Blogger Talk: Fusion + Workstation!

It’s been a little bit since I’ve blogged or posted anything. Between the Fusion and Workstation product launches, VMworld US and Europe, and all the stuff I do outside of work with The Dickens Fair, I’ve been a bit busy!

It’s been a hallmark year for sure. Earlier this year I was tasked with essentially owning the entirety of the Fusion and Workstation product lines. I’ve been spending my time analyzing the business, putting together the launch plan, and managing the development and execution process of the products themselves.

Together, the team and I came up with a pretty tall list of features and capabilities that we’ve been working hard on for almost 2 years. We’re incredibly happy with what the team’s innovation and what we’ve brought to market, and we think our customers agree that this is our most exciting release to date.

I had a chance to chat about the releases on our ‘Blogger Talk’ show the other day, you can check those out here:




I also spent a full hour in our Podcasting studio talking about a lot more than just ‘whats new’ with our beloved products. Check out the audio or video if you want to hear me get real deep about my passions, how the product gets built, and some other trade secrets I probably should have kept to myself =)

Here’s the podcast itself:

And here’s the Live Stream we did on Facebook of the show (First one we’ve ever done too! Happy to be the guinea pig!)

VMware Technology Network: live video


Installing Windows 10 Creators Update in VMware Fusion

Is it time to update Windows 10 already? Well thank goodness for virtual machines to test these things before we do this on our production systems!

Installing the Win10 Creators update is pretty straightforward, but there is a couple of caveats (read: bugs) that we have to work around. We at VMware will be releasing versions of Fusion and Workstation that will fully support this workflow, but for now here are the steps you can take to get the latest from Microsoft up and running as a new virtual machine in Fusion.

Fist thing’s first… we need to get the .iso image to install from.

Microsoft makes it’s .iso files available for public consumption these days (which is a far cry from where we were only a couple years ago!), and you can get to it from here:

One you’ve got the .iso file, drag that onto Fusion’s installer after clicking File > New or the ‘+’ sign from the Library Window:

dragging the .iso file onto the New VM utility


We need to manually choose Windows 10 x64 because Fusion doesn’t yet auto-detect the image as Windows 10. We’ll be releasing an update that will address that of course.

Remember to choose Windows 10 so it gets the virtual hardware profile right

You’ll want to customize the settings, so once this dialogue completes it will ask you to save the VM somewhere before opening up the Settings panel.

Also, as a rule I always do this but in this particular case it’s important. You’ll want to remove the virtual printer for security and defect reasons. We leverage a tool called ThinPrint which currently has some issues with the Creators Update, and as well has announced a security vulnerability that is as yet un-patched.

Oh I’m sure…

It’s certainly possible to enable printing through one of the various other ways (USB passthrough, or network printer share directly or with Bonjour from the Mac host), it’s just this particular feature which should be disabled. So, we remove the port to do that.

I have a MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM so I give Windows 4GB of RAM and 2 CPU cores, which is basically double the default.

The ‘2×4’ as we call it

Stepping through the initial stages of the install is what you’re familiar with if you’ve ever installed Windows before.

The boring Windows installer we’re all used to…

For a fresh install from .ISO we need to do a ‘Custom Installation’ because we don’t have anything to upgrade from.

Custom is as custom does…


We need to allocate some storage… With a blank slate, we let Windows decide what’s best. You can always increase a drive or add more storage later if you need.

Just click ‘next’

Once that finishes and reboots, something unexpected happens…

I’m sorry, you startled me… I didn’t realize you were there… umm… next please?

A new Voice Assistant that will guide you through the rest of the process.

It was pretty interesting, even if a bit gimmicky…

“ummm… yes?”


After a few more ‘Yes’ obvious questions about keyboard and language, we’re asked to sign in to Microsoft, One Drive, and all that fun stuff.

Where I pause is on the privacy section. Personally I turn all this stuff off for a virtual environment.

just... noooo..
So much data collection…

And finally…

The ‘hurry up and wait’ screen

So if you’ve noticed my Fusion window isn’t actually that big. On my external 4K display, the resolution is a bit off and that’s expected at this stage of the game. Once we install VMware Tools we can get things to be where we expect.

