VMware adds support for Apple silicon to desktop hypervisor • The Register

VMware has updated its desktop hypervisors, adding native support for Apple’s Arm-based CPUs and Windows 11.

The virtualization giant offers three desktop hypervisors: Workstation and Player for x86 computers and Fusion for macOS. Workstation and Player have reached version 17 and Fusion is at version 13.

The big complement to both is a Virtual Trusted Platform Module (TPM) – an essential requirement for running Windows 11 as a guest operating system.

VMware’s product line manager for desktop hypervisors, Michael Roy, explained that the TPM relies on a “fast encryption option” for VMs that “encrypts only the parts of the VM necessary to support the TPM device, making it efficient while at the same time guaranteeing safety”.

Roy wrote that fast encryption uses the same encryption strength as a fully encrypted VM, but that partial encryption means faster performance.

“The encryption password is also stored in the Mac’s keychain, so you don’t have to enter it every time you start the VM,” he added. “The VM can also automatically generate a password, or you can provide your own instead.”

VM Player – which can only play VMs instead of allowing them to be created and is often deployed as a client to run software appliances – can also run the virtual TPM.

Of course, on Apple Silicon, Fusion is limited to running guest operating systems written for Arm. While Windows for Arm is available for download, Microsoft does not license it to individuals.

Fusion on Apple Silicon is a little behind its cousin for Intel Macs.

“On Intel Macs, you’ll notice full Windows 11 support with VMware Tools that enable host-guest interactions like drag and drop or copy and paste, as well as shared folders and passthrough for USB and camera devices,” Roy wrote. “At Apple Silicon, we unveiled our first round of features for Windows 11 on Arm. In this release, VMware Tools offers virtual graphics and networking, with more to come. With certified and signed drivers, Windows 11 looks amazing and lets you adjust the resolution to 4K and beyond!”

VMware Fusion 13 with Windows 11 on MacOs

VMware Fusion 13 on Apple Silicon with Windows 11 on Arm in macOS – Click to enlarge

Workstation also added support for Windows Server 2022, Ubuntu 22.04, 20.04 and 22.10, Debian 11.5 and 12, Fedora 37 and 36, RHEL 9 and FreeBSD 12, 13.

The registry understands that the work that went into Fusion on Apple silicon overlapped with VMware’s efforts to create a version of its ESXi hypervisor for Arm-powered data center hardware. Virtzilla has been silent on when or if that might appear.

One thing VMware has smuggled out is news of an unsupported “fling” to run Windows virtual desktops offline. The following tweet provides links to more information.


https://www.theregister.com/2022/11/21/vmware_workstation_fusion_updates/ VMware adds support for Apple silicon to desktop hypervisor • The Register

Rick Schindler

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