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Installing Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) as a guest operating system in VMware Fusion (2033778)

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This article provides steps to install Mountain Lion as a guest operating system in VMware Fusion 5.x and above.
Apple's End User license agreement allows you to install up to two additional copies of Mac OS X 10.8 on your Mac, which is already running a retail version of the operating system and not a pre-installed version.
You cannot install OS X 10.8 on a Mac running OS X 10.7. For more information, see Apple's Software License Agreement for Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion).
Note: The preceding link was correct as of March 17, 2014. If you find the link is broken, provide feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.

Installing Mountain Lion as a guest operating system is only supported in VMware Fusion 5.x and above.


Note: By default, the Install OS X Mountain Lion application can be download from the Mac App Store if you have already purchased the upgrade.

To install Mac OS X 10.8 in a virtual machine using the Mountain Lion app download:

  1. In the Fusion menu bar, go to File > New.
  2. For Fusion 7.x and 6.x:

    1. Select Install from disc or image and Click  Continue.
    2. Drag and drop the Install OS X Mountain Lion application to the Use operating system installation disc or image dialog box

    For Fusion 5.x:

    • Select Continue without disk.
    • Drag and drop the Install OS X Mountain Lion application to Use operating system installation disc or image dropdown. The inner window frame appears in blue while you are dragging the installer app, indicating that you can drop the file there.

  3. Click Continue.
  4. Ensure that Operating System is set to Apple Mac OS X and Version is set to Mac OS X 10.8 64-bit.
  5. Click Continue.

    Note: Fusion 7.x and 6.x automatically discovers the guest operating system and takes you to the Finish screen.

  6. If you want to modify any of the settings, such as memory (RAM), CPU, or hard disk size, click Customize Settings and specify the non-default values.
  7. Click Finish. The installation starts.
  8. When prompted, select Reinstall Mac OS X and click Continue.
  9. Click Continue.
  10. Agree to the license agreement and follow the prompts to begin the installation.

After the installation completes, VMware Tools must be installed in the virtual machine. To do this, first eject the Mac OS installation disc image from within the new virtual machine. For more information, see Installing VMware Tools in a Mac OS Guest (1032440).

Additional Information

Some features of VMware Tools do not work properly in Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion virtual machines. These features include:
  • Unity
  • Mirrored folders
  • 3D acceleration
  • Bluetooth passthrough
  • USB 3.0 support

See Also

Update History

09/07/2013 - Added Fusion 6.x to products 08/26/2014 - Updated for Fusion 7.x

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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  • 63 Ratings