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
An EFI folder can be created with either Clover or OpenSource.
The same EFI folder that worked in Mojave may not work in Catalina without changes for compatibility.
If you are not familiar with the requirements to make a working Catalina EFI bootloader then you may use the preconfigured EFI folder available here: