Baremetal VSphere Mac Minis, a case study

A case study guide on building VMware VSphere ESXI bare metal Mac Minis to host Mac OS X virtual machines.

Note: talk will go over steps that will invalidate Apple warranties if users are not hardware repair certified, and intended goal of the initial project was to create development environments for testing software builds.

Included topics:

  • Physical upgrades to the Mac Mini itself
  • Creating bootable thumb drives for installing ESXI on the Mini using unetbootin
  • Getting past the Pink Screen of Death in ESXI
  • Configuring ESXI
  • Using Casper Netboot to create VMs post setup
  • Updating the serial numbers of the VMs to a more Apple-friendly length

Key Concepts:

  •  hardware hacking to maximize function
  • bootstrapping using open source tools
  • creating stable, secure, virtualized Mac OS environments with very little overhead
  • tips and tricks for properly tweaking Mac OS VMs to run efficiently as possible

Intermediate Lecture – 75 Minutes

 Vanessa White, New Relic

Vanessa WhiteVanessa is a lifelong Mac geek whose mission is to facilitate better the relationships between people and their Macs. She currently works with the awesome nerds of New Relic supporting programmers, their Macs, and Mac servers at their Engineering office in Portland, Oregon. Her previous background includes being a Mac SysAmin in a small business setting, maintaining Mac OS X lab builds at Portland State University, several years at an Apple Store doing triage, and tending Macs around her back to 1994.


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