Such tiny Windows you have there

To make things right, VMware Tools is the answer, and it’s in the ‘Virtual Machine’ menu.

This is kind of important

Tools will ask permission… if it doesn’t auto-play just double-click it from the D:\ drive.

Yes please


There we go… Much better!

So with that installed you can check out all the fun new things that Microsoft has for us!

Let me know in the comments how your experience has been, or what your favourite feature of the Creators Update is!

Hey Siri, Open Microsoft Edge!

Playing around with macOS 10.12, I was trying to see if Siri would behave when I told it/her to open up Windows applications.

As it turns out, for the most part she does the right thing!

Siri, Open Edge, mmkay?
Ask and ye shall receive!

In my example, Fusion was not running at all… I tapped Siri and said ‘Open Microsoft Edge’, and lo and behold, it brought up Fusion, opened up the browser, and we are good to go.

I don’t personally use Unity that much (I like my sandboxes, thank you very much ;), but because Fusion remembers the last state of your window layout, so if you were using Unity before suspending or quitting Fusion, when Siri launches Windows apps it respects this state.

So basically what I’m saying is you can say ‘Hey Siri, Open Microsoft Edge’ and if you were in Unity, or any other mode, it would open up just like any other Mac app.



What other fun things can you make Siri do? Tell us in the comments!

Fusion on macOS Sierra Hosts

** UPDATE: July 25, 2016 **

With macOS DP3 (which I believe is also Public Beta 2), it is no longer required to disable 3D acceleration. Things ‘Just Work’.  Please comment if you have a different experience!


In my previous post, I had written a solution to get the new macOS 10.12 Sierra running in a virtual machine on Fusion 8.

In this post, I’ll talk about running a VM with Fusion 8 on a macOS 10.12 host.

This will be a pretty short post, because by and large things work.

My setup:

  • MacBookPro10,1
  • 16GB RAM
  • GeForce GT 650M graphics
  • OS X 10.11 installed, upgraded to macOS 10.12 DP
  • Fusion 8.1.1 installed prior to upgrading host


The one exception I’ve found thus far is an ‘Internal Error’ crash of Fusion itself.

It’s kind of a big exception tho since VM’s don’t run… HOWEVER there is a simple (but somewhat unfortunate) fix.

Taking a look at the vmware.log I noticed it crash when trying to run some GPU-specific functions that aren’t being handled properly by Fusion.

2016-06-14T23:19:35.256-08:00| mks| I125: MKS-SWB: Number of MKSWindows changed: 1 rendering MKSWindow(s) of total 2.
2016-06-14T23:19:35.256-08:00| svga| W115: GLHostMacOS: Failed to create IOSurface texture 2D for FBO of MKSWindow, error 0x2718
2016-06-14T23:19:35.266-08:00| svga| W115: GLHostMacOS: Failed to create IOSurface texture 2D for FBO of MKSWindow, error 0x2718
2016-06-14T23:19:35.277-08:00| svga| W115: GLHostMacOS: Failed to create IOSurface texture 2D for FBO of MKSWindow, error 0x2718

To isolate this, I disabled 3D Acceleration in the VM’s settings

3d Acceleration

After doing so, I had no issues booting up my VM’s, regardless of the Guest OS type.

We [or Apple] will have to fix this of course, but for now I’m investigating if there’s still a way we can use 3D accelerated graphics with macOS hosts. Stay tuned for that!


See? Short and sweet, just like I said 😉


Installing the new macOS 10.12 Sierra ‘Developer Preview’ on VMware Fusion 8


We have a pull request on our patch that can be used instead of the ‘main’ branch which will work with macOS High Sierra. I’ll be writing in more detail about this soon, but the process is the same, just use this version of the .tool.

*** [old] UPDATE ***

We fixed the script that was causing this to happen and needed this workaround. Now you can just update the script and it will ‘just work’ when you drag the Install .app onto Fusion’s New VM Creation Wizard.. Details here

Original post below


It’s that time of year again! With #WWDC2016 in full swing, Apple has graced us with an insider look at the next big OS release for the newly renamed macOS, dubbed Sierra.

By default, it doesn’t work in Fusion as a virtual machine the same way users would expect by simply dragging the installer .app onto Fusion. (We’re working on it 😉

Luckily, we can use some tools built into OS X El Capitan (and earlier) to get this working in a VM.

