Update: This is no longer an issue with Fusion 11.5
Here’s a quick note on how-to setup a macOS catalina VM on VMware Fusion 11. Credit for figuring out how-to do this goes to vmtn users Bogdam and intel008 as they are the ones who posted the resolution in the following thread at VMTN: macOS Catalina VMs do not run in VMware Fusion 11.1.0
This thread describes the problems you bump into if you try to upgrade a macOS Mojave VM to the new beta macOS Catalina. Basically if you run the upgrade then your VM will hang on reboot. If you then try to reboot it in verbose mode, so that you can see what happens, you’ll get the following screen.
Yikes, that’s no good!
Then user bogdam reported he could get passed this by changing the virtual machine hardware to Windows 10. I tried that, but my VM no longer booted. As it turns out, the main trick is to start from a new VM, not upgrade an existing one. But as it involves a few more steps, not all of them obvious, I figured to write it out for you.
So first things first. If you want to get that 6.4GB “Install macOS 10.15 Beta.app” installer out of the VM then you cannot use the VMware Fusion shared folders feature. You can however drag & drop the installer bundle from your VM to your host OS, or copy it out using a network share via AFP (not samba).
Then the steps to install your new macOS Catalina VM are as follows.
First select File New from within VMware Fusion:
Now go back to Finder and drag your installer on top of the above dialog and drop it there.
You’ll get this screen:
Select macOS 10.14 and continue
Do not click Finish here, instead click “Customize Settings”
This will then give you a save as dialog where you can change the name.
Click save and now Fusion is going to create “installation media” for you on the disk. When it is done you will be presented with the VM in shut down state and the settings dialog.
Click general and change the guest OS to Windows 10 x64 like so:
Click “Change” to confirm, then show all and boot the VM.
The normal boot screen should appear (if it does not, then choose the macOS recovery image from the boot menu in the UEFI after it times out)
Once you are booting, you should get the familiar language selection:
and you’ll be booted into the recovery menu:
Click “Install macOS” and continue.
You are now starting with the normal setup and the VM is getting installed.
On reboot however you’ll be getting this:
which is followed up by this:
Select “Boot normally” and press Enter.
This should then give you the normal boot progress screen:
which takes a while to complete.
Go pet the cat, feed the fish or grab a coffee. You’ve got about 10 minutes, maybe more if your hardware is a bit older.
When the install is done, you’ll get this again:
Which eventually drops you back in the boot manager menu.
This time select “Shut down the system”
Now when you are ready to boot into your new VM, you first should change back the guest OS type to macOS. Go to Fusion menu “Virtual Machine” -> Settings -> General and make the change:
Now you can boot into your new macOS Catalina VM!