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Create macOS Catalina Bootable ISO Image
# File:
# Create a bootable ISO image from a macOS installer to install VMware ESXi guests.
# Debug on: set -x
set -eux
# App Store downloads macOS isntaller to here:
# /Applications/Install\ macOS\
macOsInstallerName="Install macOS ${target}"
echo "Clean..."
if [ -d "/Volumes/${installBuild}" ]; then
hdiutil detach /Volumes/${installBuild}
if [ -d "/Volumes/${macOsInstallerName}" ]; then
hdiutil detach "/Volumes/${macOsInstallerName}"
if [ -d "${buildDir}" ]; then
rm -rf ${buildDir}
mkdir -p ${buildDir}
hdiutil create -o "${buildDir}/${target}.cdr" -size 10000m -layout SPUD -fs HFS+J
sudo hdiutil attach "${buildDir}/${target}.cdr.dmg" -noverify -mountpoint /Volumes/${installBuild}
sudo "/Applications/${macOsInstallerName}.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia" --volume /Volumes/${installBuild} --nointeraction
hdiutil detach "/Volumes/${macOsInstallerName}"
hdiutil convert "${buildDir}/${target}.cdr.dmg" -format UDTO -o "${buildDir}/${target}.iso"
mv ${buildDir}/${target}.iso.cdr ${buildDir}/${target}.iso
rm ${buildDir}/${target}.cdr.dmg
# Now there should be an ISO called Catalina.iso in the `out` folder
# Upload the resulted ISO to vSphere datastore (upload to an ESXi host)
# Create a new VM as Guest OS set to `Other:Apple macOS 10.14 64-bit`. Don't start a VM
# Then compatibility should set to `ESXi 6.7 update 2 and later` and Guest OS to `Windows 10 64-bit`
# Start the VM, make sure that CDROM with datastore ISO (Catalina.iso) is connected
# Disable the Network boot option in vSphere BIOS menu. Restart VM
# Installer should start. You should choose Disk Utility, and initialize the VMware Virtual SATA Hard Drive Media
# (since keyboard ain't work - using existing `Untitled` name)
# Wait util installer completes. VM will not boot. Shutdown VM, change Guest OS profile back to `Other:Apple macOS 10.14 64-bit`
# Once Catalina is installed, download the latest VMware tools and install it.
# It took two reboots for me to completion (will require to unblock security extension)
# Credits to Intel008 and Bogdam from
# Credits to mkuzmin
# Credits to pat-s
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Thanks! This actually worked with macOS Catalina 10.15.4 Build 19E287 and VMware Fusion Professional Version 11.5.3 (15870345). The Fusion vm showed the Apple logo and booted straight into Recovery Mode.

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esutton commented May 14, 2020

@mistacabbage Good to know it works with macOS Catalina 10.15.4 and VMware Fusion Professional 11.5.3 !

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