At a high level, we need a blank OS X 10.11 (custom) VM, and we need to leverage command line tools (with links to their respective docs):

  • Apple’s ‘createinstallmedia‘ CLI tool which is bundled with the “Install 10.12 Developer”
  • VMware’s ‘vmware-rawdiskCreator‘ tool to create the actual disk where we will be installing to.

First, you’ll need to have a blank, custom VM.

This is straightforward, but I’ll walk through just so you have it.

  • From Fusion go File > New
  • From the ‘New VM’ wizard we would choose ‘Create Custom VM’


  • Choose the OS version OS X 10.11
  • Choose ‘Create New Disk
  • Save the VM wherever you please
  • I customized it to add more RAM, bumping it to 4GB (4096MB) just to be on the safe side.

When you have your new blank VM, we now need to do 3 things:

  1. Create the installation media “sparse image”
  2. Copy contents of the installer into the new installation media sparse image
  3. Create a .vmdk which ‘points’ to the installation media sparse image (now filled with the contents of the installer) that we just created.

So to do that we start with Mac’s Disk Utility app. You’ll find it in your /Applications/Utilities folder (or do like I do and hit cmd-space and search Spotlight for ALL THE THINGS… 😉

In Disk Utility go File > New Image > Blank Image… and use the settings I have in the image below (call the file whatever you like, but make sure it has the following:


  • Size = 6GB (absolutely not smaller)
  • Format = OS X Extended (Journaled)
  • Encryption = none
  • Partition = Single Partition – GUID Partition Mac
  • Image Format = sparse disk image

This creates the blank slate that we will then copy the contents of the “Install 10.12 Developer” into using ‘createinstallimage’ utility.

It should ‘mount’ the new image we just created, but if it’s not there you can mount it with Disk Utility or from the command line. Mine mounted automatically.

Once it’s mounted we can copy the contents of our installation app into the new sparse image.

For this, we jump down to the command line and run some commands.


First, let’s create our install media.

Run the following command (all one line):

sudo /Applications/Install\ 10.12\ Developer\ --volume /Volumes/macOS-10.12_DP --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ 10.12\ Developer\

I named the thing I created with Disk Utility ‘macOS-10.12_DP’ as you can see in the ‘Name’ field in the image above.

createinstallmedia image

Easy peasy… contents copied, new installation media is created with the sparse image we just created, filled with the contents of the installer .app we got from Apple.

Now, let’s make sure the host Mac’s disk layout is okay with “diskutil list“:

(for clarity, $ is the prompt at the terminal, you do not need to type it)

$ diskutil list

It outputs something like the image below:

diskutil list

We can see that I have the ‘Install 10.12 Developer Preview’ mounted as /dev/disk2s2. We need this device id because this is the prepared installation media that we’ll be installing from in the blank virtual machine we created earlier, and the disk number may change depending on what you have mounted on your system.

Now we use VMware’s ‘vmware-rawdiskCreator’ tool to create a .vmdk based on the sparse image we created.

The syntax is as follows:

<path to vmware-rawdiskCreator> create <device id> <partition id> <path to where we want the .vmdk to be saved> <bus type>

So a few things about that so we understand what’s happening:

  • vmware-rawdiskCreator is located within the Fusion app bundle itself, so we’ll point to that
  • create is the vmware-rawdiskCreator function that will create a new “raw” disk
  • <device id> is the /dev/disk2 that we saw earlier, yours may be different if you have other disks mounted.
  • <partition id> is 2 because it’s the 3rd partition on the ‘device’, and numbering starts at 0 (so 0 = first, 1 = second…)
  • We tell it where we want it to be saved, and in our case it will be within the VM bundle that we created at the beginning
  • <bus type> we choose lsilogic so that it behaves like a CD-ROM.

So, for me the command is as follows (all one line):

$ /Applications/VMware\ create /dev/disk2 2 ~/Documents/Virtual\ Machines.localized/macOS_10.12.vmwarevm/macOS_installationmedia lsilogic

It should take a few seconds to make the new .vmdk.


Okay, breathe… we are about to get the actual install started.

