Debugging macOS kernel using VirtualBox

Late last year, I upgraded my old MBP to the 2016 model with a Skylake processor. As I was debugging a kernel exploit, it turned out that SMAP was enabled inside my VMWare Fusion VM. I wanted to avoid dealing with SMAP, but couldn’t figure out how to disable it in Fusion. Luckily, VirtualBox VMs do not support SMAP (yet?).

This post will be a step-by-step guide on how to setup macOS kernel source-level debugging using VirtualBox. Though all the step examples are geared toward VirtualBox, this guide can also be used to setup kernel debugging on VMWare Fusion since it’s even more straightforward in Fusion.


  1. Bill Shooter of Bul 2017-04-11 1:40 pm EST
    • PhilPotter 2017-04-11 9:31 pm EST
      • Bill Shooter of Bul 2017-04-11 9:41 pm EST