Sjd181969
Contributor
Contributor

VMware Fusion 12 running on Apple Silicon

Hi

Will Fusion ever operate on macs running on Apple Silicon chips as it’s important that I can continue to run my x64 Linux vm images if I upgrade to a new Apple silicon based Mac 

I couldn’t see any official comment on this from VMware 

 

 

141 Replies
Mikero
Community Manager
Community Manager

It's easy to speculate about what's going on from the outside, but I can say that folks are not seeing the whole picture as we do. 

"Lazy" couldn't be further away from the truth...

I'll be writing up a post about our progress that I'll be sharing likely next week... I can say it's coming along very nicely.
Right now I'm looking at 5 vms, each with 4CPU and 8GB of RAM, running simultaneously on my M1 MBA (8c 16GB)... 

We're being quiet about release timelines for a few reasons... There's still a lot of unknowns to uncover as we move forward. Some of those may be nothing burgers, but some might be deep holes which require a concerted engineering effort (and an unknown amount of time) to solve. And that's just engineering issues...

Remember too that we have more than 1 product to consider... Interoperability with ESXi (in this case ESXi-ARM) is something very important to us, but probably not as important to a competitor who has only 1 product line in this space.

We never wanted to be ''first", and personally, I'd rather be the tortoise than the hare.

-
Michael Roy - PM/PMM: Fusion & Workstation
DrBigJim
Contributor
Contributor

That is nice to hear. I know developing a product as complex as a level 1 hypervisor is not as easy, especially writing for a new platform such as the Apple M1 chip. Personally I also do not see the advantage to being our first (like Google/Android) but actually delivering a quality product (like Apple). Actually I think that it is rather impossible to speculate the inner workings of a large organization from the outside, unless you are like Google and do not use firewalls. Being a software/security engineer, I know that management/customers want more about expected time lines when a product will be available on the market and without any information it is hard to know. Of course I remember the delayed operating systems from OS/2 Warp, Windows Chicago, Apple Copeland and others that there is also problems associated with missing publicly announced deadlines. It is good to hear that the work is developing nicely.

By the way, it was nice to see ESXi running on a Raspberry Pi, not that I have tried it myself, but interesting to see.

I look forward to your post about your progress on bringing Fusion to the M1.

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VirtualMac2009
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thanks Mikero for the heads up! That is great news. Looking forward to all that. We have tested the different virtualization applications for Mac in the market at our University, and VMware Fusion is the best, hands down. Just one example: we can control laboratory machines that require Windows using a Mac and VMware Fusion (we love and prefer using Mac than PC). The connection is via USB and never fails. Yet, applications like Parallel's Desktop fails miserably, ruining expensive experiments. It just drops the connection and all results are lost. A waste of time and money involved in the laboratory experiment. When we contacted Parallel about it, they said that supporting connection to external machines through USB was not their priority. Shocking! We have learned the lesson well. Long live VMware Fusion!

Now, concerning the new ARM-based Apple Silicon Macs, it would be great if VMware Fusion could implement the best possible virtualization (or at least emulation if virtualization is not possible) to run Mac OS X Server 10.6 Snow Leopard (which has the first version of Rosetta, and thus runs PowerPC applications like Eudora, Palm Desktop or Canvas), as well as macOS 10.12 Sierra to macOS 10.15 Catalina. Keep up the great work on the Mac arena!

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dlhotka
Champion
Champion

"Right now I'm looking at 5 vms, each with 4CPU and 8GB of RAM, running simultaneously on my M1 MBA (8c 16GB)... "

That's a heck of an easter egg!  

Doing that would bring my 2019 16 8 core to it's knees (I know, I tried recently and the vms all slowly ground to a halt, then crashed).  Vastly more impressive than I expected.

I know windows ARM will work for most of my stuff so that bodes really well.  If Microsoft ups their x86/64 emulation in windows ARM (and I figure out licensing), that kind of performance may be good enough for games too...which would be *really* cool, and the end of my experimentation with cloud gaming...but let's just say that I need to see a lot more focus on their emulator to stop flirting with cloud gaming (nothing on VMWare there - all about MSFT).

