Testing High Sierra - Hardware or VM?

I’m late to the game, but at some point soon I need to start testing my existing projects on High Sierra. How are others approaching this?

I do not have an existing Mac I can upgrade, though I do have VMWare Fusion 8.5.

It looks like my options are installing High Sierra in VM, or buying the cheapest new Mac I can find. My primary machine is a 15" MBP 2016.


An external HD and install HS on it
Reboot from that drive
Works great

Thats the nice thing about macOS… you can boot from other drives…

I have High Sierra running in Fusion 8.5, but it is unable to use APFS. For that you’ll need Fusion 10 beta.

A separate boot drive is better if you can do that, though.


I support what was said above (external HD).

The beta I installed yesterday morning (and the previous I cannot…) does not want to be installed as is.

You have to install Sierra, then you will be able to install High Sierra. That is my experience.

Also, by default, my external High Sierra Hard Disk stayed as UFS+ (the format I use when I run Disk Util), it was not converted to APFS.

BTW: I started to install High Sierra on Monday and it tooks me 'till Saturday morning to be able to fulfill then install process.
Search an empty external hard disk, format it, download the High Sierra Beta and install it (after I install Sierra).

Also: it will take you time to do that (around 90 minutes to download Sierra, same time or so to install it, and same time to update it to High Sierra. Now you know that the used MBP will not be available to do anything else for a long time.

At last, I was amazed when I was able to run High Sierra… I do not knew what to do with it ! So, I power it down and do something else. I will be back to itin some days.

Once the boot proces is completely over, the OS is very fast (I spend only minutes, but it was my first feeling).

The whole installation takes 20 MB (around, at ± 1MB).
MBP 13", i3, 3 years old model.

Remember: running an application (for the first time ?) on High Sierra * will take some times the first time. After that, it will take (probably) the same time as in previous versions.

I hope I am crystal clear.

  • I cannot use HS for High Sierra 'cause HS is short for Hors Service (Out fo Service in english ?) ;-

I also discovered this. The installer fails to run if started from 10.10 or 10.11. I also suffered when I tried on a Mac Pro 2,1 that I’d updated using the Open Firmware hack to get 10.12 installed.

APFS is optimized for SSDs. SSDs will automatically use APFS, hard disks will not.

Hardware. It’s the only real way to do it. In my tests Metal 2 is finally superior to OpenGL in terms of rendering speed. A 2015 MacBook (bottom configuration) out performs a 2012 Retina MacBook Pro with either OpenGL or Metal 1 (which has no noticeable improvement over OpenGL).

I am however only using OpenGL and Metal to render Core Image so there might be other optimisations in the pipeline which are not documented.

I’m currently applying Core Image processing to 4K movies while they’re being played back and it easily keeps up the 30fps of the movie.

BTW: I recall I get an error message telling that I must boot on a Sierra disk to be able to install High Sierra…

And the Install macOS High Sierra Beta.app file takes 5.17GB on disk. The explanation is elsewhere (they do not want let people install High Sierra on anything bu Sierra: I understand).

A simple note with how to install, what have been changed and what parts can be tested (for those who want to test these) is welcome. And not the laconic vague, etc. sentence(s) I recall…

Where are gone the good 'old MacOS manuals (like what we had 20 years ago) ?

Thanks everyone for your suggestions - I do have a number of spare external hard drives, I’ll use one of them.

It might be slower from an external HDD, the other way is to partition your internal drive, but what ever you do; DO NOT INSTALL ON A WORKING PARTITION. The developer behind Carbon Copy Cloner is advising people not to update until at least 10.13.2 or higher. So far I personally have not encountered any issues with APFS, 90% of my OpenGL issues have been fixed, I still have one issue that I need to figure out if it’s OpenGL or Core Image (but I am really happy with the performance improvement of Core Image via Metal 2).

Personally, for my testing machine, I have 3 partitions. 1 which is running Yosemite (as that’s the smoothest on the machine), the second partition is used for data and files, and the third partition is used for High Sierra.