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!
Update May 2022: Amended the ISO size to fit macOS 12.4, and updated the commands for the released name for the Monterey installer vs. beta.
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.
IF you want to download a different image, I suggest using this: GitHub – scriptingosx/DownloadFullInstaller: macOS application written in SwiftUI that downloads installer pkgs for the Install macOS Big Sur application. – Pick your version and run the .pkg to get the Installer app in Applications.
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.
Once you have your Install macOS 12 Beta app, follow the below steps one by one.
hdiutil create -o /tmp/Monterey -size 13650m -volname Monterey -layout SPUD -fs HFS+J hdiutil attach /tmp/Monterey.dmg -noverify -mountpoint /Volumes/Monterey sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Monterey.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Monterey --nointeraction sudo hdiutil detach /Volumes/Install\ macOS\ Monterey (-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 13650m 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.
When you get to the Finish page. DO NOT CLICK FINISH. Click “Customize Settings“.
Set your filename for your VM. It will default to macOS 11.0, I changed mine to 12.0 Beta.
Next, in settings, change your Network Adaptor to disabled, with Bridged Networking set to Autodetect.
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/. These are important if you want to MDM enrol your VM, this helps the VM present the ‘correct’ version info.
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! This can give you access to the loginwindow if you need it (I’d still recommend doing the auto-login change later on!)
NOTE: Some have reported this can cause issues if you add these before running through setup assistant. If you have a fuzzy screen/crashes with these, remove and reboot.
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.
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.
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. If you’re getting this screen before you land on Setup Assistant (or crash screens), remove the GPU options from the VMX.