware for the hands on troubleshooting offer, may take you up on that someday.

By blind luck found one of our brethren in my hospitals IT department. He directed me to an FTP server where there was a deb package for the one and only piece of software I needed.

I love this community!

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I am running macOS using the really cool utility QuickEMU of Martin Wimpress which uses the snap QEMU Virgil under the hood. Setting up MacOS could not be easier.

I think that sooner or later, Apple will surely cook up a yank-the-carpet-out-from-under-you change to MacOS (if not sooner, then later), foiling the ability for MacOS to be run in a VM. Things will work great until that day, then a giant cry of anguish will erupt. Apple will very likely wait until the exact moment, when this VM ability actually poses an economic threat (when it is convenient enough to be installed and reliably used by large numbers of people).

The disruptive change might get hacked around, given time, but what do you do in the meantime, when you need that VM to have zero downtime in your life, as it’s part of some necessary workflow?

I suggest “don’t play that game”, people! I’m not a fan of Mac, but I’m risk-aversive enough to say: If you want a Mac, and feel it’s “worth it” (in a T.C.O. sort of way), then simply pay them the money they want, or they’ll make you wish you did.

PS: I don’t deem any Apple hardware or software to be “worth it”, in my life. I can always find a way to get by without them just fine.

After skimming your link, a few red-flag items stuck out for me:

  • UHCI USB (USB 2.0) is the fastest supported.

  • USB pass-through has not been tested.

There’s also a TODO item of “Improve disk management”, which could suggest that disk-related instabilities haven’t quite been ironed out (which would not bode well, as any OS needs very stable and performant disk and filesystem usage).

I plead guilty to being a nay-sayer here!

Good points, there are some shortcomings of course. It is not the fastest way to run macOS, but in my experience the easiest to set up. It is, however, much faster than VirtualBox, in my experience for either macOS, Windows or any Linux distro I tried running on it. I use it to test the software we develop for macOS which runs under MATLAB and there the performance is more than satisfactory.

Note, that it is basically a bash script which runs the snap QEMU Virgil, so it is easily extendable. There are several pull requests that offer more functionality. I run my machines from a portable NVME and have no problem with disk and filesystem usage so far, it works quite fast. You can pass through almost all USB devices very easily if you have the device id (e.g. printer, Yubikeys, USB sticks, webcams, usb mics etc). What does not work is GPU passthrough, but I don’t need this anyhow.

I think “improve disk management” refers to having more options when setting up the disk as there is also some recent progress made with virtio. I can only relate to my experiences (and the github issues) there are no disk-related instabilities as far as I see.

But yes, you are right, there are caveats, but again, it is so easy to just try it out and see if it fits the OP needs.

yes I do run MacOS VMs in my main job. Its totally possible.

Functional… With Virtualbox… kind of… because we cant get the GuestAdditions to work… so no fullscreen (without further workaround), shared folders, etc… what works is a simple smb share or so…

I’ve wondered about this because as a developer, coding for macOS/iOS really needs to be done under macOS :frowning: I personally wondered if best bet might not be to go for a Mac Mini or whatever they’re called, but if Apple allow purchasing macOS to run in a VM, yes, that would definitely be my preference too.