There is a preview version (that's the forum you actually posted the question in). The preview version will run ARM guests only. There is NO way to run Intel guests on an M1 machine (period, full stop - if you need Intel guests, run an intel machine).
Due to microsoft licensing restrictions there is currently no support for running Windows ARM on an M1 machine. Some folks have gotten it to work (see other threads here in the forum for tips). But note that it's unsupported, and without VMWare tools has significant limitations.
> There is a preview version (that's the forum you actually posted the question in). The preview version will run ARM guests only. There is NO way to run Intel guests on an M1 machine (period, full stop - if you need Intel guests, run an intel machine).
> Due to microsoft licensing restrictions there is currently no support for running Windows ARM on an M1 machine. Some folks have gotten it to work (see other threads here in the forum for tips). But note that it's unsupported, and without VMWare tools has significant limitations.
I am a web developer but I am very new to running virtual machines, so you might need to explain things to me slowly, with all the jargon defined. I downloaded the preview version for free to run on my new MacBook Pro, which uses an M1 chip. Are you saying that the preview version should work if and only if I use VMWare tools? If so, where can I get the explain-it-like-I'm-5 version of how to install VMWare tools, including which version to use (Mac, Windows?) and how I make the disk image available to VMWare Fusion in the right way?
For sure it will run supportet GuestOS VMs very well (sort of) and VMware Tools are avaiable for certain Linux based OS.
Fusion is not an emulator... which means your Host runs on a ARM CPU that all Guest VMs within Fusion also have to be ARM compatible .. not a big deal for a lot of linux based systems and your OSX... but not very common for Windows which is primly x86_64 based. Microsoft doesnt offer Licenses for Windows on ARM right now. So the VMware effort to support Windows based VMs for Fusion might be limited.
Basically, as things are right now you can not run Windows in VMware on Apple Silicon. There are some ways to do it, but they don't work well and since there is no way to get a license VMware does not make any effort to support Windows on ARM. If Microsoft were to make a suitable license available I'm sure the VMware Fusion guys will support it eventually, but for now there are no VMware Tools available for Windows on ARM, and any methods to install it anyways are unsupported and most likely won't work well if at all.
What you can do is run Linux VMs, such as Ubuntu and Fedora, that are available for ARM. Linux has been supporting ARM for several years, so ARM support in modern Linux distributions is very good. open-vm-tools is available through most package managers in these Linux distributions and is usually installed by default when installing a Linux OS in a VM. It works really well.
Long story short:
If you need a Windows VM you need to run a suitable version of VMware on an x86 platform, meaning Intel or AMD processor. An Intel Mac (VMware Fusion) or a PC with Windows or Linux (VMware Workstation).
If you need a Linux VM that's very much possible on Apple Silicon, and it works well using the VMware Fusion Tech Preview.
Essentially yes. Microsoft doesn't license Windows 11 ARM on anything other than OEM Surface tablets, so there's no way to get a legal version for VMWare to even do development of the tools. It'll run, but without tools, is really limited. Since it's neither compliant with the EULA, nor production quality, experimental is probably the best word.
Linux works, but getting the right distro and the open-vm-tools installed can be a bit of a challenge. I tried yesterday with the latest Ubuntu 22 daily, and it installed fine, the tools installed fine, but the tools won't run or launch (I don't get why they don't archive previous builds, but that's another rant). That's likely because I was a UNIX guy back in the day, but haven't done much with Linux beyond fooling around with a raspberry pi for the 3d printer, so YMMV.
Linux, BSD or anything else ARM native without licensing limitations that will run in VMware.
With virtualization, the guest operating system has to use the same architecture as the host computer. x86 host means x86 guests, ARM host means ARM guests. Otherwise hardware has to be emulated which is slow and not something VMware Fusion does.
I expect microsoft to open up ARM licenses for Windows at some point. Rumor is that they have an exclusivity deal with Qualcomm that's about to expire, but if that will change things or if ARM PC components have to be made available on the market for things to change we'll have to wait and see. When users can build their own ARM PCs they kinda have to sell ARM licenses.
The limitation today isn't that Windows can't run on ARM, it's that there's no legal way of getting a Windows on ARM license, and thus no reason for VMware to put in the time and effort to support it.
