The Unofficial Fusion for Apple Silicon Companion Guide

The Unofficial Fusion for Apple Silicon Companion Guide

Using inspiration from (and with apologies to) David Pogue's 'Missing Manual" series, I humbly present:

The Unofficial Fusion for Apple Silicon Companion Guide
Version 26, 2024-04-02

The manual that VMware didn't publish and the one that you will need...

Changes in Version 26

Cosmetic/Formatting Changes

  • Commands that were too long to fit on one line were proving to be difficult to copy/paste from the pdf form of the Companion. The display of commands in general have been changed to make copy/paste from the pdf document easier and more reliable.General:
  • Known Issues sections have been introduced to organize items that aren’t tips and techniques, but rather are problems/gotchas that have been found by the community.
  • Miscellaneous other cosmetic/formatting changes to cross-references within the Companion document. Readers will note the addition of page numbers for cross-references and more prominent numbering of figures/screen shots in the document..

Updated content:

  • GNOME 46 is now appearing in Linux distributions and is introducing issues with 3D acceleration on Fusion. Discussions have been added with workarounds for users that are experiencing these issues.
  • The Companion has been updated to reflect the release of VMware Tools 12.4.0. This new Tools release introduces OpenGL support for Windows 11 ARM VMs.
  • A workaround to the DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION crash and other hangs on Windows 11 ARM VMs is provided.
  • An expanded discussion on 3D capabilities for Windows ARM VMs is now available.
  • Updates to reflect the release of Fusion 13.5.1. This includes:
    • A discussion of the security content of the release, which contains fixes to a critical vulnerability.
    • Fixes to the “Get Windows from Microsoft” tool in the Fusion GUI when running a non-English version of macOS.
  • Updates to reflect the release of macOS Sonoma 14.4, which fixes the issue of Fusion crashing when macOS VoiceOver or Full Keyboard Access features are enabled.
  • Because of the number of posts seen in the discussion forums about the GNS3 and EVE-NG network simulation software not working on Apple Silicon, a new topic has been added.


The Companion Guide contains tips and techniques that were provided through the experiences of the broader Fusion community while running the Tech Preview releases on Apple Silicon Macs. It can save you searching the forum for frequently encountered issues.

The Companion Guide may answer many questions that aren't covered by reading the VMware Fusion documentation. Take a look at it before you start creating VMs - you might find something that will make your life easier. If you have a question that you're thinking about posting in the forum, check out the Companion first - it may already contain an answer to your question.

Of particular interest to Windows users is the section on Windows 11 on ARM. This section is chock full of information, procedures, and screen shots that should help you be successful in the installation of Windows 11 on Fusion 13..5

For you Linux users, you haven't been left out. There is plenty of content to help you as well, especially if you are an Ubuntu or Fedora user.

This document will be updated as the community experience with Fusion 13.5 grows and is discussed in the forums.

Enjoy and please post any comments or questions about the Companion to the Fusion forums.

NOTE: Please stay on topic if replying to this document thread. Post issues here that are related to the content of the Guide (e.g. errors, typos, clarifications, suggestions, things that don't work as noted in the Guide). Other issues with Fusion or your VM (e.g. VM doesn't work/won't boot/can't install/crashes/behaves strangely after upgrade), should be posted to the VMware Fusion Community forum


Did you use the new system to create the ISO or the VHDX?  If the latter, that's probably why (it's an insider build)

Make sure you have configured both Secure Boot and the Trusted Platform Module device. Windows will refuse to install unless you have both of these.

(Use the Fusion encryption option to encrypt only the files needed to support a TPM device. There's no need to use the option to fully encrypt all the files of the VM).

@ColoradoMarmot If the device is seen attached to the guest via USB with USB drivers for it in the guest for it, it just might work as Fusion's not doing the graphics work. It'd be the dongle plus its USB drivers. It kind of would depend on if Fusion really passes through the USB device completely to the guest. 

I'm not sure what build. I followed the steps in the document and an iso named: "22621.525.220925-0207.ni_release_svc_refresh_CLIENTCONSUMER_RET_A64FRE_en-us.iso" was generated. That's what I used to install. Did I do something wrong? 

The ISO has the old version of Windows. I will have to re-create it. 

Screenshot 2023-03-14 at 5.21.42 PM.png

That's the right iso. Are both Secure Boot and the TPM devices available for the VM (check the Settings of the VM).

@santhonysasse Could you start a thread in the VMware Fusion Discussions forum on this and attach a copy of the VM's configuration (.vmx) file?


