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Author Topic: Can You Run OS X on a Virtual Machine?  (Read 8031 times)
VideoInPicture
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« on: October 05, 2008, 04:02:39 AM »

Since I've been playing around with Microsoft VirtualPC and the open source VirtualBox, I've noticed that they support hosting Windows, Linux and OS/2 as guest operating systems. What's missing in this picture is OS X. I've not heard of anyone running OS X on a virtual machine so I am wondering if it is possible to do it.

It's quite possible that OS X has been crippled by Apple to only run on hardware that contains one of their chips that say it's an Apple machine and I fear that this is a very high possibility from my knowledge. OS X uses the PC architecture so there is no real reason it can't run in a virtual machine.

Any one know?
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2008, 05:05:44 AM »

The are some versions of MacOS X that you can get to work on a normal PC using third party tools. I don't think the experience is very comfortable though.

Whether you can get it to work on a VPC I don't know.

I did look at this a while ago but gave up on the idea and didn't keep my notes but there are lots of places to look here:

http://www.google.co.uk/s...8&meta=cr%3dcountryuk|countrygb&q=MacOSX%20on%20a%20PC
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2008, 08:29:49 AM »

I found this link from "PortableApps"

http://nothickmanuals.info/doku.php?id=minivmac

There are Emulators that allows you to run older versions of Mac (Series below OS X),Maybe Basilisks can be of help:

http://gwenole.beauchesne...fo//en/projects/basilisk2


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f0dder
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2008, 08:40:13 AM »

OS X can be run in a virtual machine, but it's unsupported and you probably need to hack around in the same way as if you were running a frankenmac. Too bad that Apple actively tries to constrict OS X to only run on their "official hardware".
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- carpe noctem
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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2008, 10:47:25 AM »

Indeed, OS X Leopard can run fine, if a little slowly, in a VM; but it is illegal in terms of the EULA (even running in a VM running on an Apple machine IIUC). That doesn't stop its availability, which one may find in the same places the hackintosh distributions are found. There is no "chip" which stops it running, nor any annoying DRM/activation schemes; the only issue is driver compatibility.

OS X server *is* legal to virtualise (both Parallels and VMWare offer support), but only running on Apple hardware.

My experience of setting up a Dell hackintosh is similar to setting up Linux, once the driver compatibility is sorted out (trivial->tough depending on the hardware in question), then it runs perfectly.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2008, 10:49:52 AM by nontroppo » Logged

Carol Haynes
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2008, 04:20:15 PM »

Check out http://lifehacker.com/348...sh-pc-no-hacking-required
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Darwin
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2008, 05:03:09 PM »

Not to be a stickler, but please note that the no-hacking installations of OS X (on non-Apple PCs) requires that one download and burn to DVD a pre-hacked version of OS X... I have the installation discs for Tiger but I still can't install them on my Gateway computer. I *suspect* that if one were to create an iso image of the first DVD, one would be able to edit one or more of the files used by the installer to allow the OS to be installed, but I've no idea what files to edit or what info needs to be added/removed to make this possible.
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Darwin
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2008, 05:10:05 PM »

PS re: above post, just to clarify, my point was that no matter what *solution* one turns up to allow OS X to be run on a non-Apple computer, you're going to be breaking the EULA.
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2008, 05:29:20 PM »

That LifeHacker article seems to point to the easiest way to get OS X running on a virtual machine although it's not 100% certain if the emulations virtual machine software provide will do the trick. I will have to test it out if I ever get myself some OS X software or do some development for OS X.

I agree that it would probably be breaking the EULA for OS X but this just seems as illogical as when Microsoft said you couldn't use virtual machines to run Windows and later reversed their decision. If Apple wants a better chance of taking over the operating system market share, the least they could do is make it easy for developers to run OS X on a virtual machine so that you don't have to buy an Apple machine just to run OS X. It also makes life easier for programmers so that you don't have to double/triple boot your system or you don't care to switch over to OS X when you already like the operating system you have.

Apple should follow the foot steps of Microsoft and release their own version of VirtualPC along with providing demo virtual machine images for OS or support the open source VirtualBox project.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2008, 06:07:10 PM »

Now that would be an interesting idea - how about one of the VM companies in their next upgrade change the model slightly.

Rather than having a standard machine - why not have a choice of hardware to emulate, so you can choose the components to build your system and test stuff out. The components available could be a superset of the basic Apple Intel hardware. They could still have a bog standard set as now for most users but it would mean developers could test out stuff on different hardware.
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Darwin
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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2008, 06:57:14 PM »

If Apple wants a better chance of taking over the operating system market share, the least they could do is make it easy for developers to run OS X on a virtual machine so that you don't have to buy an Apple machine just to run OS X.

