Well, this has been a long term thing that I’ve wanted to do for a very long time, but have never actually succeeded – until today.
I have finally got Snow Leopard running on my Mac Pro that is running Mavericks in a virtual environment. This time I’m using VirtualBox
I want to do this to try out El Capitan, because when I updated to the last major update to Yosemite, it broke my Aperture installation. So now, I’m going to test it properly this time.
To achieve this, I’m doing it through the OS upgrade path. I’m taking a snapshot or cloning each system as I go, and proceeding to upgrade each new install on the way. This way, for testing purposes, I will have a: Snow Leopard, Mavericks, Yosemite and an El Capitan installation in a virtual environment.
This is not for piracy, but for testing environments to see if software actually runs correctly and doesn’t break!
For example, for the older Final Cut Pro 7 application suite, Motion 4 won’t work in Yosemite or above. So what does one do to be able to open older projects? Well… you can’t open them. So, even though I use Adobe’s Creative Cloud now with After Affects, I still can’t open these older projects. Bummer… So, this is where these virtual machines will come in handy.
So, how do we do it?
Glad you asked.
These are settings I have used to get them working. I’m using VirtualBox (v4.3) and will probably upgrade to v5 soon.
So, the magic things you need to get it running…
- Virtual Box (I’m running version 4.3, but I’m sure the latest version will work too)
- An official install DVD disk. (I’m got a few as they either came from the computers I bought, or the OS upgrade disks I bought)
- You MUST edit the file called: ~/Library/VirtualBox/VirtualBox.xml
Add the following lines at the end of the ExtraData section:
<ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal2/EfiBootArgs" value=" "/> <ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal2/SmcDeviceKey" value="ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc"/>
This is what mine looks like:
When you have made the edit, you can continue on getting the install to work.
I have only screen captured the screens that I know are relevant to getting this work.
Name is what ever you want
Type: Mac OS X
Version: Mac OS x 10.6 Snow Leopard (64-bit) (Maybe this will change as the upgrades continue. I don’t know yet.)
Snapshot Folder: What ever what was default
Shared Clipboard: Guest to Host (These may cause issues when first trying to install)
Drag’n’Drop: Host to Guest (These may cause issues when first trying to install)
Removeable Media: checked
Mini toolbar: checked
Base Memory: 2048MBs (Apparently this amount is important on the initial install)
Boot Order: CD/DVD FIRST then Hard Disk. Once the basic install has been done, swap this order (as shown in the image).
Pointing Device: USB Tablet. Mouse won’t work
Extended Features: Enable I/O APIC checked
Enable EFI checked
Hardware Clock in UTC: I didn’t worry about this…
Execution Cap: 100
Extended Features: Enabled PAE/NX checked
Enable VT-x/AMD-V checked
Enable Nested Paging checked
Video Memory: 16mb (Apparently this is important for installation too)
extended features – not checked both
I’ve also added a SharedDisk.vdi so that the multiple installs can share files with each other. This is not required.
Port Count: 2
User Host I/O Cache unchecked
You must have a Hard Drive.vdi
Hard disk: Sata Port 0
Host Drive (DVD)
CD/DVD Drive: SATA Port 1
Under Networking once I got to Mavericks, to be able to browse the network, I needed to change the Networking to “Bridged Networking”, otherwise it creates it’s own little VPN kind of thing between the host and the VM.
Anyway, the rest of the settings are whatever. I hope you get it working. Good luck, and hopefully you won’t get any kernel panics like I did initially.
When it does start up, it’ll look a little weird with all oft he text messages showing. This isn’t anything to worry about though.
Above is Mavericks starting up. Below is Yosemite after it’s first boot to the upgrade.
Then when you finally get El Capitan running, it’s entirely black.
Just as a side note, make sure you start with the hard drive above 20G. After going through all of the upgrades from Snow Leopard, Mavericks to Yosemite, when you get to El Capitan there is not enough space in a 20G hard drive. Weird huh. I had to make the drive larger to 30G to continue.
Also, along the way, I upped the RAM and the specific machine type as well once I had them up and running.
Since doing this, I’ve also upgraded to version 5 of VirtualBox.