Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Beta Updates in a macOS VM

Guilherme Rambo (Mastodon):

Installing betas now requires signing in with an Apple ID that’s enrolled in the beta program (be it the developer, customer, or public betas), and unfortunately signing in with an Apple ID inside a macOS VM is also not supported.

However, I have found a workaround that allowed me to update a macOS VM running macOS 14 beta 2 to macOS 14 beta 3.

Craig Hockenberry:

There are three primary use cases for most macOS developers running a beta OS in a virtual machine (such as macOS Ventura in UTM):

  1. To download their existing apps from the Mac App Store to verify that everything works correctly on the new OS. An Apple ID is needed to download from the Mac App Store.

  2. To build and debug their apps using Xcode. An Apple ID is needed to setup an account in Xcode so automatic code signing can be used.

  3. To test apps that use iCloud. An Apple ID is needed to access iCloud in System Settings.


2 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Brad Dougherty

I don't really understand why Apple is investing in the virtual machine framework if you can't log in to your Apple ID within it. What do they think the use cases are?

Matt Leipham Ellis

I wonder if part of the reason is that Apple doesn’t want new iCloud accounts to be created from VMs. In the early years of iCloud, it could only be created/added to an Apple ID from an Apple device, and each device would allow for the creation of 3 iCloud accounts in the device’s lifetime. I occasionally saw the error that would appear during Setup Assistant while supporting customers in retail. If Apple still has reason to limit iCloud account creation to their hardware units, the current VM solution—turn the whole feature off—easily does so.

Overall I agree that supporting iCloud in VMs would be useful and Apple could instead choose to carve out the new account flow, but there are likely other business implications or risk factors there.

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