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Virtualising Adobe Creative Suite with Mac OS X / OS X / macOS

Article ID = 115
Article Title = Virtualising Adobe Creative Suite with Mac OS X / OS X / macOS
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 27th February 2019
Article Last Updated = 13th March 2019
Article URL = https://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?115

Article Brief Description:
Instructions for virtualising Adobe Creative Suite with Mac OS X / OS X / macOS

Virtualising Adobe Creative Suite with Mac OS X / OS X / macOS

The ability to virtualise Adobe Creative Suite is important and very useful as it is an easy way to run these older 32-bit applications that do not run on macOS 10.15 or later. MacStrategy presents this special guide to running Adobe Creative Suite within a virtualised Mac OS X / OS X / macOS environment.

Virtualisation Software

  • Parallels Desktop [£79.99 inc VAT - 14 day free trial available]
    Buy it now at Amazon USA Buy it now at Amazon UK
  • VMWare Fusion [£70.00 inc VAT - 30 day free trial available]
  • Oracle VirtualBox [FREE - Open source under GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2]

Virtualise Mac OS X / OS X / macOS

You can consider virtualising: However, we recommend running the following versions of macOS / OS X / Mac OS X as Virtual Machines for 32-bit app support:
  • Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (Server) - costs money but you may already be running/want to run this to be able to use PowerPC/Rosetta based applications
  • OS X 10.7 - OS X 10.8 is better
  • OS X 10.8 - costs money but if you already own it/want to pay for it, it runs very efficiently in a virtual machine and there are few internet/iCloud based services clogging it up
  • OS X 10.9 - was very kludgy and slow when installed on a hard disk
  • OS X 10.10 - was slow when installed on a hard disk, does not support latest Apple internet/iCloud based services
  • OS X 10.11 - free, supports most internet/iCloud based services
  • macOS 10.12 - free, supports most internet/iCloud based services
  • macOS 10.13 - buggy, slow, still being revised by Apple, 10.13.4 or later will give you repeated warnings when trying to run 32-bit applications
  • macOS 10.14 - but will give you repeated warnings when trying to run 32-bit applications
NOTE: We have tested Adobe Creative Suite running in the following environments:
  • Mac mini (2014 model) with macOS 10.14 Mojave running in 64-bit only test mode and using Parallels Desktop 14.1.2, VMWare Fusion 11.0.2 and VirtualBox 6.0.4 with OS X 10.8.5

Adobe Creative Suite 32-bit vs 64-bit

CS3 - all primary CS3 apps are 32-bit.
CS4 - Photoshop, Premiere Pro and After Effects are 64-bit*, all other primary apps including InDesign are 32-bit
CS5 - Photoshop, Premiere Pro and After Effects are 64-bit*, all other primary apps including InDesign are 32-bit
CS5.5 - Bridge, Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere Pro and After Effects are 64-bit*, all other primary apps including InDesign are 32-bit
CS6.0 - Bridge, Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere Pro and After Effects are 64-bit*, all other primary apps including InDesign are 32-bit

* But see this blog post.

Adobe Creative Suite

You can consider virtualising: However, you should note the following:
  • The online licensing servers for Adobe Creative Suite CS2/CS3 are no longer active. You will need a special version of the installer to install the software:
  • Adobe Creative Suite CS6 requires online activation and login with an Adobe ID
  • We do not recommend running the Adobe Acrobat Pro software that came with Creative Suite as all those old versions are no longer supported with security updates. If you must run Acrobat Pro consider installing a newer, supported version of Adobe Reader and setting PDF documents to automatically open it - see our Keeping Adobe Software Products Up-To-Date about this.

Adobe Creative Suite CS3 Notes

Adobe Creative Suite CS4 Notes

  • Installing CS4 on macOS 10.12 Sierra or later may require a manual workaround to get it installed
  • Some Adobe CS4 applications erroneously report that they need Java to run - you can install Java 6 or trick OS X into thinking Java is installed
  • Adobe CS4 updates can be installed automatically/easily on earlier versions of OS X but you may need to set your clock back - you will need to temporarily turn off the virtual machine clock synchronisation with the primary system:
    • Parallels Desktop = shutdown the virtual machine to change this setting, then > go to Window menu > Control Center > click on the cog icon for the OS X 10.8 virtual machine > Options tab > More Options (on the left) > select "Do not sync" from the 'Time:' pop-up menu
    • VMware Fusion = shutdown the virtual machine to change this setting, then > go to Virtual Machine menu > Settings > Advanced > untick "Synchronize time"
  • Some Adobe CS4 updates may not install automatically/easily on later versions of OS X / macOS - this is due to Adobe's proprietary installer software that is not compatible with later versions of OS X / macOS. To workaround this you will need to download the update manually and install via the manual method documented by Adobe:
    • Lists of Adobe Creative Suite updates
    • Adobe proprietary installer manual installation method - although the article refers to the full installer ofthe suite, you canstill use this method with manually downloaded updates, by opening the update disk image, locating the installer/setup app > control/right-clicking it and selecting Open Package Contents from the contextual menu > go to Contents > MacOS > and double-click on the Unix executable installer

