macOS Big Sur and VMware Fusion
Recently upgraded MAC OS to Big Sur (11.3). Now unable to open VMware fusion. States incompatible MAC-OS. Running VMware fusion 11.5.6Are there incompatiblity issues with the latest MAC OS software? Do I need to upgrade to version 12 or return to prior MAC OS. Not sure how to proceed. VMware Fusion Player 12 is now free for personal use on the Mac! Last month VMware announced VMware Fusion 12. The new version includes macOS Big Sur support for host and guest. VMware also announced that the Mac version is now FREE ($149 Normal Price) for personal use! Previously the Free VMware player was only available on Windows. VMware Fusion delivers the best way to run Windows on the Mac, and the ultimate development and testing tool for building apps to run on any platform. Ready for macOS 11.0 Big Sur, Fusion 12 supports macOS 10.15 Catalina and includes new features for developers, IT admins and everyday users. VMware has also prepared Fusion 12 for the upcoming launch of macOS Big Sur, which will continue Apple's transition toward ending support for kernel extensions. VMware says that Fusion 12 will.
Nov 15, 2020 Except one glitch which I think VMWare is aware of: Fusion 12 fails to create the installation medium when you select the macOS Big Sur Installer: I’ve ran into this issue in the past, where are reboot of the host Mac fixed it, but not this time. To work around this I had to create an ISO file from the installer and use that to create the VM.
It is easy to install macOS Big Sur as a virtual machine in VMware Fusion 12 on a Intel based Mac provided you create a bootable installer from which to install the Mac operating system. Using macOS Big Sur in a virtual machine in VMware Fusion is expressly permitted by the macOS licence agreement provided you are running on Apple hardware and you obtain macOS Big Sur legally from Apple.
It runs beautifully and is perfect for testing and development workloads.
TL:DR — Get VMware Fusion, Install VMware Fusion, download macOS Big Sur from Apple, create a bootable USB of macOS Big Sur and it can be installed in VMware Fusion just perfectly.
Step by step instructions
- Download and install VMware Fusion 12
- Download macOS Big Sur from the App Store
- Extract media to a bootable USB stick or external drive
- Create the macOS Big Sur virtual machine
- Complete the macOS setup process
- VMware Tools
- Set the Display resolution
- macOS Big Sur at 1280 x 1024 ready to go
1. Download and install VMware Fusion 12
VMware Fusion is an unsung hero app for macOS, especially if you are in software dvelopment or testing. It is one of the most important development and testing tools for building apps to run on any platform. You can evaaluate VMware Fusion for 30 days before deciding if its right for you and buying a license and you can get a licence for non commercial or open source contribution for free.
MacOS Big Sur is supported as a host and as a guest by VMware Fusion 12. VMware Fusion 12.1.0 Release Notes.
1. Download VMware Fusion from the VMware website
Double click the downloaded imageDirect Download link
2. Click 'Open'
macOS Big Sur gatekeeper will ask you to confirm the legitimacy of the download.
3. Click 'Agree'
You have to accept the EULA
4. Choose a license. Free for non commercial use!
You can add a key, request one or evaluate for 30 days.
2. Download macOS Big Sur from the App Store
Apple provide instructions for upgrading to macOS Big Sur, which explain which mac models are compatible and warn you to backup. These instructions dont apply to a new installation of macOS Big Sur in a virtual machine in VMware Fusion. But they do have the App Store Link for macOS Big Sur. It is not all that easy to find because most people won't need it.
Follow the link, open in the App Store app and press the get button download macOS Big Sur from the App Store.
1. Download macOS Big Sur from the App Store
Press the blue 'Get' buttonGet macOS Big Sur (App Store Link)
2. Click 'Download'
Software update will find it.
This is a large download so ensure you are connected to power, and have a good Internet connection.
3. Quit (⌘ Q) the set up app
You can find the installer in your Applications folder as an app named Install macOS Big Sur
3. Extract media to a bootable USB stick or external drive
Apples tech note How to create a bootable installer for macOS explains.
Install Big Sur On Vmware
- Connect a USB drive (or use an external drive if you want). Best to use a new 16GB or greater drive. Make sure it is properly formatted as Mac OS Extended.
- Open a terminal and use the 'createinstallmedia' command shown but replacing 'USBBig Sur' with the name of your volume
- Press Enter after typing the command, then type your administrator password and press Enter again.
- Type Y to confirm that you understand you will be erasing the volume, and double check you have the right volume, then press Enter. You will see the progress bar as the bootable installer is created. Once completed you can now quit Terminal.
- Like this
- Success! Now you have a macOS Big Sur Installer which can be booted as drive by VMware Fusion in order to create a virtual machine on an Intel based Apple Computer.
4. Create the macOS Big Sur virtual machine
- Load VMware Fusion and click the plus symbol on the toolbar and select the 'New…' menu
- Double click on the 'Install from disc or image' button on the 'Select the installation method' screen.
- On the resulting 'Create a new virtual machine' screen, click 'Use another disc or disc image and open the install media you created earlier to find the 'Install macOS Big Sur.app' item, then select it.
- Press 'continue'.
- On the 'Finish' screen you can leave the defaults or customise as you wish.
- VMware Fusion will now create the installation media.
- VMware Fusion boot macOS Big Sur once it completes setting up the virtual disk. It gives a warning about what VMware call 'Side channel mitigations' which refers to attacks at the hypervisor level such as Spectre and Meltdown. You can read the tech note Virtual Machines with side channel mitigations enabled may exhibit performance degradation and draw your own conclusions.
- Now you can install macOS Big Sur in the usual way.
5. Complete the macOS setup process
Select 'Install macOS Big Sur' and click 'Continue'
To set up the installation of macOS Big Sur click 'Continue'
Choose 'Macintosh HD', your newly created virtual disk
Create a Computer Account
Fill out and press 'Continue' again
6. VMware Tools
Install VMware tools
Double Click 'Install VMware Tools package'
Install VMware tools
Unlock the padlock with your username and password
7. Set the Display resolution
Set the display resolution
Use the Resize Virtual Machine menu
Choose 'View --> Resize Virtual Machine --> 1280 x 1024' (or whatever resolution you like).
8. macOS Big Sur at 1280 x 1024 ready to go
Vmware Fusion 12 Macos Big Sur
VMware Fusion 12.1 is now shipping in MacOS 11 Big Sur. VMware says that on the public release of macOS Big Sur, They have shipped an update to Fusion which addresses some compatibility issues, brings performance improvements, and even introduces some new features. VMware made an announcement on Twitter:
For starters, they’ve enabled Nested / VT-X support for Macs that don’t have ‘VMCS Shadowing’ hardware features. Users can once again deploy ESXi or Windows with VBS or Hyper-V (WSL) enabled, as well as other nested Hypervisors like VMware Workstation for Linux.
VMware has announced the support for Windows 10 20H2, Ubuntu 20.10, RHEL 8.3, and Fedora 33. A new feature of the Fusion health check is also introduced. That means When Fusion is running on macOS 10.15, the ‘Pipe Broken’ / ‘cannot connect to /dev/vmmon’ issue can be easily fixed with a click.
About macOS Big Sur
macOS Big Sur elevates the most advanced desktop operating system in the world to a new level of power and beauty. Experience Mac to the fullest with a refined new design. Enjoy the biggest Safari update ever. Discover new features for Maps and Messages. And get even more transparency around your privacy. To know more visit the link macOS Big Sur.