European Union Flag
European Apple Users Information & Support
LOGIN
RSS Feed Icon
via fetchrss.com
The next event is:
NABshow 2019

From 6 April 2019
to 11 April 2019
More events…

macOS 10.14 Mojave
FREE
Amazon UK Mac Software Affiliate Link
My Mac doesn't need security software, right ?

Virtualising macOS 10.12 Sierra

Article ID = 168
Article Title = Virtualising macOS 10.12 Sierra
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 12th March 2019
Article Last Updated = 20th March 2019
Article URL = https://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?168

Article Brief Description:
Instructions for installing, setting up and virtualising macOS 10.12 Sierra

Virtualising macOS 10.12 Sierra

The ability to virtualise macOS 10.12 Sierra is important and very useful as it is an easy way to run 32-bit applications that do not run on macOS 10.15 or later. MacStrategy presents this special guide to virtualising Mac OS X / OS X / macOS.

Virtualisation Software

  • Parallels Desktop [£79.99 inc VAT - 14 day free trial available]
    Buy it now at Amazon USA Buy it now at Amazon UK
  • VMWare Fusion [£70.00 inc VAT - 30 day free trial available]
  • Oracle VirtualBox [FREE - Open source under GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2]

Instructions

NOTE: This document was written using a Mac mini (2014 model) with macOS 10.14 Mojave running in 64-bit only test mode and using Parallels Desktop 14.1.2, VMWare Fusion 11.0.2 and VirtualBox 6.0.4.

Preparation

NOTE: You will need a Mac and the macOS 10.12 Sierra installer.
  • Obtain your preferred virtualisation software (see list above)
  • Obtain the macOS 10.12 Sierra installer and copy it to your local Desktop/hard disk:
    • If you already have this installer archived/backed up you are good to go
    • If you purchased macOS 10.12 Sierra you might be able to re-download the installer - go to Macintosh HD > Applications > App Store > Purchased tab at the top > login if necessary > check your purchase history list to download Mountain Lion
    • You may still be able to download macOS 10.12 Sierra for free from Apple
  • If you haven't already, make a backup/archive of the macOS 10.12 Sierra installer e.g. copy it to an external storage device
  • Purchase/install/update your preferred virtualisation software
  • On later versions of macOS your preferred virtualisation software will require specifically allowing their System Extension(s) to run via System Preferences > Security & Privacy, plus they may require to be granted access to Accessibility
  • macOS System Extension Blocked Warning macOS System Extension Blocked System Preferences
  • Make sure you have plenty of free hard disk space (a basic 10.12.6 install is about ~20GB before your own applications and you'll need at least twice that if you need to clone it for multiple installations), plus you need ~6GB for Parallels to create a bootable disk image file from the installer, so we recommend at least 75GB of free space (100GB+ if you're looking to virtualise and use Adobe Creative Suite)
  • Make sure your actual, physical Mac has a working internet connection e.g. use a web browser to go to https://www.apple.com and see if you can view a web page
  • Create a dedicated folder to share files/documents with the virtual environment e.g. in your Documents folder create a folder titled "1012SharedFolder"
Instructions for installing macOS 10.12 with:

