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Downloading older OS installers on incompatible hardware using VMs

February 21, 2017 2 comments

A lot of Mac admins need to test software in their environment against both the shipping version of macOS and older versions of OS X. However, getting older OS installers from the Mac App Store (MAS) can be problematic if the Mac you’re using isn’t able to run the older OS as its own operating system. If the Mac you’re using isn’t itself able to run the older OS, a request to download the OS installer from the MAS will result in an error message like the one shown below.

Screen Shot 2017 02 21 at 1 01 14 PM

If you’re in this situation, but also have VMware Fusion or a similar virtualization solution available, there is a way to download the desired older OS installer using a VM running the shipping version of macOS. For more details, see below the jump.

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Categories: Mac OS X, macOS, VMware

Upgrading from ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 via SSH and esxcli

November 22, 2016 Leave a comment

In the wake of VMware’s release of ESXi 6.5, I was able to upgrade my ESXi 6.0 Update 2 server to ESXi 6.5 using SSH and esxcli. For those interested in doing likewise, please see below the jump for the details of the process I used.

Screen Shot 2016 11 22 at 10 31 28 AM

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Categories: VMware, VMware ESXi

Using vfuse to create NetBoot-ready VMware VMs

October 19, 2016 1 comment

When building virtual machines for testing, my preferred method is to leverage VMware Fusion’s NetBoot support to NetBoot to a DeployStudio server and run workflows. The process to build a NetBoot-ready VM through VMware Fusion looks like this:

1. Open VMware Fusion

2. In the Select the Installation Method window, choose Create a custom virtual machine and then click the Continue button.

Create custom virtual machine

3. In the Choose Operating System window, set OS as appropriate then click the Continue button.

Os selection

4. In the Finish window, select Customize Settings.

Customize settings

5. Save the VM file in a convenient location.

6. In your VM settings, select Network Adapter.

Vm settings network adapter

7. In the Network Adapter settings, select Autodetect under Bridged Networking.

Configure bridged network settings

At that point, you can also adjust your RAM and processor settings but that’s up to you.

The VM is now configured to be NetBoot-ready, where it’s set up to run a particular macOS version but has a formatted and completely empty boot drive.

Vmware netboot screen

This setup process has been a largely manual process involving a lot of clicking in the VMware Fusion user interface and I’ve wanted to automate this for a while. Thanks to some recent changes which my colleague Joe Chilcote made to his vfuse VM creation tool, it’s now possible to automate the setup of a NetBoot-ready VM in Fusion with the following configurable options:

  • OS version
  • VM boot drive size

For more details, see below the jump.

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Categories: Mac OS X, macOS, VMware

Session videos and slides now available from MacSysAdmin 2016

October 10, 2016 1 comment

The documentation from MacSysAdmin 2016 is now available, with the session slides and videos being accessible from the link below:

http://documentation.macsysadmin.se

The videos of my sessions are available for download from here:

I also like to thank Tycho Sjögren and Apoio AB again for inviting me to speak at this year’s MacSysAdmin.

Slides from the virtualization session at MacSysAdmin 2016

October 6, 2016 1 comment

For those who wanted a copy of my virtualization talk at MacSysAdmin 2016, here are links to the slides in PDF and Keynote format.

PDF – http://tinyurl.com/MSA2016VirtualizationPDF

Keynote – http://tinyurl.com/MSA2016VirtualizationKeynote

Setting VMware Fusion to confirm you want to close an active VM

September 10, 2016 1 comment

I do a lot of work with virtual machines running in VMware’s Fusion hypervisor software. As part of that work, I’ll occasionally run into the following issue:

1. I’m running an application inside a VM.
2. I’m done with whatever it is and want to quit out.
3. The focus of my keyboard is not inside the VM
4. I click the Command () and Q keys to quit the application running inside the VM.
5. Instead of the application inside of the VM quitting, I see this.

Quitting vm instead of app

6. Then I say something like this.

Cursing symbols2

As part of this, I’ve often wished for some way for Fusion to warn me when I’m about to accidentally quit Fusion instead of quitting an application inside a VM. That led to me making the following observation on Twitter:

I was quickly informed that Fusion in fact had exactly that.

For more information, see below the jump.

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Virtualization session at MacSysAdmin 2016

I’ll be speaking about virtualization, with a focus on VMware solutions, at MacSysAdmin 2016, which is being held from October 4th – 7th, 2016 in Göteborg, Sweden. For those interested, my talk will be on Thursday, October 6th.

For a description of what I’ll be talking about, please see the Thursday program page.

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