macOS 11 beta in a VM

I've been having some fun getting macOS11 (also referred to as macOS 10.16 during install) Big Sur beta 1 running in a VM within VMware Fusion. If you've not met Fusion before, it's VMware's hypervisor for the Apple Mac. It's a really useful tool for a lot of people right now as Apple has given developers access to the first beta code this week and Fusion allows us to test the new release running in a VM.

As usual, running unsupported, pre release software sometimes brings up challenges...

Downloaded the macOS 11 beta installer from Apple. It's about 10GB so may take a little while. Then I obtained a USB stick (16GB minimum) and formatted it with Disk Utility leaving the default name of Untitled. Then, using Terminal, I ran the following command to create the installer and make the media bootable...

sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ 10.15\ --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ 11\

Once this had finished, I created a new VM with 50GB Hard Disk and 4GB of memory, mounted the USB stick into the VM and booted it. The install was pretty much the same as any other recent macOS install...

After running through the initial setup, and a reboot later, it's time to log in for the first time...

But, it didn't work! I get to enter my password which it accepted and then the screen went blank and returned me to the log in prompt again. So, today I tried building another VM from scratch and got exactly the same result. Time to try a different approach. I booted up a VM that had the previous version of macOS installed (Catalina) and copied the installer into that and tried to run the setup again.

New problem - The disk was too small. So, shut the VM down and made the disk larger and increased the size of the partition in Disk Utility. Time to kick off the installation again!

The disk was still too small. Grrr! So I repeated the previous steps and made it even larger then ran the install once more.

After a little while...

Tadaaaa!!! Go me :-)

I think I'll wait and keep an eye on the forums to see if anyone else is having similar problems with a fresh install in a VM and I'll report back when I find out more.


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