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rjf7r
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

can Fusion run Ventura and beyond VMs on base system that can't run Ventura?

I have a well-provisioned 2015 iMac that can't be upgraded to Ventura.  Can Fusion on such a system run virtual machines that run Ventura?

So far I have tried to upgrade a Monterey VM to Ventura.  The upgrade is allowed but the resulting VM doesn't run in a useful fashion (it boots but I can't login).

Is there any way to make this work?

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11 Replies
Technogeezer
Immortal
Immortal

The short answer is: yes it can. But the longer answer depends on what version of Fusion and what version of macOS are you running.

The last supported version of macOS on a 2015 iMac (if it's a late-2015 model) is Monterey. That means that Fusion 13.5 will still run on it. That combination of Monterey and Fusion 13.5 will definitely run a Ventura VM.

You may be running into a change in Ventura that's causing your upgraded Monterey VM  to fail to boot. If you're upgrading an old VM, you need to be aware that Ventura no longer has a driver for the Intel e1000 device that Fusion configures for VMs running Monterey or earlier. The virtual network card type has to be changed to vmxnet3 in order for Ventura to run. That change can be made in a couple of ways:

  •  In Fusion 13.0.1, 13.0.2, and 13.5, go to the VM's settings and change the guest OS type to macOS 13, then delete and re-create the network adapter.
  • Or, shut down the VM and Fusion, and change the .vmx file for the VM to reflect a virtual device type of vmxnet3 for ethernet0 instead of e1000e.

 

- Paul (Technogeezer)
Editor of the Unofficial Fusion Companion Guides
Technogeezer
Immortal
Immortal

Also note that there are applications in newer macOS releases that don't work without 3D acceleration. The default VMware SVGA driver doesn't support 3D acceleration. You may need to fiddle around with enabling Metal support with VMware KB article https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/81657 - and even then, there's no guarantee that things will work properly (the Metal support is a subset of Metal capabilities).

Remember that VMware has deprecated support for VMware Tools on macOS across the board. They are not guaranteed to work in any macOS release past Monterey. As of this writing, nothing seems to be broken with Ventura and Sonoma, but that could change at any time depending on changes Apple decides to make. 

- Paul (Technogeezer)
Editor of the Unofficial Fusion Companion Guides
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ColoradoMarmot
Champion
Champion

One other nuance - there are CPU instructions that later versions of MacOS are dependent on, so that can also be a problem.

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rjf7r
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I changed to vmxnet3 in the vmx file, but I still get to the same point.  The initial logon screen is displayed, but it does not respond to the keyboard or mouse.  What's stopping it there?

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Technogeezer
Immortal
Immortal

Can you post the vmware.log file for that VM so we can take a look and see if we can find anything.

- Paul (Technogeezer)
Editor of the Unofficial Fusion Companion Guides
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rjf7r
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

log attached, thanks

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Technogeezer
Immortal
Immortal

From what I can see, yes, this VM has been upgraded from earlier VMs. There are items related to USB controllers that are not present in your VM that doesn't work compared to my VM that does work. That might be the cause of your problem. I can also see that you have not changed the settings for this VM to macOS 13 - to reflect the fact that it's running Ventura.

Here's something you can try that won't touch the original VM, but that might both clean up your .vmx file and probably fix the problem.

Create a new custom VM with a guest OS type of macOS 13 (you can do that since you're running under Fusion 13.5).

When asked for the virtual disk, opt to use an existing virtual disk. In the file selection dialog, navigate and drill down into the original VM and select the highlighted vmdk file (the dialog will let you drill into the VM without needing to "Show Package Contents). Make sure the button is selected to make a copy of the virtual disk - it'll copy it into your new VM and leave the old one alone.

At the "Finish" dialog,  elect to customize it (don't hit Finish). Name and save the VM. At that point the original VMDK will be copied into the new VM. When that finishes, make any configuration changes you want (for example the virtual networking and shared folders - you may also want to increase the memory to 4GB if you can, Ventura is a bit more memory hungry). Then power on the VM and see if things are any better. You always have the old VM to go back to in case this didn't work.

 

- Paul (Technogeezer)
Editor of the Unofficial Fusion Companion Guides
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rjf7r
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Well, I did one thing -- increased the memory to 4GB -- and now Sonoma allows me to login and I can do things.    There are some cosmetic issues.  It is rather slow, but then the underlying physical machine has been slow lately.

Thank you for your help!

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Technogeezer
Immortal
Immortal

You may also wish to check out turning on the Metal 3D support as noted in KB article https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/81657

More and more Mac apps are assuming that Metal is available, and there are a few that simply won't work without it . Enabling Metal per the KB article may help.

 

- Paul (Technogeezer)
Editor of the Unofficial Fusion Companion Guides
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rjf7r
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Turned on Metal support as described, and appearance issues seem to have improved.

The old (upgraded) VM had VMware Tools installed.  I uninstalled them, but noticed that there is a new VMware Tools available for download.  Is that supported/recommended?

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Technogeezer
Immortal
Immortal

Use the VMware Tools that's offered by Fusion 13.5 (Virtual Machine > Install VMware Tools).

There is a newer version that fixes a couple of security vulnerabilities in the Tools. But I'd stick with the version bundled with 13.5 initially. You can download and upgrade them later should you desire.

 

 

- Paul (Technogeezer)
Editor of the Unofficial Fusion Companion Guides
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