I plan to buy an M2 MBP this fall on release, so a reliable tortoise is just perfect.

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wila
Immortal
Immortal

Please take your time, I don't need VMware to be first with this.
But I do expect VMware Fusion to be reliable, like it always has been.

Thanks for the update, that is much appreciated!

Looking forward to the blog post.

--
Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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AndrewBytes
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I heard that x86 VMs on M1 are still a possibility, and WWDC is coming up so my guess is;

  • VM will march out standing next to Tim Cook and announce that Mac Mini's with 10gb ethernet ports stacked to the ceiling will become the worlds cheapest and smallest virtual server farm running fusion pro version 13...
  • But hey... maybe I also have an active fantasy world I live in too...

There's an extra $5 in it for you if you make this happen so I can use my new iPad Pro with M1 CPU as a portable work-station when I walk into my backyard... TIA

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DrBigJim
Contributor
Contributor

It would be great to be able to run virtualization on the iPad Pro in the few scenarios that it fits. Personally I only care about the applications that I need to run and they are all Universal apps in the App Store, and none of them were published by Microsoft.

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dlhotka
Champion
Champion

Apple doesn't allow any sort of emulation or virtualization products on iOS (e.g. DOSBox was pulled shortly after it was released)

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dlhotka
Champion
Champion

Not sure where you heard it, but unless Apple massively extends Rosetta to a full chip emulation, that's highly unlikely.  Fingers crossed, but money in my pocket if you know what I mean 🙂

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DrBigJim
Contributor
Contributor

Yes, that is a policy decision more than a technical decision. That could change in the future, considering there are other utilities that were not allowed before but are there now.

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DrBigJim
Contributor
Contributor

It would be cool. During the announcement, I figured that it would not be long that someone would want to put virtualization on the iPad. Being in the security field, virtualization is something that we use a lot of. As for me, x86 is irrelevant because all of the applications that I use are running on the M1 Mac mini and I really do not need to kick off another environment on my Mac mini. I have an iPad Air and it everything that I need it to perform while I am away from my desk. I have been looking at the Raspberry Pi lately and I am now thinking that it would be better for me productivity wise to simply use the Raspberry Pi to replace virtualization, both locally and in the cloud.

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VirtualMac2009
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Here it is:

Fusion on Apple Silicon: Progress Update

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

I guess that Mikero is Michael Roy: Product Line Manager for Desktop Hypervisor products such as VMware Fusion and Workstation.

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nobody456
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

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

 

no x86 VMs, as expected  😞

 

bon voyage, VMware Fusion!

bon voyage, Apple MacBook!

 

our paths have parted for good – your products no longer fulfill my requirements

 

my wallet may be insignificant to you, but I am voting with it  🙂

 

bye!

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SvenGus
Expert
Expert

An interesting blog post… As for Intel emulation on M1, we all know that there is Qemu (and UTM as a Mac GUI frontend): but the problem is that it is not “optimized” for macOS hosts, so it could still be too slow to be usable, even on the M1. Making Intel emulation really usable and reasonably fast on M1 Macs would of course be a huge undertaking, so it’s understandable that it cannot be an immediate priority. Let’s at least hope that Microsoft will license Windows 10 ARM for use on M1 Macs; BTW, Parallels doesn’t seem to have a problem with this: maybe they have some “secret” agreement with Microsoft, who knows…? Anyway, the priority is of course ARM on ARM virtualization…

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DrBigJim
Contributor
Contributor

I feel sorry for you to have such a strict requirement on the architecture of the computer. You will miss the shear joy of using one of the best designed operating systems.

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Technogeezer
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

@SvenGus The issue as I see it is that Qemu is operating in full machine emulation mode for x86 on ARM - using just-in-time translation. I'm of the opinion that a lot of the things that Apple does to get Rosetta 2 running so well (ahead-of-time translation of an Intel binary, and running system calls as native ARM code) doesn't work so well for an operating system. And yes, there are cases where Rosetta 2 has to drop into just-in-time translation, but I haven't seen any indication on how well that performs. So I don't think that simple tailoring for macOS would help. The entire "innards" of the just-in-time translation would have to be improved. That's where the huge undertaking would be.

