With M1 Macs mere days away for early adopters, those who need to run virtual machines on their Macs may have a bumpy time ahead.
It is important to note that currently available versions of Parallels® Desktop for Mac cannot run virtual machines on Mac with Apple M1 chip. Good news: A new version of Parallels Desktop for Mac that can run on Mac with Apple M1 chip is already in active development.
When Apple Silicon Mac was first announced during the keynote at WWDC on June 22 of this year, Apple demoed a Parallels Desktop for Mac prototype running a Linux virtual machine flawlessly on Apple Silicon. Since WWDC, our new version of Parallels Desktop which runs on Mac with Apple M1 chip has made tremendous progress. We switched Parallels Desktop to universal binary and optimized its virtualization code; and the version that we are eager to try on these new MacBook Air, Mac mini and MacBook Pro 13″ looks very promising.
I am planning to upgrade my 2015 MacBook Pro and i like the M1 Mac so far. But would need fusion to run properly on the new laptop. Yes, you can run as many virtual machines concurrently with VMware Fusion 12 Pro and Player as your system’s CPU, RAM and disk storage will support. In fact, VMware Fusion leverages patented memory-sharing techniques to drastically reduce the memory required to run multiple virtual machines at the same time.
For those who might not have studied the history of VMware, the hypervisor stack in Fusion shares much of the same code as the stack that runs in the majority of the world’s data centers: ESXi, which itself was created from breaking apart the internals of VMware Workstation into it’s functionally discrete components: Storage, Networking and Compute.
Currently you cannot run VMWare on Macs with Apple’s M1 chip. However, VMWare has announced that they are actively working on updating VMWare Fusion for Apple’s M1 but they cannot yet provide a timeline for when that will be. It is also unclear what exactly it will be able to run – x86/64 like Windows 10 or only ARM. Yes, VMware Fusion 12 has 3D hardware-accelerated graphics support. For Windows VMs Fusion now supports DirectX 11 (with Shader Model 5.0) and earlier. For Windows and Linux guests Fusion provides OpenGL 4.1 capabilities. Fusion uses Apple Metal graphics technology to render 3D hardware-accelerated graphics to virtual machines on compatible Mac.
VMWare Fusion isn’t ready yet either, according to this tweet:
Vmware On M1
So excited for todays announcements from @Apple!
While we're not quite ready to announce our timeline, we're happy to say that we are committed to delivering VMware virtual machines on #AppleSilicon! pic.twitter.com/en1FNorxrM
— VMware Fusion (@VMwareFusion) November 10, 2020
Even when these and other virtualization tools are ready,1 running Windows as a VM atop a M1 Mac probably isn’t going to be. So far, all the public has seen running virtually on M1 Macs is ARM-based Linux, back at WWDC.
Microsoft has a version of Windows running on ARM chips, but as of this summer, things didn’t look great for getting it to run virtually on the new Macs:
Vmware Fusion Apple Silicon
“Microsoft only licenses Windows 10 on ARM to OEMs,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. We asked Microsoft if it plans to change this policy to allow Windows 10 on ARM-based Macs, and the company says “we have nothing further to share at this time.”
That said, ARM Windows is getting better. Back in September, Microsoft announced that the ARM version of Windows 10 is gaining x64 emulation:
We are excited about the momentum we are seeing from app partners embracing Windows 10 on ARM, taking advantage of the power and performance benefits of Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. We heard your feedback and are making Microsoft Edge faster while using less battery, and announced that we will soon release a native Microsoft Teams client optimized for Windows 10 on ARM. We will also expand support for running x64 apps, with x64 emulation starting to roll out to the Windows Insider Program in November. Because developers asked, Visual Studio Code has also been updated and optimized for Windows 10 on ARM. For organizations, we’re committed to helping them ensure their apps work with Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 Apps on ARM64 devices with App Assure.
Vmware Fusion Download
Before this, the ARM version of Windows could only emulate 32-bit applications. It’s a nice improvement, and maybe one day it will matter to Mac users.
Vmware Fusion 12 Pro M1
- Oh, and Boot Camp is totes dead. Docker is currently busted, but should work in the future. ↩