14 Replies Latest reply on Jun 28, 2020 5:31 PM by taw123

    VMware Fusion HOSTING of NEWER version of Mac OS the NATIVELY installed?

    taw123 Novice

      Can one use VMware Fusion to serve a NEWER version of Mac OS in a container than is natively installed as the HOST OS. Use case: run Catalina (or other Mac OS > 10.12.6) in a VMware Fusion container hosted by Mac OS 10.12.6 (Sierra). Reasons for this include trying to run current TurboTax, obtain entitlement for Apple Configurator, and testing potential upgrade and deployment scenarios. Hardware (MacBook Pro) NATIVELY supports running Catalina so no hardware limitation....

       

      Running "future" or test versions of an OS in VM that is hosted on a PREVIOUS version of Mac OS is a PERFECTLY reasonable IT test procedure where redundant compatible hardware may not be available.

       

      THANKS!!

      Tom 

        • 1. Re: VMware Fusion HOSTING of NEWER version of Mac OS the NATIVELY installed?
          dlhotka Virtuoso

          Yes, but the version of Fusion has to support both the host and guest.  For example, the current version of Fusion, 11.5.5, which does support Catalina as a guest, doesn't support Sierra as a host.


          Sierra is quite old at this point (and has a lot of security vulnerabilities - I wouldn't let it on the Internet).  Is there a reason to not upgrade the host to a supported version of OSX?

           

          One other note - OSX guests don't support 3D Acceleration, so if your application requires that capability, you'll experience challenges getting it to work the same way it would natively (if it works at all).

          • 2. Re: VMware Fusion HOSTING of NEWER version of Mac OS the NATIVELY installed?
            taw123 Novice

            I actually have VMware 11.5.3 installed (last version that ran/runs on Sierra). I have been using it for Windows services but not yet hosted a Mac VM.

             

            I understand the security concerns and unfortunately there is a CURRENT reason to keep running Sierra (10.12.6) until I am able to resolve several issues with my current 10.12.6 config, thus the reason I was HOPING to find product supports (and perhaps any doc/procedure) for running/installing a newer OS version in a container.  Ultimately over time I will eventually upgrade the native OS.

             

            Thanks for the quick response.

             

            Tom

            • 3. Re: VMware Fusion HOSTING of NEWER version of Mac OS the NATIVELY installed?
              scott28tt Champion
              User ModeratorsVMware EmployeesCommunity Warriors

              So long as your hardware supports the host OS and guest OS versions you should be ok, have you tried it?

              • 4. Re: VMware Fusion HOSTING of NEWER version of Mac OS the NATIVELY installed?
                dlhotka Virtuoso

                If you're on 11.5.3 then it should work, subject to the usual limitations on OSX guests, as long as the underlying hardware is catalina supported.  You'll need at least 2 vCPU's assigned, and no 3D acceleration is available.

                • 5. Re: VMware Fusion HOSTING of NEWER version of Mac OS the NATIVELY installed?
                  taw123 Novice

                  I have not yet tried.

                   

                  Wanted to first find out if it should work/be supported config AND (being in some ways ol' school with things that I have never done before with high risk of failure...) to see if there was any set up documentation/walk thru instructions for how to install & configure a virtualized a Mac OS container that is (substantial) newer then the native host environment (Mac OS 10.16 VMware hosted environment on a native 10.12 Mac OS system).

                  • 6. Re: VMware Fusion HOSTING of NEWER version of Mac OS the NATIVELY installed?
                    dlhotka Virtuoso

                    if by 10.16 you actually mean 11.0 (Big Sur) it doesn't work yet.

                     

                    For 10.15, the best way to find out is to try it.  Just download the Catalina installer and drag/drop it into the new virtual machine wizard. 

                    • 7. Re: VMware Fusion HOSTING of NEWER version of Mac OS the NATIVELY installed?
                      taw123 Novice

                      Sorry for the typo wasn't talking about Big Sur but Catalina VM running on a Sierra host (10.15.x on a native 10.12.6 Mac OS system).

                       

                      Will try over the weekend/early next. I have some pressing software that I need to to run in the next week that REQUIRES greater then Sierra Mac OS and have outstanding system issues that from a system stability standpoint currently preclude me from NATIVELY updating my Mac.

