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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!


35 thoughts on “Fix for installing macOS Sierra as a VM

  1. Pingback: VMware、macOS 10.12 SierraをVMware Fusionにインストールするためのパッチを公開。 | AAPL Ch.

  2. Pingback: Michael Tsai - Blog - WWDC 2016 Links

    1. Michael RoyMichael Roy Post author

      It’s not a patch to officially support 10.12 (which includes an item in the guest-os type selectors), it’s only a patch to make the installer work.

      1. Simon Pocock

        Sorry to be daft but how do I “make the installer work”. I drag the install app into the Wizard window and hit continue, and it gives me the list of possible operating systems but not Sierra. I want it to load from the app I’ve just dragged in. What do I do?

        1. Michael RoyMichael Roy Post author

          Just choose 10.11 as the OS type, Sierra is not officially supported yet, so there’s no 10.12 dropdown until then.

        2. Simon Pocock

          Thanks for that – it as least confirmed that I was doing the right thing … and it just didn’t work! I tried three more times unsuccessfully before re-downloading the Tool and installing it (for the fourth time). It is has now worked fine. The only other thing to report is that to re-start the MacBook Pro as recommended, I had to do a forced shutdown. On re-start it asked if i wanted to re-open what I had open before the shutdown, and i said, No (in case there had been something interfering with the Installer), Sierra looks very beautiful

  3. Jayson Kempinger

    This does not appear to work with the public beta that was released today. VMware just gives me an error: “Unable to create the installation medium.” I’m running VMware 8.1.1 and did change the permissions per the update.

    1. Michael RoyMichael Roy Post author

      Did you swap the .tool file and adjust permissions?
      Have you rebooted the Mac after doing so? It shouldn’t be required, but I had someone mention that it didn’t work until they restarted, but it was fine afterwards.

      1. Jayson Kempinger

        Rebooting took care of it! Thanks!

        The install process was as smooth as any other OS X installation in VMware and Sierra is running quite smoothly in the VM! Siri is a bit sluggish, but could be something with graphics in the VM as it seems that the animation tends to stutter quite a bit. VMware Tools also seem to be working!

      2. Matt

        I have Fusion 8.1.1, I replaced the file, changed the permissions, reboot…still getting the same error.

      3. Nicholas Riley

        The issue was that if the original script runs, it leaves the dmg mounted, so when your modifications attempt to mount it again, it fails.

        Thanks for providing this! Still works with beta 8.


  4. Kahlil

    Hello. Thanks for making this available. Where do I find: “Install 10.12 Developer Preview.app”.

  5. Nathan Zamprogno

    My question is related: I’ve upgrade my Mac from OS-X 10.11.5 to the public beta of macos 10.12 (Sierra). All VM’s (both image based and Boot Camp) return “Internal Error” under Fusion 8.1.1

    Yes, Sierra is in beta. I know. But is this an expected behavior, for now, and will the fix to this come in an update to Fusion or a fix to Sierra?

    1. Nathan Zamprogno

      Update: Fixed (for now) by disabling “Accelerate 3D graphics” in the VM settings.

  6. Chris

    Does not work. After drag&drop I have to decide an OSX version. I took 10.11 and now a popup window with something like “…this can take some time” is shown without any updates after more than one hour of waiting… :-/

    1. Michael RoyMichael Roy Post author

      Something went wrong somewhere… at the ‘this can take some time’ it took my about 30 minutes on the fastest Mac’s available. Either try again or get in touch with our support team to help out. desktop-services@vmware.com

    2. Chris

      Could fix it – take care that you do not right click on the sierra-vm-installer-fix to download it – that is an html file you get and not the fix. Now the installation seems to works 🙂

  7. Masa

    I actually installed it, and i’m running the Xcode 8 beta. But none of my devices are showing up. Are there some USB quirks in the beta? I can access USB drives.

    1. Arvind Aggarwal

      Worked for me. I was able to install macOS Sierra in VMware following the above process.

      The ONL:Y thing I did different was (and this is strange) is: I have a bootable USB drive with macOS Sierra app on it. I used the installer from the USB. The downloaded installer would not work.

      Hope this helps.

  8. Chris

    Does your patch work the same after I transferred my Documents folder to iCloud during the process of installing Sierra? The Documents folder folder has a folder called Virtual Machines and contains a file called Windows 7 x64.vmwarevm

    I tried putting a link Documents alias in the origina Documents location but it didn’t work

    Advice much appreciated

    1. Michael RoyMichael Roy Post author

      You can move your VM’s anywhere, they don’t need to be in ~/Documents. If you move it (and you should if you’re sync’ing ~/Documents with iCloud), you can just double-click the .vmwarevm file and it will add the new location to the Library.

  9. Dave Uselton

    None of this works with the full Sierra as guest but El Capitan as host using 8.5.0

    Change persmissions multiple times, rebooted multiple times, sacrificed a chicken. Once again, VMWare has sucked hours and hours out of my life trying to make an advertised feature actually work.

  10. DG Orion

    This worked on Sierra after upgrading to 8.5 , changing the contents on Create Mavericks Installer.tool , and then restarting the machine

  11. Chris

    Due to inexperience I cannot find how to change the permissions.

    You’ll have to adjust permissions at the command line with the following 2 commands
    Where do I find the command line please?

    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

    1. Michael RoyMichael Roy Post author

      Do not use this fix if you already have 8.5 installed.
      It was ONLY for 8.1 and it is resoled in 8.5.

  12. George

    I agree with Dave Uselton and John, you cannot create a VM using the Installers for Yosemite, El Capitan (and I suppose any other mac OS version) when running El Capitan as host and VMWare Fusion 8.5.
    Is there a workaround for this?. Today I bought the software because I needed this functionality only to find it doesn’t work.

  13. Ben

    I’ve been desperately trying to boot El Capitan on VWware 8.1 using the method above. My main computer (host) is now running sierra, but I’d like to have a virtual machine for El Capitan for some apps that didn’t transfer over. I’ve done all of the above – switched tools, changed permissions, restarted, but it looks like I continue to get stuck at the “Creating installation medium…” progress bar. How long should this take, and is what I want to do even possible?

    Thanks so much,


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