Mac OS X Server / VirtualBox

VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2. Presently, VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4 and 2.6), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2, and OpenBSD. VirtualBox is being actively developed with frequent releases and has an ever growing list of features, supported guest operating systems and platforms it runs on. VirtualBox is a community effort backed by a dedicated company: everyone is encouraged to contribute while Oracle ensures the product always meets professional quality criteria.

Installing Mac OS X Server as Guest Operating System

Starting with version 3.2, VirtualBox has experimental support for Mac OS X Server guests. This allows you to install and execute unmodified versions of Mac OS X Server on supported host hardware.

Whereas competing solutions perform modifications to the Mac OS X Server install DVDs (e.g. different boot loader and replaced files), VirtualBox is the first product to provide the modern PC architecture expected by OS X without requiring any "hacks".

You should be aware of a number of important issues before attempting to install a Mac OS X Server as Guest Operating System.

  • Mac OS X is commercial, licensed software and contains both license and technical restrictions that limit its use to certain hardware and usage scenarios. It is important that you understand and obey these restrictions.
  • In particular, for most versions of Mac OS X Server, Apple prohibits installing them on non-Apple hardware. Also, only the server versions of Mac OS X are designed to be used in a virtual environment; as a result, VirtualBox does not support client versions of Mac OS X as a guest.
  • These license restrictions are also enforced on a technical level. Mac OS X Server verifies whether it is running on Apple hardware, and most DVDs that that come with Apple hardware even check for an exact model. These restrictions are not circumvented by VirtualBox and continue to apply.
  • Only CPUs known and tested by Apple are supported. As a result, if your Intel CPU is newer than the build of Mac OS X Server, or if you have a non-Intel CPU, it will most likely panic during bootup with an "Unsupported CPU" exception. It is generally best to use the Mac OS X Server DVD that came with your Apple hardware.
  • The Mac OS X Server installer expects the harddisk to be partitioned so when it does not offer a selection, you have to launch the Disk Utility from the "Tools" menu and partition the hard disk. Then close the Disk Utility and proceed with the installation.
  • In addition, as Mac OS X Server support in VirtualBox is currently still experimental

Things you need
Mac OS X Server