Umbraco is a powerful, open-source ASP.NET content management system (CMS) that’s been used to develop some of the biggest and demanding sites in the world – but can you install Umbraco on Mac OSX?

Developers love Umbraco because it gives them the ability to customise the CMS as they please, meaning that they are able to produce websites that fit their objective without compromise. Umbraco is constantly evolving, you can keep up with the latest releases and bug fixes on their website.

The Danish firm behind Umbraco have worked long and hard to incorporate a user friendly UI that allows for intuitive usage and editing, but getting started with Umbraco can still be difficult in comparison to other popular CMS such as WordPress and Drupal. As a Mac OSX user it’s impossible to install and run Umbraco.

In the struggle to use Umbraco on OSX based systems, developers worked on a cross platform conversion of the .NET platform and produced Mono. The idea behind Mono is that you’ll gain the ability to install and run Umbraco in OSX, but the current version has proved unusable.

Nonetheless, Microsoft has recently released some news about the upcoming ASP.NET 5, which promises cross platform integration meaning that it will be usable on OSX and Linux based machines. In the mean time however the best and most stable way of installing and running Umbraco is by using a virtual machine such as VMware on an OSX based machine.

To help you out, I’ve produced a tutorial on the steps involved to install Umbraco on a VM, check it out.

Step 1

Make sure that you got VMware running with enough ram and processing power to allow for smooth usage. For this installation I’m using Windows 8 running on a virtual machine on top a Mac running OSX 10.10.1.


Step 2

Head over to the Umbraco website and enter your e-mail to get to the next step of downloading the files needed to install the CMS.


Step 3

The next step is to choose how you’re going to install Umbraco. I’ve chosen to use Web Matrix based on the simplicity of the overall process.


Step 4

Follow the steps provided to install Web Matrix.


Step 5

Once Web Matrix has been installed, use the search box in the web platform installer to locate the Umbraco CMS and hit install.


Step 6

The first step of installing Umbraco is to choose a database. I’ve chosen SQL Server CE.


Step 7

Once you’ve selected a database web platform server should install all the components needed to run Umbraco using a local hosting system. The next step would be to finalise the Umbraco installation by following the in browser steps.


Step 8

After the installation process has been completed, you will be able to access and edit the site through WebMatrix. To quickly access the site simply click on the site tab.


Step 9

The site’s URL, along with helpful tips on how to get started with Umbraco, can be found within WebMatrix by clicking on the Umbraco CMS tab.


Step 10

Welcome to your Umbraco site, below is a screenshot showing the Umbraco editing tabs. Here you will be able to build, edit and add content to your site. While some features are difficult to use, the popularity of Umbraco means that there is plenty of help available.


Step 11

This is how your Umbraco site will look like as standard before you edit and design your new website.