ejbrennan99
Contributor
Contributor

vmware fusion on m1 'goal'

I understand 'we are working on it', and I also understand that the likelihood of pinning anyone down with a target date is not going to happen - none-the-less, I need to make a hardware purchase decision soon so at least want to understand what the vmware fusion goal is, because I don't necessarily understand the underlying details of what needs to happen, so:

I would prefer to stay in OSX - I currently use both a MBP16 with vmware fusion and a dell workstation running workstation 16 - and with that combo I can easily move my VM's back and forth between the two - usually developing on the Mac, and then moving vm's onto my workstation to run continuously.

I also run a mix of about a dozen VM's: windows 10, 7, server 2012 and server 2016 - and yes, even a 'mission-critical windows xp machine that needs to run at least 5 more years. (There is no way to port the application that runs on this for less than 750K, which is a non-starter).

It seems a lot of the talk is around getting an arm version of windows working - at least first - on the apple ARM machines, but will it even ever be possible to support previously built VM's (like my list above), on an M1? Is that even a goal at this point - is the only goal to be able to support brand new installs of windows? 

Reason I am asking: need to purchase a new machine, considering a macpro loaded with disk and memory to server as both my new development machine, AND to host and run my old VM's - a current macpro with intel chip can do this well - but don't want to drop $15K on a pro level workstation if it is just about to be made obsolete by apple - on the other hand, if running old vm's on a new macpro with apple silicon will never be possible (or satisfactory) - at least I would feel like I am not wasting my money if I can get 5+ years out of the macpro investment.

Anyone?

 

0 Kudos
21 Replies
dlhotka
Champion
Champion

So far their stated goal is to get ARM based OS's running on the M1.  That may include Windows ARM, which has a beta version of x86/64 emulation in it - but how good that is, is yet to be determined.  Plus Windows ARM is only available via OEM licenses.  If your software doesn't run on Windows 10, then that's definitely a non-starter.

There is a non-zero, but low, chance that either VMWare or Apple will pull a rabbit out of the hat and allow emulation of x86 OS's on ARM hardware, but again, if they do I expect it'd be for Windows 10.  Other ones are a longer long-shot.  

Apple will likely support Intel based machines until they're officially obsolete, but since they don't actually state how long that is, 4-5 years is probably a safe guess on the low end.

The best option is to wait and see - by the end of this year, we should know a lot more about what the future looks like.  If you have to buy a new machine now, and have to run Intel OS's, then buy an Intel machine.  That's the only safe bet.

And to be clear - the M1's that are available today are nowhere near MacPro level performance, so there's no other option currently anyway.

ejbrennan99
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks - that is pretty much what I figured - that, at best, a version of win10 *might* be supported - but most of the threads I find on the issue (Not here, but elsewhere on the net), seem to quickly deteriorate to arguments about emulation vs virtualization - whereas most vmware users just want to know if there is a clear upgrade path for doing what we have always done (run any os inside a mac) - wether it is by emulation OR virtualization, as long as it works.

I can find very few signs of encouragement anywhere that would lead me to believe that an M1 will be able to run any of my older VM's - ever - and at the same time the impact of this change is going to seriously affect people like me who depend on this working - but then again, I suppose apple knows there market better than I do and my particular needs don't matter in the grand scope of things.

 

Tags (2)
0 Kudos
dlhotka
Champion
Champion

For myself, I expect at some point to be able to run Windows ARM, and then emulate x86/64 inside that VM.  Now does that mean I can run games the way I can today?  Eh, that's a toss-up, and I'm looking into cloud gaming services for that use case.  I do expect to be able to run more general applications well enough.

 

The question is, do I have to join Microsofts developer program to get a legal license?  Unknown long term, but right now yes.

I don't expect older x86 OS's to run.

So that's kind of my conservative/realistic/minimalistic view.

0 Kudos
TECH198
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

lol... pulling a rabbit out of a hat, i'd like to see Apple do THAT, but i doubt that will happen.. The problem is Microsoft won't license any other OS for ARM, other than Windows 10,so tats the only license version that will work with these products.

Till that happens,,choices are slim. That's why i say "Microsoft  has Apple by the ....."  

But i think the point for now is clear.  VMware will only run Windows ARM (...that's the insider preview) when public.. In the meantime, Parallels beta is already out with Windows 10 ARM running, so i dunno what the hold up could be to take their time... VMware did start later though, so maybe that's why, its taking more time. With comparative feature sets, i don't think VWare would have "more" do to as they all basically have the same under-the-hood anyway.

If CrossOver can do it, then i'm sure MS can give us a license to run windows on ARM....  . Even though CrossOver is translation of 'processes" not the entire OS, it's still to x86-sh isn't it ?

 

0 Kudos
Technogeezer
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

I disagree that “Microsoft has Apple by the…” Apple’s primary business is not running Windows on the Mac. If it was, they would have never switched off of the x86 chipset. Apple made the change to Apple Silicon for their long term goals and the unfortunate side effect is that Windows users have to make ( in some cases painful) decisions about continuing use of the Mac platform. 

From what I see from VMware on the topic, you will not see VMware supporting an ARM version of Windows until Microsoft’s EULA allows its use on Apple Silicon and they sell it to other than OEMs. Maybe that will change with Windows 11 as Microsoft made vague statements like requiring a “modern 64 bit processor” for Windows 11 and not explicitly saying x86 compatible processor.  Ball’s in Microsofts court. 

Other vendors that allow the preview version of Windows 10 for ARM to run are very likely in violation of Microsoft EULA and don’t tell you that there’s no way to buy it legally when it’s eventually released  

Crossover doesn’t use Windows and so it doesn’t need a Microsoft license. 

