still a pc.
March 28, 2009 4:08 PM   Subscribe

Is there any way today to run a mac application on windows? (without the whole mac OS, preferably, though I'd consider that too).

I figure since both are using intels now, and windows runs successfully on macs, and universal binaries for many mac apps are out now, and there's rosetta and other ways to bridge ppc and intel worlds for apps, if there was some way that you could run (within I guess an emulator or virtual machine) a single mac app (via a universal binary maybe) on windows (either xp or vista).
If the ansewr to that is a resounding no, then I'd ask, well is there any way to run mac os on windows the way they've been running windows on intel-based macs?
posted by jak68 to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: (in the second part of that question, I dont mean loading osx onto a Dell or something; i mean doing on a dell what parallels or vmware did for macbooks, where the 'guest' os (in this case, osx as a guest under windows) runs in its own window whenever you want it to, and (preferably) you should be able to drag and drop things between that mac osx window and the windows shell.)
posted by jak68 at 4:10 PM on March 28, 2009

I don't think that is possible, you'll have to dual boot and hackintosh.
But it seems hackintoshing is easier than ever....
posted by spacefire at 4:30 PM on March 28, 2009

Unfortunately I don't think there's any way to run Mac apps on a PC other than by loading a hacked copy of OS X as an operating system. I think Mac software will only run in a virtual machine if the host machine is a Mac as well.
posted by fearthehat at 4:32 PM on March 28, 2009

Check out PearPC. It's a bit of a pain to set up, and as far as I know it only handles PPC architecture, but it's essentially VirtualPC for Mac.
posted by niles at 4:40 PM on March 28, 2009

You can run OSX in VMware. Build your own or download a preconfigured image via some torrent sites.
posted by damn dirty ape at 4:43 PM on March 28, 2009

Response by poster: pearpc looks promising - does anyone here know if drag-drop is possible between the pearpc window and the windows desktop (for instance)? (incredibly, 99 percent of literature out there on pearpc involves 'how to install' and virtually nothing else on the usage experience!)

VMware sounds promising... if I can use the "unity" feature on winxp that is... (which would let me drag-drop to a window running osx)...
posted by jak68 at 4:47 PM on March 28, 2009

Despite the above, the real answer is no, you can. PearPC emulates a PowerPC Macintosh - a type which hasn't been made for years - and more importantly it emulates it really slowly. It's not good enough for practical use, and there's no drag-and-drop.

VMWare can only run OS X Server and - more importantly - only on a Macintosh. (This may be less true if you're willing to break the law.)

So basically you're stuck. Your best open is to buy a cheap Mac.
posted by Mwongozi at 5:54 PM on March 28, 2009

Gah. That should be "can't", not can. And I should also point out that even if you do manage to hack OS X into VMWare, you still won't get drag and drop. Sorry.
posted by Mwongozi at 5:54 PM on March 28, 2009

Im running OSX in vmware in another window. Its 100% possible. EULA be damned.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:14 PM on March 28, 2009

Violating a EULA (which may or may not be that enforceable) is a civil issue, not a criminal issue.

Pirating software is criminal, just like downloading MP3 is criminal (whether it should be or should be considered as egregious as many would like you to think is another story for another day).
posted by Brian Puccio at 6:49 PM on March 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

It is entirely possible to run OS_X on a non OS_X machine (see above comments about VMWARE and hackintosh). You'll be doing something illegal, if you're comfortable with that. Also, you'll probably spend about two weeks figuring out how to do it, depending on your proficiency with unix type systems, and another week or so getting it to do what you want to do (getting all necessary drivers installed properly, etc).

It may not be ideal, but if money (the cost of a mac mini) is more an issue for you than time, it may be a fun learning experience. Otherwise i'd get the mac.
posted by localhuman at 9:43 PM on March 28, 2009

Also, you'll probably spend about two weeks figuring out how to do it,

Not really. I downloaded a torrent with a pre-created vmware machine. Took an hour to download and all I did was double-click the icon. No need to re-create the wheel.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:28 PM on March 28, 2009

Pirating software and downloading mp3s is civil, not criminal, unless you're selling them.

I've known several people who have gotten OS-X fully installed and functional in both VM-Ware and on actual hardware to the point that it was usable as a day to day OS. You can do a few searches on Google to figure out how to do the latter. I strongly doubt it's doable at the moment without running the full OS though.
posted by devilsbrigade at 12:23 AM on March 29, 2009

Lots of people have mentioned VMWare without linking a tutorial - Here's one from OSx86 which might prove useful.
posted by Orb2069 at 8:33 AM on March 29, 2009

Response by poster: thanks everyone. While I think it would be a fun project, I solved my immediate problem with Synergy. PC on the left, Mac on the right, one keyboard and mouse and via synergy a shared clipboard as well. :D For basic functions, they feel like they're running 'on the same machine'. This will do for now...

Though I'll definitely play around with the above options at some point.
posted by jak68 at 8:51 PM on March 29, 2009

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