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Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

  • 1.  Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

    Posted Sep 02, 2022 08:21 PM

    I have a Mac Mini from late 2014 running Big Sur and VMWare Fusion Player 12.2.4. My goal is to create a Mojave VM so I can play some 32 bit games that won't work from Catalina and up. If you have a way to do that, a sure-fire way, feel free to bypass everything I've tried and tell me how to do it!

    I used the App store to get the Mojave upgrade DMG file and tried to create a new VM from that, but since it's only an upgrade file, it doesn't work. (That's my guess.) Then I looked online and found a few articles about creating VMs in different software. One had directions to create one in VirtualBox, so I followed that and tried making a VM from the Mojave install image I got from there. (I figure I'll keep the VM in a sandbox, so I can do that for at least a test setup.) The Mojave install ISO file worked in VirtualBox, but the VM is absurdly slow. The relevant point is that VirtualBox did find that install ISO okay.

    I've used VMWare before, so I checked on the latest version and got VMWare Fusion Player 12.2.4 and installed that on the Mac Mini.

    From there, I've tried a few ways to create a Mojave VM:

    1) I tried creating a VM from the Restore Partition from my Mac Mini. I get the Apple logo and progress bar and when it tries to reboot, I get a smaller black window that resizes to a larger black window, and then I get EFI info that flashes by too fast to read. Then it goes back to the smaller black window and continually repeats. I think the EFI messages are about booting from a disk, then from the network, but it's hard to tell.

    2) I tried using my Mojave upgrade DMG from the App Store, but I can't get past the Restore utility. I didn't expect more, since it's just an upgrade file.

    3) I used the Mojave install ISO I downloaded. I found I had to mount the ISO as a drive, then drag the Mojave file and drop it on the window for creating a VM. It takes a long time (I think over an hour) to prepare the install media, but it reports it as bad media. (This is why I pointed out that VirtualBox could use that same media to create a VB VM - VB doesn't have an issue with the data on that ISO.)

    I'm considering several possibilities, but need help for each one:

    1) If I can create a VM based on the restore partition of my current Mac Mini, then I can downgrade it from Big Sur to Mojave. I haven't done it, but I've read about it being done. But I have to get past that infinite loop it hits on restarting.

    2) Is there a good source for a Mojave install file? Or some way to use the upgrade file?

    3) What about converting the VB VM to VMWare? I have seen there are web pages talking about doing that. What do I lose by doing it? Are there issues with, say, file formatting and storage that would make that slower than a VM created directly in VMWare? While this might be doable, there are reasons I'd rather not do this, since I'd rather use a good source for the Mojave install file.

    It seems to me that #1 is my best choice if I can get by the infinite loop, but I'm open to other ideas. The goal is to get a working Mojave system I can play some games in. (Not shoot-'em-ups, but games more like the newer redone Myst games.) I've tried a number of different things (like VirtualBox, as I mentioned, and UTM). I thought VMWare would "just work," like it has with my other VMs in the past. I'm at the point I'm seriously thinking I should just downgrade my MacMini to Mojave. (I do have a Mac Mini from 2009 that could run the games I want, but it doesn't output sound to HDMI, which means I'd have to buy an HDMI audio injector to make it work with my entertainment system.) I'm saving downgrading the 2014 Mac Mini or using the older one with an audio injector as my last options.

     

    -----------------------------------------------

    Note: I am marking the correct answer, but there are additional details, so check out the correct answer, but check out my reply that starts with "SOLUTION DETAILS" as well.



  • 2.  RE: Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur
    Best Answer

    Posted Sep 02, 2022 09:18 PM

    Try using the advice in Alan Siu's blog https://www.alansiu.net/2021/10/20/installing-macos-in-vmware-fusion/

    I used the softwareupdate command line method to download the full installer to 10.14.6: (I also have a Mac mini 2014 that's running Monterey 12.5..1. That hardware will run Mojave, so there shouldn't be any issue downloading it).

    softwareupdate --fetch-full-installer --full-installer-version 10.14.6

    This places the "Install MacOS Mojave" app in your Applications folder.

     I had initially tried using the method posted in Apple's tech notes to download the Mojave installer, but it failed. The softwareupdate method worked like a champ.

    Then proceed with the virtual machine creation as noted in his blog.

    Don't try to convert the Virtual Box VM. It's like trying to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. 

     

     



  • 3.  RE: Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

    Posted Sep 03, 2022 12:20 AM

    "I used the softwareupdate command line method to download the full installer to 10.14.6: (I also have a Mac mini 2014 that's running Monterey 12.5..1. That hardware will run Mojave, so there shouldn't be any issue downloading it)."

    It sounds like you were doing something close to what I'm trying to do. I knew it wasn't just me!

    "I had initially tried using the method posted in Apple's tech notes to download the Mojave installer, but it failed. The softwareupdate method worked like a champ."

