Run Mac OSX on Windows?
February 5, 2008 6:49 AM   Subscribe

Any way to easily run Mac OSX on Windows?

Hi, all,

I know there are a few ways to run Windows on a Mac (VMware Fusion and Parallels being the most popular), but I've had very little luck finding the opposite -- how to run Mac OSX on Windows (at least a solution that's as effective/elegant as Windows on a Mac emulators.)

Any ideas?
posted by gb77 to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What you want to do is a violation of the OSX license agreement, and Apple isn't going to make it easy for you. The OS as sold in stores won't install to a VM, and Apple doesn't seem inclined to put any effort into making that happen.

There are several VMWare "OSX appliances" floating around out there -- I see a couple on TPB right now -- but you'll be running a pirate copy of the OS, laden with cracks and drivers of unknown quality. If you're comfortable with that, there you go. At least it's easy.
posted by majick at 6:57 AM on February 5, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, Majick. Don't know if follow-ups are bad form on Metafilter, but as you seem to be knowledgeable on the subject, do you have any thoughts on which is best: Fusion versus Parallels?
posted by gb77 at 7:02 AM on February 5, 2008

Yes it's possible, though not legal. If you're familiar with bittorrent and know the popular sites you can find out how to do it and download the necessary files. It's not very reliable though, more just a matter of something to do just so you can say you did it.
posted by bondcliff at 7:04 AM on February 5, 2008

google for "hackintosh"...
posted by jenkinsEar at 7:15 AM on February 5, 2008

Response by poster: I'm probably mistaken, but I thought a Hackintosh was simply a home-built Mac running on a PC processor. Or is at a home-built Mac that will run both Mac OSX and Windows natively?
posted by gb77 at 7:23 AM on February 5, 2008

Hackintosh (as I understand it) refers to running OSX on a non-apple machine, in violation of Apple's licensing agreement.

That machine would be some sort of intel-based computer, and would likely be able to run windows and linux as well as OSx.

Macs have used intel-based CPUs for a few years now; these are the same CPUs and architectures used in windows-oriented PCs.
posted by jenkinsEar at 7:27 AM on February 5, 2008

I personally lean toward Fusion, but a not-small portion of that is I use a bunch of other VMWare products on other platforms in my work and the interoperability is very handy. If you're just looking to run a Windows VM and don't need anything fancy, Parallels is quite a nice product (although I've heard nightmare stories about their support, they are just stories; I can't say firsthand as I've never needed to talk to them).

If you're planning to get more esoteric, Fusion does a fair number of esoteric things Parallels doesn't at this point, and ships with guest tools for Linux, Solaris, and all the Windows flavors. Parallels seems to be more focused on Windows guests.
posted by majick at 7:29 AM on February 5, 2008

Running a 'hackintosh' is or isn't a violation of apple's licensing agreement depending on how pedantic you want to be. Obviously downloading a copy of a modified version of Leopard from bittorrent is illegal, but if you buy a OSX install disc and somehow get it installed on to your 'pc' then it's illegality is questionable.

The specific problem is OSX is licensed to be used on an Apple branded computer. What does that mean exactly?

For example:

A potential problem with installing Mac OS X on a non-Apple branded computer is the license agreement that is bundled with Mac OS X. The user that is installing Mac OS X must agree to the license before installing the operating system. According to the license, the software can only be installed on a "Single Apple-labeled computer" at a time.

2. Permitted License Uses and Restrictions.
A. This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time. This License does not allow the Apple Software to exist on more than one computer at a time, and you may not make the Apple Software available over a network where it could be used by multiple computers at the same time. You may make one copy of the Apple Software (excluding the Boot ROM code) in machine-readable form for backup purposes only; provided that the backup copy must include all copyright or other proprietary notices contained on the original.[11]

There are no United States court rulings that establish precedent on the legality of restricting software to only specific hardware. It's possible that this clause of the EULA is not binding on legally purchased software in private use. Other countries may have different laws or precedents."

