Screenshots and VMware?

Texas_Toast

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Feb 6, 2016
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Is it true that if you have VMWare installed on your Mac, that you can take screenshots in VMWare of everything else?

I am looking for a way to take screenshots of my Mac from the moment it powers up...

Things like the black screen and white Apple logo, the logic screen, anything in the Recovery Partition, anything you would get before macOS is booted up.

The built in Mac screenshot shortcuts don't work until you are booted up into macOS.
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
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Is it true that if you have VMWare installed on your Mac, that you can take screenshots in VMWare of everything else?
No. You can take screenshots of all the steps of the virtual machine starting, but the virtual machine doesn't have access to your physical operating system.
 

slayerizer

macrumors 6502a
Nov 9, 2012
887
507
Is it true that if you have VMWare installed on your Mac, that you can take screenshots in VMWare of everything else?

I am looking for a way to take screenshots of my Mac from the moment it powers up...

Things like the black screen and white Apple logo, the logic screen, anything in the Recovery Partition, anything you would get before macOS is booted up.

The built in Mac screenshot shortcuts don't work until you are booted up into macOS.
yes
 

Texas_Toast

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Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
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Help me out here, y'all... We have a tie!

First question is "Which is inside of which?"

I can see it go either way, but since VMWare is used for virtualization, I would suspect that VMWare is the outer container, and then things like macOS, Linux, and Windows go inside that outer container.

If my logic is right, then if VMWare comes with its own built-in screenshot feature, then VMWare should be able to capture everything that macOS does from its boot up.

However, if VMWare sits inside of macOS, then obviously VMWare wouldn't be able to take screenshots of macOS.

Looks like I need some more comments from others...
 

slayerizer

macrumors 6502a
Nov 9, 2012
887
507
Help me out here, y'all... We have a tie!

First question is "Which is inside of which?"

I can see it go either way, but since VMWare is used for virtualization, I would suspect that VMWare is the outer container, and then things like macOS, Linux, and Windows go inside that outer container.

If my logic is right, then if VMWare comes with its own built-in screenshot feature, then VMWare should be able to capture everything that macOS does from its boot up.

However, if VMWare sits inside of macOS, then obviously VMWare wouldn't be able to take screenshots of macOS.

Looks like I need some more comments from others...
OK, you can create another Mac vm inside your Mac host. So if you want to capture the boot process, it's possible but it won't be exactly your host.
 

Texas_Toast

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Feb 6, 2016
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OK, you can create another Mac vm inside your Mac host. So if you want to capture the boot process, it's possible but it won't be exactly your host.
So I think you are saying that on a Mac, VMWare resides on top of macOS, right?

And it sounds like you are saying I would install VMWare on my Mac (i.e. "host") and then inside VMWare I would isntall macOS again as the "guest"?

If that is correct, then what would I see when I "boot up" macOS on the "guest"?

FWIW, I just created a pretty extensive user's guide for me and my friends on how to do things like using a bootable installer and playing around in Recovery Mode and so on.

I tried taking pictures of those pre-OS screens, but the pictures suffer from the moire effect and look like crap!!

I know in the past I have seen pixel-perfect shots of macOS booting up, and that is what I am ultimately after!!

Would your suggestion help me accomplish that?

Ideally I would like to get pixel-perfect screenshots from the moment you power on macOS and you get a black screen and the Apple logo all the way through until you get the desktop.

I would also like pixel-perfect captures of everything in Recovery Mode, and even things you would see while installing macOS on a blank machine.

How much luck will I have accomplishing all of that?
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
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So I think you are saying that on a Mac, VMWare resides on top of macOS, right?

And it sounds like you are saying I would install VMWare on my Mac (i.e. "host") and then inside VMWare I would isntall macOS again as the "guest"?
You'd install VMWare Fusion, which is an application, on your host Mac- Fusion goes inside the Applications folder of your Mac's existing physical operating system. Then, you'd install a virtualized guest copy of macOS inside VMWare Fusion. You can take all the screenshots you'd like at any phase of the boot process of that virtualized operating system but the virtualized OS cannot get you screenshots of your actual Mac's operating system.
You could also use Parallels Desktop Lite for free from the Mac App Store to virtualize macOS for these purposes.
 