Because Fusion doesn’t support mounting raw disks using the UI, we just have to add it to the configuration file manually.

In the Virtual Machine Library window, right-click your newly created OS X 10.11 VM.

If you hold down the ‘Option’ key you’ll notice some options change… including ‘Edit config file in a text editor’ (I couldn’t take a screenshot due to the need for multiple key presses).

With the config file open in TextEdit, paste the following either at the bottom or with the other SATA device to keep them together (if you’re a little ocd about it like I am 😉

sata0:2.present = "TRUE" 
sata0:2.fileName = "macOS_installationmedia.vmdk" 
sata0:2.deviceType = "rawDisk" 
suspend.disabled = "TRUE"

Notice the file we’re pointing at is ‘macOS_installationmedia.vmdk’… that’s the one we just created with our vmware-rawdiskCreator tool, and it’s a relative path meaning it’s in the same folder as the config file (.vmx) itself.

Close the document (if you’re using TextEdit it will save automatically).

Now all that’s left is to press ‘Play’ on the VM and go through the installation!



It’s a bit of hack, but we’re working on making it just as seamless as installing current and earlier versions of OS X on Fusion.

To recap, we did the following:

  1. Downloaded the macOS 10.12 Developer Preview
  2. Created a blank VM with OS X 10.11 as the type
  3. Created a sparse disk for the install media
  4. Copied the install media to the sparse disk
  5. Used vmware-rawdiskCreator to create a .vmdk based on the sparse disk with the installation media
  6. Boot and install

Once the installation is done you can delete the extra hard disk because it’s no longer needed, and you can’t suspend the VM while a raw disk is attached.

Hope that helps folks looking to try the latest that Apple has to offer!

Let me know in the comments how that’s working out for you, if you have any suggestions, or need clarity on anything I’ve written here!



*** Update***

Thanks commenters for the feedback!

a few things…

Reader nutmeg noted the following, which I totally agree with:

One minor nitpick After installation, one should shut down the VM (via macOS Shutdown option), then re-edit the VM configuration file and remove 4-line entries:

sata0:2.present = “TRUE”
sata0:2.fileName = “macOS_installationmedia.vmdk”
sata0:2.deviceType = “rawDisk”
suspend.disabled = “TRUE”

If you don’t delete these lines you end up with weird ‘bootcamp’ related errors… (we use rawdiskcreator for bootcamp installs, naturally)… And because it’s a raw-disk it can’t be deleted from the UI (because that would break a bootcamp VM so we disallow that).

Reader Leslie notes something that I often take for granted when posting technical instructions about command line operations:

To everyone getting “Unable to copy the source files (…) ” – just look into vmwarevm content and delete macOS_installationmedia (both of them) file from there then try to create raw disk again! And please do not copy paths from here, just drag n’drop files from Finder in order to get it. And it will work for sure. I am living proof ????

Thanks for the feedback, friends!

Checking out El Capitan GM Candidate on Fusion 8

Apple today was kind enough to reward it’s loyal beta testers with early access to the GM Candidate build of OS X El Capitan.


In an email, they advise the following to install:

[…] to install the GM Candidate. Go to your Purchased tab in the Mac App Store and click the Download button next to OS X El Capitan GM Candidate. When your download finishes, the installer will automatically launch. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete installation.

And that’s fine and dandy and all if you want to install that on your Mac. But what if you just want to try it out without taking the full plunge on your main machine?

Answer? VMware Fusion 8 and Fusion 8 Pro!

Rather than clicking the ‘Continue’ button and upgrading your host Mac, you can quit the installer from the Menu Bar, or with the keyboard shortcut Command + Q.

Once quit, the installer leaves a just-over-6GB installation file in the /Applications folder.

Before we can install in Fusion however, there’s a bit of a gotcha that Apple surprised us with in regards to their installer.  The installer will hang with a white apple and a black background when the progress bar is almost complete. We’ll be releasing a patch, but for now we have a fix.

This quick workaround comes from one of our lead developers, Michael Udaltsov, mentioned on the forums:

To work around the problem, you have to replace:

“VMware Mavericks Installer.tool”

with a modified version available here.

Once downloaded, unzip the file and you’re left with a ‘Create Mavericks Installer.tool’ file. We’ll drag that to where it needs to go.

