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.
Debugging macOS kernel using VirtualBox
2017-04-10 macOS 3 Comments
Its always to cool to do things because you can, not dissing that at all. But are there some practical reasons why one would want to debug the Mac OS Kernel?
From the comments it seems as if you can build your own kernel, so for those builds debugging makes sense. I guess I’d be interested in knowing the motivation for people building custom XNU kernels.