What's New

Description of new Anka software features

What's new in Anka Virtualization 2.3.0

This release does not make significant changes to macOS Catalina (and older) VMs. They will function the same as prior releases of Anka. We recommend updating addons regardless.

Use Anka for free!

Our new Anka Develop license is a free, but limited, version of our Anka Virtualization software. You will see the license enabled by default after you install the Anka Virtualization.

Anka Develop is currently restricted to running a single VM at a time. It also does not include VM suspension, tagging, or use of the registry CLI commands. Finally, it will only function on Macbook, Macbook Pro, and Macbook Air hardware.

VM Management UI

We now have a management UI allowing you to start, stop, delete, and create VMs. This is used as an alternative to the CLI.

installer with pkg

Big Sur (11.X) Support

You can now use anka create to create 11.X macOS versions.

Anka is now driverless!

Starting in Big Sur, we have recreated our driver addons as driverless addons. This allows for much more feature flexibility moving forward. This opens up many opportunities for our developers to add new features.

New anka cp / Deprecated anka mount and anka run automatic mounting

Due to security changes in Big Sur, we've had to rewrite all of our addons to be driverless. This means that anka mount and anka run (mounting) no longer work with Big Sur VMs. However, they do still function for Catalina and below.

As an alternative, we now have anka cp which allows transferring files into the VM. The transfer speeds have shown to be much faster than SCP.

> sudo anka cp --help
Usage: anka cp [OPTIONS] [SRC]... DST

  Copy files in and out of the VM and host

  -R      copy the src and its entire subtree to the dst
  -L      all symbolic links are followed
  -H      symbolic links in the command are followed
  -P      do not follow a symbolic links (default)
  -f      remove and create the dst file on open failure
  -n      do not overwrite an existing file.
  -p      preserve the source file attributes
  -a      same as -pPR options
  --help  Display usage information
time anka cp ~/VirtualBox\ VMs/cloud-client-side-ha-1/cloud-client-side-ha-1.vdi 10.15.6:/Users/anka/
anka --debug cp  10.15.6:/Users/anka/  0.86s user 20.60s system 4% cpu 8:53.85 total

Compare the ~9 minutes it takes for anka cp to how much it takes to transfer the same file with scp:

time scp -P 10000 -v ~/VirtualBox\ VMs/cloud-client-side-ha-1/cloud-client-side-ha-1.vdi anka@
scp -P 10000 -v  anka@  110.61s user 60.88s system 22% cpu 12:46.30 total

Be sure to update addons with anka start -u 10.15.7 to use anka cp with Catalina (or older) VMs

Customize the Hostname inside of your VM on start

You can now automatically set the VM hostname to the VM name on start by enabling propagate_name:

❯ anka config propagate_name True

If you'd like to customize the hostname, you can set the ANKA_HOSTNAME env first:

❯ hostname

❯ ANKA_HOSTNAME="$(hostname)-$RANDOM" anka run 11.0.1 bash -c "echo \$(hostname)"

What's New in Anka Build Cloud Controller & Registry Version 1.10.1

Unresponsive VM Monitor

Rarely we see certain dependencies installed inside of VMs causing the entire VM to become unresponsive. Unresponsive or “stuck” VMs can run indefinitely and therefore cause CI/CD jobs to run until they hit timeouts. This is a bad experience for users, so we've added a feature which constantly checks whether or not the command-line inside of VM is responding to a simple command. If it cannot, the Anka Agent on your Node will fail the VM, causing the CI/CD job to receive a failure and then send a Termination request to the Controller.

You can enable this feature when you join your Node to the Anka Cloud with: sudo ankacluster join --enable-vm-monitor http://anka.controller:8090.

