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The Prospects For Virtualizing OS X

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the not-holding-our-breath dept.

OS X 344

seriouslywtf writes in with a look at the current state of the question: will people eventually be able to run Mac OS X in a virtual machine, either on the Mac or under Windows? Ars Technica has articles outlining the positions of two VM vendors, Parallels and VMWare. Both have told Ars unequivocally that they won't enable users to virtualize OS X until Apple explicitly gives them the thumbs up. First, Parallels: "'We won't enable this kind of functionality until Apple gives their blessing for a few reasons,' Rudolph told Ars. 'First, we're concerned about our users — we are never going to encourage illegal activity that could open our users up to compromised machines or any sort of legal action. This is the same reason why we always insist on using a fully-licensed, genuine copy of Windows in a virtual machine — it's safer, more stable, fully supported, and completely legal.'" And from VMWare: "'We're very interested in running Mac OS X in a virtual machine because it opens up a ton of interesting use cases, but until Apple changes its licensing policy, we prefer to not speculate about running Mac OS X in a virtualized environment,' Krishnamurti added."

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OS X is already virtualised. (5, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991250)

OS X is already virtualised - it has been for ages. [osx86project.org] Not supported, but certainly doable.

Be nice if Apple gave a bit more help to their customers however - I am not a big fan of artifical restrictions.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (5, Insightful)

Dark Kenshin (764678) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991362)

It seems to me the article is talking more about the legality of doing it, not the possibility. Apple therefore, has no obligation to support something it doesn't license.

I do agree with you about the restrictions. If I legally obtain OS X, there should no reason I shouldn't be able to run it under a virtual environment.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (4, Interesting)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991450)

It seems to me the article is talking more about the legality of doing it, not the possibility.

Although the article does talk about the 'legality' of running OS X on non-Mac PCs, it would seem to me that there is nothing illegal about this whatsoever (as long as you've purchased your copy of OS X, you should be able to do what you like with it).

No matter how vmware & parallels dress it up, the problem here is not legality, but fear of reprisals from Apple.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991558)

"No matter how vmware & parallels dress it up, the problem here is not legality, but fear of reprisals from Apple."

you just controdicted yourself in the same sentence. any form of reprisal WILL take the form of legal action, hence the legality of it is the issue.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (4, Informative)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991694)

There's a difference between "legal action" and "illegal". A company could instruct its lawyer to send you a C&D letter. That's technically a "legal action". However, what you are doing may not be illegal, and you may be forced to prove that in court if the company sues you for ignoring it's C&D demand.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (2, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991750)

you just controdicted yourself in the same sentence. any form of reprisal WILL take the form of legal action,

Whilst Apple may take legal reprisals, the easiest form of reprisal (against Parallels) would be to simply stop selling parallels [apple.com] at the Apple store. How do you think that would affect sales?

Oh - and if you'd actually bothered to read either article before posting, you would have seen non-legal reprisals mentioned:

Legal issues aside, Parallels doesn't want to strain its relationship with Apple, who can be rather fickle at times about which companies are in its favor. "We have a very good working relationship with Apple, and we don't want to do anything to jeopardize the great partnership that's been so valuable to both of us," he added.
and:

Neither VMWare nor Parallels is willing to risk angering the deities that reside at Apple corporate just for a few extra software sales. Based off of inside reports that I've received from various developers who have to work closely with Apple (no one at Parallels or VMWare, just in case you were curious), it can be very easy to fall out of Apple's favor for even the slightest, most petty of issues
Idiot. Please try to comprehend the discussion before posting.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (5, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991626)

Apple's software license for OS X says that you can only run it on Apple hardware.

Actually, looking here http://www.apple.com/legal/sla/ [apple.com] , the phrase is "This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time."

So it sounds like if you write "Apple" on a Post It and stick to your PC, you can virtualize away.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (5, Insightful)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991652)

it sounds like if you write "Apple" on a Post It and stick to your PC, you can virtualize away.

At which point you violate Apple's trademark instead.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (4, Funny)

True Vox (841523) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991824)

Yes, but in Soviet Russia, Apple's trademark violates YOU!

<.<
>.>

*runs*

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (2, Funny)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992142)

How about if I cut off a corner of the plastic on an old PowerMac 7300 and bond it with epoxy to the case of a Dell Optiplex? In particular, I would prefer it be the corner of the PowerMac 7300 case where the Apple branded logo is set.

It also wouldn't be difficult at all to put a fast current x86 motherboard into an old Beige PowerMac case. Say, one of the later ones, a 7300 or 7500, all set up nicely with slots for PCI bus cards....

Stickers (1)

Foerstner (931398) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992268)

Why bother? Just use one of the logo stickers that came with your iPod.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (4, Funny)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991688)

No matter how vmware & parallels dress it up, the problem here is not legality, but fear of reprisals from Apple.

This statement brings to mind images of young casually dressed men and women storming their offices with gayly decorated weapons with rainbow Apple logos and shouting grammatically incorrect and utterly meaningless slogans that nevertheless get great press and everyone forgets about it by three days out because they're too busy writing op-ed pieces on the relative social and economic costs and benefits of trying to break up Microsoft again.

