macOS CatalinaSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Some users report that their Macs are crashing when running virtualization apps.
  • The issue began after they installed macOS 10.15.6.
  • VMWare's support team says it's Apple's fault and there is no workaround.

Apple's macOS Catalina update hasn't been one of its best and the release of macOS 10.15.6 hasn't helped matters. Several people have reported issues with Macs crashing while using virtualization apps like VMWare – and it's all Apple's fault.

That's according to a VMWare tech support thread after the company's engineers did some digging, as spotted by MacRumors. And it doesn't make for good reading.

We have narrowed down the problem to a regression in the com.apple.security.sandbox kext (or one of its related components) included in macOS 10.15.6 (19G73), and we have now filed a comprehensive report with Apple including a minimal reproduction case which should allow them to easily identify and address the issue.

It sounds like the folks at VMWare have done their job. Now it's over to Apple. To add insult to injury it doesn't sound like there's any scope for a workaround here, either. Although restarting Macs that run virtualization software regularly is one potential short term solution.

We'll keep investigating possible workarounds to see if we can pop out a point release with a mitigation... To Be Determined. (In all honesty, it isn't looking good, but we've come up with some mighty creative workarounds in the past, so I'll never say never.)

Hats off to VMWare for doing the legwork here!

Apple is set to launch macOS 11 Big Sur in a couple of months and it's currently available for developers to test. Here's hoping for a smoother launch this time around rather than a repeat of the Catalina fun we've seen of late.