VMware Fusion 4.1 and Mac OS X Virtual Machines

VMware Fusion 4.1 was released late last week and includes many great improvements.  One change was the introduction of a new license verification step for users to verify they are in compliance with the OS licensing terms.

When the license verification step was added in VMware Fusion 4.1 the server edition check was omitted. We are preparing an update.   

Running Mac OS X client in a virtual machine continues to require Lion (purchased from the Mac App Store or a USB thumb drive.)  Users should always ensure they remain in compliance with any applicable software license agreements.



33 comments have been added so far

  1. Please clarify what you mean by “Running Mac OS X client in a virtual machine continues to require Lion”?
    Does the host need to be Lion to run a Mac OS X client in a virtual machine?
    or is Lion the only client version of Mac OS X that is allowed to be run in a virtual machine?
    If Snow Leopard client version and Leopard client version are not allowed to be installed in virtual machine, please unequivocally state it instead of implying it in a carelessly worded roundabout way.

  2. What do you mean “We are preparing an update.”? Does that mean you are going to put the server check back in? If so, that’s a shame.

  3. How is it VMware’s responsibility to enforce a license agreement with myself and Apple? Please don’t make this change, it makes little sense — if I feel like violating my agreement with Apple, that’s my problem — not VMware’s.

  4. Yes, let’s hope that the new “open” verification behavior (à la Fusion 4.1) will remain.
    BTW, now Apple could explicitly allow virtualization also for Leopard and Snow Leopard VMs: they should know that this is really useful and that many users want it!
    You can virtualize all the client versions of Windows: that should really be possibile also for Mac OS X…

  5. Unfortunately Apple’s EULA forbids this, and Apple would likely make things difficult for VMware if their software enables this. Apple has done this in the past (a similar issue happened with Virtual Box), so its not too unexpected that it would jump on VMware for this if the company lets it slide.
    It is a shame that Apple will not allow some method of getting Rosetta working in Lion. I agree with progress and moving beyond PowerPC, but at least having Rosetta as an option would neither have been difficult nor expensive to implement.

  6. But one would maybe expect a more open and customer-friendly attitude from Apple’s new management (Tim Cook and staff); and, in general, there is no reason whatsoever not to allow virtualization of all versions of Mac OS X Client besides Server.
    So, Apple (one can always hope…): please make the Lion EULA retroactive also for virtualization of the other Intel versions of Mac OS X (Tiger, Leopard and Snow Leopard)! 🙂

  7. A virtualized Mac User Persona is available now, and compliant with Apple’s EULA, from Orchard Parc Inc. It is “Intelligent Desktop Virtualization” for the Mac. It provides a great user experience with local execution, and centralized control and automation for IT management efficiency.
    It provides “iCloud for Enterprise benefits – a “follow me anywhere” mobile, logical Mac user persona that is launched from any Mac, and supported by enterprise class virtual infrastructure (i.e. VMware, XEN) and cloud services such as Amazon.
    Provides data security, mobile computing, and ability to deliver, manage, and automate thousands of desktops from a single console. This includes Windows and Linux applications on Mac.
    And there lots of real use cases for this technology – digital learning in education, enterprise BYOC, data security healthcare, Apple legacy clients requiring high availability, data security.

  8. I’ve never been interested in installing a virtualization product like Fusion on my Apple computers (I’m not a Windows User) until Fusion 4.1 came out, as I saw a vehicle to keep my PowerPC applications running, mainly Quicken 2007, with the loss of Rosetta support in Lion. I installed the 30 day trial and, with the help of the Fusion community, was able to install my legal copy of OSX Snow Leopard client within my iMac’s Lion disc partition (Snow Leopard being on my other disc partition), and install Quicken 2007, which runs really well within the Fusion vm. Now, it appears, that this feature was only a “bug” which will be “fixed” in a Fusion update. I really recommend that VMware and Apple sit down and work on a revised interpretation of the Apple EULA (I am running Snow Leopard on Apple hardware, albeit within the Fusion virtual environment) so that some of the legacy PPC software out there that has not or will never be updated to run Intel-native can still be used. Otherwise, I see no reason to buy a license for Fusion.

  9. Agreed, please don’t fix a very useful feature. Fusion only runs on a Mac, so assuming the license is valid for the OS then it is indeed running on Apple hardware as per the EULA.
    I realise it’s not VMware’s fault that Apple are forcing everyone who upgrades hardware onto Lion. OS X 10.5/10.6 virtualised via Fusion is invaluable for testing software and running older PowerPC apps via Rosetta.