Well, it did.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

warrigal (780670) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991934)

> with gayly decorated weapons with rainbow Apple logos

Whoa! Are you ever out of date! The rainbow logo is long dead. Perhaps you hadn't noticed...
And it's gaily, not gayly.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17992022)

Congratulations, you missed the joke.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992186)

It's not dead at all. I have some nice Mac hardware with the rainbow logo that runs just fine. Both of my SE/30's, my SE, my Quadra 650, and both Powerbooks have the logo. And now I have gotten ahold of a copy of Think C so I can even extend vintage MacOS out in useful ways.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (2, Informative)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991696)

it would seem to me that there is nothing illegal about this whatsoever (as long as you've purchased your copy of OS X, you should be able to do what you like with it).

IIRC, US Courts have ruled that installing software constitutes copying (from CD or DVD to hard disk), and violates copyright unless otherwise licensed. The license in question stipulates that you can only run MacOS X on Apple-branded hardware.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17991898)

Take a deep breath, and repeat after me: The world is not the USA. The USA is not the world.

There are plenty of other countries that take the viewpoint of installing a program onto a hard drive, and running it, as being an expected part of using the software, and hence not in violation of copyright. Installing it onto a second hard drive without wiping it off the first, on the other hand, is (and fair enough too.)

In those countries, you do not need a license granted to you to use the software - it is implicitely granted when you purchase the software. This may make it perfectly legitimate to use the software in manners that contradict the EULA.

Naturally, the usual disclaimers apply: I am not a lawyer; this is not legal advice; seek a lawyer for information relevant to your specific situation; etc., etc., etc.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

christurkel (520220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991712)

Doesn't work that way. Apple's EULA states that Mac OS X can only be installed on an Apple branded Macintosh. No generic PC, no virtual machine.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1, Interesting)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991800)

Doesn't work that way. Apple's EULA states that Mac OS X can only be installed on an Apple branded Macintosh. No generic PC, no virtual machine.

Leaving aside the legality of EULAs for a second.... How in hell are Vmware/Parallels bound by a license agreement between a Apple & an Apple customer?

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991860)

That would be the joy of contributory copyright infringement. I don't know why this is at all surprising.. the difference between copyright law and contract law is solely that third parties are bound to uphold the agreement of a license in ways that they are not bound to uphold the agreement of a contract.

Consider, for example, the rental of a car. If you rent a car, sign an agreement with the car company that says you won't let anyone else drive it, then lend me the car for the afternoon, I am in no way liable for your breach of contract with the car company. I am certainly not required or expected to deny your offer to lend me the car.. and if I provided a service whereby two people who had rented cars could swap rental cars, I would not be found to "contributing" to their breach of contract with their car companies.
   

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (0, Redundant)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991950)

That would be the joy of contributory copyright infringement.

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt! There is no copyright infringement if you own the copy of OS X you're going to install in a VM.

I'll ignore the rest of your comment as the rest of your logic is based on this false premise.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991976)

If the EULA is the license under which you are permitted to copy the work, and you refuse to abide by the EULA then, under copyright law, you have no right to copy the work.. and you can't "install" it without copying it.

It's a fucked branch of law, setup entirely to benefit the creator over the user.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (4, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992100)

you refuse to abide by the EULA then, under copyright law, you have no right to copy the work

Utter Nonsense (at least in the US):

Looking at United States Code, Chapter 17 [copyright.gov] :

117. Limitations on exclusive rights: Computer programs

(a) Making of Additional Copy or Adaptation by Owner of Copy. -- Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided:

(1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner, or
[emph mine]

It is amazing to me just how many people in this forum believe they have to give up their rights because an EULA tells them to.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (0)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992158)

Again, you are not the owner of a copy of the work... you don't have a license unless you agree to the conditions of the license. Sheesh, what's hard about that? Paying money for the work and then not agreeing to the EULA is not an option.. only agreeing to the EULA makes you an owner of a copy of the work. If you don't agree to the EULA, take the work back for a full refund.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992244)

Did you even read my comment? I included a quote from the relevant section of US copyright law. That quote directly contradicts your stance.

Maybe you can come up with a link that backs up your point of view?

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991956)

How in hell are Vmware/Parallels bound by a license agreement between a Apple & an Apple customer?
That would be the joy of contributory copyright infringement. I don't know why this is at all surprising...
So, what's the difference between EMC/VMware selling a virtual machine that can run MacOS X in violation of the owner's license and a hardware vendor selling a machine that can run MacOS X in violation of the owner's license?

Here's where your argument about contributory copyright infringement falls apart... It is a license violation to break the EULA not a copyright violation. The EULA is a contract that goes above and beyond the terms of copyright, just because you break the terms of the contract does not mean you are violating the terms of copyright.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (3, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992016)

Yeah, no. Installing the software only on Apple hardware is a *condition* of the license, not a convenate. If you fail to abide by the conditions, you have no license.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992040)

Still didn't explain how selling hardware the contributes to copyright infringement is any different from selling software that does the same thing.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992082)

You're talking about Mac clones.. it's well known that Mac clones are illegal due to copyright infringement. Going to court when Apple sues you and saying "hey, we can sell whatever we like, and we like selling the TPM chips on our motherboard in exactly the right configuration to run Mac OS X" just won't fly. Not to mention that fact that you'd have to load the TPM chips with the Apple keys, which would also be a copyright violation.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992228)

So that means if I install a MacAlly keyboard or mouse, I am SOL and need to turn in my install media?

What if the machine has an upgrade processor. Say, one that takes the form of an ITX motherboard glued with double-stick foam tape to the old motherboard, which happens to be a Beige G3 motherboard (which is capable, btw, of running OSX by itself) ? With leads up from the old Apple motherboard for power, of course, since it's a processor upgrade, not a new non-Apple machine.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991968)

That would be the joy of contributory copyright infringement

Listen closely. Breaking the EULA != copyright infringement, and thus they can't be engaged in contribuatory copyright infringement.

VMWare and Parallels would likely not have any legal repercussions from providing instructions for running OS X, but it would probably piss off Apple enough that the ill will would bring more negative results than there would be positive ones from the increased use of the software.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992036)

Failing to meet the *conditions* of a license, *is* copyright infringement if you're making a copy, and installing Mac OS X in a VM is making a copy.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (2, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992176)

[Oops, looks like I missed closing my <I> tag last post. Sorry about that.]

You need to study your copyright law better. 17 USC 117 [cornell.edu] explicitly allows copies that are made of a computer program that are required for using the program. In addition, I think you would have a very strong argument (at least if you were not reusing a license, and especially if you were virtualizing on a Mac) for fair use.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (2, Interesting)

Dark Kenshin (764678) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991720)

Although the article does talk about the 'legality' of running OS X on non-Mac PCs, it would seem to me that there is nothing illegal about this whatsoever (as long as you've purchased your copy of OS X, you should be able to do what you like with it).

'Should' is not the same as 'is'. There is a lot of things you should be able to do with the stuff you buy, but that doesn't stop it from still being illegal

No matter how vmware & parallels dress it up, the problem here is not legality, but fear of reprisals from Apple.

If the reprisal isn't going to be in legal form, then what are they going to do? Call you names, or stop selling Apple products to you? The fact is, people fear the legal reprisals from Apple, nothing else.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991756)

As with all copyright questions, the answer is "I don't know". The Mac OS X EULA says you can only run the software on Apple hardware. End of story? Well, no, because you don't sign the EULA before you buy the product. If you've paid for the product but not agreed to the EULA, assuming that is even legally possible where you live, do you have any rights? I don't know. No-one knows. That's the great thing about copyright.. it's totally vague. Whether or not you will have to pay a lot of money if Apple decides to sue you depends completely on how good your lawyer is, how bad Apple's lawyer is and which judge you happen to be standing in front of on the day. Yes, this is a fucked way to live.. and is the reason why so many people choose not to comment.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

blibbler (15793) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992004)

as long as you've purchased your copy of OS X, you should be able to do what you like with it
Regardless of how much you have spent on it, you are still subject to the terms of a license agreement. If I purchase a copy of Redhat Linux, I don't have the right to change the source, and re-sell it without the source-code.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992078)

The only way to purchase a copy of OS X is to buy Apple hardware. Anything else is a software update IIUC. This means that yes, it should be possible to buy a Mac, then transfer the OS over to a whitebox PC, and delete it from the Mac. It goes against part of the EULA, but that part would be deemed unenforceable in most nations (including the US) I think.

What could you do with the Mac? Well, you could install Linux on it, for starters :)

Limited License, Not Ownership (2, Insightful)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992126)

(as long as you've purchased your copy of OS X, you should be able to do what you like with it).

You don't own the software, you've bought a limited license to it. Whether we like it or not, courts have upheld shrinkwrapped licenses.

Thus, you have the right to use OS-X in exactly the way Apple specifies (i.e. on Apple hardware only) or, if you have never done so, return it for a full refund.

It may not be criminally illegal for you to violate that contract but it is a violation of a contract and thus illegal in the sense of prohibited by civil law.

Apple sells OS-X cheaply in order to sell the hardware it's locked to at a large markup. This isn't any different to Adobe giving away Acrobat reader to allow them to sell Acrobat at a huge markup or Microsoft giving away Internet Explorer to WGA validated Windows users.

It's not in Apple's interest to unbundle the two:
  • Apple has a finite list of hardware options they need to support. They don't need to worry about supporting that weird grey market motherboard or obscure Korean on board modem. They can keep their costs down by only supporting registered hardware. Microsoft balances the cost of a massive compatibility lab across 95% of the home market. Apple would have to balance it against 5%.
  • Apple can give away the razor and make its money on blades. Without the hardware markup subsidizing the OS, they'd likely have to jack the price up even higher.