Was this for me Tinker1954.

@ColoradoMarmot If the device is seen attached to the guest via USB with USB drivers for it in the guest for it, it just might work as Fusion's not doing the graphics work. It'd be the dongle plus its USB drivers. It kind of would depend on if Fusion really passes through the USB device completely to the guest. 

@Tinker1954 it was primarily a response to @ColoradoMarmot but that was in reply to your question about using that Sonnet device with a Windows 11 ARM VM. 

If the device can be seen from Windows as a USB device and the drivers are loaded in the Windows VM, then there's a chance things might work as Fusion is not involved in the video display. One thing, though, is that I've heard of issues with some types of USB devices not working with Fusion's USB pass through. I don't know if that will apply to what you want to do with the Sonnet DisplayLink adapter, though.

If I had one of those I'd try it out for you, but I don't have either the displays nor the device to do so...


@Technogeezer  OK Thank You I will continue to research ALL because APPLE ##### we all have too jump though hoops.😂

Hi all, I posted video tutorial on YouTube that may be helpful for some. I still highly recommend you follow the documentation as well.



This video is FABULOUS!  👍 👏

May I post a link to it in the Companion Guide?

Thanks Technogeezer. Sure. I created it for the community. 

Thank You 

Thanks for this very helpful document.

WSL is a no go because of no nested virtualization

WSL1 works fine in a Windows 11 ARM VM. WSL2 does not because of the nested virtualization.

Thank You for your Document to install WIN11 ARM with Fusion on my Macmini ARM.

Greets from Bavaria 


@stetec - you are very welcome. I'm glad that the Companion Guide was able to help you out. 

Just wondering if anyone has a view on the impact of battery life running Windows 11 on Fusion on a M1 Macbook Air with 16gb memory?

I'm wondering if a way to get Netflix offline in Macos for use on planes etc is to run it inside Fusion!

It's definitely a hit - you'd be better off with an iPad, but it's a whole lot better than intel.

@Technogeezer Could you add a note about...  Specifying E1000E rather than e1000; and ensuring USB is enabled to enable keyboard/mouse (even over VNC)?  Ref 

There's also some minor stuff about tweaking over to SATA if using standard packer templates (probably to become more popular over the next few weeks now that Packer/Vagrant is going to be working for VMWare) - that's pretty minor -

@israelshirk Both of the configurations you state are out-of-the-box defaults for Fusion VMs created through the traditional GUI-based mechanisms. Sounds like you're a more advanced user that's automating deployment.

I'm not very conversant on the use of chef/packer/Vagrant so I'd like to include content that's somewhat intelligible.  If you can provide some additional content (you can PM me with a draft of what you'd like to see included), I'd be happy to include them in the Companion. 

@Technogeezer Yeah, I might've been around the block once or twice 😉 Working on getting the rest of the Hashicorp stack integrated, then I'll start on more complete documentation.  It looks like things have gotten past the cusp of automated usability in the last day or so!

Consider this statement from the guide.

"Canonical does not provide a GA (generally available) version of Ubuntu Desktop for ARM architectures. They only provide Ubuntu Desktop for Intel/AMD architectures. The only official GA releases that you will find for ARM are for Ubuntu Server."

Why does Canonical not provide a GA Ubuntu Desktop? Do they get money from Intel? Is there some Apple legal reason?

I've never seen a company as hostile to a user community as they are.  From regressions, to disappearing release files, to inconsistent support, it's a wonder that they're as popular and successful as they are.

To be fair, ARM desktop is a niche of a niche product, so it's probably a cost/benefit tradeoff, but even for the server all the other issues exist.

Why does Canonical not provide a GA Ubuntu Desktop? Do they get money from Intel? Is there some Apple legal reason?

That is a very good question and you would have to ask Canonical. There is nothing that Apple or VMware has done to block Canonical from releasing a Ubuntu Desktop for ARM.  It’s strictly a Canonical decision not to do it for anything other than Intel. 

Thank you for this guide. It was the only document that allowed me to get a working Windows 11 VM in my M1 mac. Your efforts are very appreciated!

Thank you! You did a really good job on this.

This guide is pure gold! An infinite THANK YOU. Please continue to keep it updated as you are doing! It's way too precious.

Hey Technogeezer -- Since we can't copy and paste yet between windows and mac (Why?!), if we need to use our iCloud passwords in safari, we need working iCloud in the VM.

