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VMware Fusion 12 on OS X Catalina and Big Sur

Hi,

I have been on the trail of several issue and have posted in the general forum but thought I would post here and see what the team has to say.

1. VMware Fusion 12 on Catalina 10.15.7. I have 4 VMs all working well on VMWare 11.5.6 (standard edition) and OS X 10.15.7. I upgraded to VM12 (Player edition) and immediately had issues with 'broken pipes' messages and the VMs refused to start after VMWare  'upgraded' the VMs. I assumed that an issue I had with OWC's Softraid where I had to unlock the security options prior to doing the upgrade (to allow extensions to be installed), may be the problem, so I put backup copies of VMs back and reinstalled VMWare 11.5.6. Checked everything was working and did the upgrade to VMWare 12 again. No difference. The VMs were upgraded and then would not start due to 'broken pipes'. So it looks as if VMWare 12 would not work for me on Catalina. Has anyone else had these issues and if so what can be done to make it work.

2. I upgraded to Big Sur on one of my Macs and, of course, you need to install VMWare 12 in order to get the VMs to have any chance of running. I started the VMs one by one. They all ran in some fashion. 1 of them came up with the 'Ethernet0 could not be loaded so networking was disabled' type message so there was no virtual network adapter. The VM ran fine, but with no network connection. The other 3 VMs came up and ran with networking apparently connecting but I discovered that NAT was not working. I run all my VMs in Bridge Auto mode, so each VMW has its own IP address. With these 3 VMs the MS Update server could not be reached, my email client in the browser would not load, the Baraccuda VPN adapter did not work etc. but I could browse the internet. At least I did not get the broken pipes message but the VMs were not much use to me. I reverted to Catalina (with much pain), put back VMWare 11.5.6 and used backups of the VMs and all is well. There is obviously a fundamental problem here. I am assuming it is to do with the fact VMWare does not use KEXTs in Big Sur but uses Apples Drive Kit and there are bugs somewhere in the new code for the new APIs, although your blog indicates that, in Catalina, you still use kernel extensions, so that does not explain the Catalina/VMware 12 failure I am observing, but might explain the Big Sur issues where Apple's Drivekit APIs have to be used. 

If someone can give me any guidance I would be grateful meanwhile I am sticking with Catalina and VMware 11 for the moment.

Thanks in anticipation of some help and guidance.

10 Replies
Leadership
Leadership

Moderator: Moved to Fusion Discussions

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Champion
Champion

Separating out the issues:

- Broken pipe means that fusion isn't properly installed.  Drag it to the trash, empty trash, reboot, empty trash, then reinstall - and watch carefully for the prompts to allow the kernel extension

- Big sur made significant changes to how virtual networking functions.  If you've done custom network configs, try resetting everything to the default - then slowly make changes again to find out what is broken.

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Thank you for the guidance.

1. I assumed the broken pipes issue was due to incorrect installation, so I have already been through your suggested process (I noted that I had had the same issue with OWCs Softraid when it tried to install extensions and I had to unlock the security options in System Preferences in order to get it to prompt to install the extensions). I even hunted down the library entries for VMWare and deleted them before reinstalling. I had the security option unlocked and open on my desktop and installed VMWare. I never saw the prompts to install the extensions and, as a result, the VMs would not run. I repeated the process as you suggested and nothing changed. I have no way forward at this point. Time to re-setup my desktop PC again I suspect. 🙂

 

2. My network settings are very standard, Bridge, Auto. Since the machine I currently use for VMs is on Catalina, it is not really practical to upgrade to Big Sur and then try the process again, since, if it failed, I would have to go back to Catalina which takes several hours. I might as well keep it on VMWare 11 on Catalina.

Again appreciate your suggestions and help.

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Have I got the same problem as that described in that I installed Big Sur and now Vmware is not working on my MacBook I did read that by installing Fusion 12 it fixed the problem for one user is that the recommended fix from Vmware people?

 

Contributor
Contributor

VMWare 11 will not work on Big Sur, period (as far as I can tell) since Big Sur does not support Kernel Extensions and relies on Apple's Drive Kit which are a series of APIs that are supposed to give the same function as the Kernel Extensions in Catalina. However I suspect there are bugs on both sides (VMWare and Apple) here.

If you use Big Sur as the host, then VMWare 12 is the only solution, only it does not work for me. I believe that there is a new release of 12 (12.1.0 ??) which fixes the Ethernet0 issue (this prevents a network connection device being mounted) so you should be able to get a network connection. I have not tried to run Big Sur on a working Catalina/VMWare 11 machine as the trip back to a working system is time consuming if it does not work. 

As pointed out by another poster, I have two issues: 

1. I cannot get VMware 12 to install and run on Catalina.

2. I cannot get networking to run on a VMware 12 and Big Sur machine.

At this point I cannot correct 1 and I am not prepare to risk going through the process to upgrade to Big Sur, install VMWare 12 and find it does not work and then revert to the original system as I have done twice already to test 2 above with VMWare 12.1.0 or 12.0.1.

All a little frustrating but normal for such a big change in concepts. I will wait a little longer (BTW I am using a MacBook Air M1 processor to post this information and it works beautifully, I love it, but do not try to run a VM, that really will not work 🙂 )

Contributor
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Thanks for the reply, rather than try going back to Catalina I figured I would download V12.1 Fusion and see if I can get it to run.  Problem now is I am unable to download the version due to a problem at their end. 😞

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I would be interested to know if the latest version will fix your issues, once you can actually download it. It might be worth my while to try it, but until I have heard of someone where it is confirmed that the new version fixes the issues I have reported I am reluctant to go back through the process again.

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I have just read the VMware Fusion Blog and note that VMWare cite a new feature in 12.1.0 called Fusion Health Check which purports to clean up or remove the‘Pipe Broken’ / ‘cannot connect to /dev/vmmon’ issue which is the one that has plagued my V12 on Calaline issues. This version also fixes the Ethernet0 issues on Big Sur installations, so we may be most of the way there to a working solution. Can anyone confirm these fixes? I will try on one my machines later today or tomorrow.

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Hi there I can't find that software for Fusion 12.1 that you mention in your post.  It would also seem I can't find my license key on the site either (WTF) I have a copy of the key which vmware are telling me is invalid 😞 total flaming disaster at the moment.

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I'm running into similar problems with networking with Fusion 12.1.0 and Big Sur. 

I've a bridged configuration running through either wireless or wired ("Automatic") and cannot get a reliable connection - browsing the Internet is spotty at best, and downloading updates on a Windows 10 VM just doesn't work. Ping always seems to be able to reach internet hosts but TCP connections are un-reliable (though do occasionally work - well enough to allow for "some" connectivity)

Trying to switch to "shared with Mac" WHILST the machine is running crashes Fusion 12.1.0 (though the VM is seemingly still running in the background).

If I make she change "shared with Mac" when the VM is off, Windows 10 adds the shared interface and... Just works. 

This won't work for me as I do development and required specific (bridged) connections in order to simulate the environments I support.

Troubleshooting has been minimal, but I HAVE reinstalled, with no change in results.

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