We may not like it but Apple evidently has their reasons (whether arguably short sighted or not). That you buy a shrinkwrapped license, not ownership, means that: yes, legally, they do have the right to do so and you don't legally have the right to do as you wish.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (2, Interesting)

jswigart (1004637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991374)

I tried OSX in VMWare on 3 or so seperate occasions and it didn't work worth a crap(no network support, etc). I'd love for OSX to be officially supported on VMWare and such so I can compile mac versions of my projects. Until then they can be odd man out while I support linux and windows.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991406)

Apple likely doesn't bother with fringe techies doing weird things. But if VMware or another "real" vendor tried to break vendor lock on the hardware / software package that comprises the Apple product line, then I fully expect screaming and wailing from Apple's legal corps. Or at least very threatening letters. Ain't gonna happen. Maybe virtual OS X images on a Apple server, but how big is that market?

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17991608)

Be nice if Apple gave a bit more help to their customers however - I am not a big fan of artifical restrictions.

As a Linux hacker, I think that any closed-source system has "artificial restrictions" on where it can be run -- and on a million other things. (Don't you think Microsoft Windows would be easier to virtualize if you had the source to it?)

"Disallowing it in the license" is only different from "being closed-source" by a matter of degree.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991862)

Don't you think Microsoft Windows would be easier to virtualize if you had the source to it?
I thought about this before, and I think that Windows might be filled with so much spaghetti code and hacks that it is better not to know the crazy inner workings. Why figure out all the bends and twists of the Gordian Knot when you can just cut it?

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

cytg.net (912690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991722)

doable is such a relative term .. anti gravity is doable too! Besides the point though.. why wouldnt apple want ppl to run their os in a vmware box on windows ? it sounds like a win win win situation to me.. while all the time still winning.. There's two primary obstacles in capturing windows users away from the darkside 1. Usability of the OS(in a pure sense im sure osx is much more user friendly, just not in an allready-adapted way) 2. Availability (the product aint cheap, its a rather big leap of faith to make the 'conversion' on your own) If apple were to spit out 'demo' osx'es with the free vmware player .. omg the publicity stunt ... awsome...

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

True Vox (841523) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991842)

I can think of one Apple [wikipedia.org] that's doable... I'm sorry, this is the risk of letting me drive drunk on the information superhighway.

Re:OS X is already virtualised. (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991908)

doable is such a relative term .. anti gravity is doable too!

Inorrect. Doable means "able to be done".

Please link to the home-anti-gravity-howto if you believe anti gravity is doable too!

so... (5, Insightful)

President_Camacho (1063384) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991294)

Both [vendors] have told Ars unequivocally that they won't enable users to virtualize OS X until Apple explicitly gives them the thumbs up.

So what do people say when vendors behave the same way towards Microsoft?

Re:so... (3, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991384)

So what do people say when vendors behave the same way towards Microsoft?

I don't know about people - I can only give my opinion. But I'd say "Microsoft Sucks for doing that."

Re:so... (1)

Rutulian (171771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991640)

Interesting question. Is VMWare going to check your Windows version (Vista Home vs. Vista Business) before letting you run it in a virtual machine? After all, it's against the license if you are running Home. This sounds like a backroom deal to me. VMWare has never cared about licenses before. Yeah, sure, they say use only a legally licensed copy of Windows, but they don't try to stop you from downloading an illegal copy and using it in a virtual machine (I'm not even sure they could if they wanted to).

Legalities aside, OS X will already run in VMware (1)

_pi-away (308135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991394)

It is however so slow that you can't do much with it.

Re:Legalities aside, OS X will already run in VMwa (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991526)

That's because of lack of native graphics support. A lot of OS X stuff can use the graphics card, and not having it forces OS X to fall back to SSE2 or Altivec, and if the VM can't virtualize SSE2/Altivec, it falls back on straight-up processor instructions, which'll be painful to say the least.

Why would anyone want to do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17991398)

I understand why it is cool and all to run virtual machines, but I'm really confused why this is so with OS X. Apple is a hardware company, not a software company, and the entire Apple user experience relies on both. One would lose the perceived benefits of OS X without the hardware.

Re:Why would anyone want to do this? (1)

_pi-away (308135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991430)

The only benefits of OS X are software, the hardware is the same as any other Intel PC these days, just has a different shiny wrapper on it.

Re:Why would anyone want to do this? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17991474)

I call bullshit on this. Firewire is rarely found on garden variety intel hardware. You can also dig into differences like power management, displays, etc. What could you possibly run in a virtual OS X that you couldn't run on berekley unix or Windows?

Re:Why would anyone want to do this? (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991676)

Firewire is easily available off the shelf-- as well as stock on a number of computers. Even if Firewire was incompatible, there isn't much else hardware-wise that can't be found or interfaced with either a Mac or a PC. Apple's hardware is packaged more conveniently and simply than competitors', but the technologies used are pretty much commodity. They have to be, in order to have much use at all. I can't speak to the power management (to what do you refer?), but if you don't want to put an adapter on an Apple monitor, you can always get a huge LCD elsewhere.

