I've installed macOS 11 beta clients on a VMware Fusion 12.0.0 host (running on the latest macOS 10.15.7) in a couple of different ways. But in none of them have I ever been able to boot into the recovery partition. I follow the standard procedure (press Cmd-R as the virtual machine is restarting). But then I see a series of aborted attempts to launch the recovery app that lasts as long as I hold the Cmd-R keys. When I let the keys go, I get a "normal" boot.
I'm sure I can't be the only one who's seen this, but so far I haven't seen any bug reports. So here we go 🙂
I've installed macOS 11 beta clients both as an upgrade from macOS 10.15.7 and directly (by dragging the "Install macOS Big Sur Beta" app onto the "Select the Installation Method" window). This bug happens with both kinds of client. Cmd-R does boot into the recovery partition when used from a macOS 11 beta installation on actual hardware. So I know this isn't a bug in macOS 11 itself, or not only a bug in macOS 11. I assume macOS 11 has changed how the recovery partition works, and Fusion hasn't yet caught up with these changes.
I did my initial client installations of macOS 11 using the Beta 6 (build 20A5364e) "Install macOS Big Sur Beta" app. Since then I've been upgrading them from within the client.
Wondering why another workaround isn't mentioned here: Booting the macOS installer from CD/DVD.
1) Create an ISO from the macOS installer, e.g. https://osxdaily.com/2020/12/14/how-create-macos-big-sur-iso/
2) A CD/DVD drive should already be present in the VM. If not, add a SATA CD/DVD drive to your VM.
3) Select the ISO file in VMWare and ensure that "Connect CD/DVD" is checked.
4) In the VM settings, select to boot from CD
The option to create an ISO from the Installer app, then mount the ISO via the CD/DVD setting for the client VM, WORKED for me. Fusion 12.1.2 running on Catalina, with a Big Sur 11.4 VM.
hdiutil create -o /tmp/MacBigSur -size 13500m -volname MacBigSur -layout SPUD -fs HFS+J
hdiutil attach /tmp/MacBigSur.dmg -noverify -mountpoint /Volumes/MacBigSur
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Big\ Sur.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/MacBigSur –nointeraction
(The Install MacOS Big Sur.app should be in your Applications folder, otherwise adjust the path as necessary. BE SURE to include the '.app' after the installer name, or you may get an error (I did unless i had the .app).
sudo hdiutil detach /Volumes/Install\ macOS\ Big\ Sur/ -force
hdiutil convert /tmp/MacBigSur.dmg -format UDTO -o ~/Desktop/MacBigSur.cdr
mv ~/Desktop/MacBigSur.cdr ~/Desktop/BigSur.iso
You should now see file BigSur.iso on the Desktop
DELETE the dmg file in /tmp folder after.
Now, open the settings for the VM, select the ISO file to mount as the CD/DVD, remember to enable connecting the CD/DVD drive. Then in settings 'Startup Disk', select to boot from the CD/DVD drive
The VM will boot to the Installer / Recovery mode, open a Terminal windows and do 'csrutil disable'. SHUT DOWN.
Disconnect the ISO file in the VM settings (autodetect), OR uncheck Enable the CD/DVD drive. In 'Startup Disk' setting select the Hard Disk 1 as the Startup Device. ReStart.
VM should load as normal, open Terminal window and do 'csrtutil status' to confirm SIP is disabled.
This WORKED FOR ME. No need to create a 2nd drive, no partial install of macOS.