Docker-OSX - Run Mac in a Docker container

Run Mac in a Docker container! Run near-native OSX-KVM in Docker! X11 Forwarding!

Author: Sick.Codes

Credits: OSX-KVM project among many others:

Docker Hub:

Pull requests, suggestions very welcome!

docker pull sickcodes/docker-osx

docker run --privileged -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix sickcodes/docker-osx

# press ctrl G if your mouse gets stuck

# scroll down to troubleshooting if you have problems

Requirements: KVM on the host

Need to turn on hardware virtualization in your BIOS, very easy to do.

Then have QEMU on the host if you haven't already:

sudo pacman -S qemu libvirt dnsmasq virt-manager bridge-utils flex bison ebtables edk2-ovmf

sudo apt install qemu qemu-kvm libvirt-clients libvirt-daemon-system bridge-utils virt-manager

sudo yum install libvirt qemu-kvm -y

# then run
sudo systemctl enable libvirtd.service
sudo systemctl enable virtlogd.service
sudo modprobe kvm

# reboot

Start the same container later (persistent disk)

This is for when you want to run your system later.

If you don't run this you will have a new image every time.

# look at your recent containers
docker ps --all --filter "ancestor=docker-osx"
docker ps --all --filter "ancestor=sickcodes/docker-osx"

# boot the old ones
docker start $(docker ps -q --all --filter "ancestor=docker-osx")
docker start $(docker ps -q --all --filter "ancestor=sickcodes/docker-osx")

# close all the ones you don't need

# check which one is still running
docker ps

# write down the good one and then use that for later
docker start xxxxxxx

Additional Boot Instructions

# Boot the macOS Base System

# Click Disk Utility

# Erase the biggest disk

# Partition that disk and subtract 1GB and press Apply

# Click Reinstall macOS


Alternative run, thanks @roryrjb docker run --privileged --net host --cap-add=ALL -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix -v /dev:/dev -v /lib/modules:/lib/modules sickcodes/docker-osx

Check if your hardware virt is on egrep -c '(svm|vmx)' /proc/cpuinfo

Try adding yourself to the docker group sudo usermod -aG docker $USER

Turn on docker daemon sudo nohup dockerd &

Check /dev/kvm permissions sudo chmod 666 /dev/kvm

If you don't have Docker already

### Arch (pacman version isn't right at time of writing)

tar -xzvf docker-*.tgz
sudo cp docker/* /usr/bin/
sudo dockerd &
sudo groupadd docker
sudo usermod -aG docker $USER
# run docker later
sudo nohup dockerd &

### Ubuntu

apt-get remove docker docker-engine containerd runc -y
apt-get install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl gnupg-agent software-properties-common -y
curl -fsSL |  apt-key add -
apt-key fingerprint 0EBFCD88
add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] $(lsb_release -cs) stable"
apt-get update -y
apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli -y
sudo dockerd &
sudo groupadd docker
sudo usermod -aG docker $USER

Backup the disk

your image will be stored in:

# find your container's root folder

docker inspect $(docker ps -q --all --filter "ancestor=docker-osx") | grep UpperDir

# In the folder from the above command, your image is inside ./home/arch/OSX-KVM/mac_hdd_ng.img

# then sudo cp it somewhere. Don't do it while the container is running tho, it bugs out.

Wipe old images

# WARNING deletes all old images, but saves disk space if you make too many containers

docker system prune --all
docker image prune --all

Instant OSX-KVM in a BOX!

This Dockerfile automates the installation of OSX-KVM inside a docker container. It will build a 32GB Mojave Disk. You can change the size and version using build arguments (see below). This file builds on top of the work done by Dhiru Kholia and many others on the OSX-KVM project.

Custom Build

docker build -t docker-osx:latest \
--build-arg VERSION=10.14.6 \
--build-arg SIZE=200G

docker run --privileged -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix docker-osx:latest


# persistent disk with least amount of pre-build errands.


June 5, 2020
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1 year ago

getting this error i tried giving permissions etc.

ssh-keygen: generating new host keys: RSA DSA ********* 
Unable to init server: Could not connect: Connection refused
Could not access KVM kernel module: Permission denied
qemu-system-x86_64: failed to initialize kvm: Permission denied

6 months ago
Reply to  Awais

same thing here, did you find solution maybe?

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