The software is the largest unique difference. iLife, Safari, Final Cut, and OS X itself are only usable (legally and without hacks) on the Mac.

Re:Why would anyone want to do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17991716)

Are you retarded? They use the exact same CPUs/chipsets/RAM/video cards, everything that matters is the same.

Firewire? Who cares about firewire? Almost anything that has a firewire version also has a USB version, but I'll tell you what, if you must have firewire here you go: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16815150501 [newegg.com] Firewire 800 for $28 for your PC.

"displays"? What display are you referring to that can't be used on a PC? Do you think you can't hook a cinema display up to a PC, because think again.

These days the differences between the hardware is almost nothing, don't kid yourself. What your paying for security and usability, which is nothing to sneeze at.

"What could you possibly run in a virtual OS X that you couldn't run on berekley unix or Windows?" - final cut pro comes to mind. Moreover who cares why you want to run it, maybe you just want to check out OS X, you might as well say why does OS X exist since you could do most things in Windows or unix/linux.

Re:Why would anyone want to do this? (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991718)

Firewire is rarely found on garden variety intel hardware.
This is changing though. A lot of mid to high end systems from have Firewire these days, check out (e.g.) Dell. It's also pretty common on motherboards from the likes of Gigabyte. And you can buy PCI controllers very cheaply.

Re:Why would anyone want to do this? (2, Insightful)

tkdog (889567) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991582)

The "hardware benefit" of a Mac is indirect. It is actually the benefit of having the company build "the whole widget" which allows them to have full control of drivers, etc. etc. Whether that is a benefit or a limitation to you is a major factor in whether you would be pleased owning/using a Mac. I agree that Apple is only going to care if it looks as if it might cost them money or damage their "it just works" reputation. Geeks can hack all they want as long as they pay for it first.

Re:Why would anyone want to do this? (1)

NotPeteMcCabe (833508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992086)

I believe your sig (re: Caw) is a Jack Handy line, if you're interested.

Re:Why would anyone want to do this? (1)

no_opinion (148098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991458)

The fact that Apple is primarily a hardware company is the key. It is not in their interest to allow virtualization of the OS - ever. Jobs wants to lock the OS to Apple hardware because that is where he makes his money. If he wanted to preserve the quality of the experience on non-Apple hardware, he could institute a very rigorous certification program and only license the OS for use on approved systems.

It simply isn't in Apple's best interest. My prediction is that it will never happen, or at least not until Steve Jobs removes the DRM from Pixar movies on iTunes (sorry to be redundant).

Re:Why would anyone want to do this? (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991504)

Actually, there are some people who might want to use virtual OSX on OSX. Apple could sell these customers multiple licenses of OSX and so it would be in their interest to allow this.

Re:Why would anyone want to do this? (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991502)

Maybe you want to virtualize Mac OS X on a Mac and run it simultaneously with Windows or Linux. Maybe you want to run multiple instances of the OS on a single set of hardware for application separation. Server consolidation for Mac OS X servers is just as valid of a desire as for any other OS.

Maybe you want to test a security hole in an application against a live piece of malware and want to easily roll back the OS. Maybe you want to QA a piece of software in development without mangling an existing stable version, or you'd like to run them side by side when both rely on the same path for certain libraries or config files.

Pretty much any valid use of virtualization for Windows or Linux is a valid use for Mac OS X as well.

Apple is a hardware company. (4, Insightful)

Jartan (219704) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991428)

It's obvious they will never give "permission" to do this. Their whole business model is based on using OS X as a driving force to sell their hardware with high profit margins. Some people might agree that they could survive going the other way but Apple doesn't seem convinced.

That being said I doubt they can do much to stop it. It'll be interesting to see what kind of court cases get brought up over virtualization though. Perhaps they could finally bring the whole EULA nonsense to an end.

Re:Apple is a hardware company. (1)

Diordna (815458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991452)

Agreed. If Apple started letting people run OS X in a non-Mac environment or sold it separately, they would quickly go out of the computer business. (iPods, on the other hand...) Anyone else remember how the Mac clone program turned out?

Re:Apple is a hardware company. (1)

pboulang (16954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991692)

And oddly, the just renamed themselves Apple instead of Apple Computers.

Re:Apple is a hardware company. (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991644)

Imagine there was this great candy manufacturer producing great sweets then packing it in a container that cant be sold on a supermarket shelf, just because the packaging makes a few extra bucks than normal. This is Apple's business model in a nutshell and it's "dumb", their crippling software (OSX etc) with with its high return margins (Windows is 415%) with low margin hardware (less than 40%). Then you get people saying, "but Apple can compete with Microsoft", ah so your telling me OSX is inferior when compared to Microsofts offerings so they hide this fact behinds pretty white plastic box's with a low margin ? Either way its "dumb".

Re:Apple is a hardware company. (2, Insightful)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991782)

Exactly. The Mac is a $1,000 dongle, and Apple legal isn't going to take kindly to that dongle being out-of-the-box emulated on a PC.

