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Apple is introducing a notable enhancement to its virtualization framework in macOS Sequoia by enabling Mac users to sign into iCloud within macOS virtual machines (VMs).

Apple-WWDC24-macOS-Sequoia-hero-240610.jpg

Previously, users could not sign into iCloud on macOS VMs, which limited the framework's utility for developers needing to test iCloud features and for users looking to sync their apps with iCloud. As spotted by ArsTechnica, macOS Sequoia removes that barrier, provided that both the host and guest operating systems are macOS 15 or newer.

The feature will be available on Apple silicon Macs, but it has some limitations. Developers aiming to run older macOS versions alongside macOS 15 in a VM or those who upgrade VMs from older macOS versions will not be able to sign into iCloud on the VM. Only brand-new VMs created from a macOS 15 install image (an .ipsw file) can utilize iCloud and services related to Apple Account (formerly Apple ID).

Apple's virtualization framework documentation explains:
"When you create a VM in macOS 15 from a macOS 15 software image… Virtualization configures an identity for the VM that it derives from security information in the host's Secure Enclave. Just as individual physical devices have distinct identities based on their Secure Enclaves, this identity is distinct from other VMs."
Apple says that if someone moves a VM to a different Mac host and restarts it, the Virtualization framework automatically creates a new identity for the VM using the information from the Secure Enclave of the new Mac host. This identity change requires the person using the VM to re-authenticate to allow iCloud to restart syncing data to the VM.

Both Parallels and VMware offer virtualization software, and Broadcom recently made VMware Fusion free for personal use. macOS Sequoia is currently in developer beta, with a public beta set to arrive in July, followed by a general release in the fall.

Article Link: macOS Sequoia Adds iCloud Support for macOS 15 Virtual Machines
 
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winxmac

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2021
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Maybe now is the time for Beeper and Nothing's chat/messaging app (based on Sunbird or actually Sunbird app) to resurface since you can now use iCloud/Apple ID/Account on macOS 15 Sequoia virtual machines...

But with iOS 18 upcoming RCS support, is there a need for android blue bubble apps?
 
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chrfr

macrumors G5
Jul 11, 2009
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Both Parallels and VMware offer virtualization software, and Broadcom recently made VMware Fusion free for personal use. macOS Sequoia is currently in developer beta, with a public beta set to arrive in July, followed by a general release in the fall.

Article Link: macOS Sequoia Adds iCloud Support for macOS 15 Virtual Machines
VMware Fusion does not allow the virtualization of macOS on Apple Silicon hosts, so that it exists at all is irrelevant to this topic.
 

therunningman

macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2017
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I'm not sure what this means. I have several macOS VMs of different flavors running on my macPro (2019), and I have signed into them with my iCloud account. Maybe I'm just missing something?
 
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chrfr

macrumors G5
Jul 11, 2009
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I'm not sure what this means. I have several macOS VMs of different flavors running on my macPro (2019), and I have signed into them with my iCloud account. Maybe I'm just missing something?
This is just about Apple Silicon. When you use Apple's built in Virtualization framework, as apps like Parallels or Virtualbuddy use, you can't sign into iCloud inside the virtual machine.
 

mystery hill

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Apr 2, 2021
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therunningman

macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2017
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This is just about Apple Silicon. When you use Apple's built in Virtualization framework, as apps like Parallels or Virtualbuddy use, you can't sign into iCloud inside the virtual machine.
Thank you! I actually just purchased my MacPro 2019 machine a couple of months ago (refurb). I don't like the limitations that Apple Silicon imposes. This is yet another one.
 

VineRider

macrumors 65816
May 24, 2018
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Glad to see this...I use Parallels for both Windows and macOS testing and this will help tremendously being able to log in to the Apple ID.
 
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therunningman

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Aug 30, 2017
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Well, performance is the big limitation that staying with Intel imposes.
My workload involves virtualization pertaining to Intel hardware specifically. I can expand the RAM in my Intel MacPro to ridiculous amounts. I can do eGPUs. Apple Silicon allows none of this. So a performance hit vs. no performance at all is a really easy choice for me.
 

chrfr

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Jul 11, 2009
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My workload involves virtualization pertaining to Intel hardware specifically. I can expand the RAM in my Intel MacPro to ridiculous amounts. I can do eGPUs. Apple Silicon allows none of this. So a performance hit vs. no performance at all is a really easy choice for me.
That is fair, and I do a similar thing hosting several Intel Windows VMs on a 2018 Mini to test for software deployment, where I can't be sure that Windows on ARM would always behave similarly, but for all the rest of my work, it gets done on Apple Silicon.
 
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chrfr

macrumors G5
Jul 11, 2009
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Why so? As far as I am aware macOS 15 is supporting intel machines.
Yes, but on Intel VMs in Fusion it's already been possible to use iCloud. This was a specific limitation with Apple's own Virtualization framework, which Fusion does not use.
 
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