I worked many many years with Fusion on Intel Mac and ran into the same issue since last year, when I bought the new 16" M1 macbook pro. So I started to test Fusion for M1 and could install&run Linux for ARM. Runs very fast! There exists, of course, a Windows ARM version downloadable. You need to register (for free) for the "Insider Preview Program" to be able to download it. Nowadays it is Windows 11 only. But I wasn't able to get it run on Fusion for M1 - the installation always ended in a blue screen & reboot.
It is very sad, that VMWare still is not able to present a solution. And the latest preview is from September 2021... But I needed to run MS Visio on my mac and needed a solution. And I found one! And I have to say sorry, VMWare, unfortunately it is not based on Fusion anylonger. I don't want to advertise other vendors, so I will not type down the vendor here but let me say, as people need to run Windows programs on M1 as well: It is possible to run Windows 11 Pro on M1 and works quite well and also MS Visio 2019 (I think it is compiled for x86, 32 bit) runs without any problems.
I often take a look to VMWare Fusion to find an update for M1 - so I really hope it will be possible one day again to run Windows 11 (ARM) on M1 with VMWare Fusion.
Blame microsoft, not VMWare. And if that other vendor is willing to violate microsoft's EULA to develop the tools, and entice users to do the same that's at their risk.
If you're using this in a business environment, I'd suggest checking with your procurement/legal teams to understand the exposure you may be bringing to your organization.
And if that other vendor is willing to violate microsoft's EULA to develop the tools, and entice users to do the same that's at their risk.
It's also at your risk.
The other vendor doesn't care (and they've said so if you read their statements carefully) if you're violating another vendor's licensing and support policies. They'll gladly take your money for their product that knowingly lets you do it, and push the responsibility on you to comply. Which in the case of Windows for ARM, you can't.
I'm not knocking the vendor for their product. I knock them for their cavalier attitude on another company's intellectual property.
For me the more intriguing risk is Microsoft not the other vendor. Windows Insider Previews require you to accept all updates. I understand that Microsoft has already removed x86 emulation from the Windows 10 ARM Preview. What happens to you if you rely on the Insider Preview and then one day Microsoft decides that x86 is no longer needed in ARM? You have no recourse.
Yup, or simply disables the whole OS on M1 chips. I have some hope though, that the rumors of the exclusivity deal ending are correct and we can all buy legal licenses.
But not hedging my bets - I've already moved the vast majority of my windows workload to other options.
Or again -- If you require the ability to run software on a Windows computer, then buy/use a real Windows computer! If it's something required for my business, then the cost of that PC is part of the cost of me doing business.
@ColoradoMarmot the conspiracy theorist in me thinks that Microsoft isn’t paying attention to shutting off Windows 11 running on M1 Macs because they know the exclusivity agreement is ending and there’s a whole new revenue stream to be had for Windows on ARM from us Mac users compared to what they’d get on a Surface. They already know it runs from Fusion Tech Preview and Parallels users so is there really a lot that it would take for them to license and support the chipset?
I can dream, can’t I?
I would argue that based on what I have seen the Windows ARM preview does not run on a M1 by default? Don't you have to go into the registry and enable "LabMode" or something like that as part of getting the Windows ARM running in Fusion? Is this perhaps another shaky step our competitor takes under the hood to make Windows Arm work for them?
Not sure if Parallels does that but I would assume that since a converted Insider Preview vhdx Runs on the Fusion Tech Preview it does not depend on Secure Boot or TPM capabilities in the VM. Installing from an ISO does require that either those features are present or you make the registry changes to install.
I bet it would run if you turned On both SecureBoot and if the tech Preview had TPM capability you would not have to make those 2 registry settings. I installed toWindows 11 Intel on VMware Workstation by enabling those 2 features without issue and without hacking the registry.
There's a hack to get networking working because there aren't tools for Fusion, but if there were, it wouldn't be needed.
Converting the VHDX, or installing from the ISO does work if you do that, but there's severe technical limitations (aside from the licensing ones).
And @Technogeezer that's my hope too. I think the competitor is wiling to risk Microsoft's wrath in the meantime as without windows virtualization on mac, they basically are out of business anyway (I really think Linux on Mac is a small use case). Exactly the opposite for VMWare - their big business is windows on intel (and esx) and aren't willing to risk that.