Installing macOS Ventura and macOS Monterey on the VMware Fusion 12

As with every new macOS beta release there are some things which need to be done before it will run as a virtual machine. This year, if we use the template for macOS 11 or try to upgrade the existing Big Sur machine most of the installation will succeed. However on the first boot we will arrive at a black screen (apparently if you didn’t install VMware Tools or create a fresh VM you will get the black screen starting with the second boot). Here this is caused by the SVGA graphics card, which is unfortunately no longer working correctly on the login screen in the macOS 12 and macOS 13, and results in a login window process crash 💥 To fix this issue we have to make small changes to our .vmx file:

svga.present = "FALSE"
appleGPU0.present = "TRUE"

This will disable the old SVGA graphics card and enable the new experimental Apple Paravirtualized Graphics device, which is based on the Apple’s Paravirtualized Graphics framework. This device is only working on hosts running macOS Big Sur and the newest version of VMware Fusion and guests running macOS Big Sur or newer. In other configurations this will result in a permanent colourful mess.

Optionally you may also include these lines, which will define your screen width and height (after installing VMware Tools these values will be set automatically):

appleGPU0.screen0.width = "1680"
appleGPU0.screen0.height = "1050"

Additionally you migth want to replace the line:

ethernet0.virtualDev = "e1000e"

with this line, as it will enable you to access the Internet inside your VM:

ethernet0.virtualDev = "vmxnet3"

But there’s one more thing needed to be done, as otherwise after starting the VM you’ll get a popup which will probably inform you that the VM has crashed and will look like this:

This occurs if we have enabled the appleGPU0 but didn't disable 3D acceleration in the VM preferences. I also recommend disabling the full resolution for Retina display options on the macOS Monterey and Ventura, as currently only the macOS Big Sur supports HiDPI modes.

After doing everything above we will be able to boot our VM, you may experience a few crashes, sometimes the VM will need a few reboots before it finally starts up correctly, especially when you make changes to the configuration, but other than that it is perfect for testing your software, as it finally has full Metal acceleration, so the app looks exactly the same in the VM as it would on the real hardware.

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Adam Kopeć

Adam Kopeć

I'm a software developer, and a student, always working on some next great thing 😃