nocuskey
Contributor
Contributor

VMWare ESXi 7.0 + MacOS?

Hi all,

My first post and my first day attempting to use ESXi. Some background: I don't work as a sysadmin, but as QA (we don't have any sysadmins) at work, and I'm trying to set up a virtualized environment for macOS on a 2014 Mac Mini running VMWare ESXi 7.0, but I'm having some trouble with a few things:

  • Make sure that the .CDR files I use work properly when converted to .iso
    • I have downloaded the files from Apple Store (on a Mac), then followed this guide for converting the .dmg to .iso (Have not completed the entire guide such as installing unlocker).
      • I'm not confident that the output is correct, but could just be a lack of proper understanding of the process.
  • When using the files on the host, I am unable to start the install process in the VM. In my head, this could be because the file from the first bullet point is not bootable or usable.
  • Is ESXi 7.0 to fresh to work properly with macOS guest VM's? Should I consider to install ESXi 6.7 instead? Not sure if this is the right solution given that I am uncertain if the problem exists in the .iso file, or pebcak :smileyblush:

Tried to attach the log file as well.

I would be really glad for some input to my thoughts and pointers to other resources that helps me get up and running.

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6 Replies
nachogonzalez
Expert
Expert

Hey, hope you are doing fine

Let me reply between lines:

  • Is ESXi 7.0 to fresh to work properly with macOS guest VM's? Should I consider to install ESXi 6.7 instead? Not sure if this is the right solution given that I am uncertain if the problem exists in the .iso file, or pebcak


ESXi is an enterprise-class product and it's not intended to run on consumer class-hardware.
Nevertheless, it is supported on some models of mac.

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Have you set up your ESXi server properly?

Are you able to power on virtual machines?

How are you starting the install process?

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bluefirestorm
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

It looks like the 2014 Mac mini is in the VMware HCL for ESXi 7.0

https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/detail.php?deviceCategory=server&productid=48815&devi...

This is the error found in the log

2020-09-28T11:13:28.623Z| vcpu-0| I125: Msg_Post: Warning

2020-09-28T11:13:28.623Z| vcpu-0| I125: [msg.Backdoor.OsNotFound] No operating system was found. If you have an operating system installation disc, you can insert the disc into the system's CD-ROM drive and restart the virtual machine.

It appears the virtual optical drive that is mapped to the ISO file is not connected.

2020-09-28T11:13:17.831Z| vmx| I125: DICT    sata0:1.startConnected = "FALSE"

2020-09-28T11:13:17.831Z| vmx| I125: DICT        sata0:1.deviceType = "cdrom-image"

2020-09-28T11:13:17.831Z| vmx| I125: DICT          sata0:1.fileName = "/vmfs/volumes/5f7191a3-e989d3b6-a02e-787b8ac3bfb0/ISOs/Sierra.iso"

2020-09-28T11:13:17.831Z| vmx| I125: DICT           sata0:1.present = "TRUE"

So first thing is to make sure it is connected to the VM.

There is also a strange entry.

2020-09-28T11:13:17.831Z| vmx| I125: DICT      bios.bootRetry.delay = "10"

Do you really meant for that to be

bios.bootDelay = "10000"

since the value is in milliseconds. Note it is bios.bootDelay. I am assuming the delay introduced is to be able to press a key.

Alternatively to boot to the VM firmware directly you can also use

bios.forceSetupOnce = "TRUE"

which you can then choose EFI CDROM to boot (assuming it is connected to the VM). It just boots up to firmware only once and the same entry have to added again if you want to power up to the VM firmware.

If you have Fusion Pro running on another Mac you can connect to the ESXi running on the Mac mini.

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nocuskey
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for the quick reply.

At the moment, I have the ESXi web interface running and I seem to be able to upload files to the Data storage. When trying to create the VM, I click on "Virtual Machines" --> "Create / register VM". The help/guide window for creating a new VM appears. But for the sake of screenshots, I just went through the process again, but only this time I added the image during this process and now I have installed macOS without a hiccup - woohoo!

So I guess I just answered myself, with your help that my image did indeed work as expected, and it seems that there is a bug with ESXi that I can't edit and save the configuration to use the CD/DVD Drive when the VM is already created but powered off).

Many thanks for your reply, nachogonzalez

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nachogonzalez
Expert
Expert

Glad to hear it worked, It seems like OS wasn't installed.

I'm not understanding this:

So I guess I just answered myself, with your help that my image did indeed work as expected, and it seems that there is a bug with ESXi that I can't edit and save the configuration to use the CD/DVD Drive when the VM is already created but powered off).

Are you able to right-click the VM and edit settings? Is CD-DVD drive connected?

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nocuskey
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Bluefirestorm,

You are absolutely correct that the virtual optical drive was disconnected, thus why I couldn't start the .iso from it.

When it comes to the other parameter, bios.bootDelay = "", I have not done anything other than default values when creating the VM, so either something is off in the ESXi or my setup. But given that it works, I don't think it's an issue.

But cheers and thanks for highlighting the error and I appreciate the heads-up.

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nocuskey
Contributor
Contributor

While I am able to right-click and select "Edit", the menu won't save the setting if I check the "Connected"-box for connecting the virtual optical drive (unexpected behaviour). However, if I create a new VM and connect the virtual optical drive from the create menu, it saves as expected.

Hope that enlightens the issue.

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