I've had some trouble getting the iCloud for windows control panel running.  It's a bug I plan to report to apple, but it's installed via the windows app store, which doesn't do proper dependency checking, so the install process will crash and burn with errors like this:




If you install the Visual c++ redistributable files (linked from here:, iCloud will now work under windows 11 ARM.

(I've seen several people complaining on the mac forums, but the posts were too old to reply to).

I've got my own post about this all over at my medium page.  (

Can't boot ISO ... still get error below, after connecting to ISO file, per all previous comments in this thread:

>>>Start PXE over IPv4.

I'm using ISO file:


Have tried to change boot manager order, by getting to the BIOS while it's booting by pressing F2 ...  the bios manager comes up, I change the boot order so the CD is ahead of the Network adapter. But still get PXE message. It doesn't seem to see the CD which is linked to the ISO file. 

I have a MacBook Air m1 ... no idea. I do have the parallels windows insider file I've converted for the windows insider program, but want a clean, upgradable fresh install, for my Windows enterprises license. 

Any ideas? I'm completely stuck.

You should not need to change the boot order if you have the virtual CD/DVD device connected to the VM and the device configured for the ISO file before you power it up. Double check your VM's settings with the VM powered off and make sure of that. 

On power up, you should see a message before the PXE boot message saying:

"Press any key to boot from CD or DVD"

You MUST click in the VM's console window and press any keyboard key before that prompt times out (about 5 seconds) or the ISO installer will not boot.


Technogeezer, thanks for quick reply  .... I don't get the 'press any key ..."  timeout message ... just immediately goes to PXE error. 

Have tried to change boot manager order, by getting to the BIOS while it's booting by pressing F2 ...  the bios manager comes up, I change the boot order so the CD is ahead of the Network adapter. But still get PXE message. It doesn't seem to see the CD which is linked to the ISO file.

Technogeezer ... I see my error, I've downloaded the x64 ISO, not the ARM ISO ... I can't find the ARM iso ... any ideas how to locate it? I don't want the windows insider build, want the full version ISO for my license key. 

Please see the Companion Guide that's available at the top of this thread. It will guide you on how to create an ISO for Windows 11 ARM because Microsoft in its infinite wisdom (sarcasm) doesn't deem mere mortals as worthy of downloading an ISO for Windows 11 ARM. The generated ISO is (currently) the Windows 11 ARM 22H2 22621.1702 Public Release build (a.k.a. "the real thing" -  not a Release Preview, Beta, Dev, or Canary channel build) .

For an enterprise edition license, you probably will want the Enterprise edition ISO of Windows 11 ARM. Use the instructions in the Companion Guide to download and execute a utility that will create the ISO for you, but where it instructs you to execute a command to build the ISO, use the following command line instead:

./w11arm_esd2iso -b en-us

The -b option tells the utility to create an ISO containing Windows 11 ARM Pro and Enterprise editions instead of Home and Pro editions. 

Quick question, has anyone tried to install arch? I get kernel panics after the installation. I have an archboot iso (archboot-2023.05.10-04.07-aarch64.iso) but I can't get it to work

Techogeezer ... that works, downloaded and installing now ... Thanks! 

Maybe this was obvious to everyone else but me, but the workaround for the lack of copy/paste in Fusion is . . . Remote Desktop! I just RDPed into my WinARM11 instance, and I can copy/paste!

I can't believe it took me this long to stumble upon it. 

Bravo on all the hard work to help our community.

I've noticed that FileHistory does not exist on Win11 on Apple Silicon (M1). Anyone know how to add it?

You might want to ask this to Microsoft. It does appear that Microsoft "forgot" to include it in Windows 11 ARM (and I'm running their official releases, and not a bets or :insider pre-release. 

It would be interesting to see if a Parallels user has the same issue, because the installation source for their Windows 11 is the same as what we recommend for Fusion.

Just FYI. I asked about File History in the Microsoft Community forums. The answer I got was that they haven’t implemented File History yet for Windows 11 ARM. So I guess there’s nothing to do to get it to work other than wait for Microsoft. 

Thank you for confirming!

I needed to convert my aarch64 openSUSE VM on Parallels 18 to VMWare Fusion 13. Searching Internet didn't provide a straightforward answer, but I found hints.

So I was eventually able to succeed in doing it.

Just wanted to post how I did it if anybody else is searching for the same. Possibly this would work for other distros as well, such as Ubuntu.


Clone the Parallels opneSUSE VM (so that all snapshots and Parallels guest tools can be removed without disturbing the existing VM)

Delete all VM snapshots in the clone.

Start the cloned VM and remove Parallels tools in the clone.

