How to create a test partition for the OS X Yosemite beta

Ars Technica:

The final version of the software won’t be available for a few months, but Apple developers (and, for the first time ever, one million public beta testers) can download and install the first Yosemite beta version now. Developers will be used to the process of testing new OS X versions on their hardware, but those people in the public beta may be wading into uncharted waters.

This guide is for those people, the ones who want to test the new OS X beta without wrecking their Mac—you never want to put your data at risk by installing beta software on your main partition. This way, you can play with all the shiny new features without risking the comfortable, stable, non-beta OS X installation you need to get all your work done.

You don’t want to install the Developer Preview or the beta on your main machine without doing something similar to this.

  • Of course, there’s no guarantee that Yosemite would only lose its own partition. It could easily corrupt other partitions as well.

    For this reason, I rarely bother with tricks like this. Instead, I just make sure everything is thoroughly backed up and move over. But I won’t be doing that with Yosemite for a few months yet. 🙂

  • Brian Mauter

    Please excuse my ignorance. Is there a way to install Yosemite (or any other Mac OS X release) in a VirtualBox VM? I’d be running this from my real iMac running Mavericks. A VM of some kind would be ideal for testing IMHO.

    • nutmac

      I installed 10.10 as the host OS on VMWare Fusion 6 (under 10.9) and it works fine. Ironically enough, VMWare Fusion 6 doesn’t run under 10.10.

      I wish iPhone/iPad had Boot Camp of some sort so I can install both pre-release and release versions of iOS on the same phone. I thought about buying an iPod touch for this purpose, but the latest iPod touch has A5, which probably won’t be supported on iOS 9.

      • Brian Mauter

        Ha, that would be awesome.