                       

                      Thanks again to all for the speedy help.

                       

                      Sounds like I just start up VMware, select New from the file menu and drag the "stub" installer I already have for Catalina and just drag onto the window and a Wizard will guide me through the process per attached? By stub I mean that the install app is really a stub of the FULL (aka offline install, as it actually pulls content as part of the update/post reboot off the net to complete the install). So to restate, Can use the STUB installer to create the VMware container of Catalina rather then having to go through the somewhat convoluted instructions I have seen on the net about getting the Full installer for Catalina and then trying to harvest the boot image and creating a DMG of said boot DMG as the starting point for my VM.

                       

                       

                       

                      FYI - seems like a bug that the most recent VMware app as it currently offers to install what my second attached screenshot "claims" is clearly an INCOMPATIBLE VMware update (VMware offers to install 11.5.5 over 11.5.3 on a Mac OS 10.12.6). From all I have read VMware 11.5.5 is INCOMPATIBLE with (and won't run on 10.12.6) and therefore will stop woking if I were to allow this update correct?

                      • 9. Re: VMware Fusion HOSTING of NEWER version of Mac OS the NATIVELY installed?
                        taw123 Novice

                        See: VMware Knowledge Base

                        Not sure I understand the table and related terminology. Is this a list of Container OSs supportable by various VMware versions OR table of NATIVE OSs listing the versions of VMware that can be INSTALLED on them (and thus used to host ANY OS (past/present/future where Mac OS version < Big Sur)?   Which of the two interpretations further detailed below is correct?

                         

                        1. Based upon MY interpretation of this table VMware Fusion 11.1.1or earlier is the LAST version that should work ON Sierra (aka 10.12.6). This is KNOW from personal experience is not true as I have and recently ran a Windows 7 VM on my Sierra Mac based system using the  Fusion Professional Version 11.5.3 (15870345) per previous screenshot.
                        2. If instead this table represents the minimum version of VMware to run the CONTAINER then it's seems like it could be correct though it seems like my earlier interpretation is what the document states. If this is true then it DOSEN'T explain the following.
                          1. What is the Max version of MAC that can be virtualized using my currently installed and correctly running (thus far) version of VMware (Version 11.5.3 (15870345)). Others have stated should run anything up to but not including Big Sur.
                          2. Why would the app offer an upgrade to something it says shouldn't/wouldn't work (previous post I made)

                         

                        Sorry if I'm being dense and hanging onto MY terminology (container and native) vs VMware's comment about "Host", feel like I'm reliving a VERY old X-windows discussion about which is ACTUALLY the server.....   (lol and apologies if I just horribly dated myself).

                        • 10. Re: VMware Fusion HOSTING of NEWER version of Mac OS the NATIVELY installed?
                          scott28tt Champion
                          User ModeratorsVMware EmployeesCommunity Warriors

                          Your “host” is the OS on which you install and run Fusion (as in you using the word HOSTING in the thread title) whereas the OS you run in a VM is the “guest”.

                           

                          The table shows that Fusion 11.1.1 is the most recent version supported on your host OS.

                          • 11. Re: VMware Fusion HOSTING of NEWER version of Mac OS the NATIVELY installed?
                            dlhotka Virtuoso

                            Host/guest has been standard virtual machine terminology for a long time.  Fusion guests are not containers - that's a very specific term that applies to things like Docker.  A Fusion guest operating system running inside a virtual machine is a full OS instance.  That virtual machine runs IN a particular version of Fusion ON a host operating system.

                             

                            You want the full installer (multi-gig) when you create an OSX guest, not the tiny stub.

                             

                            To net it out:

                            1) Running Fusion 11.5 on a Sierra host is unsupported and may or may not work

                            2) Running a Catalina guest in Fusion 11.1 will not work

                            3) Running a catalina guest in Fusion 11.5.3 on high sierra or later will work

                            4) Running a catalina guest in Fusion 11.5.5 on mojave or later will work

                             

                            So in your case, there's no supported option.  You may or may not be able to get it work, and it may or may not have problems.

