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Mojave OS in Virtual Machine on 2019 MacBook Pro 16"- Has anyone tried this?

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Hi All!

Quick Summary:
Have any of you tried using an older OS in a virtual machine on the new MacBook Pro 16 inch?

Explanation of Why I Ask:
I'm thinking of buying a 2019 MacBook Pro 16". The logic is that I'm replacing a 2007 MacBook Pro & think that it might be wise to spend extra for the newest unit so I am at least a little farther ahead of the machine's obsolete date than I would be by buying used. (Add that I'm a little hesitant to buy used, as I really am not confident in my ability to evaluate a used machine.)

The Conundrum:
The MacBook Pro 16" ships with Catalina. As I understand it, from all the information I can find, the OS that the machine will boot to can not be anything older than Catalina due to lack of appropriate hardware driver availability in the older OS versions.

I did ask at the Apple store & the sales person said the 16" can run Mojave but another sales person overheard & said it won't. They then got lost in rather intense a discussion between themselves, so after several minutes I left (unnoticed).

Why It Matters:
We have many 32 bit applications, some of which are used daily. Catalina can't use 32 bit applications (from what I've read- again perhaps incorrectly). Upgrading to newer versions of these application will be cost prohibitive right now. It will be a slowly but surely software replacement project.

Since I don't really trust the general internet "this will work" & "this wont' work" posts... I wish to ask on this user forum where I'll get the real, proper information.

The Question:
My main question is if any one has tried using Mojave or High Sierra within a virtual machine on one of the newer MacBook Pro 16" versions.

My Possibly Flawed Logic:
Since the new machine can't boot to Mojave, let it boot to Catalina and then open the VM & start up Mojave or High Sierra within the VM- or even El Capitan if needed.

How I thunk of this: I run Windows XP in a Virtual Box VM on the MacBook Pro when necessary (internet off due to security). Windows XP doesn't have drivers for the existing MacBook Pro hardware, so maybe the same logic will apply to Mojave in a 16" MacBook Pro: Boot to the proper OS, & use a different OS in a VM for the 32 bit applications. Clunky, to be sure!

The Next Logical Question Is:
Is it allowed to use two Mac OS versions on one machine? I'm not worried about the Apple Police arresting me, but since they spent the money & time to build the software, it should be used within their guidelines. Fair is fair.
I saw various opinions on line. I read the user agreement for El Capitan & it seems that doing such is OK with Apple, but I'm certainly no attorney.

So.. Do you know if my grand plan will work until we can (slowly) replace our 32 bit applications?

Thanks For Sharing & Be Sure To Enjoy This Day!
Paul
 
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I really don't think it would be possible with that specific model, since the 16" screen size was never previously offered, with macOS Mojave.
 
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I can't say about a brand new machine, but I have Mojave in a Parallels VM on my MBP (mid-2015) running Catalina and it works just fine. I did it to run one 32 bit application that is now retired, but when I needed it it worked. I'd say it was worth a try.

One thing is that the VM takes over the system more than a Windows VM does. I have Win7 and Win10 VMs and they run in a window, but when I boot the Mojave VM it takes over the entire screen, not a window. I haven't had time to try to figure out why that is happening.
 

chscag

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So.. Do you know if my grand plan will work until we can (slowly) replace our 32 bit applications?
@Paul:

There's been a lot of discussion regarding running an older version of macOS (Mojave) on the new 16" MBP that ships with Catalina. Apple says that only Catalina can be installed. As you found out, even the Apple sales people are confused over this.

However, browsing around the net and also the Apple Public Discussion Groups, the consensus of opinions is that you can not install or run Mojave on the new 16" MacBook Pro.

I would advise you for now to hold on until you can update your needed apps to 64 bit or maybe buy a MacBook Pro that can run Mojave. The Apple on line refurbished store might be a good place to shop for a refurbished MacBook Pro that is able to run Mojave. Apple refurbs are like new and come warranted the same as a new machine.
 

