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How to install latest Mac OS X Lion Virtual Machine on Windows Server 2008/Windows 7

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4 May 2012CPOL 15.5K  
20 mins installation guide in order to get you with a Mac OS X Lion VM in no time.

The client I'm currently consulting with would like to revamp a current BI Dashboard prototype into a iPhone/iPad native application rather than a mobile web app. Therefore, I have to get my hands dirty in this case to dive into the IOS development to move across the dark side.

Basically, these days Apple already began to use Intel as processors for CPU providers, so in other words, it's surely compatible to install Mac OS X operating system on the top of on top of the Intel PC.

After spending a bit time to poke around the "Hackintosh" community and overcome a few quirks along the way, I have successfully set up my "first Mac Lion OS X" on my workstations (Windows 7 Ultimate) and work laptop (Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise). So I take this 'special' opportunity to share this 20 mins installation guide in order to get you with a Mac OS X Lion VM in no time ;).

Step 1. Pre-requisites and tools you need to have:

  1. Minimum 4 GB RAM
  2. Minimum 2 CPU Processors (4 processors are more preferable)
  3. Minimum 40 GB Hard-drive space (requires 5G more space for xCode if doing development)
  4. A retail copy of Mac OS X Lion operating system (my version 10.7.3 -, costed $31.99 ) , made into a vmdk file for VMware
  5. Get the latest VMware workstation (, really doesn't matter whether it's a free trial or a proper licence.
  6. Mac OS X VMware unlocker program ( )

Once you have got hold of all those items mentioned the above, let's kick off this OS X adventure.

Step 2. Set up the VM machine

VMware workstation installation should be fairly straightforward, after a few clicks, you get yourself a nice shinning VM environment set up shortly.

The only quirk worth mentioning here is that if you do have a Hyper-V module installed on the PC before-hand (in my case, Hyper-V used to be my preference to virtualize the development environment), you have to manually remove and restart the machine, in order to get the VMware workstation set up on your PC.

Step 3. VMware Unlocker - Mac OS Guest

Extract the downloaded MAC OS VMware Unlocker program, then quickly navigate to the folder named with " \Mac OS X Lion VMware Files\VMware Unlocker – Mac OS X Guest" .

After that, execute "windows.bat" command under "Administrator" privilege to unlock the Mac OS X Client.

Once it's successfully executed (make sure that you use "run as administrator" for the Command Prompt), we are about to install the OS X image only figures away.

Step 4. Install OS X Lion VM image

Quickly navigate back to the extracted unlock program folder "Extracted Folder Paht"\Mac OS X Lion VMware Files\Mac OS X Lion\ to find the VM image file "Mac OS X Lion.vmx", then simply execute the file by double clicking on it.

It should quickly bring up the VMware workstation program, and preload the image with the basic setting in the VM configuration screen:

Based upon the screen-shot the above, it's ideal to allocate more than 2 processors, 4 GB RAM along with 40GB hard drive space for it, in order to get the decent performance out of the OS X Lion. Feel free to let me know if you have other hardware spec configuration for it to produce the decent performance ;)

Right now, we are good to go for loading the pre-purchased Lion OS X DVD vdmk format file into the VM.

Quickly select the VM, right click, and select the "Settings..." option to navigate to the "Virtual Machine Settings" screen. Under "Hardware" tab, select "Add..." to add into a new "Hard Disk".

Quickly navigate to the pre-vmdk installer, then select the "Mac OS X Lion.vmdk" with all options left as default, to press "Finish" to complete the process.

Step 5. Power on the VM to explore the Mac OS X Lion

After you power on the VM, you will awesomely start your Mac OS X Lion from that moment onwards.

The whole installation process will take you about 2 mins, which is really quick and standard, nothing standing out as long as you have your Apple ID in your hand.

Hooray, after a few clicks and ticks, you just got yourself a shinning Mac OS X Lion Operating System up running on top of your windows PC without massive labourish work and un-rational quirks.

Step 6. Install xCode and set up the Development Environment

It's just another extremely easy quick way to set up the development environment by installing the latest xCode app from the App-Store. Once it's all installed, basically all you need to do is to double-click the app code, then you could start your iOS development journey in no time.


As said before, as long as you have all those items listed within "Pre-requisites", following up the nifty instructions mentioned the above, you should set yourself up with a Mac OS X Lion in 30 mins or so in total.

Enjoy it and leave any feedbacks/comments below, so that I could reply to it shortly ;)


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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