Re:Apple is a hardware company. (1)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991850)

Which Mac costs $1,000 more than equivalent hardware?

it will never happen (4, Insightful)

oedneil (871555) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991436)

For the same reason I don't believe Apple will ever release its software for installation on PCs. Hardware sales are where Apple makes its money, and who would really buy the hardware if they could install OS X on a $300 Walmart PC?

Re:it will never happen (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17991570)

Pretty much no-one. Apple proved this already during the cloning debacle - people immediately started buying Power Computing, Umax, Motorola and other clones because they offered higher CPU specs at the same or lower prices.

Great Example Of Why Apple Changed Their Name (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17991440)

After getting dumped by IBM after IBM landed all three console manufacturers as clients, Apple was pushed closer to being nothing but an overpriced x86 OEM with nice industrial polish and typography.

OS X running freely in the x86 wild pretty much means the death of Apple hardware. Apple has known this for some time now and it is why they are turning their attention towards the iPod side of the company, changing the company name to downplay desktop computers, and have started to slow the OS X upgrade cycle.

Re:Great Example Of Why Apple Changed Their Name (4, Insightful)

wtmcgee (113309) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991522)

I respectfully disagree. A lot of people care about the entire 'experience' of Apple products, from the quality packaging, to the clean, amazing hardware, to the OS. If Dell started selling OS X on their machines tomorrow, people would certainly jump ship and buy cheaper machines. But I can almost assure you Apple would still be around. I think they just know it's important to their brand to not have another 'clone war' like the mid 90s.

Personally, if Apple licensed OS X, I'd probably buy a cheap HP or Dell desktop for use around the house or for my parents ... but I certainly wouldn't stop buying Apple hardware.

Re:Great Example Of Why Apple Changed Their Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17991896)

But I can almost assure you Apple would still be around.


That right there is probably enough to keep Apple from doing it.

Re:Great Example Of Why Apple Changed Their Name (2, Informative)

toonerh (518351) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992262)

Someone already moderated this as "Troll", and I won't disagree.

IBM never intended to compete fully with Intel and AMD for the desktop market considering Apple's 5% market share. On the other hand, IBM appears determined to continue with improved Power processors for their high-end desktop and server market -- as well as the imbedded market which now includes highly visible gaming consoles, but it has been around for over a decade.

Also PA SEMI [pasemi.com] has a great new low power PowerPC chip.

The x86 hardware is not that bad, especially when running AMD's 64-bit extensions.

And we see why open-source software is superior (0, Troll)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991478)

An open-source project would never deliberately restrict its feature set in order to appease some corporation; whatever is technologically possible gets implemented. Corporations trying to limit technologically-possible things by gentleman's agreement is figuratively putting a very small finger in a very large dike; eventually, the whole thing will come down.

Re:And we see why open-source software is superior (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17991796)

Have Red Hat or Suse started shipping working MP3 libraries since I last looked?
Xine's splash screen even says that they've chosen not to implement features corporations don't want them to.

Re:And we see why open-source software is superior (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992032)

Red Hat has commercial interests, and the corporation goes out of its way to neuter the software that ships with its distribution. Stock xine, xmms, and so on are fully capable.

Re:And we see why open-source software is superior (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17991912)

Dunno bout that, seems to me the threat isn't average users, but BIG IRON
sweeping in on the corporate landscape with a couple of linux/unix images
running a bazillion OSX/Winblows clients/servers in VM's?

Why not! (2, Insightful)

CitX (1048990) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991520)

If it can be done technically why not. If Windows license prevented it I am sure someone would do it anyways. Why is Apple so different???

Also a little off the subject but this brings up lock in!!!

Apple locked the iTunes system to iPod and Europe is steaming and wants it to change. What about Mac OS itself. It is a Apple operating system that is LOCKED to Apple's hardware. Why isn't the EU trying to break that lock in??? You want Windows, buy from MS and buy any vendors hardware (Linux too). Want OS X you are FORCED to buy Apple's hardware too. I wonder if someday Apple will be forced to change by the EU.

I use the MacBook but I must say I hate being artificially forced via DRM, or any other system to prevent me (the customer) from options after I purchase a product.

Re:Why not! (1)

russellh (547685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992218)

Apple locked the iTunes system to iPod and Europe is steaming and wants it to change. What about Mac OS itself. It is a Apple operating system that is LOCKED to Apple's hardware. Why isn't the EU trying to break that lock in???

the market for music and the market for operating systems are pretty different. To equate the music lock-in problem with OS/hardware would imply that I should be able to demand through the EU that Microsoft and Apple support Sun hardware, or IBM mainframes. Or that there be one application standard such that applications run under all operating systems. Or that there be one data format standard such that all word processing files (for instance) would be read and writeable in all word processing applications. I doubt that's what you really mean. Apple's computer products are Macs - not an operating system separate from the hardware. You do not buy OS X: you buy a Mac, and owners of older Macs buy newer versions of the software their Mac came with. Apple gives the OS away with the exception of the proprietary user interface. You can run Darwin on anything it will compile on, and as Apple has made abundantly clear, you can install Windows and Linux on Mac hardware. End of story.

