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Virtual CPU entered shutdown state w/ certain ISOs in Fusion 12 / Catalina/Big Sur

Hi,

I have a really strange bug that has perplexed me over the past few days. I began with the updated Fusion 12 on Catalina trying to boot an existing Kali Linux VM which sat blinking at me after the GRUB menu. Downloading a fresh Kali ISO I got the same issue. Downloading A Parrot Linux ISO the same thing also occurred. Meanwhile my Windows VM worked fine. 

Given I had planned to upgrade to Big Sur, I performed the upgrade and tested again to find the same behaviour. I've tried uninstalling, rebooting, installing the tech preview, removing the cache files, using an App uninstaller, installing via brew vs downloading the .pkg. Nothing seems to work. 

Here is what I have:

  • My existing Windows VM works fine, and has continued to work throughout with no issue. 
  • My existing Kali Linux VM configured with Legacy BIOS passes the GRUB bootloader and then sits with a blinking cursor. 
  • A brand new Kali Linux ISO (https://www.kali.org/downloads/) will boot from CD, but upon beginning the installer (graphical or text) runs into the following error: "A fault has occurred causing a virtual CPU to enter the shutdown state." The same behaviour is exhibited with Legacy BIOS and UEFI.
  • The exact same behaviour is observed with a freshly downloaded brand new VM booting a Parrot Security ISO (https://www.parrotsec.org/download/)
  • A Debian ISO and Ubuntu ISO both boot OK.
  • The Kali/Parrot ISO both boot fine copied to a different Mac running Fusion 11.5 / Catalina
  • A friend tested the same on Fusion 12 / Big Sur and had no issues.

My machine:

  • 2020 13" Macbook Pro i5 w/ 32GB RAM
  • Originally Catalina, now Big Sur. Tested Fusion 12 and Fusion-Tech-Preview (from brew)
  • A few open source security tools, but I've tested with them not running to no avail.

 

The only thing left I can think of is a fresh install of Big Sur. It just perplexes me that these 2 ISO's don't seem to want to work, and others do. I've tried playing around with various VM settings. Happy to share any debug logs.

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Hi mattwhatkins,

Thanks for the great set of experiments and observations you've already performed.  It's a weird failure, that's for sure.  I doubt that reinstalling the host OS will help, but ... surprises do happen.  Some quick ideas for things to try first:

- If you create the VM on your Fusion 11.5/Catalina host and then move the VM over to your Fusion 12/Big Sur host, does it fail in the same way?  If I were testing this myself, I would create the VM on the F11.5/Catalina host, power it on and check that it gets past the point of failure, but I would not install the guest OS yet.  Copy the VM over to the F12/BigSur host and power it on and see what happens... (When powering on on the F12 host, ignore the prompt to upgrade the virtual machine... keep it as it is.)

- Check that your VM is configured with sufficient RAM.  We detect Debian and Ubuntu and have explicit defaults for those distros, but Kali and Parrot we will probably treat as generic Linux, so their defaults might be ... less ideal.  (Although then I would have thought that your friend still would have encountered the same failure, as would your F11/Catalina host...)

- Try removing all unnecessary virtual hardware (network adapter, sound card, USB controller) just to see if the problem is specific to some piece of virtual hardware.  (Again, I don't think it will be, but let's eliminate possibilities.)

- Configure the virtual machine to collect Hang/Crash troubleshooting information and see if the virtual machine fails in the same way.  Sometimes enabling Hang/Crash troubleshooting will surface a different and more specific failure.  Even if it fails in the same way, enabling that troubleshooting option will usually put much more useful information into the vmware.log file which might help us understand what is happening.

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I experienced the same issue when trying to boot a Windows Vista install ISO in Fusion 12.0.0 on macOS Big Sur 11.0.1. I was able to resolve the issue by changing the OS type in the VM preferences --> General --> OS. See attached screenshot.

Screenshot 2020-11-17 at 08.22.32.png

 

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Hey @dariusd,

Thanks for your concise reply, you might be onto something here. By default I always upgrade my existing VMs to the latest version so thought nothing of this. Creating the VM with Fusion 11.5 on my Catalina host and copying that over to my F12/Big Sur host the VM works as expected. I'm able to perform the install and boot. To confirm, I made a copy of the VMs and performed a VM upgrade (from hardware version 16 to 18) and the problem returns. See the attached screenshot which shows each distro working before and failing after upgrade. Similarly, taking my old VM and changing the hardware version under compatability settings back to 16 allows it to work OK!

For reference, the VMs were defaulting to 2GB RAM which should be sufficient - I used the same VM for various ISO's to isolate the VM settings. Also, I tried removing as much hardware as I could (whilst allowing the VM to still boot) to no avail too. 

Seems to me like a bug in the hardware version/compatibility settings. Are you able to reproduce this on your end, or can I help with troubleshooting further?

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Hi,

One other thing to try.
Saw some of this mentioned earlier in the forum and there they said that changing the guest OS to "Other Linux Kernel" helped.

Will try and see if I can reproduce any of this.
--
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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FYI, I installed both Parrot as well as Kali on my late 2014 mac mini running Big Sur and Fusion 12 and had no problem with either VM. Upgraded Kali to the very latest using apt-get update/upgrade/dist-upgrade rebooted ... no problem.
So I cannot help analysing this any further.

edit:

PS, I forgot to mention that I used "Debian 10 x64" as guest OS for both.

--
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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Thanks for that @mattwhatkins !  Narrowing it down to the virtual hardware version is a huge win.  I am still not able to reproduce the problem here.  It is quite likely then that it is related to some CPU feature which is available in your 2020 MacBook Pro but is not available on any of my machines, the newest of which is a 2018 Mac Mini.  We usually link the availability of new host CPU capabilities to a new virtual hardware version, too.

For the next debugging step, I'd like to collect a vmware.log file from you if you're OK with it.  Take a fresh Kali Linux VM created with virtual hardware version 18, set the Hang/Crash troubleshooting option which I referenced earlier, power it on to reproduce the failure, then power it off.  Look inside the virtual machine's bundle for the file named vmware.log, and upload it as an attachment to a reply here.  (The vmware.log file can contain some identifying and possibly personal info – usernames, IP addresses, disk names, etc... Do feel free to filter it however you might see fit, prior to posting it here.  I will let you know if I should happen need any of the information you filtered out.)

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

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Hey @dariusd ,

This is now fixed in Fusion 12.1; I've tested copying VMs and creating a fresh VM with hardware version 18 and I'm unable to replicate the issue now. 

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I'm having a similar issue with my kali linux. I saw other people having the issue in windows and I don't see a known fix. Screen Shot 2020-12-13 at 5.39.57 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-12-13 at 5.40.04 PM.png

https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/574760/kali-linux-apt-update-returns-hash-sum-mismatch-erro...

 

is the same issue happening on a windows sytem. Thank you in advance. 

 

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