macOS Monterey was announced on the 7th June, and of course like good Digital Workspace people we were right into testing mode! during initial Fusion testing we were running into some fun errors/delays, which we have worked out and documented here. So if you’re trying to get Monterey working in VMware Fusion and having some issues, read on!

Once you have downloaded the Install macOS 12 Beta.app, I find it useful to convert it to an ISO before loading in Fusion. I also have to do this from a VM as my work managed Mac blocks me from installing Betas, and copying around the ISO is more reliable than the .app folder.

Hat tip to Frederik Abeloos – the Travelling Tech Guy. https://travellingtechguy.blog/macos-big-sur-on-vmware-fusion-12/ The whole process took about 5 minutes in a Big Sur VM, and my terminal output looked like this.

We ended up with a 17.83GB ISO. After trial and error this can come down to just over 13GB.

Once you have your Install macOS 12 Beta app, follow the below steps one by one.

hdiutil create -o /tmp/Monterey -size 13350m -volname Monterey -layout SPUD -fs HFS+J

hdiutil attach /tmp/Monterey.dmg -noverify -mountpoint /Volumes/Monterey

sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ 12\ Beta.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Monterey --nointeraction 

sudo hdiutil detach /Volumes/Install\ macOS\ 12\ Beta (-force if needed)

hdiutil convert /tmp/Monterey.dmg -format UDTO -o ~/Desktop/Monterey.cdr 

mv ~/Desktop/Monterey.cdr ~/Desktop/Monterey.iso

Optional (to free up space): 
rm /tmp/Monterey.dmg

If you get any size errors from the createinstallmedia command, asking for more space, delete your initial DMG and up the 13350m size accordingly.

Once this is done, you can then start to build your VM in Fusion.

Step 1 – Build your VM

I did all my testing in VMware Fusion Professional Version 12.1.2 (17964953).

Load the ISO in, and select your Operating system. Pick macOS 11.

Choose Operating System 
Select the operating system to be used in this virtual machine. 
Choose Disc 
or Image 
Configuration 
Select the operating system for this virtual machine: 
Microsoft Windows 
> 
Linux 
Apple OS X 
VMware ESX 
Other 
> 
> 
> 
> 
macOS 11.0 
macOS 10.15 
macOS 10.14 
macOS 10.13 
macOS 10.12 
os x 10.11 
os x 10.10 
os x 10.9 
os x 10.8 
Mac OS X 10.7 
Mac OS X 10.7 32-bit 
Mac OS X Server 10.6

When you get to the Finish page. DO NOT CLICK FINISH. Click “Customize Settings“.

Finish 
The configuration of the virtual machine is now complete. 
Choose Disc 
or Image 
Configuration 
Virtual Machine Summary 
Guest Operating System macOS 11.0 
New Hard Disk Capacity 80 GB 
Memory 4 GB 
Networking Share with my Mac (NAT) 
Device Summary 2 CPU cores, CD/DVD, USB Cor 
Sound Card 
To change the default virtual machine settings, click Customize Settings.
You want around 80GB on your VM disk, to allow for upgrades and such after.

Set your filename for your VM. It will default to macOS 11.0, I changed mine to 12.0 Beta.

Finish 
The configuration of the virtual machine is now complete. 
Save As: 
Tags: 
macOS 12.0 Beta 
Where: Virtual Machines 
— Share this virtual machine with other users on this Mac 
Some features will be limited when sharing a virtual machine. 
Sharing is only available when the virtual machine is saved in a 
shared folder. 
(15 Save 
To change the default virtual machine settings, click Customize Settings.

Next, in settings, change your Network Adaptor to disabled, with Bridged Networking set to Autodetect.

C) Show All 
macOS 12.0 Beta: Network Adapter 
Connect Network Adapter 
This network adapter is configured to use: 
Internet Sharing 
Share with my Mac 
Bridged Networking 
• Autodetect 
• Wi-Fi 
Thunderbolt Ethernet Slot 1 
Custom 
• Private to my Mac 
The virtual machine appears as an 
computer on the same physical net 
as your Mac.

Close out of these options, and you’ll be left with a powered off VM. DO NOT POWER IT ON YET!

Step 2 – Set your VMX Settings

First, we need to change an option, and set some new ones.

From the Virtual Machine Library, find your new macOS 12 Beta VM. Hold the Option key and right click on the VM.

