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macOS Application Firewall and Canonical Multipass debugging
·2192 words·11 mins
debugging networking macOS firewall multipass

Canonical’s Multipass is a wonderful tool for bootstrapping Ubuntu VMs on any platform, including macOS on Apple Silicon (M1/arm64). It works well, as everything, until networking breaks. The issue, debugging, and resolution story from this long afternoon reveals few tricks about both Multipass and Application Firewall on macOS, so I’ll describe it in detail.

This tale is yet another confirmation of the fact that majority of macOS problems are coming from corporate security tools - I didn’t have such issues even at Hackintosh era. It all started on a corporate MacBook when I had the bunch of Multipass-created VMs that suddenly stopped working - they were starting up, QEMU process was running, but Multipass couldn’t check their status (it uses SSH for that). Moreover, creation of new ones was also breaking in the worst moment - QEMU process started and Multipass waited for cloud-init loaded from virtual CD-ROM to get networking and SSH. And then it just timed out.