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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Fix for installing macOS Sierra as a VM

## UPDATE: This fix in this post is no longer required if you have Fusion 8.5, the fix is included ##


I love our dev teams.

These folks work tirelessly to make sure that the crazy complexity that is Fusion and Workstation are able to support both the latest and greatest as well as the ancient and obsolete.

In this particular case, Apple had released a Developer Preview of their latest iteration of their Mac operating system previously called OS X. The new macOS Sierra has plenty of features to delight, but installing it in a virtual machine with VMware Fusion to test it out was met with some complications that I wrote about.

That workaround was a bit of an exercise, but our team has a more graceful fix ready to go now.

It’s a pretty small patch, only a couple of lines changed for one of our supporting scripts, but it makes the entire process as easy as ‘drag .app onto the New VM wizard, click next, wait for the magic to delight you’.

The Fix:

We need to replace a single file that’s located in your VMware Fusion app bundle.

To do this, go to your /Applications folder and right-click / ctrl-click the VMware Fusion.app

Select ‘Show Package Contents’

Navigate into Contents > Library

There’s a file in there called ‘Create Mavericks Installer.tool’. We must replace this with the patched one.

You can download the patched file from our newly-created “officially unofficial” Github page located here:




I plan on using this Github space to host random patch files and other interesting stuff, so feel free to fork and submit a pull request if you think there’s something we could do better in this script or anything else we post up there in the future.  It’s not exactly ‘Open Source VMware Fusion’, but it’s a step in the right direction I think 😉

So go ahead, download the .tool file, replace the existing one with the patched one and get your macOS on!

Github users you know what to do, for folks that may be new to Github just click the green ‘clone or download’ button and choose ‘download .zip’.


Fusion doesn’t even need to be powered off.

Once you replace the file you should be able to click ‘File > New’ in Fusion, and simply drop the ‘Install 10.12 Developer Preview.app’ directly onto the New VM wizard.


Forgot about permissions… You’ll have to adjust permissions at the command line with the following 2 commands:

sudo chmod 755 /Applications/VMware\ Fusion.app/Contents/Library/Create\ Mavericks\ Installer.tool  sudo xattr -rc /Applications/VMware\ Fusion.app/Contents/Library/Create\ Mavericks\ Installer.tool

If you have the windows open in Finder you can just type ‘sudo chmod 755’ and then drag and drop the Create Mavericks Installer.tool onto the Terminal window. Or be lazy and just paste what I wrote above which will work on any system 😉

Simple as that!


macOS Sierra and VMware Fusion 8

Hot off the heels of WWDC, Apple has made available the next major update to it’s flagship operating system for Mac. With a new name, macOS, Apple seems to be getting away from the OS X moniker and aligning with the rest of the OS’s that it has in it’s bag: tvOS, iOS, watchOS, and now macOS.

Users have been excited to run this in a VM to test, but it doesn’t “just work” in Fusion yet unfortunately. The reason is that Developer Preview builds have debugging code included which changes the memory layout of the installer. We specifically require a certain block layout of the .app to create the bootable install image, but because the layout is different due to debugging code, it fails with an ‘Internal Error’.

There are 2 ways to get around this:

  1. Install 10.11 and upgrade it to 10.12
  2. Manually create the bootable install image and attach it to an empty 10.11 VM.

The first one is pretty easy, and you can make an OS X 10.11 VM using the recovery partition with just a couple of clicks from File > New.

Once it’s up and you’ve installed VMware Tools, you can drag the ‘Install 10.12 Developer Preview.app’ onto the desktop of your 10.11 VM, double-click it and begin the install.

For folks that don’t have the time or who want to walk through a fresh installation there is a multi-step method that I’ve written about here that will show you the way and explain what’s happening along the trip.


For folks who want to run Sierra on the Mac itself and use Fusion, there is a bit of a bug that we’re working on, but there’s an easy workaround.

Currently if you try to run a VM it will fail/crash with an ‘Internal Error’.

The simple work around for now is to disable 3D graphics acceleration (per-VM setting). 

It’s possible that this ‘goes away’ when Apple moves to the public beta branch (it has different debugging code enabled than the developer previews), but we’ll be keeping a close eye on things as they develop and share what we learn.

Overall, I’ve found that macOS Sierra as a Host and as a Guest work pretty well. Siri tends to work better on the Host in my experience, so we’ll be examining how to make it a smooth experience in a VM as well. For now, my advice is to speak slowly to her when she’s ‘trapped’ in a VM 😉

(talking about AI with ‘he’ and ‘she’ is weird… welcome to the future!)