There’s still a lot of x86-ish stuff that Crossover has to deal with. Windows applications are still x86 code. That tells me in order for them to support running on Apple Silicon, Rosetta 2 may figure into the mix. WINE that underlies Crossover doesn’t have an x86 emulator. 

0 Kudos
Technogeezer
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hey @Mikero , if you’re out there, can you say anything about Windows 11 and if it’s moved any needles on licensing the ARM version to end users or supporting Apple Silicon?

0 Kudos
scott28tt
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Isn’t that a question for Microsoft?

 


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Although I am a VMware employee I contribute to VMware Communities voluntarily (ie. not in any official capacity)
VMware Training & Certification blog
0 Kudos
Technogeezer
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

@scott28tt yes it is but I would hope that since it impacts Fusion that Mike may have some insights. 

0 Kudos
Mikero
Community Manager
Community Manager

Nothing new that I'm allowed to share yet that I haven't shared already on the MS EULA front.

VM/CPU-level emulation is almost a non-starter. Expect no rabbits.

These are forward-looking devices who eschew legacy dependency in favor of high-velocity changes. This creates a variety of issues beyond the time it would take to engineer an MVP.

Ultimately, if Apple could have done it with all of their resources, I imagine that x86 VM support would probably have been included in Rosetta 2. 

For WoA, folks have the right impressions here. We can't legally start development on in-guest stuff for WoA until MS has a viable license for non-oem partners to do development with. That's even before we get to 'will the public ever be able to buy WoA'.

Making it boot isn't all that different than Linux, nor does that violate any EULAs. And you can see in the screenshot that we're already there. The issue is that once the desktop opens, we 'accept the EULA'. To build guest drivers and such, we need to have license to do so and then to install, run and test it within a guest.

What's new that I can share is that our Tech Preview will be rolling out in phases.
First phase is with our partners and our newly-forming Desktop Hypervisor vExpert Sub-Program. vExperts are encouraged to apply!
Public TP should be before end of summer assuming no critical bugs that come up.

If you're a customer with a large deployment of Fusion users in your org and are looking into M1, we would love to talk. DM me, email me (mroy at vmware) or find me on Twitter @mikeroysoft 😃

We were waiting on some patches in Linux kernel 5.13 to support OVT, so now that that's out we need the distro's to pick them up so we can start shipping Open VM Tools (aka OVT) upstream. We stopped shipping OVT in Fusion a couple years back, it's all baked into the distros now. 

Anyway, our progress is going well and ahead of our expectations, but if your goal is to run x86 apps that won't even run on W10, you should stick with existing hardware and virtualization solutions.  Thankfully, because we are perpetually licensed, your copy of Fusion will never 'expire' and you won't have to keep paying just to keep your VMs on older hardware going.

 

-
Michael Roy - PM/PMM: Fusion & Workstation
0 Kudos
Technogeezer
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Thank you @Mikero for your honest answers. It's probably as frustrating to you to see VMware slammed for WoA VM support on Fusion because "the competition has it already" as it is for Windows VM customers to have to deal with the Apple Silicon architecture changes for Macs. And also that the reason "the competition has it already" is because they appear to be willingly violating/ignoring EULAs to do it.

VMware has a lot more at stake from Microsoft coming down on you for EULA issues than the "competition" does.

Good news though on the Tech Previews. I don't qualify as a vExpert, but I will take a look at the Public TP when announced.

0 Kudos
wila
Immortal
Immortal

Mike,


@Mikero wrote:

Making it boot isn't all that different than Linux, nor does that violate any EULAs. And you can see in the screenshot that we're already there.


but but... Windows 11...

(don't you hate it when compatibility is such a moving target?)

FWIW, Windows 11 runs great as a VM on intel.
Sadly still have no M1 down here, so can't run tests with that as of yet.

--
Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
0 Kudos
Mikero
Community Manager
Community Manager

W11oA does seem to have some unique boot-time requirements which were not present in W10oA that we have to take into account.

I'm seeing users of the competition have mixed results there. Some say 'it just worked', others are struggling with the exact same steps.
We're still investigating, so I don't want to comment further until Engineering has a handle on what the real story is.

 

-
Michael Roy - PM/PMM: Fusion & Workstation
0 Kudos
wila
Immortal
Immortal

Mike,

I was just pulling your leg.
Thanks for the honest answer though. 🙂
--
Wil

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

Microsoft is still trying to figure out how Windows 11 is going to work.

0 Kudos
SvenGus
Expert
Expert

Windows 11 actually seems to run better in Fusion than in Parallels: no vTPM module is necessary, probably because a virtual environment is recognized by the installer; while in Parallels you must first add the virtual TPM module, otherwise it won’t install. Only downside: in Fusion, if you have nested virtualization enabled, running Windows 11 in Catalina is a must: in Big Sur, it’s unusably slow, even more than Windows 10; and, sadly, this problem with the Apple hypervisor and nested virtualization performance probably isn’t going to be fixed: but let’s at least hope this will be better with M1 Macs, if and when they will be licensed to run Windows…

0 Kudos
SvenGus
Expert
Expert

… BTW, among other things, WSL 2 seems to be there also on Windows for ARM.

0 Kudos
dlhotka
Champion
Champion

Now all we need is a non-OEM EULA....

0 Kudos
gringley
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I did build a new VM with a TPM for Windows 11.  I am curious if Windows Hello features are available on your VM as those required a TPM?

0 Kudos
SvenGus
Expert
Expert

In Fusion, however, you must encrypt the VM in order to use vTPM; while in Parallels the TPM module can be added also without encrypting the whole VM (it only adds an entry in Keychain Access).

0 Kudos