Why can't I create snapshots for macOS guest VM?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by DA_, Apr 6, 2023.

  1. DA_

    DA_ Junior Member

    Messages:
    11
    I just installed Parallels. I am trying to see how to create snapshots (sorry, if I'm confusing terminology with VMWare.)
    I'm running a macOS Ventura (ARM64) as a guest VM on the same type host OS. The manual says that the option to create snapshots is in the Actions menu. But in my case there's no such option (see attached.)
    What am I doing wrong?
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Trishna Oobeyram

    Trishna Oobeyram Staff Member

    Messages:
    297
    Best Answer
    Hello @DA_
    Please note that Snapshot is currently not supported for macOS virtual machine.
    You may find more information here.
    Regards,
     
  3. DA_

    DA_ Junior Member

    Messages:
    11
    Thanks for the info. Are you guys working on implementing those Snapshots, or is it functionally impossible with the Apple Silicon?
     
  4. Ashley Chumun

    Ashley Chumun Staff Member

    Messages:
    110
    Greetings,
    Parallels is working closely with Apple to expand the functionality of macOS ARM VMs.
    You can subscribe to the article https://kb.parallels.com/128867 by clicking on "Get Updates" button so that you get notified of any changes made to ARM macOS virtual machines.
    Thank you!
     
  5. TomF14

    TomF14 Bit poster

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    3
    Darn. This is the only thing I want to use Parallels for: to rollback a macOS VM to a former state (which would be a totally clean, just-installed)

    Is it possible on the host macOS to take a snapshot by manually copying the files of a specific folder and then restoring them at a later time?
     
  6. DA_

    DA_ Junior Member

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    11
    Same here. A totally absurd requirement. I'm not sure though if it's a hardware limitation, like Apple M chip doesn't support it, or refuses virtualization; a software limitation - as in Apple blocking virtualization in software (like they try to do when you attempt to install macOS in the VMWare VMs); or a legal - like Apple get their ____ in a bunch over people virtualizing their macOS, kinda like they do with iOS, and sue companies that try it. But this is definitely a deal breaker for me.

    As for copying files, I don't know. If you find it, I would be more than happy to learn how to do it.
     
  7. MatthewR20

    MatthewR20 Most valuable person

    Messages:
    149
    You can duplicate the entire .macvm in finder and because of APFS it will not take up any additional space.
     
    Mikhail Ushakov likes this.
  8. TomF14

    TomF14 Bit poster

    Messages:
    3
    Here's a video I just made that shows the process of using snapshots with Parallels running on Apple silicon: .
    I'm not sure I can justify the few hours it took to make, but I wanted to give back a bit here.
     
    Mikhail Ushakov likes this.
  9. AlJ

    AlJ Bit poster

    Messages:
    2
    Thank you for the video Tom! Can you help clarify this comment from Matthew?

    You can duplicate the entire .macvm in finder and because of APFS it will not take up any additional space.

    As I understand it, each each copy of the `.macvm` file take up the full amount of additional space on the host operating system. Did you find the same when you cloned the VM?
     
  10. TomF14

    TomF14 Bit poster

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    3
    Yes, in Finder, each additional copy of the .macvm reports taking the full amount of space.

    However, examining the drive's storage usage (under System Information) , I see that the amount of drive space available doesn't immediately go down after copies.

    The previous comment by @MatthewR20 "You can duplicate the entire .macvm in finder and because of APFS it will not take up any additional space." implies that somehow macOS is able to avoid taking up the space due to the files being identical, at least until we start making changes to one or the other. I

    I'm not a Mac expert, but I just found this article, which explains that initially, since the files are identical, they are linked, with the second one not taking up any new space, even though Finder reports it as another 68 gigs: https://eclecticlight.co/2020/04/14...one files ('copy on,same data as the original.

    As you boot and modify the second VM, apparently APFS will unlink the files, so that storage usage by the second one will grow. You could copy a vm, note the storage available, start the VM, make some big changes, and see if the storage available jumps now that the two VM files aren't identical. I haven't done that test.

    Each Ventura VM image that Parallels initially created (by downloading) started out being 68 gigs. If you create the VMs using the command line rather than their UI, you can control how big they initiall are. The command line instructions looked like too much work for a naive user like me, so I didn't try them. I didn't know how small I could shrink the VM image size before making it unusable (would depend on your usage goals anyway.) But, since all unused space is apparently linked back to the initial VM from which you copy them, there's not much value (IMO) since they don't use a lot of space until you make changes to one or the other VMs.

    On my 250 gig M1 (which is almost barebones) I have 118 gigs free with one VM. So, if I make a lot of changes to one of the VM files that I cloned, eventually it'll probably chew up the remaining space. But, for normal app testing, I don't think I'll be changing more than a few gigs on each VM, so hopefully they won't grow too quickly as they get unlinked and actually start using their own disk space.

    By the way, I'm not running the latest version of Parallels on Sonoma and am able to boot a Ventura VM in Parallels. I had read that the host and VM OS versions had to be identical...
     
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  11. koil

    koil Bit poster

    Messages:
    1
    This is a blocker for my use of macOS VMs. Is there a timeline for implementing support for snapshotting macOS VMs?
     
    MatthewR20 likes this.
  12. Adeboye Adeotan

    Adeboye Adeotan Staff Member

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    254
    Hello Koil,

    Unfortunately, there isn't a timeline for implementing this feature.

    However, we have informed the Development team of your request.
    To receive updates on new features related to Parallels Desktop, kindly subscribe to https://kb.parallels.com/en/129860 to receive the latest updates regarding Parallels Desktop For Mac product releases.
     
    MatthewR20 likes this.
  13. DA_

    DA_ Junior Member

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    11
    @Adeboye Adeotan It would nice if you posted some technical explanation why your developers are not implementing snapshots? As a user, it is helluva inconvenient without them. Is it some licensing thing with Apple, or what? Many of us are developers, so it'd be nice to know the technical justification. Maybe one of your devs can chime in as well.
     
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