In 2021, Apple announced their first MacBook Pro laptop with an Apple-designed ARM processor (M1 processor), shifting production of the Mac’s CPU from Intel x86. Apple claimed this ARM-based MacBook featured the world’s fastest CPU core and the fastest integrated graphics, adding up to huge power and performance gains. The following year, Apple announced another ARM processor at WWDC, the M2.
As Apple was rolling out their ARM chips, they also introduced Rosetta for existing applications. Rosetta is a dynamic binary translator developed by Apple for macOS. It enables a transition to newer hardware by automatically translating software. Rosetta 2 was announced in 2020, which allowed Intel-based applications to run on Macs with Apple silicon.
For end users running Horizon virtual desktops and applications on a Mac, ensuring the client is built to work with the OS is imperative to ensure interoperability. Previously, Horizon Client for Mac used Rosetta emulation mode to support virtual desktops on ARM-based MacBooks. However, Horizon 2212, which shipped in late 2022, introduced native support for ARM-based Macs. This allowed end users to reap the benefits of the power and performance advantages of Apple silicon when running Horizon on their Macs. Now, with the latest Horizon Client 2303 release, the key Horizon features natively support ARM, including the Microsoft Teams Optimization Pack for a more streamlined experience and VMware Blast Codec, which provides improved performance. In our test with Blast Codec, Horizon Client with ARM native CPU usage is approximately 15% lower than in Rosetta emulation mode.
By building a Universal macOS binary, Horizon Client can run natively on either Apple silicon or Intel-based Macs, because the universal build contains executable code for both architectures and it doesn’t require Rosetta.
To identify whether your Horizon Client app is running natively on ARM, and not using Rosetta emulation, follow these steps:
- Select Horizon Client from Applications in the Finder.
- From the File menu in the menu bar, choose Get Info.
- If the Kind is listed as Application (Universal), it means the app supports both Apple silicon and Intel processors, and automatically installs the native version.
If you’d like to run Horizon Client Apple Silicon with Rosetta emulation, you can check the option “open using Rosetta.”
VMware continues to improve Horizon Client for macOS to deliver end users the best experience when using virtual desktops. If you’d like to learn more about Horizon, visit Horizon Resources on the Tech Zone.