Turn off VM.

You will need Homebrew ( installed on the Mac. And the package 'qemu'.

$ brew install qemu

Open a terminal and cd to Parallels VM directory where the VM .hds file is located, e.g. in my case:

$ cd $HOME/Parallels/openSUSE.pvm/openSUSE-0.hdd
$ qemu-img convert -f parallels "openSUSE-0.hdd.0.{5fbaabe3-6958-40ff-92a7-860e329aab41}.hds" -O vmdk -o compat6 opensuse.vmdk

This .vmdk file can be used to create a new virtual machine in VMWare.
Move it to keep in somewhere reasonable location.
Or transfer to some other Mac (preferably using rsync).

In VMWare Fusion:
File > New
Create a custom virtual machine.
Choose the appropriate Linux version. (In my case 'Linux > Other Linux 5.x kernel 64/bit Arm')
Use an existing virtual disk. (Pick the .vmdk file created from the qemu-img command above).

The new VM will initially not boot. But it will contain all settings and all apps from the previous installation.

Now you can repair the installation (or in my case, upgrade to the next release 15.5). Because openSUSE 15.5 just had been released and my existing VM was 15.4 it was only a matter of upgrading to the new release. Alternatively I could possibly have used the same release DVD to "upgrade", but that would initially have downgraded all packages to the release versions.

You need the installation DVD:

Download and mount the DVD in the VM that you just created.
VM > Settings > Removable Devices > CD/DVD
- Tick 'Connect CD/DVD Drive'
- Select the downloaded DVD ISO image

Make sure to change to boot order to boot from the installation DVD.
VM > Settings > Other > Startup Disk > CD/DVD

During upgrade it was possible to modify the URLs and keep the repos that I already had. So I could keep almost all extra packages that I had installed. After upgrade finished almost all apps were kept and almost all settings.

Another possibility, that I never had to explore since I did the upgrade route, would have been to try an actual repair as described here: ''


Dear All and @TheWaterbug ,

would it be possible to post or send a link with detailed step-by-step instructions on how you connected with WindowsRemoteDesktop to Win-11-arm (incl. NAT configuration [if required?], selection of IP addresses and correct writing of username etc)?

I am honestly not very advanced with network settings and currently stuck with file transfer between MacOS host and Win11-arm guest on VMwareFusion 13 Pro, with the infos contained in the links below I was able to create new network adapter but was not able to proceed further.

kind regards and many thx!



To the best of my knowledge, the procedure to enable remote administration is exactly the same as any other windows 11 PC.   There's nothing special here about it being on an ARM system, which is largely the point of this guide.  You enable remote desktop in the control panel.


As regards networking, I found this Github Gist which is remarkably useful for giving ANY host a static IP when it's on my mac:

This is also not specific to the ARM version of Fusion or MacOS.  I think you're looking for more generic advice, but I hope these help


@Stork76, see AFerrit's answer, above.

Dear @AFerrit  and @TheWaterbug , Dear All,

thanks a lot, it works!!!

I am using both VmwareFusion 13.0.2 Pro with Win11-arm-Pro and after several trials (including to add own NAT configuration although not sure if was required (?) I am able to access now Win11-pro with Microsoft Remote Desktop, which includes sharing folders from Mac.

Kind regards and thanks for support, great community!



Is there some way to adjust the CPU frequency in a Windows host?  My Windows 11 guest thinks the CPU is 2.0 GHz.  I'm running on MacBook Pro M2 which should be 3.5GHz.  The guest OS feels sluggish.Screenshot 2023-07-23 at 3.48.14 PM.png

It's not the reported CPU frequency that is causing "sluggishness". The CPU frequency reported by Windows is irrelevant.  macOS does not always run its cores at their highest speed. It adjusts both the CPU frequency and type of core (performance vs efficiency) for each virtual CPU that's being run by your Windows VM (and seems to do a much, much better job than Microsoft/Intel does on Alder Lake CPUs). From anecdotal evidence it seems to prefer the performance cores when running Fusion.

"feels sluggish" is a subjective term. What feels "sluggish"?

Some thoughts:

  • What is the load on your host Mac when your VM is running? 
  • How much memory is on that MacBook, and what is the memory pressure as reported by the macOS Activity Monitor
  • Where are you running the VMs from (the Mac's SSD disk or an external disk)?
  • Are you running any AV solution that's scanning the virtual machine. If so, configure your AV 

You might want to try the 2023 Tech Preview - it now supports 3D acceleration that might make the UI seem "more responsive". 

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