Vagrant Box Mac Os

Well Holy Hannah, I received my first Twitter DM over a blog post I've written. I'm officially a pro now 🧐

The DM was from a user that was having some issues with the instructions I provided on a post I wrote in 2015 for S&W here about how to run the then-current release of macOS inside a Vagrant box.

Box Format Support By default macinbox will create a Vagrant box in the 'vmwaredesktop' format with the VMware Tools pre-installed. When the box format is set to 'parallels' using the -box-format option then the Parallels Tools are pre-installed instead. When the box format is set to 'virtualbox' no guest extensions are installed. MacOS Vagrant Box. A clean (no other software installed or configured) macOS box. No changes made to the box beyond those performed by macinbox. Use only in accordance with the Apple SLAs: These boxes are built for use with VirtualBox. Defaults: 4 GB of memory; 2 CPUs; 64 GB dynamically-allocated disk; APFS (Apple File System).

  • I am having exactly this same problem, also. One difference: I am using the old VirtualBox version, 4.3.28, as recommended in the instructions. My vagrant is 1.7.4, on Mac OS 10.10.5.
  • VirtualBox and Vagrant should be installed seperately. If you install Vagrant without having VirtualBox installed, Vagrant will show you an error and will demand to install VirtualBox. Other than VirtualBox, you do not need any other dependency to install Vagrant on Mac OS X. The very first step is to install VirtualBox on Mac OS X. VirtualBox is a free Virtualization software offered by Oracle. You can download VirtualBox.

So I thought, what the heck that blog post is 2 yrs old and in computer time that's pratically middle aged. And Trump's been president for essentially a full year now and let's not even talk about what that's done to the flow of time.

Source: article, here. Article credits NASA/JPL-CalTech.

tldr - it's worth revisiting, Me Said To Me

Laptop Specs

  • 15' 2015 Macbook Pro
    • 16 GB of RAM
    • 2.8 GHz CPU
    • 1 TB SSD
  • macOS High Sierra, 10.13.2


  • macOS High Sierra from the App Store
    • Image is approximately 5.2 GB
  • latest Vagrant from Hashicorp
    • As of this post the latest release is 2.0.1
    • Image is approximately 70 MB
  • latest release of VirtualBox from Oracle
    • As of this post the latest release is 5.2.2
    • Image is approximately 93 MB
  • Homebrew - a package installer for macOS. Not required but recommended / encouraged.
  • iTerm - an alternative to the Terminal app included in macOS. Again, not required but recommended. For the rest of this post 'terminal' can be used interchangeably for iTerm or Terminal, whichever you chose.

Protip: you can install Vagrant and VirtualBox using Homebrew:


Install Vagrant Mac

  • Open terminal
  • Install Homebrew (brew) using the command provided on the link above
  • Install Vagrant
    brew cask install vagrant
  • Install VirtualBox
    brew cask install virtualbox

The main benefit of using a package installer like this is that your packages, like Vagrant and VirtualBox, can now be kept updated with brew update rather than manually downloading / updating package installers from various websites.

For the VirtualBox install you will be prompted to open System Preferences → Security & Privacy at some point. If you don't do this 'fast enough' (by the system's pre-programmed determination) then the install may error out. Fear not! It caches the install like so:

So if the install halts for this reason, or because Connection reset by peer (typically that means slow internet connection), or for any other reason, then you can just hit the up arrow to re-run the last command and hit Enter. Just make sure you fix whatever it asks you to first 😉

Vagrant Software


What this will essentially look like in terminal:

Documented on my frequently used assets page.

The Gritty Bits

Ok, so now that we have All the Things we need to do .. quite a few steps, actually.

Creating your ISO File

First, when you download High Sierra, or any other macOS release to date, you are downloading the file as a DMG, which is a proprietary Apple disk image format. In order to run macOS in VirtualBox, we'll need to convert the DMG file to a more general format such as an ISO. To do this, we're going to start by converting the installer DMG that we downloaded from the App Store into an image of the full OS, store that in a DMG, and then use a utility called PowerISO to do the final conversion.

If that just read like a paragraph of panic, don't worry! We're going through it step by step.

Vagrant Box Mac Os

The output will look like this: Instagram twitter account.


What to do if you see the following error:

This most likely means that you've already mounted the InstallESD image. Go into Disk Utility and unmount it:

This likely happened when the High Sierra download completed and immediately opened the installer.

Using your VHD file with VirualBox

Open VirtualBox:

Click New:

Uninstall vagrant mac

Choose a name, Type is 'Mac OS X', and Version is 'macOS 10.13 High Sierra (64-bit)'. Then click 'Continue':

The default memory is 2 GB, I recommend upping it to 4 GB though if you can:

Choose 'Create a Virtual Hard Disk File now' and 'Create':

For the curious
The image manipulations above, with arrow / blurring of text / etc., were done with the Skitch app. You only need an account to save in Evernote - account-less you can just locally save / export to whatever image file format you prefer.

Quickest Vagrant Tutoral Ever