This guide will walk you through creating a bootable installer for macOS Catalina on a USB flash drive for the purpose of installing Catalina on a hackintosh compatible computer.
- Catalina downloaded from the Mac App Store
- 16GB+ USB Flash Drive – Catalina installer is slightly larger than 8GB and so a 16GB or larger flash drive is required.
- Computer running macOS – Access to a macOS is needed to create a flash drive installer of Catalina. If you don’t have an existing hackintosh or a Mac the alternative is to install macOS with a virtual machine on windows or borrow a Mac from friend or family.
Part 1: Transferring Catalina Installer to USB
To get a working Catalina installer onto a USB flash drive it must first be formatted into a scheme that allows for an EFI Partition.
Step 1: Formatting the USB Drive
In order to create a bootable macOS installer the USB flash drive must be formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) which will add a second hidden EFI partition needed to create a boot loader.
- Insert a USB Flash Drive
- Open Disk Utility
- Select the Flash Drive on the left column
- Click Erase
- Set the following settings:
- Name: Hackintosher
- Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
- Scheme: GUID Partition Map
- Click Erase
- Click Done upon finish
Step 2: Transferring the Catalina Installer
Afterwards the the Catalina Installer downloaded from the Mac App Store is ready to be placed on the USB drive using Terminal.
- Verify Install macOS Catalina is in the /Applications folder
- Open Terminal through spotlight or launchpad
- Paste the following into Terminal entering your password if prompted:
Catalina 10.15 Public Release:
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Catalina.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Hackintosher /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Catalina.app --nointeraction
Catalina Beta Release:
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Catalina\ Beta.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Hackintosher /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Catalina\ Beta.app --nointeraction
- Do not close Terminal, the installer will transfer over slowly and can take awhile especially if you are using USB 2 bus speeds
Part 2: Configuring EFI Partition for a Catalina Hackintosh
We will now mount the hidden EFI Partition created when the flash drive was formatted.
Mount EFI Partition
- Download Clover Configurator
- Open Clover Configurator
- Select Mount EFI under TOOLS
- Click Mount Partition for Install macOS….
- Click Open Partition (This is where the EFI Folder will go)
Create or Download a EFI Folder
Catalina requires a number of changes to an EFI Folder is placed in the mounted EFI partition containing the bootloader that allows a hackintosh to load macOS Catalina. A new EFI folder can be created with either Clover or OpenSource.
However Catalina may require a number of changes to a new or existing EFI folder in order to be compatible. If you are not familiar with the requirements to make a working Catalina bootloader then you may use the preconfigured EFI folder available here:
- Delete the folder called EFI in the partition you mounted (If it exists)
- Download Hackintosher-Catalina-10.15-EFI.zip
- Unzip Hackintosher-Catalina-10.15-EFI
- Copy the unzipped EFI folder
- Paste the EFI folder downloaded from this website into your mounted EFI partition or /Volumes/EFI
Note: The EFI folder above if from a test build and may require you to change the ig-platform-id, change or remove the EC rename and, add kext or remove kexts you don’t need. A full Catalina Install guide with a cleaned up EFI is coming soon.
- Catalina is Now Available for Download on the App Store – Whats New