Parallels Desktop Instructions

  1. Open Parallels
  2. Go to File menu > New
  3. Click on "Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file" and click Continue
  4. Parallels Click on Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file and click Continue
  5. If Parallels automatically finds the macOS 10.12 installer you put on your Desktop/local hard disk earlier (as per the preparation section above) click "Continue"
  6. Otherwise click on "Choose Manually", click "Image File" and locate the macOS 10.12 installer/drag it to the window
  7. Parallels Click on Image File
  8. Click Continue to begin installing macOS
  9. Parallels will need to create a bootable disk image file from the installer so at the warning message click "Continue" and Save the "macOS image file" to the default location
  10. Parallels Requirement to Create a Bootable Disk Image File
  11. Name your virtual machine e.g. "macOS 10.12"
  12. Tick the "Customize settings before installation" option
  13. Parallels Tick the Customize settings before installation option
  14. Choose your required custom settings - they can be changed later. We recommend:
    • General > CPUs and Memory e.g. 2 CPUs and 4GB RAM)
    • Options > Sharing - for best security set "Share Folders' to "None", untick 'Share iCloud, Dropbox, and Google Drive' + 'Map Mac volumes to virtual machine' and click "Custom Folders…" to add your dedicated shared folder e.g. in your Documents > "1012SharedFolder" (as per the preparation section above)
    • Hardware > Video > Video memory - the more memory assigned the higher the resolution available for the virtual environment
    • Hardware > Network > Source > choose "Ethernet" - the virtual environment will use your physical Mac's Ethernet network configuration
    • Hardware > Sound & Camera > untick "Share Mac Camera"
  15. Close the settings window and click "Continue"
  16. Parallels Close settings window and click Continue
  17. The virtual machine will reboot to the macOS install screen (Apple logo + whirling wheel underneath)
  18. Follow the on screen instructions
  19. Parallels macOS Install
  20. At the macOS Utilities screen, click "Install macOS" and click "Continue"
  21. Parallels macOS Utilities
  22. After the installation completes and the virtual machine reboots please be patient, especially with any black/white/grey screens - everything can be slower in a virtual environment
  23. At the Welcome screen follow the on screen instructions
    • Select your country
    • Select your keyboard
    • Transfer Information to This Mac > Don't transfer any information now
    • Enable Location Services > your choice
    • Apple ID > Don't Sign in (Skip)
    • Terms and Conditions > Agree
    • Create Your Computer Account + tick "Set time zone based on current location"
    • Analytics > untick "Share Mac analytics with Apple" + "Share crash data with app developers"
  24. Unmount the "Install macOS Sierra" disk image from the Desktop
  25. Go to Actions menu > Install Parallels Tools…
  26. Install Parallels Tools, following the on screen instructions and restart the virtual machine when complete
  27. Set the screen resolution as required
  28. Set your Finder > Preferences
  29. To avoid confusion with your primary computer rename the virtual machine's hard disk from Macintosh HD to something that is different to your current hard disk e.g. "macOS 10_12 HD"
  30. Go to Apple menu > App Store… > Updates tab > install all available updates (except full macOS upgrades) especially any security updates
  31. Keep going to Apple menu > App Store… > Updates tab and installing all available updates until there are no more updates to install
  32. NOTE: If you are going to use this virtual environment on multiple computers or you just want a backup:
    • In Parallels "Shut down" the virtual machine and choose shut down again to force the Mac to shut down if necessary
    • In the Finder go to the Parallels virtual machine folder (usually Macintosh HD > Users > your home directory > Library > Parallels)
    • Copy/duplicate/archive the macOS 10.12 virtual machine file (pvm)
    • Copy this file to the same place on additional Macs with Parallels as required (usually Macintosh HD > Users > your home directory > Library > Parallels)
    OR make a clone:
    • In Parallels go to Window menu > Control Center
    • Select the macOS 10.12 virtual machine (don't open it or start it)
    • Go to File menu > Clone and make a clone of the virtual machine
    • Copy the clone to additional Macs with Parallels as required
  33. Check the macOS 10.12 Notes section below

VMWare Fusion

  1. Open VMWare Fusion
  2. Go to File menu > New
  3. At the 'Select the Installation Method' screen click on "Install from disc or image" and click Continue
  4. VMWare Fusion click on Install from disc or image and click Continue
  5. Locate the macOS 10.12 installer and drag it to area in the window and click Continue
  6. VMWare Fusion Drag your macOS 10.12 installer to the area in the window
  7. At the 'Finish > Virtual Machine Summary' screen click "Customize Settings" at the bottom
  8. VMWare Fusion customize settings
  9. Name your virtual machine e.g. "macOS 10.12"
  10. Choose your required custom settings
  11. VMWare Fusion Choose your required custom settings
  12. We recommend:
    • Processors & Memory > CPUs and Memory e.g. "2 processor cores" and 4096MB [4GB])
    • Network Adapter > tick "Connect Network Adapter" and choose "Ethernet" - the virtual environment will use your physical Mac's Ethernet network configuration
    • Hard Disk (SATA) > virtual machine drive size of 75GB
    • USB & Bluetooth > untick "Share Bluetooth devices with the virtual machine"
  13. Close the settings window and click "Finish" if necessary
  14. Click the start button/triangle in the middle of the screen to begin installing macOS
  15. The virtual machine will reboot to the macOS 10.12 installer (Apple logo + whirling wheel underneath)
  16. Follow the on screen instructions
  17. Parallels macOS Install
  18. At the macOS Utilities screen, click "Install macOS" and click "Continue"
  19. Parallels macOS Utilities
  20. After the installation completes and the virtual machine reboots please be patient, especially with any black/white/grey screens - everything can be slower in a virtual environment
  21. At the Welcome screen follow the on screen instructions
    • Select your country
    • Select your keyboard
    • Transfer Information to This Mac > Don't transfer any information now
    • Enable Location Services > your choice
    • Apple ID > Don't Sign in (Skip)
    • Terms and Conditions > Agree
    • Create Your Computer Account + tick "Set time zone based on current location"
    • Analytics > untick "Share Mac analytics with Apple" + "Share crash data with app developers"
  22. Unmount the "Install macOS Sierra" disk image from the Desktop
  23. Go to Virtual Machine menu > Install VMWare Tools
  24. Install VMWare Tools, following the on screen instructions and restart the virtual machine when complete (you may get a message about the installer certificate being out of date and this appears to stop the Tools installing so things like drag and drop are not supported [with this guest OS])
  25. If you want to configure shared folder(s) go to Virtual Machine > Sharing > Sharing Settings… > tick "Enable Shared Folders' add your dedicated shared folder e.g. in your Documents > "1012SharedFolder" (as per the preparation section above)
  26. Set the screen resolution as required
  27. Set your Finder > Preferences
  28. To avoid confusion with your primary computer rename the virtual machine's hard disk from Macintosh HD to something that is different to your current hard disk e.g. "macOS 10_12 HD"
  29. Go to Apple menu > App Store… > Updates tab > install all available updates (except full macOS upgrades) especially any security updates
  30. Keep going to Apple menu > App Store… > Updates tab and installing all available updates until there are no more updates to install
  31. NOTE: If you are going to use this virtual environment on multiple computers or you just want a backup:
    • Go to Virtual Machine menu > Shut down and click the "Shut Down" button
    • Quit VMWare Fusion
    • In the Finder go to the Fusion virtual machine folder (usually Macintosh HD > Users > your home directory > Library > Virtual Machines)
    • Copy/duplicate/archive the macOS 10.12 virtual machine file (pvm)
    • Copy this file to the same place on additional Macs with Fusion as required (usually Macintosh HD > Users > your home directory > Library > Virtual Machines)
    OR make a clone:
    • If you have Fusion "Professional", in Fusion select the macOS 10.12 virtual machine from the Virtual Machine Library (you cannot create clones using the standard version of Fusion - use the copy method above instead)
    • Click Virtual Machine and select "Create Full Clone"
    • Type a name for the clone e.g. "macOS 10.12 Clone" and click Save to make a clone of the virtual machine
    • The clone file is created in the Fusion Virtual Machines folder (usually Macintosh HD > Users > your home directory > Library > Virtual Machines)
    • Copy the clone to additional Macs with Fusion as required
  32. Check the macOS 10.12 Notes section below