IMHO VMware has a much greater sensitivity to Microsoft EULA issues due to its vSphere/ESXi corporate customer base. My bet is that Parallels simply doesn't care isn't taking such a hard line on the subject. It is misleading marketing though to tell people that "yes you can run Windows 10 on ARM on my product", but leave out or "put it in the fine print" that the "it's beta code that you have to sign up with Microsoft to get, there's no support for it. and oh by the way Microsoft hasn't said that you'll ever be able to buy Windows 10 for ARM as a normal consumer". Caveat emptor.

 

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Technogeezer
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

@VirtualMac2009 

> I guess that Mikero is Michael Roy: Product Line Manager for Desktop Hypervisor products such as VMware Fusion and Workstation

You are correct.

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DrBigJim
Contributor
Contributor

I think that it is a little more complicated than that. Parallels might operate under a different set of laws that allow them to point out that they in fact can run Windows 10 on ARM, and are not subject to the same restrictions that VMware is imposed to follow. Microsoft has included Hyper-V in Windows 10, so anyone with a Pro or greater version of Windows would be able to just turn on virtualization that is native to the operating system. The same can be said for Linux machines with KVM. This does really leave VMware focusing on the server infrastructure more so than the traditional desktop (type 2) hypervisor. I have been focused lately on simplification and with the move to an M1 Macintosh, I think that it is time for me to say goodbye to virtualization and Windows. I have a few Raspberry Pis will more than provide a learning environment for Linux based environments. I see organizations either moving to a public or private cloud type environment and it would be good for VMware to focus on that kind of development. Making it easy for administrators to orchestrate deployments without additional software.

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gringley
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

For me the "Golden Age" of Mac that started with Leopard, Boot Camp, and Fusion has come to an end.  Macs will no longer be the platform that can let you run most anything.  

If you think Parallels is that answer, they are ignoring the Microsoft license terms and hoping Microsoft does not swat them for some short term gains.  Microsoft could at any point add code to check for M1 Mac (or check for Parallels) and kill the Windows on ARM VMs. 

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DrBigJim
Contributor
Contributor

My first Macintosh was a PowerBook 5300cs, and I did not get another one until Lion and upgraded from Windows. Being able to run everything was what first allured me to the Macintosh as a replacement for my Windows 7 custom built computer and now that all I have been doing with Windows 10 is launch it and perform updates and shut it down. Now that I have switched to the M1 Mac, I have left virtualization behind. Instead of virtualization, I am using the Raspberry Pi as a replacement for Linux virtual machines and cloud computing. As for my needs, Windows is irrelevant and no longer needed. I have completed my migration and I run nothing that specifically requires Windows. I could purchase a small Windows based computer, if it was needed.

I have also realized that if I want to have a personal lab environment, I could simply use something like Microsoft Azure in that capacity. The great thing about this solution is that I can create virtual machines on an as needed basis and destroy them when they are no longer needed. Of course the limitation of this solution is internet connectivity, but most of the time it is not a problem. For some needs, this could be a better solution. Of course with local virtualization you have more flexibility, but also presents other issues that are not technical.

You see the "Golden Age" of the Mac was the intel era, but I see it as a stepping stone to get to the best era of the Macintosh, running on Apple Silicon. Apple moved to Apple Silicon due to the production and quality problems associated with intel chips. Apple would have needed to retool for AMD processors or to their own processors. Their decision was the correct one as evidenced bu the Fujitsu supercomputer taking the top of the supercomputer list.

The most important point that I am making is that each of us have to decide what our hardware and software needs are. I just looked at the applications installed on my computer and most of the applications are universal applications. The other situation is that I no longer needed to run Windows after I found replacements for all of the applications that I used to use on Windows. I think that Microsoft has to focus on cleaning up the Windows mess before releasing a version of Windows on ARM for consumers.

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