Creating a macOS Sierra 10.12.4 VirtualBox Guest

Posted on

Having a fresh macOS Sierra install is really handy when testing automated setups, like my ansible mac-dev playbook.

The Problem

I recently got a fresh computer and ran into a problem following the same instructions I always follow. I got stuck on the boot screen with this message:

gIOScreenLockState error

The install hangs on this error indefinitely:

IOConsoleUsers: gIOScreenLockState 3, hs 0, bs 0, now 0, sm 0x0

How to Fix It

This is more of a workaround than a fix. The information I can find about this error seems to indicate a change introduced with 10.12.4 that still has not been fixed. There’s also this exact issue filed on the VirtualBox bug tracker that has not been resolved yet.

So, for now, the solution is to build the VM from an older version of the macOS Sierra installer. Hopefully you, or someone you know, still have an older version of the Install macOS Sierra application.

If not, there are also other ways to acquire this disk image. If you go this route, make sure to check the checksum value before you use the image to produce a new VM. This GitHub repository has a list of checksums for all of the installers you might find.

After you’ve got an older version of the installer, you can run the installation as normal and use the mac app store to update to 10.12.4.

Find an issue?
Open a pull request against my blog on GitHub.
Ben Limmer