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Joseph Chilcote 5befeec3c0 RIP 8 months ago
packer-scripts 259f60ee03 updating forks from 4 years ago
pkgroot 8369eeaee6 better error handling if downloading from an unreachable host 1 year ago
templates 28d54d66d9 reducing example template to minimum; options will be documented in wiki 4 years ago
Makefile 5eab2fb7f7 bump to 3.0.0 1 year ago 5befeec3c0 RIP 8 months ago

vfuse (Deprecated)

Note: Big Sur guests are not supported due to the changes Apple made to the system volume. Additionally, because Apple has changed the anatomy of the installer application, AutoDMG cannot create a never-booted DMG for Big Sur or above. And finally, Apple Silicon doesn't even support virtualizing macOS. As a result, I won't be updating this script any longer. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed code or issues. This community is amazing.

This script takes a never-booted DMG and converts it to a VMware Fusion VM.

The germ of this idea came about, as all good ideas, and germs, do: while drinking beer. Specifically, I was tossing back drinks and tossing around ideas with Gilbert Wilson, and he mentioned that he uses the VMware CLI tools to convert DMGs to VMDKs based on a blog post he'd read. Intrigued, I asked Gil to email me the specifics. After seeing how potentially cool this was, I wrapped it up in this here terribly illegible, queasingly unpythonic script.

Note: Big Sur guests are not supported. Because Apple has changed the anatomy of the installer application, AutoDMG most likely won't be able to create a never-booted DMG for Big Sur. And since that is a dependency for vfuse, we are currently out of luck.

Note: Version 3.0 requires python3. If you wish to continue using vfuse with Apple's system python2, you should use the vfuse 2.2.6 release. However, at some point in the not-too-distant future, Apple is going to remove python completely from macOS, and you'll need to roll your own python3 to be able to use vfuse.

Options for installing python3:

  1. Install the pkg downloaded directly from
  2. Install Apple's CL Tools (either by downloading the pkg from Apple's developer site, or by invoking the shim at /usr/bin/python3).
  3. Build your own copy of python (E.g. Greg Neagle's relocatable python tools). You'll need to ensure that this custom python is the default python in your $PATH.


  • VMware Fusion 11.5.1 Professional or above
  • OS X 10.15+
  • Python 3+
  • A never-booted image created with AutoDMG.
  • (optional) Packer 1.1.1 (or above) for building a vagrant box.
  • (optional) qemu-img


usage: vfuse [-h] [--version] [-i INPUT] [-o OUTPUT] [-n NAME] [-w HW_VERSION]
             [-m MEM_SIZE] [-s [SERIAL]] [-t TEMPLATE] [-e]
             [--disk_type DISK_TYPE] [-p PACKER] [-d D] [--hw-model HW_MODEL]
             [--board-id BOARD_ID] [--use-qemu [USE_QEMU]] [--recovery]
             [--snapshot] [--snapshot-name SNAPSHOT_NAME] [-c CHECKSUM]
             [--list-templates] [--list-cache] [--clear-cache]

Create VM from source DMG.

optional arguments:
-h, --help            show this help message and exit
--version             show the version number
-i INPUT, --input INPUT
-o OUTPUT, --output OUTPUT
-n NAME, --name NAME  Use a custom name
-w HW_VERSION, --hw-version HW_VERSION
                        VMware hardware version
-m MEM_SIZE, --mem-size MEM_SIZE
                        Memory Size in MB
-s [SERIAL], --serial [SERIAL]
                        Custom Serial number
-t TEMPLATE, --template TEMPLATE
                        Use a template
-e, --esx             Create pre-allocated ESX-type VMDK
-p PACKER, --packer PACKER
                        Populate a packer template
-d D                  Path to CD/DVD ISO path
--hw-model HW_MODEL   Custom hardware model
--board-id BOARD_ID   Custom hardware board id
--use-qemu [USE_QEMU]
                        Use qemu-img intead of the Fusion CLI tools [/path/to
--recovery            Boot into Recovery HD
--snapshot            Create initial snapshot
--snapshot-name SNAPSHOT_NAME
                        Custom name for the initial snapshot
-c CHECKSUM, --checksum CHECKSUM
                        Generate checksum of a DMG
--list-templates      Return list of available templates
--list-cache          Return list of cached disk images
--clear-cache         Clear cached disk images

Creating a VM

Running vfuse does not necessarily require sudo rights, but if you don't want to be prompted in the GUI for an admin password, run it with sudo. (Escalated privileges is required to run the vmware-vdiskmanager binary, which vfuse uses.)

The only required argument is -i aka --input. Run thusly, it will create a vm called macos-vm.vmwarevm in the current working directory:

/usr/local/vfuse/bin/vfuse -i /path/to/dmg

See the wiki for more on how to use vfuse.


vfuse is meant to be used with never-booted disk images created with AutoDMG. Using vfuse with a dmg created with Disk Utility is not something that has been tested, so you're on your own there. Likely, it's even more of a longshot with APFS.


Copyright 2016-Present Joseph Chilcote

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.