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macOS 13+

There is a bug present in Linux virtual machines on Ventura and the base M1 chip which causes the virtual machine to kernel panic and freeze up randomly. Unfortunately, this means that base M1 users should avoid Apple Virtualization backend until Apple or Linux maintainers provide a fix.

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This page will guide you to installing Debian on your Apple Silicon Mac running macOS Ventura or higher with support for Rosetta for running Intel applications on Linux.

Downloads

Creating a new virtual machine

  1. Open UTM and click the “+” button to open the VM creation wizard.
  2. Select “Virtualize”.
  3. Select “Linux”.
  4. Check “Use Apple Virtualization” and “Enable Rosetta (x86_64 Emulation)”
  5. Click “Browse” and select the Debian installer ISO from the link above. Press “Next” to continue.
  6. Pick the amount of RAM and CPU cores you wish to give access to the VM. Press “Next” to continue.
  7. Specify the maximum amount of drive space to allocate. Press “Next” to continue.
  8. If you have a directory you want to mount in the VM, you can select it here. Alternatively, you can skip this and select the directory later from the VM window’s toolbar. The shared directory will be available after installing SPICE tools (see below). Press “Next” to continue.
  9. Press “Save” to create the VM and press the Run button to start the VM.
  10. Select “Install” and follow through the setup wizard.
  • Install to Virtual disk 1 (vda), using entire disk, all files in one partition
  • In “Software selection”: check “GNOME”, “SSH server”, and “standard system utilities”

Enabling sudo

After installing and logging in, you will find that the default user does not have sudo privileges. Open a terminal and use the following commands to enable it.

$ set USERNAME=`whoami`
$ su -p
# /usr/sbin/usermod -aG sudo $USERNAME

You will need to restart for the changes to take place.

Shared Directory

Follow this guide to enable VirtioFS directory sharing. We recommend using /media/share as the mount point.

Clipboard Sharing

Install spice-vdagent and reboot to enable clipboard sharing.

$ sudo apt install spice-vdagent

Installing Rosetta

First install binfmt-support.

$ sudo apt install binfmt-support

Then, follow this guide to install Rosetta.

Installing x86_64 Multiarch

For Rosetta to work, you will have to enable x86_64 packages.

$ sudo dpkg --add-architecture amd64
$ sudo apt update

You can now install and run any x86_64 package in the Debian repository with sudo apt install packagename:amd64.