Running a MacOS Catalina 10.15 VM on VMware ESXi 🌱

Downloads and Configuring ESXi

  1. Download a MacOS Catalina .iso Download
  2. Download Unlocker for VMware ESXi Download
  3. Download WinSCP Download
  4. Extract the downloaded Unlocker for VMware ESXi
  5. Rename the extracted folder unlocker
  6. Log into the ESXi web UI
  7. Enable the SSH service by selecting Actions > Services > Enable Secure Shell (SSH)
  8. Extract WinSCP and run the executable
  9. Connect to the ESXi host IP address via WinSCP
  10. Copy the extracted Unlocker folder to the ESXi host /root directory
  11. Connect to the ESXi host via SSH
  12. Run the following commands to install ESXi Unlocker
    # change directory to unlocker
    cd /unlocker
    # make the install script executable
    chmod +x ./
    # run the install script
    # reboot esxi host

Creating the Catalina VM

  1. Log into the ESXi web UI
  2. In the left navigation pane, right click on Virtual Machines > Create/Register VM
  3. Select Create a new virtual machine > Click Next
  4. Name the VM MacOSX > Set the Guest OS family to Mac OS and Guest OS Version to Apple MacOS 10.14 (64-bit) > Click Next
  5. Select the storage datastore to use > Click Next
  6. Set the Memory to at least 4096
  7. Set Hard disk 1 to 50 GB or more > Expand Hard disk 1 and make sure the
  8. Expand CD/DVD Drive 1 > Make sure Datastore ISO file is selected > Click Browse next to the CD/DVD Media field
  9. Click Upload > Browse to and select the Mac OS installation ISO
  10. Once the upload completes, click the Mac OS ISO to highlight it > Click Select
  11. Back on the Hardware customization screen click Next
  12. Review the summary provided and click Finish Click the new MacOSX VM Click Power on at the top of the page

Installing MacOS Catalina

  1. After an initialization sequence the Mac OS Setup should start
  2. Select a Language > Click the next arrow
  3. Select Disk Utility
  4. Select the VMware Virtual SATA Hard Drive Media > Click Erase
  5. Name the drive MacOS > Set the Format to APFS > Click Erase
  6. Click Done > Close Disk Utility
  7. Click Install macOS
  8. Click Continue > Click Agree > Click Agree again
  9. Select the MacOS disk > Click Install
  10. Wait while Mac OS installs files, the VM will reboot several times
  11. Select your Country > Click Continue
  12. Confirm your languages and keyboard layout > Click Continue
  13. Click Continue on the Data & Privacy screen
  14. Select Don't transfer any information now > Click Continue
  15. Select Set Up Later > Click Continue > Click Skip
  16. Click Agree > Agree again
  17. Enter a name, user name, password > Click Continue
  18. Click Customize Settings
  19. Click Continue > Select Use or Don't Use for Location Services
  20. Pick a timezone > Click Continue
  21. Uncheck the Send Mac Analytics box > Click Continue
  22. Click Set Up Later on the Screen Time screen
  23. Uncheck the Enable Ask Siri box > Click Continue
  24. Pick a theme > Click Continue
  25. Welcome to MacOS 10.15 Catalina

Install VMware Tools (optional, but recommended)

  1. Download MacOS Unlocker for VMware Workstation Download
  2. Extract the downloaded .zip file
  3. Navigate into the extracted folder
  4. Hold SHIFT and right click in the white space > Open PowerShell window here...
  5. Run the following command to download VMware Tools for MacOS
    .\unlocker.exe --download-tools
  6. Back in the ESXi web UI select Storage from the left navigation menu
  7. Click the Datastore browser icon at the top of the main content pane
  8. Click Upload > Browse to and select the darwin.iso
  9. Once the upload completes click Close to close out of the Datastore browser
  10. Select the MacOSX VM > Actions > Edit settings
  11. Attach darwin.iso to CD/DVD drive 1
  12. Inside the VM, double click the mounted VMware tools and run the installer