VirtualBox

We could not get VirtualBox to create a macOS 10.12 guest OS - it would never boot the OS X installer - we tried at least 10 different methods all documented out there on the internet but none of them worked. However, we discovered a neat little trick of easily creating the virtual machine in VMWare Fusion (a 30-day trial download is available) and then copying the virtual machine over for use in VirtualBox - here are the step-by-step instructions:

NOTE: This trick was performed on a Mac mini (2014 model) with macOS 10.14 Mojave using the trial version of VMWare Fusion 11.0.2 and VirtualBox 6.0.4.
  1. Install VirtualBox heeding the advice in our Preparation section above
  2. Open VirtualBox to get it running and then Quit it
  3. Download a trial version of VMWare Fusion
  4. Install VMWare Fusion heeding the advice in our Preparation section above
  5. Install macOS 10.12 using the instructions in our VMWare Fusion section above
  6. Stop the macOS 10.12 virtual machine in VMWare Fusion if it is running and then Quit VMWare Fusion
  7. Go to Macintosh HD > Users > ~your home directory~ > VirtualBox VMs folder (if this folder doesn't exist, create it) > inside this folder create a new folder called "macOS 10.12 from Fusion" > keep this window open
  8. Open a new Finder window and go to Macintosh HD > Users > ~your home directory~ > Virtual Machines > locate the macOS 10.12 virtual machine you created in VMWare Fusion e.g. "macOS 10.12" > right/control click on it and select "Show Package Contents" from the contextual menu
  9. VMWare Fusion files to import into VirtualBox
  10. Copy, not move, all the files from this folder to the "macOS 10.12 from Fusion" folder you created two steps ago in the VirtualBox VMs folder
  11. Now you're ready to use this virtual machine disk with VirtualBox
  12. Open VirtualBox
  13. Click on the "New" icon
  14. Click on "Expert Mode"
  15. VirtualBox expert mode
  16. Name your virtual machine e.g. "macOS 10.12"
  17. Set 'Type' to "Mac OS X"
  18. Set 'Version' to "macOS 10.12 Sierra (64-bit)"
  19. Set 'Memory Size' to 4096MB (4GB)
  20. Set 'Hard Disk' to "Use an existing virtual hard disk file"
  21. Click on the folder icon with the little green up arrow in the bottom right of the window
  22. Navigate to Macintosh HD > Users > ~your home directory~ > VirtualBox VMs folder > macOS 10.12 from Fusion and select the "Virtual Disk.vmdk" file
  23. VirtualBox choose virtual disk to use
  24. Click "Choose"
  25. Click "Create"
  26. Select the new virtual OS on the left and click "Settings" at the top
  27. Set your virtual OS settings. We recommend:
    • Display > Screen > Video memory - the more memory assigned the higher the resolution available for the virtual environment e.g. set it to 128MB
    • Audio > UNTICK "Enable Audio" - according to the VirtualBox forums it is best that audio is disabled
  28. Click "OK"
  29. Click "Start"
  30. The virtual machine will boot into macOS 10.12

macOS 10.12 Notes

General Notes

Coming soon…

Running 32-bit Applications


Article Keywords: OS X OSX 107 108 109 1010 1011 macOS 1012 1013 1014 Snow Leopard Lion Mountain Lion Mavericks Yosemite El Capitan Sierra High Sierra Mojave VM virtual machine virtualisation virtualising virtualization virtualizing

This article is © MacStrategy » a trading name of Burning Helix. Apple, the Apple logo, and Mac are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.


If this information helped you or saved you time and/or money why not donate a little to us via PayPal?
All proceeds go directly to MacStrategy / Burning Helix Limited to help fund this web site.
If this information helped you or saved you time and/or money why not donate a little to us via PayPal?
All proceeds go directly to MacStrategy / Burning Helix Limited to help fund this web site.

Go to this
web page
to donate to us.