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!

20 thoughts on “Checking out El Capitan GM Candidate on Fusion 8”

  1. I’ve been running El Cap in Fusion since DP1 and Fusion 7. I updated to Fusion 8, but ever since El Cap DP8 and now with the GM, I can no longer install VMware Tools. It runs through most of the install, but after “validating” it says “The installation failed. The installer encountered an error that caused the installation to fail. Contact the manufacturer for assistance.” Any ideas on how to get it to work?

      1. While I’m glad you posted on the forum, that thread is a bit of a wasps nest with a ton of folks on it with many different issues. Definitely get a case open with Support, let’s have them do a screen share and see it in real time.

        1. Just to hopefully close this…..I ended up following an earlier suggestion and completely uninstalled VMWare tools from the VM, then rebooted the VM and reinstalled VMTools. It worked like a charm. Thanks for all the help and suggestions!

  2. Tried to disable/enable csrutil and install Tools using Recovery Mode – didn’t work – same error. Reinstalled Fusion 8 over top of itself, that didn’t help either – same error. I’m at a loss.

    1. I’m a bit at a loss without sitting in front of the machine myself.
      Can you get a ticket going with our support folks and see if we can do a screen-sharing session?
      Feel free to say that I suggested it, and they can check with me if they need to 😉

      1. I’m going to try a full uninstall/reinstall of Tools first and see what happens. Thanks for the ticket suggestion….hopefully I won’t need it.

    1. That’s a good point, tho I didn’t have to do that to get things working.
      The file should be executable by any user, and the script itself runs as super user, so I don’t think you actually need to change permissions, but it’s certainly good practice.

  3. Odd. I didn’t have any trouble. Is that because I was installing the GM over a previous beta? Or that I was running Fusion 8 in the El Capitan GM?

    1. If you did an upgrade from within, you’d be fine.
      The bug is they changed something in the .dmg, and we use that .dmg to create a bootable .iso file which we then boot from to kick off the installer.
      We create the .iso just fine, but some of the files aren’t where we expect them to be.

      1. How did you make the bootable iso? These commands work to make a bootable iso for yosemite:


        hdiutil attach /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_app

        hdiutil convert /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg -format UDSP -o /tmp/Yosemite

        hdiutil resize -size 8g /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

        hdiutil attach /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build

        rm /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/Packages

        cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/Packages /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/

        cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.chunklist /Volumes/install_build

        cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg /Volumes/install_build

        hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_app

        hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_build

        hdiutil resize -size `hdiutil resize -limits /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage | tail -n 1 | awk ‘{ print $1 }’`b /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

        hdiutil convert /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage -format UDTO -o /tmp/Yosemite

        rm /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

        mv /tmp/Yosemite.cdr ~/Desktop/Yosemite.iso


        But it we modify it in the following way for el capitan the iso is no longer bootable:

        hdiutil attach /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_app

        hdiutil convert /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg -format UDSP -o /tmp/ElCapitan

        hdiutil resize -size 10g /tmp/ElCapitan.sparseimage

        hdiutil attach /tmp/ElCapitan.sparseimage -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build

        rm /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/Packages

        cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/Packages /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/

        cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.chunklist /Volumes/install_build/BaseSystem.chunklist

        cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg /Volumes/install_build/BaseSystem.dmg

        hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_app

        hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_build

        hdiutil resize -size `hdiutil resize -limits /tmp/ElCapitan.sparseimage | tail -n 1 | awk ‘{ print $1 }’`b /tmp/ElCapitan.sparseimage

        hdiutil convert /tmp/ElCapitan.sparseimage -format UDTO -o /tmp/ElCapitan

        rm /tmp/ElCapitan.sparseimage

        mv /tmp/ElCapitan.cdr ~/Desktop/ElCapitan.iso


        So what has to change or be added to these commands to make it bootable for el capitan?

  4. Any testing done with VMware Fusion 7 and El Cap? I want to upgrade my machine but my work hasn’t upgraded our VMware licenses yet.

    1. It’s been working just fine, I haven’t seen any reports of anything not working, and our testing hasn’t shown any crazy bugs.
      There might be things we didn’t expect, but by and large it works great.

  5. A serious problem occurs if you upgrade to 10.11.1. Then in order to login with your Apple ID, the systems looks for a legal Machine Serial Number and enters an endless spin wheel if you are running from VMWARE.
    In short, at this time, do not upgrade to 10.11.1 and stay with 10.11

    1. I upgraded to 10.11.1 a while ago and had no issues. In fact I’m running 10.11.2 beta4 (upgraded over 10.11.1, then 10.11.2 betas 1, 2, and 3) right now with no issues.

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