I use the MacBook but I must say I hate being artificially forced via DRM, or any other system to prevent me (the customer) from options after I purchase a product.

And let me add that there is no DRM with OS X on Mac hardware, no licence keys. They trust that you will install it on one mac and one mac only, and they don't restrict you to a certain hardware configuration and they don't check. And they trust that if you intend to upgrade multiple computers that you will purchase a license that covers multiple computers such as the Family Pack.

mac apologist (-1, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991534)

watch the fanboys wriggle.

I spoke to every Apple person I could... (4, Interesting)

csoto (220540) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991576)

at WWDC 2006, explaining that we would pay extra for Mac OS X Server, if it were possible to run it under VMware ESX. The ability to run Mac OS X (Server or otherwise) under Fusion or Parallels Desktop or even VMWare/Parallels Workstation would also provide a strategic advantage and encourage us to maintain our subscription levels (well over 400 seats today).

Would "virtualizable" OS X lead to piracy? Probably. But as with most piracy, it would not necessarily impact actual sales. Pirates steal things they wouldn't have ever paid for anyway...

Apple should go for it (2, Interesting)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991592)

Anybody who has used much virtualization knows it's not as good as running the OS on hardware. Apple could permit OSX to run on virtual machines so people could get a taste of it without having to buy new hardware, but buying new hardware would have enough benefits that I don't see this cutting in to Mac sales.

The flipside though is that people may try OSX on a Virtual Machine, not realizing that VMs cut performance significantly, decide that OSX is slow and useless, then stick with Windows. I guess I can see either way.

Re:Apple should go for it (1)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991942)

The number one reason for using VMWare Workstation is development and testing. I'd say the number two is demoing.

This is due to many things, but the most useful of which is its snapshot ability. You can make a clean image and then test against it each time, or even "branch" the same base image for different service packs/etc.

Re:Apple should go for it (1)

Wolfier (94144) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992212)

>Apple could permit OSX to run on virtual machines so people could get a taste of it

It's exactly what Apple fears...people getting "bad taste" out of a virtual session and decided not to get a Mac.

Of course, much of the bad taste is due to the emulation speed and compatibility, but people will blame it on Apple nonetheless.

It makes perfect sense to them to never allow Virtualization on a non-Apple machine.

On the other hand, nothing stops them from releasing their own virtualization software.

OS X perhaps the worst OS for virtualization (5, Insightful)

Florian (2471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991622)

Mac OS X makes heavy use of hardware accelerated functions: Quartz/Aqua 3D graphics (which unlike Vista's Aero can't be turned off), GPU-rendered graphics processing among others in CoreImage and iMovie, low-latency sound in CoreAudio, ... - likely making it perhaps the worst candidate for virtualization among all operating systems.

Re:OS X perhaps the worst OS for virtualization (1)

rh2600 (530311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991734)

Yeah, but for servers this is not such a problem....

Re:OS X perhaps the worst OS for virtualization (1)

cmholm (69081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992018)

...except that they don't sell many servers, and I suspect most of those get reloaded with Linux.

Re:OS X perhaps the worst OS for virtualization (1)

ArbitraryConstant (763964) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991962)

a) Virtualization support for hardware like the graphics card is coming, and it'll arrive faster if there's a killer app like MacOS virtualization driving it.

b) It's extremely useful for developers, eg testing stuff that can crash the system, or testing stuff against various different OS revisions. Even if it's a bit slower, it's still faster than rebooting the whole machine.

c) This doesn't matter at all on the server, where MacOS is the only OS of consequence that can't run as a guest in a VM. There is a large portion of the IT industry where this eliminates you from consideration completely.

Rather lame (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991726)

...They don't even have the courage to say "It's totally feasible we just can't release it because Apple would sue us into next Tuesday."

But I suppose you attract more flies with honey than vinegar. Maybe they genuinely aren't irritated about this licensing issue and just want to pressure Apple into opening negotiations. Certainly, the recent change from Apple Computer Inc to Apple, Inc. is a good sign--they've acknowledge their business is more diverse than just hardware--they are as much a software company as they are a hardware company, and maybe it can finally not be sacrilege within Apple to say that every VM would not mean one less Macintosh sold and admit that it would be a huge boon to their bottom line. These would be sales of OS X to individuals that you would simply NEVER POSSIBLY SELL A MAC TO. You have to give them the chance to get hooked... That's how I ended up as a Mac user.

I buy Macs because I started using them in school, and when the time came to purchase my own system I got a pizza-box mac. After college, replaced it with a PowerBook, replaced that with a G5 desktop, and am currently saving my pennies for a MacBook. I'd love a chance to get some virtual Mac OS X servers up and running to function as application servers--I think they'd be great. We use VMWare ESX, and it rocks, but it doesn't run... OS X. And XServes are sweet, but they have some shortcomings too. They STILL don't offer dual power-supply or SAS--two of the best features of a wintel server I recently brought online at work. It is sweet as hell--I almost wish I could get an XServe with an Opteron processor (or a Core Duo/Xeon64 etc.) We have to have SERIOUS up-time on Applications or we lose tons of money--what do we do if a PS fails during business hours? 4-hour service is nice, but with the full-load failing over to the second node of the cluster in that time, performance would get pretty bad pretty fast. The literal translation would be slower throughput of students--some people might just walk away and not sign up for classes.