A good link for how to do it is this Lifehacker article, whether you choose to do it is up to you?
posted by sdevans at 7:39 AM on February 5, 2008

Apple recently altered the Mac OS X Server EULA to allow for virtualization. If you want to run a version of Mac OS X in a VM, it is now legally possible via Server.

Apple Allows Mac OS X Server Virtualization
posted by Mikey-San at 8:00 AM on February 5, 2008

The easiest way is to find someone with a successful setup (like on lifehacker, or browse the insanelymac forums), and copy them EXACTLY. If you want to run it on your own hardware, read the insanelymac forums like theres no tomorrow.

OS X is a headache to get working on a PC, I'd say 90% of people are not successful, and even less can get the major hardware working (video, sound, wireless). Even if you get it up and running, not all functions are guaranteed to work, especially power management and sleep.

That said, the best releases IMO are:

Kalyway 10.5.1
Jas 10.4.8

Good luck!
posted by mphuie at 9:25 AM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Run OS X on Windows - No
Run OS X on a PC -
posted by stackhaus23 at 9:41 AM on February 5, 2008

In my experience, both VMWare and Parallels work well to run Windows on a Mac. Both play nice with Boot Camp, allowing you to dual-boot or just load Windows when needed. Both have an integrated mode (Unity for Fusion, Coherence for Parallels) that allows Windows programs to run alongside Mac apps. Both are around the same price. Both have downloadable demos so you can install them and see how well you like them.

Pros for Fusion:
Seems to be less memory-intensive than Parallels right now. On an older/slower Mac, that can make a big difference.
Company has been doing virtualization for a long time now, and is experienced.

I hate the default placement of the Start menu in Unity mode - it's dumped into a menu at the top of the screen. Really not that easy to access.

Pros for Parallels:
Coherence mode places the Windows taskbar at the bottom of the screen - where a Windows user expects it to be - and keeps itself out of the way of the Dock if need be.
Product has been out for longer than Fusion, which may give it an advantage (but remember the experience VMWare has with virtualization)

Seems to steal focus when opening/closing. I use it with Spaces, and it keeps switching me back to its Space when exiting Windows. Annoying, but this is apparently a bug and is being worked on.

Personally, I use Parallels because it was available when I bought my Mac, and Fusion was not released at the time. One of my colleagues uses VMWare and likes it. I don't think you can really go wrong with either one, but do take advantage of the trial versions to check them out.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:35 PM on February 5, 2008

Uh, frogs? Wrong topic.

If you want to run a version of Mac OS X in a VM, it is now legally possible via Server.

But only on Apple-branded hardware.

Virtualization of OS X on non-Apple hardware is going to be a problem, because VMWare and Parallels are basically licence-bound. From the horse's mouth:
The one question we know we will get asked is will VMware support Mac OS X Server on non-Apple hardware. While this is only a technology preview today, VMware works closely with Apple and respects their licensing policies and as such Mac OS X Server in a virtual machine will only be supported on Apple hardware per Appleā€™s license agreement.
Unsupported doesn't mean 'unavailable', and as others have said upthread, you can find OS X appliances floating around of dubious reliability and legality. But even if you're happy running that, VMWare updates are more likely to cripple them than ease the process until (and that's a big until) Apple gives the go-ahead. Caveat downloador.
posted by holgate at 1:51 PM on February 5, 2008

Oops, you're right. I kinda missed the point of the question.
posted by Mikey-San at 4:04 PM on February 6, 2008

S'OK, holgate, you probably didn't notice that I was responding to the follow-up question by the poster, as was majick above.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:11 PM on February 9, 2008

Ah, yeah, I missed that follow-up at the top. Mea culpa.
posted by holgate at 1:21 PM on February 11, 2008

« Older What to wear to a swing themed party?   |   Why won't IIS send my email? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.