Adobe Creative Suite CS5 Notes

  • Installing CS5 on macOS 10.12 Sierra or later may require a manual workaround to get it installed
  • When installing CS5 on some later versions of OS X / macOS you may get the message "Please close all of the following applications to continue: • SafariPlugInUpda" - to do this, leave the installer running, go to Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor > CPU tab > click on "Process Name" heading to sort the process list alphabetically > locate "SafariPlugInUpdateNotifier" in the list > select it > click the X button in the top left > click the "Force Quit" button > go back to the Adobe installer > click "Continue"
  • When installing CS5 on some later versions of OS X / macOS you may get the message "Please close all of the following applications to continue: • SafariBookmarkS" - to do this, leave the installer running, go to Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor > CPU tab > click on "Process Name" heading to sort the process list alphabetically > locate "SafariBookmarkSyncAgent" in the list > select it > click the X button in the top left > click the "Force Quit" button > go back to the Adobe installer > click "Continue"
  • Some Adobe CS5 applications erroneously report that they need Java to run - you can install Java 6 or trick OS X into thinking Java is installed
  • Adobe CS5 updates can be installed automatically/easily on earlier versions of OS X but you may need to set your clock back - you will need to temporarily turn off the virtual machine clock synchronisation with the primary system:
    • Parallels Desktop = shutdown the virtual machine to change this setting, then > go to Window menu > Control Center > click on the cog icon for the OS X 10.8 virtual machine > Options tab > More Options (on the left) > select "Do not sync" from the 'Time:' pop-up menu
    • VMware Fusion = shutdown the virtual machine to change this setting, then > go to Virtual Machine menu > Settings > Advanced > untick "Synchronize time"
  • Some Adobe CS5 updates may not install automatically/easily on later versions of OS X / macOS - this is due to Adobe's proprietary installer software that is not compatible with later versions of OS X / macOS. To workaround this you will need to download the update manually and install via the manual method documented by Adobe:
    • Lists of Adobe Creative Suite updates
    • Adobe proprietary installer manual installation method - although the article refers to the full installer ofthe suite, you can still use this method with manually downloaded updates, by opening the update disk image, locating the installer/setup app > control/right-clicking it and selecting Open Package Contents from the contextual menu > go to Contents > MacOS > and double-click on the Unix executable installer

Adobe Creative Suite CS5.5 Notes

  • Installing CS5.5 on macOS 10.12 Sierra or later may require a manual workaround to get it installed
  • When installing CS5.5 on some later versions of OS X / macOS you may get the message "Please close all of the following applications to continue: • SafariPlugInUpda" - to do this, leave the installer running, go to Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor > CPU tab > click on "Process Name" heading to sort the process list alphabetically > locate "SafariPlugInUpdateNotifier" in the list > select it > click the X button in the top left > click the "Force Quit" button > go back to the Adobe installer > click "Continue"
  • When installing CS5.5 on some later versions of OS X / macOS you may get the message "Please close all of the following applications to continue: • SafariBookmarkS" - to do this, leave the installer running, go to Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor > CPU tab > click on "Process Name" heading to sort the process list alphabetically > locate "SafariBookmarkSyncAgent" in the list > select it > click the X button in the top left > click the "Force Quit" button > go back to the Adobe installer > click "Continue"
  • Some Adobe CS5.5 applications erroneously report that they need Java to run - you can install Java 6 or trick OS X into thinking Java is installed
  • Some Adobe CS5.5 updates may not install automatically/easily on later versions of OS X / macOS - this is due to Adobe's proprietary installer software that is not compatible with later versions of OS X / macOS. To workaround this you will need to download the update manually and install via the manual method documented by Adobe:
    • Lists of Adobe Creative Suite updates
    • Adobe proprietary installer manual installation method - although the article refers to the full installer ofthe suite, you can still use this method with manually downloaded updates, by opening the update disk image, locating the installer/setup app > control/right-clicking it and selecting Open Package Contents from the contextual menu > go to Contents > MacOS > and double-click on the Unix executable installer

Adobe Creative Suite CS6 Notes

  • Installing CS6 on macOS 10.12 Sierra or later may require a manual workaround to get it installed
  • When installing CS6 on some later versions of OS X / macOS you may get the message "Please close all of the following applications to continue: • SafariPlugInUpda" - to do this, leave the installer running, go to Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor > CPU tab > click on "Process Name" heading to sort the process list alphabetically > locate "SafariPlugInUpdateNotifier" in the list > select it > click the X button in the top left > click the "Force Quit" button > go back to the Adobe installer > click "Continue"
  • When installing CS6 on some later versions of OS X / macOS you may get the message "Please close all of the following applications to continue: • SafariBookmarkS" - to do this, leave the installer running, go to Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor > CPU tab > click on "Process Name" heading to sort the process list alphabetically > locate "SafariBookmarkSyncAgent" in the list > select it > click the X button in the top left > click the "Force Quit" button > go back to the Adobe installer > click "Continue"
  • Some Adobe CS6 applications erroneously report that they need Java to run - you can install Java 6 or trick OS X into thinking Java is installed
  • Some Adobe CS6 updates may not install automatically/easily on later versions of OS X / macOS - this is due to Adobe's proprietary installer software that is not compatible with later versions of OS X / macOS. To workaround this you will need to download the update manually and install via the manual method documented by Adobe:
    • Lists of Adobe Creative Suite updates
    • Adobe proprietary installer manual installation method - although the article refers to the full installer ofthe suite, you can still use this method with manually downloaded updates, by opening the update disk image, locating the installer/setup app > control/right-clicking it and selecting Open Package Contents from the contextual menu > go to Contents > MacOS > and double-click on the Unix executable installer
  • If the automatic updates stall at "Adobe Flash Pro CS6 update 2" check whether the Adobe Extension Manager application has launched - if it has, click on it and manually quit it to allow the update process to continue

Useful Links


Article Keywords: Mac OS X 106 OSX 107 108 109 1010 1011 macOS 1012 1013 1014 1015 Snow Leopard Lion Mountain Lion Mavericks Yosemite El Capitan Sierra High Sierra Mojave Catalina VM virtual machine virtualisation virtualising virtualization virtualizing Adobe Creative Suite Standard Premium Design Web Master Collection CS CS3.0 CS4.0 CS5.0 CS5.5 CS6.0

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