First, we have to get into the VMware Fusion Package Contents by right-clicking (or control+click) the Fusion icon in the /Applications folder and selecting ‘Show Package Contents.

packge contents

It’s a folder like any other, so get into the Contents > Library folder…


Drag the tool we unzipped over the old one…


And get some warnings when we do it, naturally since we’re messing around in the /Applications folder…

Yes, you want to replace!
Followed by your password…

And with that done, we can get to installing El Cap!

To begin, in the Virtual Machine Library window, just click the ‘+’ button to add a new VM:


And then drag the  Installation image from Finder onto Fusion


Once the installer kicks in, it’s pretty much auto-pilot until the standard Apple first boot stuff.



Click through the first few steps of the installer and the rest is hands off until you’re asked to sign into iCloud.

If you have your host system backed up with Time Machine somewhere, you could even use that to make a copy of your host Mac into the VM, so you can really check if your apps and workflows are going to continue to hold up with Apple’s new OS.


(Of course, you need sufficient disk space for that, so be mindful!)

When the installation is all done and you’re at the desktop, remember to install VMware Tools for optimal performance.


Click through the tools installer and reboot the VM.

And there you have it! The latest and greatest from Apple running in the latest and greatest from VMware!

Windows 10 and VMware Fusion


You may have caught wind of the news that Windows 10 is here, and for many folks who want to install it in a virtual machine, VMware Fusion is the obvious choice.

I’ve been using it for a few days now, and must admit so far I’m quite pleased with it.  I’ve been even playing with Cortana in the background with my VM just minimized while I work away on the Mac. The ‘Hey Cortana’ feature works flawlessly with Fusion as far as I can test.  I even asked her to sing me a song while I was working away and while her singing voice isn’t bad at all, her choice of Danny Boy is a little odd if you ask me.

I’ve been using the Fusion 2015 Tech Preview lately, but Fusion 7 was working just fine with all the Insider Preview of Windows 10 if you just choose Windows 8.1 as the Guest OS type.

Either way, it’s a really nice OS and it runs at incredibly well in Fusion. I’m using a MacBook Pro mid-2012 model with 16GB of RAM overall and I give it 2 vCPUs and 4GB of RAM, and maybe that’s even overkill for what I use it for. I’d say it feels leaner and more responsive overall than every Microsoft OS since XP and I feel like they finally got rid of all the unnecessary cruft and bloat that was holding them back.

There is however this upgrade problem that a number users are hitting tho which currently affects most hypervisors. Tho I haven’t heard of any users with HyperV having this problem, <sarcasm> I can only presume there are no HyperV users interested in upgrading to Windows 10. </sarcasm> Draw your own conclusions, but it is what it is.

Luckily, there’s actually a REALLY EASY workaround.

Rather than use the upgrade method within the VM, download the .ISO and mount it to Fusion to perform the upgrade.

Straight from the source!

Microsoft makes the Windows 10 ISO file available for the world to download so you can burn to disk or use as a VM. Rather than a single link, they have this process to get the right version, and actually works really well. (From Safari on my Mac, no less).  No funky windows.exe thing to use to download and create the .iso with, this is a full ISO from with Win10_English_x64.iso as the filename.

Fusion 7 + Windows 8.1 + Windows10.iso = Upgrade!

First things first as always before ding major upgrades, TAKE A SNAPSHOT! This way you make sure to have a safe roll back point in case something goes wrong, you don’t like it, or it breaks all your other Windows apps or something.

Here we go!
Here we go!

After the installation assistant greeted me, things started moving along just fine.

The installation begins!
The installation begins!

The installation proceeds basically unattended, which is nice. Took about 10 minutes on my MacBook Pro (mid-2012).

Upgrading... here we go!
Upgrading… here we go!


Once the installation finished, I ran through the personalization walkthrough which I highly recommend to turn off all the ‘send everything I type to Microsoft’ features… yikes.

So that’s it!  You can use that same .iso file from Microsoft to install multiple copies as needed, or just use the clone feature of Fusion Pro to save yourself the hassle.




## Update
I had comments muted for spamming reasons, but I tweaked it and it should be only legit folks… sorry I missed all your comments I’ll try and respond, thanks everyone for reading!