frmo76
Contributor
Contributor

Fusion 12 and compatibility with M1 / Big Sur - not relevant any longer

Update : Ok, after some more digging, I finally understand that Fusion is not compatible with M1 chip for the time being. I'll have to find another way to run my old business application. Sorry for the trouble.

 

Hello,

I'm new at VMWare Fusion, I've downloaded the trial version of Fusion Pro for Mac OS to run an old version of Mac OS (10.6 server). The version 12 is said to be compatible with both Big Sur and M1 chip. I've 2 computers : one iMac Pro running Big Sur and one brand new MacBook Pro with M1 chip also running Big Sur.

The installation runs well on the iMac and the old Mac OS version is running smoothly.

When I try the same process on the MacBook, I get an error (in French) that translates like this: "Fail to activate /Users/myuser/Documents/MacOSX.vmwarevm/Mac OS X Server 10.6 64 bits.vmx'

I've tried to migrate the VM created on the iMac and to create a new VM from scratch using Apple MacOS 10.6 server installer. But it still crashes with the same error on my MacBook. I also tried to install earlier version of Mac OS and even Windows 10 but always get the same message.

Do you have any idea or any suggestion ? I'm glad I did not buy it yet since I tend to doubt the real compatibility of the product.

Thank you for your support

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71 Replies
Bradall
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Well yesterdays announcement was a fizzer and made me much more comfortable with moving to parallels. So possibly another 7 months before a release of Fusion and there is nothing ground breaking in whats coming by the looks.Seems that this will be almost a year after the M1 was released. I suspect this may or may not ever happen. By the time fusion releases the consumers that required virtualization will have moved to parallels. I would not be surprised if Fusion never releases as the available market would mean there is little chance of return on investment.

https://blogs.vmware.com/teamfusion/2021/04/fusion-on-apple-silicon-progress-update.html

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DrBigJim
Contributor
Contributor

This does seem the most likely outcome. I for one have realized that I would be better off without dealing with Windows. No need to just launch a machine to simply perform updates.

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VirtualMac2009
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

There are different options:

VMware Fusion 12 running on Apple Silicon
https://communities.vmware.com/t5/VMware-Fusion-Discussions/VMware-Fusion-12-running-on-Apple-Silico...

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dlhotka
Champion
Champion

I have zero doubt that we'll get Fusion for M1. 

I would not at all be surprised to see microsoft do something with the arm license model at some point.  If that happens, then Fusion will be right back in the race.

The drop-dead date is the release of the real ARM macs this fall - Fusion has to drop before the M2 16" and Mac Pro's are in peoples hands.

But by then, there could be a lot of switching to parallels or cloud computing, or both, especially if Microsoft doesn't fix the licensing problem.

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DrBigJim
Contributor
Contributor

The M1 Macs are real ARM Macs, to say otherwise is just showing your preferences. Although I would think that they may do something like an M1 Pro that would have more cores and other enhancements that allow it to blow out the intel Xenons.

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dlhotka
Champion
Champion

Fair enough - the current M1 Mac laptops are their lowest end offering.  The new iMac's are middle tier.  I'd expect most of Fusion's customers to be looking/waiting for the higher end M2 machines expected this fall.

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AndrewP-2
Contributor
Contributor

I think the more important point and the point the OP was trying to make is that even if VMWare decides to re-enter the Mac market, the continual delays, waning need for virtualization in general, and the fact that there are potential competitors that have a long standing in the market, who will undoubtedly capitalize on VMwares failure to produce, and absorb their remaining market share long before. VMware Fusion will end up being the solution to a problem that no longer exists, isn’t relevant and isn’t needed.

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AndrewP-2
Contributor
Contributor

I think VMware’s best move is to continue to invest in and develop the dying Intel CISC architecture. Basically milk it as long as you can, and use the funds to explore new avenues for revenue all together. Perhaps future focus needs to be on CISC emulation on modern RISC environments.

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dlhotka
Champion
Champion

They're clearly investing a lot of effort into M1 support, just with a limited set of guests.  I suspect it's more focused on commercial customers who heavily use esxi rather than the consumer, individual market, but it is an interesting question.  

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dreamcarrior
Contributor
Contributor

As of now, there is still no VMware support for Apple M1 chip. Even if VMware works for M1 chip, all guest operating system will be ARM compatible rather than Intel Compatible. The question is which chipset works better in the future. Harvest for power or efficiency?

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Technogeezer
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

You can’t blame VMware for this as ultimately Apple made the decision to switch off of Intel CPUs as their own long term strategy. The Intel virtualization market on Macs is a casualty of that decision, but it opens up the ARM virtualization market  which I think VMware is trying to figure out how best to attack across the board.

ARM CPUs are becoming a disruption to the market. I don’t think there’s a power vs. efficiency trade off any more. Apple is showing that high efficiency (compute per watt of power) and high performance may not be mutually exclusive. 

Interesting given some recent announcements that Apple has both Intel and Qualcomm scurrying to improve their offerings. Microsoft is hedging their bets with Windows on ARM but hasn’t jumped in with both feet… yet.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the server market - especially for cloud providers where power consumption and cooling are very real costs.

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DrBigJim
Contributor
Contributor

You also cannot blame Apple for moving ahead with migration to Apple Silicon and dumping Intel. It is the age old Chicken/Egg. The software vendors want the platform to be there and the platform has to have the applications available on the platform. VMware could have released a product for M1 Macintoshes the day they were available, but decided against it so that they can support ESXi on ARM platforms. This is a product decision solely made by the VMware Fusion product team. AMD/intel and Qualcomm are definitely behind the eight ball as Apple has been quietly moving ahead of them. I have read elsewhere that it is not a question of if ARM takes over as the dominate platform, but a question of when. It will be interesting to see.

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