iPhone SDK on Mac OS X 10.6.4 under VmWare – Tips and Tricks

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This articles describes some common problems when using running Mac OS X 10.6.4  under VmWare using the instructions from my previous post and provides possible solutions/workarounds. To upgrade to 10.6.8, refer to this article.

1. If you get an “rtclock_init panic” (shown below) and the system hangs while booting up:

press TAB at the Chameleon bootloader, select the Mac partition and enter -v busratio=18. OSX should then be able to boot. To make the busratio=18 permanent,  edit /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.Boot.plist using nano/pico from Terminal (remember to do su/sudo to get admin right first), then look for the Kernel Flags section (add it in if it’s not there). The final plist should look like the following:

 <key>Kernel Flags</key>

<string>-v busratio=18</string>

Other useful bootloader parameters:
-v: verbose mode, which will show all boot messages on the screen. Without this you will only see the loading logo while booting up.
-x: boot in safe mode. Only kext critical for the system will be loaded.
-s: boot into single user mode, e.g. command line only.
acpi=off: turn off ACPI support.
cpus=1: tell the virtual machine to boot with only 1 CPU.
-x32 or arch=i386: boot in 32-bit mode

2. You may notice that some graphics applications won’t be able to display graphics properly. In particular, the Preview application won’t be able to display images, and pressing Apple-Shift-3 or Apple-Shift-4 (Apple key is mapped to Windows key) to capture screenshot will just return an empty black image. This is due to the lack of QE/CI support on the graphics card emulated by VmWare. Unfortunately, I found no workaround for it.

3. By default, the Apple key will map to the Windows key. If you want to map it something else (for example, the Alt key), follow the following steps:

* Go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Modifier keys

* Switch option key to command key (dropdown) and command key to option key (dropdown) – optional

4. For some reasons the hard disk image will be corrupted after some activity, and the virtual machine could not boot up, showing the following hard disk error:

I have not found out the root cause of this and therefore could not find any fix. A workaround is to set up a perfect working virtual machine that requires no further changes and set up the hard disk as non-persistent, which will discard all changes upon shutdown as per the following screenshot:

You may also want to add another persistent hard disk to virtual machine and only make change to the added hard disk. The main hard disk remains non-persistent. Alternatively, once you get the machine working as desired, take a snapshot and revert back to it should any problem occur.

5. To get sound working, install EnsoniqAudioPCI_v1.0.3_Common_Installer.pkg and reboot the virtual machine. Software updates will also work fine and I have used it to update successfully to 10.6.8 without any hassle.

I hope this helps those with similar problems. I will add to this list any other tricks that may be useful.

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A tough developer who likes to work on just about anything, from software development to electronics, and share his knowledge with the rest of the world.

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