MacOS users occasionally encounter errore “cannot find a valid peer process to connect to” when installing VMware FUsion on macOS High Sierra or newer. Typically, this issue is reported to occur when the user tries to upgrade or resume a Windows virtual machine.
What is causing the “Cannot find a valid peer process to connect to” on MacOS” error
This particular error is occurring because of some security changes that Apple implemented with High Sierra. If you tried to install the software after these changes were enforced on your machine, you might have dismissed a prompt telling you that a certain System Extension was blocked. That is actually the biggest clue on what’s going on.
The error is occurring because some MacOS security systems have prevented VMware Fusion’s extensions from running. To rectify this, you’ll need to follow a series of steps in order to return to the normal functionality of the emulator.
However, there are a few other slight variations of this scenario that will require slightly different troubleshooting steps:
- Installation glitch doesn’t allow the extension to be enabled – There are several reported situations where the blocked extension couldn’t be re-enabled because of the Allow button was greyed out. In this case, the solution is to move the whole Fusion install folder into a different folder and reinstall it.
- Gatekeeper has quarantined the downloaded installer – There are several situations where users have confirmed that the installer was prevented to run by a security solution. You can rectify this with a series of commands in the Terminal.
If you’re struggling to resolve this particular issue, this article will provide you with a set of troubleshooting steps. Below you have a collection of methods that other users in a similar situation have used to get the issue resolved.
Keep in mind that the methods below are ordered by efficiency and complexity. For the best results, follow the potential fixes in the order that they are presented until you find a fix that is effective in resolving the problem for your particular scenario.
Method 1: Allowing VMWare system software to load from the Security & Privacy menu
If you’ve recently installed VMware Fusion on macOS High Sierra or above only to get the “cannot find a valid peer process to connect to” error when trying to start a virtual machine, it’s very likely that the security system has blocked a system extension from running.
Luckily, you can rectify this easily by going to the Security & Privacy System tab and allow system software from the VMware Inc. developer. To make things easier for you, we’ve also created a step by step guide for you. Here’s what you need to do:
- Click the Apple icon in the top-left corner and then select System Preferences.
- From the System Preferences menu, click on Security & Privacy.
- In the Security & Privacy menu, go to the General tab and click the Allow button associated with VMware Inc.
- Return to the VMware program and resume the virtual machine. If all goes well, you should no longer encounter the “cannot find a valid peer process to connect to” error.
If this method was not effective in fixing the problem in your scenario or if the Allow button was greyed out, move over to the next method below.
Method 2: Set up the Anywhere option in the Security & Privacy menu
As it turns out, for some users, the option to Allow the VMware Fusion extension to run is not visible. Apparently, this is known to occur with a lot of unverified apps that are downloaded online.
If you’re in a similar situation where you can’t allow the extension to load because the Allow button is simply not visible, there’s a workaround to this problem. There’s a certain command that will set up an Anywhere button that can be used when installing the VMware Fusion application in order to avoid the “cannot find a valid peer process to connect to” error.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Use the search function (bottom-right corner) to search for Terminal, select the top hit and press Enter.
- In the terminal, type the following command and press Enter to set up the Anywhere option in the Security & Privacy tab:
sudo spctl --master-disable
- Once you run the command successfully click the Apple icon in the top-left corner and then select System Preferences.
- Then, click on Security & Privacy and navigate to the General tab. If the command was successful, you will see a third option (Anywhere) under Allow apps to be downloaded from. Select the Anywhere option if it isn’t already selected.
- Run the VMware emulator again (or it’s installation). You should no longer receive the “cannot find a valid peer process to connect to” error.
If this method was not successful, continue down with the next method below.
Method 3: Triggering the confirmation by moving the Fusion install to another folder using the Finder app
If you can’t see the prompt telling you that a System Extension has been blocked after completing the installation, there’s one workaround that a lot of users have found to be helpful.
Apparently, if you move the entire Fusion application in a different folder than /applications and then back in using Finder, you’ll end up triggering the prompt that will allow you to allow the extension to load.
Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:
- Make sure Fusion is completely shut down.
- Open the Finder app, and locate VMware fusion in the list of applications. Once you do so, simply drag and drop the entry into a different folder. We’ve moved it on the Desktop for simplicity.
- You will be asked to authenticate in order to continue. To do so, click Authenticate and then OK again to continue.
- Once the file has been moved, simply move it back to the Application folder and start it again.
- Shortly after you start the application again, you will get a prompt telling you that the system extension has been blocked. When you see that prompt, return to Method 1 to resolve the issue once and for one.
If this method wasn’t applicable to your scenario, move down to the final method.
Method 4: Remove the Fusion installation and remove the quarantine flags
Another frequent reason why you’ll not be able to install the Vmware Fusion Application is if the gatekeeper has quarantined the downloaded installer. Although there are several speculations about why this happens, we weren’t able to find a definitive answer.
However, there is a certain fix that a lot of users encountering the “cannot find a valid peer process to connect to” error have been using to rectify the issue. Apparently, you can run a series of commands to remove the quarantine flags and allow the installation to complete without issues.
Note: Keep in mind that this procedure assumes that you’ve downloaded the installation .dmg file in the default folder.
Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:
- Open the Terminal using the search function. To search for Terminal, select the top hit and press Enter.
- In the Terminal application, paste the following command and press Enter:
xattr -l ~/Downloads/VMware-Fusion-10.0.1-6754183.dmg
Note: This first command will fetch you a list with .dmg files extended attributes. Also, if you’re installing a newer version, replace the last part of the command with the exact name of the .dmg file.
- Next, type or paste the following command to remove the quarantine flags for the installation file:
xattr -dr com.apple.quarantine ~/Downloads/VMware-Fusion-10.0.1-6754183.dmg
Note: Don’t forget to replace the last part with the actual name of your .dmg file if you’re installing a newer version.
- Once the procedure is complete, re-run the installer. You should be able to complete the installation of VMware Fusion without the error “cannot find a valid peer process to connect to”.