Qustion about macOS Virtualization

roethelbc
New Contributor III

Hello all!

We are looking at setting up three macOS VMs for hosting and testing Apple Updates in a SUS as well as netboot. We use vCenter to handle all our Windows VMs. I know what the EULA says all macOS VMs must be installed on Apple-Labeled computers. With vCenter we can get it to work in macOS, but we had the idea of installing Windows on the Mac and then managing VMs on that device using vCenter. Is anyone doing something like this and/or have a solution for running Apple VMs to handle your needs.

Best.

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

rtrouton
Valued Contributor III

@roethelbc, where is Windows involved? VMware's ESXi server runs on its own Linux-based OS. There has been a vSphere Windows client for managing ESXi but that's not used to host the VMs; just to manage ESXi.

There's also VMware Workstation, which installs onto Windows and which runs VMs. But if you're going that route, you may as well install macOS and VMware Fusion on the Mac to host your VMs.

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Taylor_Armstron
Valued Contributor

Exactly what @rtrouton is saying. VMWare doesn't run "under" Windows, it runs on the hardware directly - in essence, ESXi is the alternative OS running on the hardware, and then you run the VM's on top of that. Rich is far more experienced in this than I am, but basically - the expensive (and FAR more powerful option) is to run a hypervisor on something like a Mac Pro, with Mac OS guests running on top of that. The "cheap" way is to just install VMWare Fusion, on any Mac and run a couple of VM's in there. No real need for any Windows VM anywhere unless you're doing it only for the vsphere client.

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Taylor_Armstron
Valued Contributor

Note that vSphere 6.5 includes the HTML5 interface baked in, so you might not need the Windows VM if you're only using it as a management console.

roethelbc
New Contributor III

@Taylor.Armstrong it is not so much that we want to virtualize Windows but we need to virtualize macOS. As far as I know, legally, any macOS VM has to be on Apple hardware. So the idea was bootcamp the Mac that will host the macOS VMs.

rtrouton
Valued Contributor III

@roethelbc, where is Windows involved? VMware's ESXi server runs on its own Linux-based OS. There has been a vSphere Windows client for managing ESXi but that's not used to host the VMs; just to manage ESXi.

There's also VMware Workstation, which installs onto Windows and which runs VMs. But if you're going that route, you may as well install macOS and VMware Fusion on the Mac to host your VMs.

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roethelbc
New Contributor III

@rtouton just realized that. Our engineer who handles the VMs just told me. His only question what does Apple still require it to be virtualized on Apple hardware. Since I am sure it does, I think I am good to go!

Taylor_Armstron
Valued Contributor

Exactly what @rtrouton is saying. VMWare doesn't run "under" Windows, it runs on the hardware directly - in essence, ESXi is the alternative OS running on the hardware, and then you run the VM's on top of that. Rich is far more experienced in this than I am, but basically - the expensive (and FAR more powerful option) is to run a hypervisor on something like a Mac Pro, with Mac OS guests running on top of that. The "cheap" way is to just install VMWare Fusion, on any Mac and run a couple of VM's in there. No real need for any Windows VM anywhere unless you're doing it only for the vsphere client.

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roethelbc
New Contributor III

@rtouton @Taylor.Armstrong thank you both. We will be going with the run it on a Mac Pro with the guest OS on that. Thanks for the clarification on it!

maxbehr
Contributor II

If you have access to older Xserves you might consider them as well. Though they don't support running new version of macOS natively, they have no problem hosting them virtually via ESIx 6.