Install OS X 10.10 Yosemite in VirtualBox

The guide below explains how to install OS X Yosemite 10.10 in a virtual machine using the free and powerful VirtualBox.

Legal disclaimer: This guide aims to explain how to create a virtual machine on a regularly purchased Apple computer, running a genuine Mac OS X operating system, for testing purposes only.


  1. Download Yosemite from the App Store
  2. Open
  3. Install iesd, to customize OS X InstallESD:
    gem install iesd
  4. Turn install image into base system:
    iesd -i "/Applications/Install OS X" -o yosemite.dmg -t BaseSystem
  5. Convert into UDSP (sparse image) format:
    hdiutil convert yosemite.dmg -format UDSP -o yosemite.sparseimage
  6. Mount the InstallESD …
    hdiutil mount "/Applications/Install OS X"
  7. … as well as the sparse image:
    hdiutil mount yosemite.sparseimage
  8. Copy base system into sparse image:
    cp "/Volumes/OS X Install ESD/BaseSystem."* "/Volumes/OS X Base System/"
  9. Unmound InstallESD …
    hdiutil unmount "/Volumes/OS X Install ESD/"
  10. … as well as the sparse image:
    hdiutil unmount "/Volumes/OS X Base System/"
  11. Unmount both mounted disksĀ via diskutil:
    • diskutil unmountDisk $(diskutil list | grep "OS X Base System" -B 4 | head -1)
    • diskutil unmountDisk $(diskutil list | grep "OS X Install ESD" -B 4 | head -1)
  12. Convert back to UDZO format (compressed image):
    hdiutil convert yosemite.sparseimage -format UDZO -o yosemitefixed.dmg
  13. Add yosemitefixed.dmg as a live cd in virtual box
  14. Change the chipset of your virtual machine to “PIIX3
  15. Start your VM, open Disk Utility within installer and create a new HFS+ partition on the virtual disk
  16. Install it!
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