You can see the flags and options with:

❯ ankacluster join --help
Joins the current machine to one or many Anka Build Cloud Controllers


  --enable-vm-monitor           Enabled unresponsive VM monitoring. This will throw a failure when the VM becomes unresponsive for longer than the --vm-stuck-timeout
  --vm-stuck-delay duration     The time between unresponsive VM checks (default: 30s - Duration examples: 3500s, 20m, 5h)
  --vm-stuck-timeout duration   The time to wait until the VM is considered unresponsive (default: 10s - Duration examples: 3500s, 20m, 5h)

What's New in Anka Build Cloud Controller & Registry Version 1.9.0

Track MAC Addresses for VMs and prevent rare collision situations

It's extremely rare that MAC addresses assigned to VMs collide. We've added the ability for the Controller to keep track of MAC addresses and prevent reuse. You can also manually specify the MAC address for the VM using the Controller API.

Your VM Templates and Tags must be in a stopped state in the Registry/on your Nodes to set the MAC address properly.

If you have VMs already running when you upgrade your Controller, they will not be managed by this feature until they are restarted through the Controller.

What's New in Jenkins Plugin Version 2.1.0

Static Slave and Cloud Instance Limits (support for || label operator)

When specifying the label to use in your Jenkins pipelines, you're able to use operators like || (OR). Previous versions of our Jenkins plugin had problems with this as each Static Slave Template you configured would be able to use unlimited instances (as many as your controller allowed). In 2.1.0, you have the ability to set a cap on the amount of instances allowed to be created for the specific Static Slave Template or even for the entire Anka Cloud definition. As an example:

  • Your pipeline uses large-fleet-ios || small-fleet-ios
  • You have two Static Slave Templates:
    1. label large-fleet-ios
      • has lots of resources per VM, but far less total VMs that can run
      • has an instance/VM cap of 5
    2. label small-fleet-ios that has less resources because more VMs are running at once
      • has an instance/VM cap of 20
  • Your large node fleet has a total of 10 VMs that can run at once (5 nodes, 2 VMs per node) (more expensive mac minis with lots of cpu and memory)
  • Your small node fleet has a total of 30 VMs that can run at once (15 nodes, 2 VMs per node) (cheaper mac minis with less resources)

When someone runs an iOS build, you want it to use the large-fleet if possible so the builds and tests take less time. With this setup, your pipeline will run and request a VM from the Static Slave Template with large-fleet-ios as the label. However, if other pipeline jobs are already running and using all 5 instance slots, it will then fall back onto using small-fleet-ios.

Notice that our instance cap for large-fleet-ios is 5 and we have 10 total VMs for the large-fleet. This allows other labels for the large fleet the remaining 5 slots at all times if there are lots of large-fleet-ios requests. This helps balance the usage between multiple projects.

Slave/Node name is now available within the 1.8.0 Controller

Changes to the way we communicate with the Controller API now allows for the slave name and slave/jenkins UI URL to be displayed under the custom columns.

Jenkins 2.1.0 Slave/Node Info Page

Custom Column Jenkins 2.1.0

What's New in Anka Build Cloud Controller Version 1.8.0

Set custom instance metadata and show it in the dashboard

Custom Column

Create an instance with metadata:

❯ curl -X POST "http://anka.controller:8090/api/v1/vm" -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
-d '{"vmid": "c0847bc9-5d2d-4dbc-ba6a-240f7ff08032", "count": 1, "metadata": { "test": true }}'


Then show it as a column in the dashboard:

Custom Column from Metadata

Change the vCPU and RAM for a stopped VM Template

❯ sudo anka show 10.15.4-stopped
| uuid           | 3a65b45e-c08d-44e9-84e2-ba45d646af4a |
| name           | 10.15.4-stopped (test)               |
| created        | 100 seconds ago                      |
| cpu_cores      | 6                                    |
| ram            | 10G                                  |
| display        | 1                                    |
| hard_drive     | 80Gi (16.6Gi on disk)                |
| addons_version |                            |
| status         | stopped 29 seconds ago               |

Create your instance and set the CPU and RAM:

❯ curl -X POST "http://anka.controller:8090/api/v1/vm" -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
-d '{"vmid": "3a65b45e-c08d-44e9-84e2-ba45d646af4a", "count": 1, "vcpu": 4, "vram": 8192 }'