                             

                            In the end, your only option if you want to virtualize Catalina in a supported environment is to upgrade to a reasonably current operating system (at least High Sierra).

                            • 12. Re: VMware Fusion HOSTING of NEWER version of Mac OS the NATIVELY installed?
                              taw123 Novice

                              Host/guest has been standard virtual machine terminology for a long time.  Fusion guests are not containers - that's a very specific term that applies to things like Docker.  A Fusion guest operating system running inside a virtual machine is a full OS instance.  That virtual machine runs IN a particular version of Fusion ON a host operating system.

                              Thank you for the terminology clarification Host == Native machine, Guest == the virtualized instance provided by VMware's virtualization

                               

                              Apologies for dragging this thread out but it SEEMS like I've had conflicting information that is getting close to definitive statement.

                               

                              w/r/t VMware Fusion Professional Version 11.5.3 (15870345) providing Guest services for Catalina

                              1. Assuming 11.5.3 is NOT supported on a Sierra HOST, why did VMware install the update? I saw no warning (splash screen or release note at the time of update) that attested to any incompatibility AND did nothing to force it to install, just that it a while back did a normal in-app update from whatever previous version(s) I had. I have always been reasonable studious in my updates to VMware.
                              2. I assume (obviously) I should not upgrade my copy of VMware further. Comments I have seen on the net mention that 11.5.5 breaks compatibility with Sierra.
                              3. Is there any information on WHY it seems that compatibility with 11.5.3 was changed to incompatible, and what breaks when used BEFORE I start trying to use it for anything beyond my current Windows use (virtualizing Mac OS on Mac OS) as I have not previously used it for that purpose? I am ASSUMING it was at one time supported thus the update was pushed out by VMware.

                               

                               

                              The normal and "potentially working" process I synthesized from the comments here seem to be.

                              1. Dragging the FULL Install Mac OS... application into New window of VMware. OS installer I just downloaded using Catalina Patcher (no patching involved) just needed application to DL the current FULL install of the OS WITHOUT installing).
                              2. VMware wizard of some sort will guide through remainder of the process.
                              • 13. Re: VMware Fusion HOSTING of NEWER version of Mac OS the NATIVELY installed?
                                dlhotka Virtuoso

                                Your process is right.  As for the version issues, I know there was a defect with the installer that didn't properly do a version check, so that's probably part of the problem.

                                • 14. Re: VMware Fusion HOSTING of NEWER version of Mac OS the NATIVELY installed?
                                  taw123 Novice

                                  Success using Mac OS Sierra (10.12.4), with VMWare Professional Version 11.5.3 (15870345) installed hosting a Catalina 10.15.5 instance.... MOSTLY

                                   

                                  To start with the positive. I was able to install! I used the "wizard" and accepted default settings (2 processors, 2G memory, VT-x/EPT = OFF, Code Profiling = OFF, IOMMU = OFF). After I got it up and running installed VMware tools and rebooted.

                                   

                                  To say performance is not exactly stellar is a but of an understatement unfortunately I had to use an external disk given the amount of disk space required. Even though it's a WD Essential with the white labeled Red drive inside and connected directly via USB-c the VM is definitely slow but usable and I suppose probably not unexpected. So I don't have any complaints here, though I wouldn't turn down any suggestions that would improve. Native hardware is as shown in attached image:  3.1 GHz Intel Core i7/16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3/Intel HD Graphics 630 1536 MB

                                   

                                  Now to the issue. I say MOSTLY because I did run into an issue w/r/t Handoff-Continuity support. Should this work from a hosted VM?  I thought I saw reference in the past to it functioning. The gating factor for me at this point seems to be a lack of BTLE support in the hosted OS (which I was sure had been supported). I really doubt my lack of BLE support is related to the "unsupported" nature of my config however given the somewhat unique nature of my config but wanted to ask in this thread. FYI the two hardware BT address (that I blurred) match (Native and hosted).

                                   

                                  Support images attached showing System info for Native 10.12, Hosted 10.15, and two VMware prefs screens.

                                   

                                  Thanks again for all the encouragement and guidance.   Getting very close here.

                                   

                                  --Tom