14 Replies Latest reply on May 21, 2018 9:20 PM by bgwallace

    macOS Sierra VM resolution is blurry

    bgwallace Novice



      I’m running a macOS Sierra 10.12.5 VM on ESXi 6.5 but when I change the VM resolution to the same as the native resolution of my MacBook Pro 15” w/ Retina (2880×1800) the image is too large for the screen. A VM resolution of 1440×900 creates the correct size image but it’s not very sharp; it’s somewhat blurry. Any idea on how I can correct this? Thanks in advance!




        • 2. Re: macOS Sierra VM resolution is blurry
          AishR Hot Shot
          Knowledge ChampionVMware Employees

          Try re-installing the VM Tools to see if this helps.

          • 3. Re: macOS Sierra VM resolution is blurry
            bgwallace Novice

            Re-installing VMware Tools didn't fix the issue.  Any other ideas?

            • 4. Re: macOS Sierra VM resolution is blurry
              Rsahi Novice

              this might be silly but can you please check if the right os was chosen while creating the vm. also you can try to download vm tools seperate iso from vmware and try installing it

              • 5. Re: macOS Sierra VM resolution is blurry
                bgwallace Novice

                Hi, at this point I’m running the following configuration but still having the same issue.


                ESXi 6.7

                macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 VM

                VM version 14 (e.g. latest ESXi 6.7 level)

                Guest OS version Apple macOS 10.13 (64-bit)

                VMware Tools 10.2.5


                Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.


                • 6. Re: macOS Sierra VM resolution is blurry
                  Rsahi Novice

                  This is all okay,


                  It seems to be OS problem, I found a kb article from apple, this explains how to fix it


                  macOS Sierra: If screen text looks blurry or jagged

                  • 7. Re: macOS Sierra VM resolution is blurry
                    bgwallace Novice

                    Unfortunately, neither checking nor unchecking this option fixes the issue.

                    • 8. Re: macOS Sierra VM resolution is blurry
                      daphnissov Guru
                      Community WarriorsvExpert

                      What hardware is ESXi running on in this case?

                      • 9. Re: macOS Sierra VM resolution is blurry
                        bgwallace Novice
                        • Intel Xeon E3-1225 v5
                        • 64 GB RAM
                        • Intel HD Graphics P530
                        • 10. Re: macOS Sierra VM resolution is blurry
                          wila Guru
                          User ModeratorsCommunity WarriorsvExpert



                          Sorry, but that does not sound like apple hardware, at least I have not been able to locate apple hardware with those specs.


                          Unfortunately Apple does not allow you to run a virtual macOS or OS X on non-Apple branded hardware.

                          Since this violates Apple's EULA (and as such the VMware Community Terms of Use), any issues you have with trying to run macOS or OS X using vSphere on non apple hardware cannot be discussed at this forum.


                          You'll need to have apple hardware on which you run your macOS virtual machine in order for us to be able to help you.

                          It does not matter that you connect to the VM using apple hardware.


                          Hope you understand,



                          | Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Desktop Products
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                          • 11. Re: macOS Sierra VM resolution is blurry
                            Rsahi Novice

                            I found an interesting article explaining how to do it


                            I think this will certainly help






                            • 12. Re: macOS Sierra VM resolution is blurry
                              Solidbrass Novice

                              This is a bug in VMware, in fact, it is several bugs in VMware.  If you create a macOS guest on ESXi 6, 6.5, 6.7 you can replicate one or more display related bugs (some of which are interactions with VMware fusion).


                              1. If you set a custom resolution for a macOS guest and disconnect the virtual console while it is running, then disconnect (for example using VMware fusion as the console, quit fusion then start it again and reconnect,) the console will physically come back as an 800x600 window but macOS will believe it is rendering at 1024x768 regardless of tools version, fusion version, video ram size for the VM.  If you instead resize the VM and shut it down, then when you boot it back up after quitting and restarting fusion (or VMRC), it will remember the console size and things will render 1:1 Instead of being scaled and blurry.


                              1b. This will also prevent console resizing above 1024x768 if you try to do a Remote Desktop or VNC connection to the running VM, so if you connect that way to a running VM and drag the window to be larger, you may be scaling the 1024x768 display window to an arbitrary size, which can cause a blurry appearance.


                              2. If you look at the VMware tools preferences file in ~/Library/Preferences you’ll see a high DPI true/false that defaults to true.  This feature is completely broken and will not behave right in session or across sessions, causing weird issues with console resizing, effective display resolution, etc.  It also puts titanic CPU load on the machine when enabled because you end up doing a scale up and a scale down in CPU instead of GPU.  Change the setting to false to have predictable behavior.


                              3. Fusion does not properly remember window locations across sessions along with its inability to remember console sizes for running macOS guests.  Depending on whether they are hosted on ESXi or locally, you’ll see slightly different behavior with whether the windows always re-open to the center of the screen or to their last location, but if you have a console window size that does not fit when it is relocated to the center of the screen, you can also get weird interactions with display resolution and console size that cause bad rendering of the guest GUI.

                              • 13. Re: macOS Sierra VM resolution is blurry
                                Rsahi Novice

                                Thank you solid, i was not aware of this history

                                • 14. Re: macOS Sierra VM resolution is blurry
                                  bgwallace Novice

                                  Thanks again Rsahi and thank you very much for all of the helpful details solidbrass.  Sounds like I'm at a dead end at this point if the issue is a bug in VMware.


                                  I tried the vmware-resolutionSet approach too, but unfortunately there's no way I can find to specify that the resolution needs to be HiDPI.  Attempting the normal method to set the display resolution via Displays under System Preferences, I've tried everything I can think of including upping the VRAM size considerably and every other tip/trick I've seen on the internet (e.g. SwitchResX) but the only resolutions I'm presented with are 1440x900 (non-HiDPI) and 720x405 HiDPI.  I'm viewing on a MacBook Pro with 2880x1800 retina display so if I'm not mistaken the resolution I'm missing that I need is 1440x900 HiDPI or possibly 2880x1800 HiDPI.