This is change the values of the cloned/started VM:

sh-3.2# anka show mgmtManaged-10.15.4-stopped-1592271338138326000
| uuid                  | e767f994-e366-460a-9dbd-5e2eb9729242            |
| name                  | mgmtManaged-10.15.4-stopped-1592271338138326000 |
| created               | 10 seconds ago                                  |
| cpu_cores             | 4                                               |
| ram                   | 8G                                              |

What's New in Anka Virtualization CLI Version 2.2.3

Anka 2.2.3 - May 03, 2020

When using Anka Viewer, provided a way to get out of full screen, after in full screen mode (using the green full screen button on the window's top bar)

Updated license terms

What's New in Anka Build Cloud Controller Version 1.7.0

Disk Usage for Node is displayed in the controller Dahsboard and REST API

Node Disk Usage Information

Size information for Templates and tags is displayed in the controller dashboard and REST API

Template Size Information

Jenkins job/Node information is displayed for the VM provisioned in the controller dashboard

Jenkins Job Information

New reserve disk flag in ankacluster join command

When –reserve-space flag is set, controller will always reserve the disk space before pulling VM template on the node. If there is not enough disk space after allocating for –reserve-space, then controller will not pull the Vm Template. This flag is provided to avoid scenario where there is no disk psace left on the node to accomodate for extra disk usage duing builds inside the VM.

reservedisk ankacluster flah

What's New in Anka Version 2.2.2

License passthrough from host to nested enabled Anka VM

This feature enables you to install Anka binary package inside an Anka macOS VM and use it create and run Anka VMs.

  1. Enable nested for the Anka VM in which you want to install Anka binary.
  2. Install Anka binary package inside the VM.
  3. Execute anka config propagate_license 1 on the host machine.
  4. Stop and start the nested enabled VM.
  5. Check with sudo anka license show inside the VM. It will show the host license information.

Set DPI for the VM

Added a new flag in anka modify set display command to set DPI for the VM.

anka modify set display [OPTIONS]
  configure displays
  -c, --count INTEGER    configure number of displays (2 max)
  --headless             same as --count 0
  -p, --password         prompt for VNC password
  -v, --vnc TEXT         configure VNC
  --no-vnc               disable VNC access to the VM
  -d, --dpi INTEGER      set DPI (default is 72)
  -r, --resolution TEXT  set resolution, e.g. 1024x768 or 'default' to reset to default
  --help                 Show this message and exit.

Disable VNC access to the VM

Added a new flag in anka modify set display command to disable VNC access for the VM.

anka modify set display [OPTIONS]
  configure displays
  -c, --count INTEGER    configure number of displays (2 max)
  --headless             same as --count 0
  -p, --password         prompt for VNC password
  -v, --vnc TEXT         configure VNC
  --no-vnc               disable VNC access to the VM
  -d, --dpi INTEGER      set DPI (default is 72)
  -r, --resolution TEXT  set resolution, e.g. 1024x768 or 'default' to reset to default
  --help                 Show this message and exit.

What's New in Anka Version 2.2.1

Set resolution display for the VM with anka modify set display.

anka modify set display [OPTIONS]

  configure displays

  -c, --count INTEGER    configure number of displays (2 max)
  --headless             same as --count 0
  -p, --password         prompt for VNC password
  -v, --vnc TEXT         configure VNC
  -r, --resolution TEXT  set resolution, e.g. 1024x768 or 'default' to reset to default
  --help                 Show this message and exit.

Send virtual bound events programmatically. This can be used to automate bypass of Apple confirmation dialog.

anka view [OPTIONS] VM_ID

 Open VM display viewer

 -d, --display INTEGER  Specify the displays to view
 -s, --screenshot       Make png screenshot
 -c, --click TEXT       Send the pointer event
 --help                 Show this message and exit.

anka view VM --click 100,200 will click virtual click event at location 100*200

Note Also available through /Library/Application\ Support/Veertu/Anka/addons/click 100,200

Last modified November 24, 2020 : 2.3.0 (bfd2344) by Nathan Pierce