First of all, search for “board-id.reflectHost” and set it from True to False.

board-id.reflectHost = "FALSE"

Next, we need to set the Board ID and Hardware Model based on the device we want to reflect to the VM. You can find a list of Board ID and HW Models here. https://mrmacintosh.com/list-of-mac-boardid-deviceid-model-identifiers-machine-models/

board-id = "Mac-551B86E5744E2388"
hw.model.reflectHost = "FALSE"
hw.model = "MacBookPro14,3"

Next, we need to set the serial number. This can be a serial number of a Mac in Apple Business Manager your using to test an Automated Enrollment flow. Or, it can be the Serial Number of the Mac you’re working from. Or, it could be a jumble of characters!

serialNumber.reflectHost = "FALSE"
serialNumber = "C00000000000"

Next, we need to add 2 options to handle some display issues. Many thanks to Scott Knight for the tip here!

svga.present="FALSE"
appleGPU0.present="TRUE"

Lastly, a VERY IMPORTANT unusual step

In this release, if we don’t use the NIC type ‘vmxnet3’, we will have issues getting an IP Address in the VM. Locate the below (search “virtualDev” or “e1000e”).

ethernet0.virtualDev = "e1000e"

Replace “e1000e” with “vmxnet3”.

ethernet0.virtualDev = "vmxnet3"

Now you can save and exit the file. For good measure I quit and re-launch Fusion.

Thanks to this discussion thread for some advice on the NIC change. And to Michael Roy for the nudge internally! https://communities.vmware.com/t5/VMware-Fusion-Discussions/How-do-I-specify-Network-Adapter-to-be-vmxnet3-in-Fusion/td-p/2667194

Step 3 – Install the OS

Now you can boot your VM and run through the install steps.

• •e 00 
Language Chooser 
macO 
Language 
English 
English (UK) 
English (Australia) 
English (India) 
Espaöol 
Espaöol (Latinoamérica) 
Franpis
Select your language
• •e 00 
Recovery File 
macO 
Edit 
Utilities 
Window 
os 
Restore from Time Machine 
You have a backup of your system that you want to restore. 
Install macOS 12 Beta 
use the attached installer to Upgrade or Install macOS. 
Safari 
Browse Apple Support to get help with your Mac. 
Disk utility 
Repair or erase a disk using Disk Utility.
Select install macOS Beta. No need to do anything in disk utility
• •e 00 
Install macOS 12 Beta 
macO 
Edit Window 
mac 
macOS 12 Beta 
To set up the installation of macOS 12 Beta, click Continue.
• •e 00 
Install macOS 12 Beta 
macO 
Edit 
Window 
macOS 12 Beta 
macOS 12 Beta will be installed on the disk "Macintosh HD". 
Macintosh HD 
85.56 0B total 
85.34 available
• •e 00 
Install macOS 12 Beta 
macO 
Edit Window 
macOS 12 Beta 
macOS 12 Beta will be installed on the disk "Macintosh HD". 
Macintosh HD 
About 17 minutes remaining

Step 4 – Setup Assistant

Now, when you land on the Setup Assistant. SHUTDOWN THE VM, and take a snapshot. This is your pre-setup Snapshot where you can go back to if you need to change your Serial Number or re-do it.

Then you can start up the VM and get going. My first piece of advice here is, patience! For me at least it was VERY slow. Persevere with it, and you’ll get there.

Go through all the steps, and you should get to the account creation screen and then landed on the Desktop.

!!!IMPORTANT STEP!!! – when you hit the desktop, follow the below process – DO NOT SHUTDOWN or do anything else:

Go to System Preferences / Users & Groups. Click on Login Options and then the padlock. Authentiocate with your new password.

Set “Automatic Login” to your username.

The reason for this is that there seems to be an issue with the loginwindow that sticks you in a login loop/black screen.

Step 5 – Go grab a beer, your done.

You can now install VMtools (accept all the Security and Privacy prompts, reboot), shutdown, and take another snapshot at your post setup point to allow you to get back to a clean VM.

Please, shutdown and take another snapshot! And then if you enrol in MDM, take another snapshot post enrolment. I let the VM go to sleep, and I couldn’t wake it back up, even after a reboot! My “Clean install + VMtools” snapshot saved me a ton of time.

Thanks to Howard Bliss for the tip for login window!

If anything changes we’ll try and update the guide, and if you have any issues please get in touch with me! @adampmatthews and @adammatthews on MacAdmins slack.

Troubleshooting

If you see the below, you’ve not got the NIC changed to vmxnet3.

If you restart and have a fuzzy screen and some kernel panic restarts, like the below:

Just keep restarting and it should clear itself.

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