This is a current survey of macOS for M1/M2 ARM platform (Apple Silicon) virtualization replacement options. Since this is not x86 Virtual Box is out of the questions. Note: when I type Apple Silicon, I mean the M1/M2 platform.

Two Paid Solutions

I am not against spending money to get a good product and there are two really great paid solutions for Apple Silicon.

Parallels has a yearly subscription cost and is a great piece of software. There is also a pro-edition with that gives you access to a commandline and allows for scriptable automation to take place. This is needed for integration with Vagrant, Packer, Docker, and MiniKube.

There is also VMware Fusion - from VMware

Two Free Apple Silicon Native Solutions

I have come across two open solutions.


Using UTM, the direct Apple virtualization framework native to Apple Silicon. This is stable enough to use now but hasn’t opened their API yet to third party automation tools such as Vagrant or Packer, but the request tickets are in the works.

There is also QEMU, which is an emulator that runs on Apple Silicon. UTM runs on top of QEMU but QEMU can run by itself using the libvirt library – which is heavily Linux based but has been ported to Apple Silicon.


There is a third option, and new tool called Tart. This is brand new and Vagrant Integration is being actively worked on.


There are a few options here. I know that the Parallels Pro edition works excellently with Packer and Vagrant and the plugins. I used it almost immediately after the M1 came out and even helped a student place an issue in the Vagrant Plugin.

The other two solution UTM and QEMU look promising, but alas I don’t have any Apple Silicon.