Cenbull70
Contributor
Contributor

Apple M1 Chip and Windows

I am looking at upgrading my 2015 Macbook Pro with an Intel Core i7 to the new Macs with the M1 chip. I need to be able to run Windows 7, 10 and Server 2016 as well as Ubuntu and Kali. I was wondering if Fusion would support running these in VM on the new M1 chips"

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7 Replies
scott28tt
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

No.

See the Testing Guide on this page: https://communities.vmware.com/t5/Fusion-for-Apple-Silicon-Tech/ct-p/3022

Also look through the discussion area from the navigation pane to the right of that page.

 


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VMware Training & Certification blog
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Technogeezer
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

First you will have to run the Fusion Tech Preview for Apple Silicon to run any virtual machines on the M1 Mac. The released Fusion 12 will not work. 

Second, any VMs that you have created under Fusion on an Intel Mac will not and will never run on an M1 Mac. Any operating system that runs under the Fusion Tech Preview on  Apple Silicon (M1, etc.) has to be an ARM architecture (arm64/aarch64), not Intel.

Both Ubuntu and Kali have arm64/aarch64 versions that run on M1. but any applications you have will need to be recompiled on those versions to run.

Windows is a different story.  Neither Windows 7 nor Windows Server have versions that run on ARM architecture devices. So the M1 Mac will not meet your needs.

Windows 10/11 do have an ARM version but Microsoft does not sell a license to end users for it nor do they support it on Apple Silicon processors.. You can get the Windows For ARM Insider Preview to work on M1 Macs, but it is unsupported by both VMware and Microsoft (no VMware Tools). There are things that may not work as you expect because of that. If you have Intel Windows applications that you expect to run, you are at the mercy of Microsoft’s implementation of a Intel-to-ARM translator which is not as far along as Apple’s Rosetta 2. 

aweisman
Contributor
Contributor

Commander Technogeezer, I'm just a plain user -- a professional at what I do, which requires a computer to do it, but not a techno anything.  My simple question is: When will some new edition of VMWare be able run Windows on my M1 Mac?  Is something in development?  If it it won't be, any reason why not?  And what alternatives do we have for running Windows programs on our new Macs?

Thanks.  With the exception of yourself, the tone of this thread has been pretty jerky, accusing users like me of not reading various things. The truth is we do try to, but often we get lost in techno jargon that may seem obvious to tech-savvy people but not us civilians. Sorry if the above paragraph has you rolling your eyes, but your plain, simple answers will be much appreciated.  

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Technogeezer
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

@aweisman yes, we do sometimes get mired in jargon (myself included, so I do have to watch it). I also don’t know how that title “commander” got attached to me, so just plain old “Technogeezer” is fine  I’m after all just another user even though I have a tech background .

The following is my personal opinion based on what I’ve seen recently, and I hope this helps. 

To your question about when will there be a version of Fusion that runs Windows on M1 Macs,  the short answer based on what we’ve heard from VMware lately is “maybe later this year”. VMware has indicated recently that they are looking at a official Fusion release later this year that runs on Apple Silicon Macs.

The answer gets more murky when you add “will it run Windows”. That’s a “maybe”. The whole “Windows on M1 Mac” thing is complicated by the need to run a version of Windows built for ARM chips (Apple Silicon is a customized derivative of an ARM cpu chip) rather than Intel chips, and Microsoft’s stance on support for that version of Windows running on the Mac (they currently don’t even though it runs). Is it possible that VMware will do what Parallels did and come out with a set of Tools that allows Windows to run on Fusion like it does on Intel Macs? It’s possible, but we don’t know for sure - although recent hints from VMware are giving us some hope.  

it’s about as clear as mud. 

Parallels gets you closer to where you want to be today. It’ll work with a nicer out of the box experience than the VMware Tech Preview. Just realize that you’re running a Windows installation that isn’t supported by Microsoft, so any support for any problems is going to come from Parallels, not Microsoft. 

aweisman
Contributor
Contributor

Many thanks for this.  I hope VMWare jumps on a version for Apple silicon soon -- and they should pay you for stating clearly what is obfuscated on their website, which encourages everyone to download their Fusion Tech Preview without being upfront about it not working with Windows on new Macs.   Most Mac users of VMWare know of Linux but don't use it, and wouldn't use Windows either but for legacy files we lack time to convert to something that Apple can read, or some Windows programs whose Mac versions are either inadequate or don't exist.  The redesigned Macbook Pros, which bring back some of Apple's best features that had given way to pointless innovations like the blessedly short-lived touch bar and a disastrous keyboard, and introduce a new and (thus far) faster and better chip, aren't going away.  If VMWare wants to keep a significant share of its customer base, it should quit whining about Apple or Microsoft and get to work already.  Thanks again. 

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Technogeezer
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

I think VMware might be at the point where a) they are seeing the demand for Windows from Mac customers which is only getting greater since Intel Macs are pretty much gone from the Apple portfolio, and b) they know that having Windows desktop virtualization (even on the Mac) is in line with their enterprise product strategy. At first there was a reluctance by VMware to do anything with Windows on the M1 Macs due to an interpretation by VMware's lawyers. It appears now that VMware might just be thinking that they need to move ahead regardless of Microsoft's "unwritten rules".  They should have done it earlier, in my opinion, but I don't run VMware nor am I one of their lawyers or engineering managers. 

I don't see "whining" here. I see valid concerns about providing a product to users that can be supported in the event that something goes wrong. Which is not the case with Windows running on Apple Silicon today since Microsoft has explicitly stated that they don't. It's a question on how far do you want to push that in your situation. You can say that "well I want to take the risk anyway" but in my experience that statement only holds until the first time that your work stops due to a problem.  Then it becomes ugly.

 

dlhotka
Champion
Champion

If you read the preview guide, it's very clear it's not supported.

VMWare is keenly aware of the desire/interest/need to virtualize Windows on Mac, and as soon as Microsoft changes their license, I have zero doubt that we'll see a version with full Windows 11 ARM support.  Right now there is simply no license-compliant way to run windows on a Mac.  That's microsoft's problem, not Apple's nor VMWare's.  There's rumors that the issue is an exclusivity deal with Qualcomm, so hopefully that's the case and when it expires, this will all fix itself.  But for now, if you need a legal, in-license, windows environment, the only option from a Mac is some kind of cloud service.

 

But if you're waiting for Intel guest support, that's in the 'never' category because it's simply not technically feasible.  You can't run a gasoline car on diesel.