OS X virtualization

Discussion in 'Feature Suggestions' started by axsimulate, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. axsimulate


    How about the ability to run multiple instances of OS X in virtualization? That way I can test software in a virtual OS X instance without any worry about trashing the host machine. I wouldn't need a second test machine anymore. The programers where I work do this with Windows using Virtual PC for Windows.
  2. daveschroeder


    To repeat something i've said previously:

    Ignoring the technical hurdles for a moment, and though it actually wouldn't be against any license agreement to run Mac OS X in a VM *on Apple hardware*, the Apple license agreement expressly forbids running Mac OS X on anything but Apple hardware. This means that if a commercial VM vendor started doing what was necessary with their product to run Mac OS X in a VM on Mac OS X, they'd be treading dangerously close to potentially allowing it to run in their VM product on other platforms where it wouldn't be running on Apple hardware. Also, as I said, there are technical hurdles to be overcome.

    (And yes, to anyone who may be reading, we're aware that Mac OS X (Intel) has been hacked to run in, e.g., VMWare on PCs already for quite some time, but this is DEFINITELY against the license agreement (that Mac OS X can only be run on Apple-labeled hardware), requires hacking Mac OS X and running it in a completely unsupported state, technically requires pirating Mac OS X since no way to get a standalone license for Mac OS X (Intel) exists, and may be illegal in certain jurisdictions.)

    Because of the general situation, I don't think any VM vendors are going to be supporting Mac OS X as a guest OS, even ONLY on Mac OS X on genuine Apple hardware, until they get a specific blessing to do so from Apple, and/or partner with Apple on this. However, Apple may be planning to offer its own virtualization that does support Mac OS X/Mac OS X Server itself with Leopard, and therefore may not even get involved with third parties.
  3. joem


    Well, it's illegal but easy to drive the wrong way on a one way street, but selling cars that do that is common.

    It's illegal to rip an encrypted DVD, rerecord it, and give it to a friend, but software to do that if available free.

    It's illegal to smack someone in the head with a baseball bat and kill him, but I can buy a bat at any sporting goods store.

    This is a red herring, IMNSHO.
  4. daveschroeder


    No, this won't happen, and it's exactly for the reasons I outlined, whether you think it's a "red herring" or not. No *commercial* vendor (like Parallels) is going to this unless:

    1.) They have a specific agreement/partnership with Apple to do so, or

    2.) They can GUARANTEE to Apple's satisfaction that it will only allow running Mac OS X VMs on a Mac OS X host on Apple hardware only (see 1.)

    If any product makes it substantially or even marginally easier to use Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware in any way, especially if Mac OS X can remain unmodified in such a hypothetical situation, Apple would come down on that product/company like a ton of bricks. Whether you think they're right or wrong or justified in doing it is irrelevant; they would, and the vendor - even if it's someone like EMC (VMWare) - would have no hope of defending themselves. The reason this would be the case is that any capability to allow Mac OS X to run on non-Apple hardware wouldn't be incidental; it would be SPECIFICALLY engineered into the product for that purpose, and such a capability directly violates Apple's EULA; or, rather, allows, and indeed would encourage, a customer to directly violate Apple's EULA.

    Now, if a vendor made a product that passed the TPM calls from Mac OS X (Intel) to TPM hardware on Apple hardware only, that would be a virtualization solution Apple might stomach, as it doesn't really change the landscape. But to do this, there would be significant technical hurdles, especially for a product like Parallels Workstation, whose emulated hardware profile is nothing close to what Mac OS X (Intel) needs to boot. Then, there's the other problem (which, yes, would be going away with Leopard) that there is no legal way to obtain a standalone licensed copy of Mac OS X (Intel), which therefore still requires it to be used against its license agreement.

    No commercial vendor that values its existence is going to wade into this rat's nest, *unless* it's Apple itself, or some vendor partnered with Apple on this, specifically. Trust me.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2006
  5. bigman


    Nevertheless that is a nice feature. And I could live with the limitation
    that the host os has to be MacOS too. I think there is a market for that.
    Would be nice to have a vendor for that solution. And pushing apple
    to provide it itself or to let other do it might help eventually.
  6. CPFarhood


    The only way i'm seeing this happen is if a company like Parallels (or even Parallels itself) gets bought up by Apple. Unfortunately, it appears that Apple would prefer to go the dual-boot route instead.
  7. Blaster



Share This Page