  10. To all those who have posted here, why not send a polite email to Tim Cook? I send this today:
    Dear Mr. Cook:
    I have been a self-described Apple Fan Boy since 1985 when I guided my mother toward purchasing her first computer, a Macintosh 128K machine. In 1986, I spent virtually all of our wedding money for a Mac Plus and an ImageWriter printer. Now dozens of Macs, iPods, iPhones, and iPads later, I and my family, are all loyal Apple users. I am also an Apple stockholder (in a very small way). A few days ago, I helped my mother (now 74 years old) buy what I believe is her fourth or fifth Macintosh. I was saddened, as many people were, by the death of Steve Jobs. I have great confidence in you and the executive team at Apple to continue his legacy and bring great products to the market.
    I do have a small request. I recently upgraded my 2010 MacBook Pro to OSX Lion and although I am pretty happy with it, I had one problem. I could no longer run Quicken which I have relied on for 14 years for my bookkeeping. I searched around but haven’t found anything that meets my needs as well. So although I am very disappointed with Intuit for failing to upgrade the full Mac version of Quicken, I continue to use it by having created a Snow Leopard partition. This works but it is a hassle to have to reboot every time I want to use Quicken and when I do so, I can’t use my computer for anything else until I reboot again into Lion.
    So I was thrilled when I found out yesterday that the new version (4.1) of VMWare Fusion allows one to create a Snow Leopard Virtual Machine. I immediately bought it and installed Snow Leopard and was very happy with the result. Now I can use Quicken without rebooting!
    Unfortunately, today VMWare announced that this was a mistake and updates to Fusion will restore the check that prevents the installation of Snow Leopard single user. This is in compliance with Apple’s licensing rules. I would like to urge Apple to permit Fusion users to install a virtual Snow Leopard. I don’t see a downside to Apple here. Not only will it make my life and the life of other users of Rosetta legacy software easier, but it also makes it possible for me to upgrade to a new Mac that will not run Snow Leopard natively. I have held back from getting a new MacBook Air because I knew I wouldn’t be able to boot into Snow Leopard.
    Thank you for considering my request and keep up the great work of guiding a fantastic company. Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving.

  11. dmk: I second you on that I’ll be sending a similar email to Mr Cook as well.
    VMWare: let Apple and it’s user’s worry with the end user license agreement. I urge to NOT fix the “bug” to look at server version and to continue allowing Leopard and Snow Leopard to be virtualized.

  12. MacWorld points out that the update may only refuse to install earlier clients, it may not refuse to run clients already installed. In other words, if you install now with 4.1, you may be able to run it with 4.2 and later.

  13. Wow. For minute there I thought Apple was going to encourage software authors to actually write for their platform.

  14. I spoke with my Apple rep years ago about virtualizing 10.5 or 10.6. The issue seems to be sub licenses Apple has with others. The bottom line is that third party licensing deals makes allowing virtualization a non-starter for Apple.
    That all said, I tip my hat to VMWare. I doubt it was a “mistake” since 10.6 non-server is explicitly listed. The “mistake” company line is probably just BS to either provide cover for VMWare or for one or more employees.
    For me, it didn’t matter. How to run 10.5 or 10.6 client was pretty well documented on the Web, although Fusion 4.1 seemed to break my existing VMs. I’ll just recreate them and keep 4.1 around 🙂
    Through my vote into “don’t fix it please” – (e.g., leave 10.6 virtualization in there)

  15. So, let me see if I’ve got this right. I can buy and install Snow Leopard Server in a virtual environment, even if Apple makes VMWare “fix” Fusion 4.1. And I could then run Quicken for Mac under SL Server. And I can buy SL Server for $300, and just forget the server apps. Why do I get flashbacks to my Win days from all this silliness?
    Do we think third-party licensing counterparties have really boxed Apple into a corner so that Rosetta cannot legally be resurrected on a Mac running Lion?

  16. Apple makes great hardware. Their OS is very user friendly, well integrated and just works. Many users don’t need specific windows software. Why wouldn’t it be to Apple’s advantage to gain more OSX users who are stuck in Windows cause they can’t afford to move, or are just curious? Seems like one heck of a way to take a bite out of Windows OS user numbers. Windows major success was initially due to the fact that they offered the lowest entry price into the desktop game. I’ve use many of the windows 0S, up to and including 7, and also many linux distros. I also have used OSX predominantly for the last 10 years or so when they moved over to the BSD core. Seems to me, that for the average user, the OSX is a breeze to use. Why not open up the door to a lot more users world wide? Seems like this move would make stock value go up. And why shouldn’t there be some form of licensing integrity along the way, after all they should get paid for their efforts…

  17. So if a fix has been posted, is it v4.1.x? Two days ago I installed v4.1, yet I am unable to install OSX10.6.7; I get an error message saying that this OS cannot be installed. Am I too late or am I doing something wrong?

  18. I picked up on Fusion 4.1 as soon as I heard it would host Snow Leopard. I have installed it and loaded Quicken. It works up to the point of a network connection. When I attempt to download transactions from my bank, an error occurs indicating I can’t make a connection. Anybody know why and how this can be fixed?
    After failing to use the virtual machine, I booted into my SuperDuper copy of my old system, executed Quicken, and successfully completed the network transactions that I couldn’t under the virtual machine (download transactions and pay bills). BTW, I loaded up all the work I had done on the virtual machine from the iDisk backup that Quicken supports. That plus the fact that Safari works says the network is working.

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