RonTugender
Contributor
Contributor

Fusion 12.1.1 crashes Big Sur 11.2.3

I have a MacBook Pro 16 (2019) and a Mac Mini (2018). They were both running Catalina and Fusion 12, each successfully supporting a Windows 10x64 VM. I upgraded both Macs to Big Sur 11.1 and eventually Fusion to 12.1.1. They both continued to operate their Windows VMs successfully.

About a month go I applied the Big Sur upgrade 11.2.3 to both Macs. Shortly after those MacOS upgrades, both Mac began to crash with kernel panics (unrecoverable). The crashes occurred both in the middle of the night when there was no console activity, as well as right in the middle of an active console session. Over a period of two weeks i experienced more than two dozen of these kernel panic crashes.

After strenuous troubleshooting and process of elimination, I discovered that Fusion operating a VM has been the sole reason for the crashes. With Fusion not running, neither machine crashes. With a Fusion VM running, both systems crash within 24 hours. 

A Fusion VM running under Fusion 12.1.1 and Big Sur 11.2.3 now with certainty crash two different Macs. The question is how and why. I suspect that something that changed in Big Sur 11.2.3 conflicts with kernel extensions from Fusion, since the crash problem began after 11.2.3 was installed.

Apple Support disclaims any responsibility for behavior related to a 3rd party app, even though an OS crash results.

Has anyone else experienced this crash pattern, or have any insight into its cause or resolution?

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17 Replies
wila
Leadership
Leadership

Hi,

Fusion 12 does not use kernel extensions anymore. Instead it uses the HyperVisor framework from apple.

Your best bet is to open a ticket with support:

https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/get-help

--
Wil

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

Hi Wil,

Even though I am a long-term VMware customer, but primarily on the Enterprise side, and even though Fusion 12 is registered in my customer account, it is not recognized as a product for which I can submit a support ticket. Perhaps that is because I have not purchased a support contract for Fusion. I would have thought I could still submit a trouble ticket, especially for a problem so egregious as crashing the host OS. But that does not appear to be the case.

Under these circumstances, can I still file a support ticket? And if so, via which mechanism? The link you sent takes me to the Get Support section all right, but then I run into the brick wall of non-supported product.

Thanks, Ron

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dlhotka
Champion
Champion

Couple of ideas:

Is it the same VM on both machines or two different ones created from different sources?

What's the host and guest config - wondering if maybe there's some kind of leak in the guest that's causing resource exhaustion.

If you create a new user on the mac, reboot, and only run fusion (or even better, boot into safe mode and run fusion via the new user that way) does it still crash?  Wondering if there's an interaction with something else on the machine that's causing it.

 

 

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RonTugender
Contributor
Contributor

The VM running when Fusion crashes Big Sur is the same VM -- or more precisely a clone of the same VM -- on both Macs. And it has been this same VM that ran without incident under Fusion 11 on Catalina, as well as with Fusion 12 on Big Sur, up to the latest Big Sur release (11.2.3).

The fact that the VM has been invariant throughout, and has previously run successfully on both machines under multiple versions of Fusion and MacOS, would seem to rule out the VM as source of the issue.

BTW, Fusion has crashed Big Sur under a variety of other scenarios including simplified user and safe mode.

Ron

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wila
Leadership
Leadership

Hi Ron,

I don't work for VMware, but...


@RonTugender wrote:

Even though I am a long-term VMware customer, but primarily on the Enterprise side, and even though Fusion 12 is registered in my customer account, it is not recognized as a product for which I can submit a support ticket. Perhaps that is because I have not purchased a support contract for Fusion.


Officially you need to have a support contract.
This might however be a special case and I have informed someone at VMware to take a look at this thread.
That's all I can do.

--
Wil

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

Thank you, Will, for the lob to VMware. Let's hope they respond.

 

Ron

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spartygw
Contributor
Contributor

Came here from googling - same issue...Kernel panics with Fusion 12 under the latest Big Sur. Uptime is about 10 minutes with Windows 10 VM before things go haywire. Was there an official bug report/ticket for this?

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spartygw
Contributor
Contributor

I submitted a support request ticket #21232290306

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AdrianCW
Contributor
Contributor

Sadly having used Mac and Fusion for very many years - I have the same issues since Big Sur. I have mutiple Macs in the organisaiton and the solution to very frequent complete kernel panic crashes is to not run fusion. I have as many crashes a day as Ive previously ever had before this.

Ive removed second displays - rebuilt Windows 10 VMs all to no avail. Next step is to fresh build the mac with Big Sur as all three machines Ive had this issue with are upgrades to. Otherwise out of ideas.

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wila
Leadership
Leadership

Hi,

The only time I have seen host panics with VMware Fusion was either with:
- hardware issues (my host had faulty RAM at the time and Fusion put enough pressure on the host to force it to use that).
- trying to use the experimental paravirtual metal renderer for macOS guests.

I'm not suggesting that either is the culprit.

However what the latter item does point out is that issues in the graphics driver stack can actually trigger the host to reboot.

One thing to try is to disable 3D acceleration on the guest(s) and see if the host panic still happens.

--
Wil

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

I have exchanged emails with tech support and have sent specifics for my virtual machine configuration as well as actual panic reports. 

 I'm hoping it can be resolved, otherwise I will have no choice but to roll back to Mojave and fusion 11.

I will update here if there's any resolution.

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dlhotka
Champion
Champion

Agreed, the only other one I've seen is non-apple hardware, hacked video graphics drivers or other ways of forcing it to run on non-apple hardware, or something like GFXCardStatus that controls graphics chip usage.

Other longer shots - make sure that it's a case insensitive file system, that fusion is being installed and run as the same user, and that there isn't any strange security software running.

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tirenela
Contributor
Contributor

I am having the same issue. Kernel panic when running VMware Fusion on Big Sur 11.6.2, Intel MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013)

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wila
Leadership
Leadership

This is another one of those things where people who respond with a "me too" can have different problems leading to a kernel panic.
A kernel panic by itself isn't a unique event because of one possible reason.
Yes, it is possible that it all has the same reason, no it itsn't all that likely.

A good start when reporting a "me too" would be to provide as much details as possible. That report -at a bare minimum- should include providing log files such as vmware.log/mkssandbox.log. In this case a full support bundle might even be needed.

--
Wil

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

I'm running Fusion 11.2.1 on macOS12.1 and I get an kernel panic, when i want to connect a usb wifi adpter to the virtualOS.
When the dialog appears and I click on connect with Linux (it's a Ubuntu intallation) the machine crashes hard.

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admilon
Contributor
Contributor

System is not crashing, when the adapter is switched via the menu

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pcerdaz
Contributor
Contributor

Hi, I am having the same/similar issue: total crush of the VMware virtual machine many times a day, totally switch off without any previous advice and forcing to a restart of Windows. This happens when running VMware Fusion Profesional 12.2.1 (18811640) on Big Sur 11.6.1 (20G224), Intel MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014), Windows 10 Pro 21H1.

I don't remember exactly when start this behavior because it happened simultaneously with the incorporation of an external monitor, however I checked that the issue is present also without the use of the external monitor. I have the VMWare Fusion Problem Report zip file that was created by VMWare Fusion, but it takes over 487 Mbytes so I can't upload with this post (limited to 146 MB), and I can't access to the official support because my license does not apply, and I can't pay by a support contract.

Does someone has a solution? Does it works if I get back before the Big Sur: with which version of Mac OS and VMWare Fusion is it recommended and available?

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