Is the macOS "Unlocker" for VMware products trustworthy?


I hope I’m right posting this in this sub-forum, I chose it since I hoped the users here have more experience in reviewing code.

For some work/licences I prefer to use macOS however I strongly dislike the current Apple hardware trend (less serviceable/if for some reason the system doesn’t boot you cannot access your internal storage).

As a Normie-Pleb I enjoy using easy-to-use GUI-VM solutions like VMware Worstation/Fusion and am trying to get into the free Version of ESXi 6.7.

If I got this right Apple “officially” supports VMware virtualization, however the host has to be on physical Apple hardware.

So VMware has a “simple” switch in its products that detects whether or not it is running on Apple hardware enabling or disabling the option to boot VMs with macOS.

There is an unlocker promising to kill that detection:

Can you evaluate if this is trustworthy, i.e. no spyware/malware stuff?

That stability may be an issue in virtualization software altered by a third-party is clear to me.

Thank you very much for your input!

aBavarian Normie-Pleb

you can use the fake SMC kexts with the clover bootloader to work around this restriction in xen/qemu, no third party software needed.

AFAIK the only way to get it up and running in vmware is patching, with this or another tool.

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I saw that in a few YouTube videos, yes.

The reason I wanted to try the alternative ESXi on non-Mac hardware route that with VMware Fusion (desktop virtualization software running on macOS) you can just create macOS VMs as guests - no issues with macOS system updates/upgrades breaking anything.

The biggest thing cutting the performance of macOS VMs is that Apple is blocking OpenGL/OpenCL acceleration with a generic virtual graphics adapter, meaning the UI is extremely slow.

So I planned to slap a Radeon Pro or Quadro (existing hardware) into the ESXi system, use PCIe passthrough and get the best of both worlds: trouble-free VM guest operating system updates and proper accelerated graphics.

In theory it should work, but you have to trust the patcher. You’ll probably also need to patch for consumer GPUs on vmware as well, vs. just editing an xml or argfile for 3d accel on other hypervisors.

That there doesn’t seem to be an obvious error in my thinking sounds promising to me.

“Trust” is a little issue for me - at least the unlocker is to be found on GitHub:

Honestly, I lack the competence to assass what that patcher is doing. Also, I’m a little confused regarding whether or not it works with ESXi (6.7+); the unlocker seems to have worked with previous ESXi versions, then 6.7 broke something, the unlocker developer was more or less reitired due to family reasons but posted that the issues with 6.7 could be located but no further details sbout it.

It’s just that ECC memory support is a platonic fetish of mine but until hell freezes over there’s no way that I’m purchasing 5+ year old Mac Pros or that iMac Pro perversity with multiple external Thunderbolt enclosures to be able to use my own PCIe add-in cards.

Why not just use an older version of esxi then?

I’ve read that the latest 6.7 updates addressed some bugs when passing through the PCH SATA Controller (which is technically not supported but I’d like to use) as well as the shitty Flash-based web client for configuration was finally replaced with its complete feature set with a HTML5-based one (hope that I understood that correctly).

at this point, I’m actually curious why this route is preferable to you over the HVs we know work out of the box

You can get a web UI or a frontend app for qemu and xen if you want one.

Hmm, to be frank I like the integration of VMware Fusion (on macOS) and Workstation (on Windows and Linux) that can easily connect to an ESXi host and comfortably move prepared VMs around without any issues.

Personally over the last ten years I have had much less stress with VMware desktop virtualization software compared to Oracle Virtual Box, for example (of course, you cannot use PCIe passthrough then).

Vmware is nicer than vb, but if you need integration there are commercial versions of xen and qemu too that offer similar features.

I guess these “commercial versions” don’t cohabitate the ca. USD 100 range (Black Friday sales) of VMware desktop virtualization products and a free ESXi version (with certain limitations)?

xenserver’s a bit pricy, but stuff like unraid is like 60 bucks

and there’s “easy management” frontends like ovirt that don’t cost anything.

Just depends on what your needs are.

Yes it’s legit, and works fine. Very popular. Of course you still need to trust the developer, it’s not like VMware signed the code or anything.


Thank you for the clarification! Are you able to tell whether or not the most current version of unlocker also works fine with ESXi 6.7 or if its use is limited to Workstation under Windows and Linux?

Does anybody here have experiences with ESXi 7.00 and this macOS Unlocker?