Rod


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I think that your best option would be to purchase a brand new older model. I for example bought a 13” 2015 MBPr in 2018. It was at a reduced price, has USB, HDMI, SD reader, audio out and Thunderbolt ports and a keyboard action that I preferred. To top it off it came with High Sierra installed so I could easily have simply upgraded to Mojave and stayed there. As it is I am now running Catalina and I expect that I will be able to continue to upgrade the macOS for a few years yet.
If you buy a refurbished device it will probably be running Catalina but you would need to check that.
If you don’t mind the new USB-C port system then a 2018 model would still probably be slightly cheaper, may come with Mojave installed, will have the standard Apple Care and should give you 5 years of trouble free use, upgrade compatibility and most of the current features. Eg. I was disappointed to find Sidecar, a feature of Catalina does not work with pre 2016 model MBP’s.


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I can tell you that I did have High Sierra running in VMware Fusion just fine on my 2019 iMac running Catalina, although I deleted the VM since I wound up not needing it. That version is not supported natively on my iMac so while it did run, it was without any hardware acceleration. I'm trying to re-create the VM now with my archived installers and running into problems, so I've re-downloaded the High Sierra installer to see if a fresh one fixes it (I know there were issues with expired code signing or something not too long ago). I can more completely verify that it still works when I get a chance to more fully test this out.
 
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Ok, so I can't explain why I can't get High Sierra to run in a VM (I kept getting errors about the installer being corrupt, even though it was direct from Apple), but Sierra is running just fine.

screenshot_02.png


As you can see, that's on a 2019 iMac, which by no means is capable of running Sierra. But it does run in a VM without hardware acceleration.

Now, I can't account for how this will play out on the current model MacBook Pro, but I see no reason why it won't work. Whether or not it will work WELL for you is another matter. If your 32-bit apps are very demanding and benefit from hardware acceleration, then this likely is not a good choice.

What you could do is buy the new model and give it a thorough test to see if everything will work to your satisfaction. If not, return it within the window for returns.
 
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Thank You Everyone for helping & sharing good advice. I apologize for my delayed return to the thread. The system glitch had me unable to log in until today.

It seems there's no good work-around for Apple's 64 bit requirement. Their port change also will require relatively inexpensive adapters or new external enclosures, card readers, etc. for me, since my existing unit is USB-A, Firewire, Ethernet, ESATA equipped.

I certainly can't fault Apple for changing stuff because they are primarily a hardware company and that is how they make money. Also, from what I've read, the 2019 & Catalina have many improvements.

If it gets to the point that my computer isn't safe, or simply dies, I'll take the advice some of you gave and buy a machine that's a few years old. It seems like a low cost alternative.

For the interim, I'll start seeking 64 bit replacements for my most-used 32 bit applications. Office 2011 should be an easy one to replace with Pages & Numbers or Libre Office. Photoshop Elements might be a challenge and Turbo CAD will require research. It should be kind of a fun project.

Thanks Again All for helping & educating! I sure appreciate it.
Enjoy This Day!
Paul
 
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Thank You Everyone for helping & sharing good advice. I apologize for my delayed return to the thread. The system glitch had me unable to log in until today.

It seems there's no good work-around for Apple's 64 bit requirement. Their port change also will require relatively inexpensive adapters or new external enclosures, card readers, etc. for me, since my existing unit is USB-A, Firewire, Ethernet, ESATA equipped.

I certainly can't fault Apple for changing stuff because they are primarily a hardware company and that is how they make money. Also, from what I've read, the 2019 & Catalina have many improvements.

If it gets to the point that my computer isn't safe, or simply dies, I'll take the advice some of you gave and buy a machine that's a few years old. It seems like a low cost alternative.

For the interim, I'll start seeking 64 bit replacements for my most-used 32 bit applications. Office 2011 should be an easy one to replace with Pages & Numbers or Libre Office. Photoshop Elements might be a challenge and Turbo CAD will require research. It should be kind of a fun project.

Thanks Again All for helping & educating! I sure appreciate it.
Enjoy This Day!
Paul
Change isn't easy, but thankfully there is a thriving market with older Macs that you can rely on until you are able to fully transition to where the future will be. It sounds like you have a solid plan to move forward.

Something to consider vs Libre Office is FreeOffice. I haven't used it myself yet, but from everything I've read, it's as close to MS Office as it gets without being MS Office.
 
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Something to consider vs Libre Office is FreeOffice.

Thanks LifeIsABeach. The FreeOffice application looks interesting. I was surprised to see that it has the Tool Ribbon, which I enjoy using.
Be Sure To Enjoy Today!
Paul
 
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