Re:Rather lame (1)

alanQuatermain (840239) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992188)

XServes are sweet, but they have some shortcomings too. They STILL don't offer dual power-supply or SAS--two of the best features of a wintel server I recently brought online at work.

Actually, that's incorrect these days -- at least as far as the XServe product page [apple.com] is concerned. And the online store reckons they can ship 'em in 24 hours, so it doesn't look like these are features for a product which isn't available yet.

A quick feature run-down:

  • Two dual-core 'Woodcrest' Xeon processors (64-bit, dual-core CPUs)
  • Support for up to 2.5TB of SATA or SAS storage
  • Support for dual redundant power supplies (a configuration option)
  • Lights-Out Management [apple.com] with SNMP support

Hardware-wise, I think that's the main points -- although I've not really had experience with them (my exposure to OS X Server has been a case of installing it on a bunch of regular G3 & G4 Macs for use as AFP/LDAP servers for client software testing). Feel free to call me out on anything I've missed which you'd deem important.

-Q

need a court case to establish SW ownership! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17991744)

What we need is a court case to establish that when I plunk down my money, I own the software. I don't own the *copyright* on it, so I can't go distributing copies of it to my pals over the internet. But I own the one I bought. So, for example, I should be able to install Windows home edition on a virtual machine if I want, and MS be damned - they don't get a say in the matter. Similar for Apple. If I want to run the product over with a truck, I can, if I bought it.

We also need to make it illegal for a company to *artificially construct* barriers to interoperability. That is, they are not allowed to commit engineering resources to purposefully restrict the operation of the product to legal purchasers. That will nix the whole DRM thing in the bud. If something is interoperable without the artificially constructed barriers, fine. Your Windows exe doesn't run on Linux (yeah, wine blah blah, you know what I meant). That's OK. But the minute you start doing engineering specifically to restrict the end user, boom, the law comes down on your ass.

Isn't it ironic (2, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991870)

Hmmm...I don't seem to remember any companies having those concerns about running Windows virtualized. And I certainly don't recall Microsoft giving their blessings to anyone to do so.

Double standards make me laugh.

Re:Isn't it ironic (0)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992080)

#1. Windows sells its own virtualization software. To prohibit others from virtualizing -- or really even to give the impression of making it purposely difficult for others -- would invite an antitrust lawsuit

#2. The Windows licenses don't prohibit virtualization.

#3. The licenses for Vista Ultimate and Business explicitly ALLOW virtualization.

Re:Isn't it ironic (1)

davmoo (63521) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992258)

VmWare was virtualizing Windows *long* (as in years) before Microsoft bought up a virtualization company to have their own product. I don't remember VmWare having near the legal concerns over Microsoft that they (apparently) have regarding Apple.

And the various licenses for Vista are the first ones to mention virtualization.

I don't see why... (3, Interesting)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 7 years ago | (#17991872)

...Apple couldn't collaborate with VMWare or Parallels to add some sort of hook to their Mac products that would allow OSX to verify that it was running on a Mac.

However, whatever they say about wanting to virtualize OS X, at the moment, Parallels and VMWare are initially pitching their Mac products at people who need to run Windows applications on a Mac. Those people are never going to want to virtualise OS X. Wait for the equivalents of VMWare Server and VMWare Workstation - plus graphics acceleration (which both VMWare and Parallels promise Real Soon Now and which OSX will proably need).

Actually, a more Apple-y thing to happen would be for simple-to-use virtualization to crop up in a future version of OS X. "Click here to create a sandbox for your kids".

Mod parent up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17992030)

Parent is spot on. The two issues are making sure it is only used as a tool for virtualizing on MAC hardware, and secondly, that it's such a good idea that Apple is likely to do that themselves.

Mac-on-Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17992050)

Mac-On-Linux [sourceforge.net] gets the job done if you need to virtualize Mac OS X on PowerPC hardware.

I am sure someone will get a comparable open source project going for x86.

translation: (4, Funny)

toby (759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992220)

'We're very interested in running Mac OS X in a virtual machine because it opens up a ton of interesting use cases, but until Apple changes its licensing policy, we prefer to not speculate about running Mac OS X in a virtualized environment,'

Means: "we have it running in the lab."

Be careful what you ask for (4, Insightful)

Enrique1218 (603187) | more than 7 years ago | (#17992308)

I guess Apple subsidizes the development of Mac OSX with the hardware sales (price premium?). Now if Apple were to let OSX to be distributed independent of the hardware, the software would have to be sold at a higher price. Moreover, Apple may have to protect against piracy with the much loathe activation schemes that Microsoft currently employs. Be careful what you wish for? Besides I don't believe that OSX has enough mindshare to get many more users to make that model work. OSX link to Apple hardware is not only thing holding back the mass exodus from Wndows.
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