Run Raspbian in VMware Fusion on Mac OS X

Download the Raspbian .vmdk Image

Go to and downlaod the compressed .vmdk file. (.vmdk is just a virtual disk, here it has the installed Raspbian system)

Install it on VMware Fusion

Go to the enclosing folder and uncompress the file, right click on the .vmdk file and Open with -> Other… –> Select VMare Fusion and Open it.

In Choosing Operating System, select Linux and Other Linux 4.x or later Kernel

Use default options in Choose Firmware Type

Select Use an existing virtual disk

Then select the .vmdk file

Check the information and click on Finish and the change the default name for the virtual machine in the pop-up window, and now, it’s time to boot the Raspbian!

Of course, you can customize the configuration for the virtual machine, which is much more flexible than on a real Raspberry Pi since you are able to allocate more memory and more power CPU and GPU as you like.

Test the Virtual Environment

To test the performance of the virtual machine, I tried to make opencv 4.0.0 on it.

VM Configuration

Test Result

It took me about half an hour to install opencv 4.0.0 on the virtual machine, which is significantly faster than on a Raspberry Pi.

More to Know

I have managed to install opencv 4.0.0 on the Rapbian virtual machine, but with some variations compared with that on Raspberry Pi 3B+. (Reference 2)