Texas_Toast

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Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
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You'd install VMWare Fusion, which is an application, on your host Mac- Fusion goes inside the Applications folder of your Mac's existing physical operating system. Then, you'd install a virtualized guest copy of macOS inside VMWare Fusion. You can take all the screenshots you'd like at any phase of the boot process of that virtualized operating system but the virtualized OS cannot get you screenshots of your actual Mac's operating system.
So would the end results look like I was taking screenshots from my native macOS operating system?

That is, could someone looking at my screenshots know how I did it?

Would the windows get cut off/cropped or anything else strange?

And what about if I wanted to capture screenshots of things like Disk Utility formatting my internal hard-drive or a thumb-drive as part of creating the bootable installer?

What about screenshots of installing macOS inside the VMWare container?
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
9,717
3,579
So would the end results look like I was taking screenshots from my native macOS operating system?

That is, could someone looking at my screenshots know how I did it?

Would the windows get cut off/cropped or anything else strange?

And what about if I wanted to capture screenshots of things like Disk Utility formatting my internal hard-drive or a thumb-drive as part of creating the bootable installer?

What about screenshots of installing macOS inside the VMWare container?
You can test all this for free with a demo version of VMWare Fusion. It sounds like that would be the best approach.
 

Texas_Toast

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
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Texas
You'd install VMWare Fusion, which is an application, on your host Mac- Fusion goes inside the Applications folder of your Mac's existing physical operating system. Then, you'd install a virtualized guest copy of macOS inside VMWare Fusion. You can take all the screenshots you'd like at any phase of the boot process of that virtualized operating system but the virtualized OS cannot get you screenshots of your actual Mac's operating system.
You could also use Parallels Desktop Lite for free from the Mac App Store to virtualize macOS for these purposes.
So I wouldn't be able to capture things like option booting to the Recovery Mode, right? Or would I?

Does anyone have experience with this?

(Yeah I could try it out, but I'd rather know if this will meet my goals before trying to install VMWare and messing with my new Mac...)
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
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(Yeah I could try it out, but I'd rather know if this will meet my goals before trying to install VMWare and messing with my new Mac...)
Use CCC to copy your current OS to an external drive.
Boot from the copy.
Install VMWare on the copy.
Test.

To revert, change your startup disk back to the internal drive (System Prefs > Startup Disk).
You can erase the external drive, or leave it as-is for possible future testing.
 

Texas_Toast

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
1,520
313
Texas
Use CCC to copy your current OS to an external drive.
Boot from the copy.
Install VMWare on the copy.
Test.

To revert, change your startup disk back to the internal drive (System Prefs > Startup Disk).
You can erase the external drive, or leave it as-is for possible future testing.
When I have time, I can try that.

In the mean time, care to share any hints on whether I can accomplish what I want?
 

slayerizer

macrumors 6502a
Nov 9, 2012
887
507
So I think you are saying that on a Mac, VMWare resides on top of macOS, right?

And it sounds like you are saying I would install VMWare on my Mac (i.e. "host") and then inside VMWare I would isntall macOS again as the "guest"?

If that is correct, then what would I see when I "boot up" macOS on the "guest"?

FWIW, I just created a pretty extensive user's guide for me and my friends on how to do things like using a bootable installer and playing around in Recovery Mode and so on.

I tried taking pictures of those pre-OS screens, but the pictures suffer from the moire effect and look like crap!!

I know in the past I have seen pixel-perfect shots of macOS booting up, and that is what I am ultimately after!!

Would your suggestion help me accomplish that?

Ideally I would like to get pixel-perfect screenshots from the moment you power on macOS and you get a black screen and the Apple logo all the way through until you get the desktop.

I would also like pixel-perfect captures of everything in Recovery Mode, and even things you would see while installing macOS on a blank machine.

How much luck will I have accomplishing all of that?
exactly
 
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