    Good - and it's easy!

     

    "Don't try to convert the Virtual Box VM. It's like trying to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. "

    I had thought that was likely! Leaving the pig alone - until I get a good one working on Fusion, then the pig gets deleted!



  • 4.  RE: Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

    Posted Sep 03, 2022 12:25 AM

    Bad news. I did this and look what I got:

    [hal@polychrome:~]$ softwareupdate --fetch-full-installer --full-installer-version 10.14.6
    Scanning for 10.14.6 installer
    Install failed with error: Update not found

     

    So I tried to list and got this:

    [hal@polychrome:~]$ softwareupdate -l
    Software Update Tool

    Finding available software
    Software Update found the following new or updated software:
    * Label: macOS Big Sur 11.6.8-20G730
    Title: macOS Big Sur 11.6.8, Version: 11.6.8, Size: 2670046K, Recommended: YES, Action: restart,

     

    So it looks like, at this point, the only versions available are 64 bit and Mojave is not available.



  • 5.  RE: Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

    Posted Sep 03, 2022 01:05 AM

     wrote:

    Bad news. I did this and look what I got:

    So I tried to list and got this:

    [hal@polychrome:~]$ softwareupdate -l
    Software Update Tool

    Finding available software
    Software Update found the following new or updated software:
    * Label: macOS Big Sur 11.6.8-20G730
    Title: macOS Big Sur 11.6.8, Version: 11.6.8, Size: 2670046K, Recommended: YES, Action: restart,

     

    So it looks like, at this point, the only versions available are 64 bit and Mojave is not available.


    Not what I see  (at least on Monterey) - and you have the wrong option to list available installers. It is not "-i" , it is --list-full-installers.

    % softwareupdate --list-full-installers    
    Finding available software
    Software Update found the following full installers:
    * Title: macOS Monterey, Version: 12.5.1, Size: 12114929KiB, Build: 21G83
    * Title: macOS Monterey, Version: 12.5.1, Size: 12114929KiB, Build: 21G83
    * Title: macOS Monterey, Version: 12.5, Size: 12112497KiB, Build: 21G72
    * Title: macOS Monterey, Version: 12.4, Size: 11819688KiB, Build: 21F79
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.8, Size: 12118851KiB, Build: 20G730
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.7, Size: 12121823KiB, Build: 20G630
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.6, Size: 12121263KiB, Build: 20G624
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.5, Size: 12121404KiB, Build: 20G527
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.4, Size: 12147782KiB, Build: 20G417
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.3, Size: 12143674KiB, Build: 20G415
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.2, Size: 12141944KiB, Build: 20G314
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.1, Size: 12137180KiB, Build: 20G224
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.5.2, Size: 12149332KiB, Build: 20G95
    * Title: macOS Catalina, Version: 10.15.7, Size: 8055650KiB, Build: 19H15
    * Title: macOS Catalina, Version: 10.15.7, Size: 8055522KiB, Build: 19H2
    * Title: macOS Catalina, Version: 10.15.6, Size: 8055450KiB, Build: 19G2021
    * Title: macOS Mojave, Version: 10.14.6, Size: 5896894KiB, Build: 18G103
    * Title: macOS High Sierra, Version: 10.13.6, Size: 5099306KiB, Build: 17G66

    Wait.. I noticed you said you were on Big Sur. I wonder if they changed something between Big Sur and Monterey. Unfortunately I don't have a Big Sur system to check the man page for softwareupdate.

    If that option is a Monterey-only option, then you may have to download the Python script referenced in the article and use that.

     



  • 6.  RE: Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

    Posted Sep 03, 2022 01:15 AM

    Okay, tried this (with results):

     

    [hal@polychrome:~]$ softwareupdate --list-full-installers
    Finding available software
    Software Update found the following full installers:
    * Title: macOS Monterey, Version: 12.5.1, Size: 12405687415K
    * Title: macOS Monterey, Version: 12.5.1, Size: 12405687415K
    * Title: macOS Monterey, Version: 12.5, Size: 12403197683K
    * Title: macOS Monterey, Version: 12.4, Size: 12103360613K
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.8, Size: 12409703750K
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.7, Size: 12412747215K
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.6, Size: 12412173576K
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.5, Size: 12412317772K
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.4, Size: 12439328867K
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.3, Size: 12435122667K
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.2, Size: 12433351292K
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.1, Size: 12428472512K
    * Title: macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.5.2, Size: 12440916552K
    * Title: macOS Catalina, Version: 10.15.7, Size: 8248985973K
    * Title: macOS Catalina, Version: 10.15.7, Size: 8248854894K
    * Title: macOS Catalina, Version: 10.15.6, Size: 8248781171K
    * Title: macOS Mojave, Version: 10.14.6, Size: 6038419486K
    * Title: macOS High Sierra, Version: 10.13.6, Size: 5221689433K

    The Python script is done - took a while. Downloaded a number of files, including several DMGs then build an install image. I'll report how it works. Also, yes, you can see above, other versions are available. Looks like, once a version is replaced by later ones, they have fewer versions of it. I figured there must be more in there if the Python script got so much info and so many versions. 



