Appium, XCode, Instruments, Simulator on virtual Mac instance running on Mac hardware

I read there are issues trying to test multiple iOS devices (or at least the simulator) on Mac, and this affects Appium.

Suggestions were to use multiple machines to work around this, or run testing against devices serially rather than in parallel.

I was wondering if anybody tried the route of having a virtual Mac OS running on a Mac to give you 2 Macs on the same hardware. And then have XCode & Appium on the virtual and physical Macs so that you have ability to run 2 iOS simulators or devices in parallel.

I might try it but wanted to see if anybody tried it out already and whether that works or works reliably.

according to the simulator limit is per user account rather than per machine. this sounds easier than using VMs.

also see

as well as [Need suggestions] iOS device grid with Appium

Thanks for the links. According to, it would seem you need a Mac VM to run 2 iOS devices simultaneously.

I will take a look at alternate user account option, although

FYI, I attempted 2 iOS devices before posting the thread, and was able to start up 2 drivers, but it’s not stable running simultaneously, eventually crashes one or both sessions/apps. Works fine for single device. Thus I asked about the VM route.

Well, I just tried it out. Ran 2 Mac VMs on Mac and was able to concurrently control 3 devices with Appium (one per Mac instance - 2 VMs, 1 physical Mac).

Took a bit of work setting up the VMs though as setting up Mac VMs on Mac is not that well documented, especially for VirtualBox.

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Can you share the steps?

Is it impossible to run parallel test on multiple ios physical devices? Even with testng framework?