Thursday, June 13, 2024

Using Apple Accounts With macOS Virtual Machines

Andrew Cunningham (Hacker News):

But up until now, you haven’t been able to sign into iCloud using macOS on a VM. This made the feature less useful for developers or users hoping to test iCloud features in macOS, or whose apps rely on some kind of syncing with iCloud, or people who just wanted easy access to their iCloud data from within a VM.

Or even to run an app from the Mac App Store.

This limitation is going away in macOS 15 Sequoia, according to developer documentation that Apple released yesterday. As long as your host operating system is macOS 15 or newer and your guest operating system is macOS 15 or newer, VMs will now be able to sign into and use iCloud and other Apple ID-related services just as they would when running directly on the hardware.

Great news, but the version restrictions mean it will be most useful after the next WWDC.

Apple (via Hacker News):

Nested virtualization is available for Mac with the M3 chip, and later.

This means running a VM inside of a VM.

Marcin Krzyzanowski:

macOS virtual machine allows to install macOS AND USE ICLOUD

That is 99% what you need to have viable macOS simulator.

Miles Wolbe:

“Using a macOS 15 installer to upgrade an older VM doesn’t provide support for iCloud.”

Sadly, signing in to the App Store does not appear to be supported (for now?), returning “An unknown error occurred.”

Previously:

Update (2024-06-18): Howard Oakley:

This article explains the changes promised in macOS Sequoia as a host, and their consequences on VMs.

[…]

In previous versions of macOS, VMs have been unable to access most storage except in the VM’s own disk image or through shared folders. With Sequoia they will now be able to access USB storage through the UUID of the storage device. This should provide direct access to external disks, and any other external storage connected to the host via USB.

[…]

For those with Macs with Ultra chips and ample cores, there’s no indication that Apple has relaxed its licence to allow any more than two macOS VMs to be run at the same time.

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Thanks for the shout-out, Michael.

In the initial beta at least, I have not found that "[a]s long as your host operating system is macOS 15 or newer and your guest operating system is macOS 15 or newer, VMs will now be able to sign into and use iCloud and other Apple ID-related services just as they would when running directly on the hardware," even when signed in to both iCloud and App Store within the macOS 15 host. Whether attempting to sign in to Apple Account via System Settings > Sign in, or iCloud via Internet Accounts, or just App Store, all return "An unknown error occurred." in a UTM 4.5.3 VM.

Relatedly, in a recent Parallels blog post ("Preview macOS Sequoia 15 with Parallels Desktop – The Ultimate Convenience for Tech Enthusiasts and Developers!" https://www.parallels.com/blogs/preview-macos-sequoia-15-with-parallels-desktop/), the author states that "[s]igning into an Apple ID in a virtual machine is not supported: you won’t be able to sign into your Apple ID within the VM."

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