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Virtualising OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

Article ID = 76
Article Title = Virtualising OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 27th February 2019
Article Last Updated = 27th March 2019
Article URL = https://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?76

Article Brief Description:
Instructions for installing, setting up and virtualising OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

Virtualising OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

The ability to virtualise OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion 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.

This article deals with setting up/installing a virtual machine with Mac OS X 10.6 clean/from scratch. If you would like to transfer an existing Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 to a virtual machine, or take a Mac OS X 10.6 bootable storage device/clone/disk image and convert it into a virtual machine please see this article instead.

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 OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion installer.
  • Obtain your preferred virtualisation software (see list above)
  • Obtain the OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion 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 OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion 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 buy a download redemption code for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion via the online Apple Store:
  • If you haven't already, make a backup/archive of the OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion 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 10.8.5 install is about ~24GB before your own applications and you'll need at least twice that if you need to clone it for multiple installations), 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 "108SharedFolder"
Instructions for installing OS X 10.8 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 OS X 10.8 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 OS X 10.8 installer/drag it to the window
  7. Parallels Click on Image File
  8. Click Continue to begin installing OS X
  9. Name your virtual machine e.g. "OS X 10.8"
  10. Tick the "Customize settings before installation" option
  11. Parallels Tick the Customize settings before installation option
  12. 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 > "108SharedFolder" (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"
  13. Close the settings window and click "Continue"
  14. Parallels Close settings window and click Continue
  15. The virtual machine will reboot to the OS X install screen (Apple logo + whirling wheel underneath)
  16. Follow the on screen instructions
  17. Parallels OS X Install
  18. At the OS X Utilities screen, click "Reinstall OS X" and click "Continue"
  19. Parallels OS X 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 > Not Now
    • Enable Location Services > your choice
    • Apple ID > Skip
    • Terms and Conditions > Agree
    • Create Your Computer Account
    • Select Your Time Zone > your choice
    • Register > Skip
  22. Unmount the "Mac OS X Install ESD" disk image from the Desktop
  23. Go to Actions menu > Install Parallels Tools…
  24. Install Parallels Tools, following the on screen instructions and restart the virtual machine when complete
  25. Set the screen resolution as required
  26. Set your Finder > Preferences
  27. 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. "OS X 10_8 HD"
  28. Go to Apple menu > Software Update and install all available updates especially any security updates
  29. Keep going to Apple menu > Software Update and installing all available updates until there are no more updates to install
  30. 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 OS X 10.8 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 OS X 10.8 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
  31. Check the OS X 10.8 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 OS X 10.8 installer and drag it to area in the window and click Continue
  6. VMWare Fusion Drag your OS X 10.8 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. "OS X 10.8"
  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 OS X
  15. The virtual machine will reboot to the OS X installer (Apple logo + whirling wheel underneath)
  16. Follow the on screen instructions
  17. Parallels OS X Install
  18. At the OS X Utilities screen, click "Reinstall OS X" and click "Continue"
  19. Parallels OS X 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 > Not Now
    • Enable Location Services > your choice
    • Apple ID > Skip
    • Terms and Conditions > Agree
    • Create Your Computer Account
    • Select Your Time Zone > your choice
    • Register > Skip
  22. Unmount the "Mac OS X Install ESD" 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 > "108SharedFolder" (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. "OS X 10_8 HD"
  29. Go to Apple menu > Software Update and install all available updates especially any security updates
  30. Keep going to Apple menu > Software Update 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 OS X 10.8 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 OS X 10.8 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. "OS X 10.8 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 OS X 10.8 Notes section below

