Thursday, July 9, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

VMware Fusion Tech Preview for Big Sur

Michael Roy (tweet):

Big Sur brings with it some really big visual changes, but also major changes under the hood. For instance, Apple has been progressively deprecating 3rd party Kernel Extensions or “kexts” which Fusion needs to run VMs and containers. In order to continue to operate in this model, we’ve re-architected our hypervisor stack to leverage Apple’s native hypervisor APIs, allowing us to run VMs without any kernel extensions.

On macOS Catalina systems, Fusion operates as it always has using kernel extensions to provide functionality. However on Big Sur systems, Fusion operates entirely without kexts.

[…]

This Tech Preview supports macOS Big Sur 11.0 Beta 2 for both Host and Guest.

Michael Roy:

Mojave is explicitly not supported. The next major version of Fusion will deprecate Mojave hosts.

See also:

Previously:

3 Comments

In order to continue to operate in this model, we’ve re-architected our hypervisor stack to leverage Apple’s native hypervisor APIs, allowing us to run VMs without any kernel extensions.

On macOS Catalina systems, Fusion operates as it always has using kernel extensions to provide functionality. However on Big Sur systems, Fusion operates entirely without kexts.

Interesting.

This raises a ton of questions:

feature-wise and performance-wise, is Apple’s Hypervisor.framework as good as VMware’s? And if so, why aren’t they also using it on Catalina? (Perhaps Catalina’s Hypervisor.framework is slower and/or lacks features?)
is there some kind of compatibility shim in between (which presumably would make it slower)? I would’ve expected VMware’s stack to heavily rely on their own hypervisor software architecture.
no kexts at all also means no com.vmware.kext.vmnet. There’s a mention that “Jumbo Frames feature currently does not function”, but other than that, it sounds like all networking functionality is there: NAT, bridging, etc. Has Apple added all that in Big Sur’s Hypervisor.framework?

Or, the tl;dr: will this be better for everyone, worse, or… kind of just a lateral move?

It's one less practical impediment to Apple further locking down macOS à la iOS.

Does this mean O3X is basically dead?

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