[FoRK] OSX VMs/backup, Re: Dunning-Kruger effect discriminatory environs

Mark Day mark_s_day at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 28 12:40:08 PST 2014

I don't dispute your data points here, but your original comment was about "easy" VM install.  I suspect that we have different meanings for that word. ;-)

I have certainly been known to go into full-scale solve-this-problem mode when appropriate.  But in this case I really had better things to do than learn about the multiple interacting OSX/Fusion quirks.


 From: Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net>
To: Mark Day <mday at alum.mit.edu>; Friends of Rohit Khare <fork at xent.com> 
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2014 3:16 PM
Subject: [FoRK] OSX VMs/backup,	Re:  Dunning-Kruger effect discriminatory environs

VMWare Converter does a great job for P2V of Windows.  I'm sure a huge amount of work was put into it. But it doesn't support OSX P2V.

I use Carbon Copy Cloner rather than Time Machine.  It is essentially a smart wrapper around rsync.  Simple to use, powerful, and 
has all the options typically.  It makes it easy to maintain bootable backups and can work over the network or when a USB drive is 
plugged in.

Right away I found someone suggesting how to solve your problem easily:
> Re: Convert Mac to VM
> dlhotka Master
> dlhotka    (2,095 posts since Jan 2, 2007) Oct 25, 2012 11:25 AM (in response to jrasmussen)
> Here's how to do this and not violate the EULA.
> 1) Clone the laptop to an external USB disk (I like carbon copy cloner, others use super duper)
> 2) Create a new OSX VM (with appropriate licensed versions of the OS)
> 3) During the installation process, when prompted to migrate your information, plug in the USB drive and choose 'from another drive'
> That will migrate all the information off the clone into the new VM.

If that doesn't get all of your apps, some of them can simply be copied from /Applications if they haven't installed things around 
the system.

I suspect that you could simply boot from a backed up image, perhaps converted to a .vmdk or similar.  OSX is like Linux in that it 
doesn't need to be munged to run on particular hardware usually.  Just get the image in the right format and it should boot.  A 
while back, I managed to get a much newer OS onto my original MacBook Air via Carbon Copy Cloner as there was no valid upgrade 
path/method for the old OSX version it had.  Booted right up.

I just had the root drive of my Mac Pro desktop start to go bad. Took 2 hours of copying and 5 minutes of my time to replace it with 
essentially no loss of data.  That was never my experience with Windows and various backup/restore methods; some of them comically bad.

Hopefully we'll get Docker for OSX too soon, perhaps with a reference image as an optional config/application source.


On 2/28/14, 10:28 AM, Mark Day wrote:
> I bet if you just have a clean copy of the operating system on top of Fusion, the actual VM functionality probably works fine. All of my challenges were along the path of (a) getting the OS bits from the App Store to install in the VM and (b) restoring state from a Time Machine backup into the resulting VM.  Both "wizards" wound up getting stuck in various ways where they would loop back to a nominally-completed part of the process.  I eventually got through by trial and error but I couldn't recreate the successful path for you, and the restored machine was still missing a handful of apps.  It was a vivid contrast to the ease with which I previously moved a Windows machine into a Fusion VM.
> There was also a secondary issue about running stacked VMs, but I could have worked around that if I thought it was worthwhile. Instead it just felt like every aspect of configuring my OS X "current world" as a VM was going to be a dogfight.  My original premise had been that virtualizing Windows had been a big win for me, maybe virtualizing OS X would be as well.  When it started seeming like it wasn't going to be an easy improvement, I gave up and went back to running native on my new hardware.
> --Mark
> From: Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net>
> OSX is just a stable-for-apps desktop OS version of Ubuntu Linux for me.
> Apple should loosen the controls on OSX and go after PCs too, as I've said.  In the meantime, I just make OSX and Linux equivalent
> for most purposes.  Develop on OSX, test/deploy on Linux, and everything's great.
> I have OSX in Fusion, which seemed to work fine, but didn't exercise it much yet.  Mark, what kinds of problems did you have?
> Stephen
> On 2/28/14, 9:08 AM, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
>> Apple needs to change it's "policy" in virtualization to make things better.  Not agreeing to do digital countermeasures,
>> eliminating cease and desist letters, and an not suing people is not a good start for corporate strategy.
>> They need somebody senior at Apple to understand Cloud not owned by Apple, server not owned by Apple (which they are timid about
>> after their server offering failure and the server market failure in general), and the development market.
>> I know the most talented Java technical team in the world that wants to put a fully licensed and certificed, non-Oracle owned,
>> highly optimized, Java8 stack on ios, but they are unfriendly.
>> Do you know how many developers prefer OSX as a development platform? Tons.  It's a little bit of Ubuntu-esque plus standard
>> desktop productivity tools--so the best of both worlds.  I used both a Win7x64 and a 13.10 box as dev environments.  You can do
>> both in OSX.
>> They just need to get educated and bite the bullet.
>> Greg
>> On 2/28/2014 4:37 AM, Mark Day wrote:
>>> My recent (2 weeks ago) experience of trying to run OS X on OS X via VMware Fusion was pretty dreadful.  Hard to figure out what
>>> to do, hard to figure out why stuff broke, eventually concluded some of the limitations were fatal for my plans. I was surprised
>>> because I had spent at least a couple of years previously using a Windows 7 VM on Fusion on OS X as my primary work "machine,"
>>> and it pretty much always "just worked."
>>> Not sure whether the underlying problem for my use case is lack of commercial demand or Apple paranoia, but the "easy" experience
>>> seemed highly biased in favor of the specific case of Windows-on-Mac, not virtualization-as-good-thing.
>>> --Mark
>>> ________________________________
>>>     From: Stephen Williams <sdw at lig.net>
>>> ??  Apple doesn't mind VMs anymore as far as I can tell, as long as you run them on Apple hardware. VMWare Fusion explicitly
>>> supports easy VM install.
>>> Now, running it elsewhere will take a little jumping through hoops for now...
>>> Stephen
>>> On 2/27/14 3:09 PM, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
>>>> Apple doesn't like it so much either. FoRK Commandment amendments,
>>>> section 4. [1]
>>>> Greg
>>>> On Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 2:05 PM, Ken Meltsner <meltsner at alum.mit.edu> wrote:
>>>>>        I'll add another which may not be well-known: you can't ship a VM to
>>>>> customers with Microsoft Windows Server pre-installed.
>>>>       [1] http://www.xent.com/FoRK-archive/fork-faq.html
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> FoRK mailing list
>>> http://xent.com/mailman/listinfo/fork

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net stephendwilliams at gmail.com LinkedIn: http://sdw.st/in
V:650-450-UNIX (8649) V:866.SDW.UNIX V:703.371.9362 F:703.995.0407
AIM:sdw Skype:StephenDWilliams Yahoo:sdwlignet Resume: http://sdw.st/gres
Personal: http://sdw.st facebook.com/sdwlig twitter.com/scienteer

FoRK mailing list

More information about the FoRK mailing list