VirtualBox

NOTE: We could not get Shared Folders to work - they do not appear to be supported at this time.
NOTE: Drag and drop is not supported [with this guest OS].
NOTE: At this time we could not get virtual USB devices to mount in the virtual machine to use our third party software disk images but physical drives with physical CD/DVDs might work - we'll update this article as more testing is done/information becomes available.
  1. On the main Mac go to Finder > locate your OS X 10.8 installer > right/control click on it > Show Package Contents > Contents > SharedSupport (leave this window open showing "InstallESD.dmg" as you will need it later)
  2. Open VirtualBox
  3. Click on the "New" icon
  4. Click on "Expert Mode"
  5. VirtualBox expert mode
  6. Name your virtual machine e.g. "OS X 10.8"
  7. Set 'Type' to "Mac OS X"
  8. Set 'Version' to "Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion (64-bit)"
  9. Choose your required custom settings. We recommend:
    • Memory Size > 4096MB (4GB)
    • Hard Disk > "Create a virtual hard disk now"
  10. Click "Create"
  11. Set your virtual disk settings. We recommend:
    • File Size > at least 75GB
    • Hard disk file type > "VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image)"
    • Storage on physical hard disk > "Dynamically allocated"
  12. Click "Create"
  13. VirtualBox settings
  14. Select the new virtual OS on the left and click "Settings" at the top
  15. 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
    • Storage >
      • Select "Empty" under 'Controller: SATA'
      • Click the blue disc icon to the right of 'Optical Drive:' "Sata Port 1" pop-up menu
      • If VirtualBox automatically finds the "InstallESD.dmg" from the OS X 10.8 installer you put on your Desktop/local hard disk earlier (as per the preparation section above) select it from the pop-up menu
      • Otherwise click on "Choose Virtual Optical Disk File…" and drag the "InstallESD.dmg" icon from the Finder > SharedSupport window you opened earlier to the VirtualBox open window (you may need to choose "All files (*)" from the pop-up menu at the bottom to add an OS X installer)
      • VirtualBox OS X 10.8 image file selected
      • Tick "Live CD/DVD"
    • Audio > UNTICK "Enable Audio" - according to the VirtualBox forums it is best that audio is disabled
  16. Click "OK"
  17. Click "Start"
  18. The virtual machine will reboot to the OS X installer with lots of text on the screen - be patient until the installer language screen appears
  19. Follow the on screen instructions
  20. Parallels OS X Install
  21. At the OS X Utilities screen, click "Disk Utility" and click "Continue"
  22. Parallels OS X Utilities
  23. Select the virtual disk on the left > click the "Partition" tab > select "1 Partition" from the 'Partition Layout:" pop-up menu > (to avoid confusion with your main Mac) name the virtual drive something different to your main computer's hard disk e.g. "OS X 10_8 HD" > click "Apply" > click "Partition"
  24. VirtualBox partition virtual drive
  25. Once the disk has been partitioned and formatted by Disk Utility, quit the Disk Utility application and when you are back at the OS X Utilities screen, click "Reinstall OS X" and click "Continue"
  26. Follow the on screen instructions
  27. 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
  28. At the Welcome screen follow the on screen instructions
    • Select your country
    • Select your keyboard
    • Transfer Information to This Mac > Not Now
    • Enable Location Services > your choice
    • Apple ID > Skip
    • Terms and Conditions > Agree
    • Create Your Computer Account
    • Select Your Time Zone > your choice
    • Register > Skip
  29. Unmount the "Mac OS X Install ESD" disk image from the Desktop
  30. Go to Machine menu > ACPI Shutdown and shutdown the virtual machine
  31. In the main Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager window select the OS X 10.8 virtual machine on the left and click "Settings" > System > Motherboard
  32. Move "Hard Disk" to the top of the 'Boot Order' list and UNTICK all other options
  33. VirtualBox change boot order
  34. Click "Storage" and right click/control click on the OS X 10.8 "InstallESD.dmg" image file in the 'Storage Tree' to select "Remove Attachment"
  35. To the right of 'Controller: SATA' cick the "Optical Disc +" icon and click the "Leave Empty" button
  36. Click "OK"
  37. In the main Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager window select the OS X 10.8 virtual machine on the left and click Start
  38. OS X will boot with lots of text on the screen - be patient until the normal Desktop appears
  39. Go to Devices menu > Insert Guest Additions CD image…
  40. Install "VBOxDarwinAdditions.pkg", following the on screen instructions and manually restart the virtual machine when complete
  41. Set the screen resolution as required
  42. Set your Finder > Preferences
  43. Go to Apple menu > Software Update and install all available updates especially any security updates
  44. Keep going to Apple menu > Software Update and installing all available updates until there are no more updates to install
  45. NOTE: If you are going to use this virtual environment on multiple computers or you just want a backup:
    • In the VirtualBox virtual machine window click the red circle in the top left and select "Power off the machine" to force the Mac to shut down
    • In the Finder go to the VirtualBox virtual machine folder (usually Macintosh HD > Users > your home directory > Library > VirtualBox VMs)
    • Copy/duplicate/archive the OS X 10.8 virtual machine folder
    • Copy this folder to the same place on additional Macs with VirtualBox as required (usually Macintosh HD > Users > your home directory > Library > VirtualBox VMs)
    OR make a clone:
    • In the main Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager window select the OS X 10.8 virtual machine on the left (don't open it or start it)
    • Go to Machine menu > Clone… and make a clone of the virtual machine as required
    • Copy the clone to additional Macs with VirtualBox as required
  46. Check the OS X 10.8 Notes section below

OS X 10.8 Notes

Security Notes

OS X 10.8 is no longer supported with security updates so be sure to follow our recommendations for securing older operating systems, specifically:
  • Disable Java
  • Don't use Apple Safari as it is no longer updated and thus it is not secure - use a supported web browser e.g. Roccat or TenFourFox
  • Don't use Apple Mail as it is no longer updated and thus it is not secure (unless you are running this virtual Mac specifically to run Eudora use a mail client in your primary OS instead)
  • Don't install unsupported web plug-ins and disable old plugins:
    1. Go to OS X 10_8 HD (or whatever you have named the virtual hard disk) > Library
    2. If there is no folder named "Internet Plug-Ins (Disabled)", create a new folder named that
    3. Open the "Internet Plug-Ins" folder and move all the items in it to the "Internet Plug-Ins (Disabled)" folder
    4. NOTE: To move the files you will need to authenticate as an administrator of the computer.
    5. Restart the virtual machine (go to Apple menu > Restart)

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

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