  • 7.  RE: Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

    Posted Sep 03, 2022 12:46 AM

    And it works.

    Technogeezer_0-1662165888436.png

     



  • 8.  RE: Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

    Posted Sep 02, 2022 09:40 PM

    It's been a while, but I remember following this when I tried to put newer versions of macOS on my older Apple hardware. There's somewhere there where you can grab the entire installation media.

    http://dosdude1.com/mojave/



  • 9.  RE: Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

    Posted Sep 03, 2022 12:26 AM

    Oh, and  , the dosdude1.com link is dead.



  • 10.  RE: Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

    Posted Sep 03, 2022 12:49 AM

    Really? To his website or the link of his tool to the .dmg?



  • 11.  RE: Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

    Posted Sep 03, 2022 12:57 AM

     :The link is dead and the link to the website is dead.

     I could not get it with the softwareupdate program by itself, but I'm getting half a dozen files using the Python script he recommended. The issue is that he doesn't make it clear WHICH DMG file to use, but I'll figure that out. (Half a dozen so far - it's downloading #6 now.) I haven't had time to go through all of softwareupdate and am trying to get somewhere this evening - if I can! So I can look more closely at the docs on that command later.



  • 12.  RE: Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

    Posted Sep 03, 2022 01:11 AM

    From what I understand from reading the article, the Python script creates a dmg file and downloads stuff into it. What I think you're you're seeing is that process. You'll be left with one dmg file.

    Once the download is completed, mount that dmg file, and you should find a "Install macOS Mojave.app"  in the DMG. Drag and drop that onto the Fusion "Create a new Virtual Machine" dialog.

     



  • 13.  RE: Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

    Posted Sep 03, 2022 01:51 AM

    Strange, works for me. Open an incognito browser and type in "http://dosdude1.com



  • 14.  RE: Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

    Posted Sep 03, 2022 02:44 AM

     : 

    Still got "This page is not working." Got it in Incognito mode and when I added an 's' to make it a secure connection. Note that I did not get a 404 or a problem with the site, but about a page.

    Could it be in your cache?



  • 15.  RE: Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

    Posted Sep 03, 2022 05:13 AM

    SOLUTION DETAILS

     provided the answer, but that includes information over 2 posts, so I'm providing more details here - but marking his answer s he gets credit for it, since he knew it. All I'm doing is adding little bits of info.

    The link he provided works properly and provides information. I used the installinstallmacos.py script, in a link from the blog entry pointed out in the solution and it downloaded Mojave in multiple files, then put them together. Also, I used the the program softwareupdate incorrectly. (So it gave me only a list of recent OS versions.) So read the blog for more information. Be aware that you can get a lot of the recent versions of the current OS. (Right now that means multiple versions of Big Sur, but only one version of older versions like Mojave.)

    When you download the install file, if it's an ISO, mount the ISO and use the file it contains. Drag and drop that file (in the ISO file) into the "Make New VM" window.



  • 16.  RE: Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

    Posted Sep 03, 2022 05:25 AM

     glad you were finally able to move forward. 

    on a side note, I’m wondering if the listing of only 1 version of Mojave and High Sierra is a consequence of Apple’s OS support policy. Mojave and High Sierra are no longer actively supported (e.g. they no longer receive security updates) so Apple may have decided to keep around only the last/terminal installer version for that major OS version. 



  • 17.  RE: Trying to create Mojave VM on Big Sur

    Posted Sep 03, 2022 05:40 AM
    on a side note, I’m wondering if the listing of only 1 version of Mojave and High Sierra is a consequence
    of Apple’s OS support policy. Mojave and High Sierra are no longer actively supported (e.g. they no longer
    receive security updates) so Apple may have decided to keep around only the last/terminal installer version
    for that major OS version. 

    I bet you're right about that.

    Two questions, not directly related to the question.

    1. How do I block quote something like that, above, that's multi-line, without it getting a horizontal scrollbar? (I hit CRs in there to break it up.)

    2. How fast is your VM in your situation? Since we're both doing something similar, I'm wondering about speed. This Mac Mini I'm working on is in our barn and it could be Monday or Tuesday before I can get down there to test it. Now I'm using Screen Sharing, so add the display issue of that and a VM, it's hard to gauge the speed of the VM.

    (If I could, I'd move my M1 Mac Mini out of the workshop and swap it so I could run the VM on it. My shop doesn't need speed or an M1. But I also know Fusion is not 100% on the M1 chip yet. The most recent article I could find said that Fusion cannot run a Mac VM on an M1 chip yet. Too bad!)