That's just it, though, I don't think Apple IS that interested in selling the OS to the unwashed, non-Apple hardware using masses... I mean, with their move to Intel chips you'd *think* that they'd do this eventually, but... For now it seems to me that they are content to position themselves as a premium hardware and OS supplier, trading on the perception of exclusivity that goes along with their strategy.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2008, 09:24:28 AM »

Out of curiosity I just gave the lifehacker installer a whirl in VMWare 6 and I can't get it to install. I think the problem arises because the ISO has been modified to use a fairly restricted range of devices (motherboards, graphics, sound) and it just doesn't like the ATA drive in VMWare. I tried SCSI and it liked that even less.
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nontroppo
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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2008, 01:27:55 PM »

Darwin: agreed, there is no technical limitation, but Apple is a hardware company and uses OS X as part of the package which differentiates its hardware. This is a crying shame as OS X is such a fantastic OS.

Apple would sink if it had to support the hardware diversity Windows does, and it would add a whole lot of bloat to the OS supporting such a convoluted mass of devices. So, in a selfish sense, I don't want OS X to end up being tied to endless legacy spaces for years as Windows is.

Nevertheless, if Apple tunes OS X for its hardware only but leaves the EULA general enough and the kernel open, then the barrier for virtualising/abstracting OS X would be lowered while maintaining the technical solidity of Apple's all-in-one package. The hackintosh community already does a pretty impressive job of opening compatibility with numerous devices, the community would only grow to provide a linux like solution for those wanting a brilliant OS working on generic hardware. It wouldn't impact sales of mainstream Macs, and could actually stimulate them (just look at the high rate of eventual Mac purchases within the hackintosh community).

Carol: do a search on Leo4VMware, which seems to have been tailored for VMWare specifically. I haven't tried it out but several reports say it works fine on Core2duo-based hardware.
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f0dder
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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2008, 01:39:33 PM »

I thought OS X had artificial constricting to the hardware it will run on - which is why you have to either grab a pirate pre-patched torrent, do manual modification of OS files, or buy one of those new USB devices that do a lot of system hacking magic?

Quote
Apple would sink if it had to support the hardware diversity Windows does, and it would add a whole lot of bloat to the OS supporting such a convoluted mass of devices. So, in a selfish sense, I don't want OS X to end up being tied to endless legacy spaces for years as Windows is.
Why would it add bloat? Afaik OS X is pretty modular, so it would just be the addition of a few modules. On windows (and linux?) both ATI and NVidia support pretty much all their cards (except really old ones) via unified drivers...

As for other types of devices, you already have the need for the supporting "framework" (printer management, wlan management, sound management etc.) so all you need are relatively small individual driver modules - not entire "bloated" subsystems.

Apple isn't interested in making their system open - and it certainly isn't right now. AES-encrypting of modules, hiding the encryption keys, etc... that's in a sense even worse than Win64's patchguard. At least patchguard's justification (apart from protection DRM subsystems) is making exploits harder. Apple's system? To prevent people from running custom kernels.
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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2008, 05:36:11 PM »

The only reason Apple goes to extreme lengths to prevent you from running OSX on Intel hardware is that if they didn't, there would be no reason to buy overpriced Mac hardware which is 100% identical to any pc clone (except for some minor design features). The value proposition of Apple lies in OSX, their apps and the software experience, and it makes sense that they want to protect it.

And apart from this, Apple is just about the most closed, paranoid and secretive company out there, they carefully cultivate a 'cult of Mac' and would not want to let in the 'lowly' pc users who they make fun of in their ads.
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f0dder
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« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2008, 05:42:04 PM »

Cult indeed.

A little anecdote: one of my friends was sitting at a uni lecture, wondering why the guy next to her was writing pen-and-paper notes when he had a bright and sparkly macbook pro next to him. When asked, he replied pretty much "Oh, I don't really like computers, and I don't know how to take notes on them". In other words, a richkid fanboy who only had the laptop as a status symbol.
* f0dder sighs.
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- carpe noctem
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« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2008, 08:13:21 PM »

I thought OS X had artificial constricting to the hardware it will run on - which is why you have to either grab a pirate pre-patched torrent, do manual modification of OS files, or buy one of those new USB devices that do a lot of system hacking magic?

No, the issue is that Apple uses the more modern EFI instead of a BIOS, once that is emulated then OS X boots as long as the hardware is supported.

Quote
Why would it add bloat? AFAIK OS X is pretty modular, so it would just be the addition of a few modules. On windows (and linux?) both ATI and NVidia support pretty much all their cards (except really old ones) via unified drivers...

well, physical bloat in the sense of distributions needing many more kernel extensions, much more hardware enumeration and so on. i don't understand the low-down kernel secrets of how OS X enumerates hardware to know if it would be affected much, but I don't want to take risks! :-) My macbook always reliably boots in under 30 seconds and I want it to stay that way.

Quote
Apple isn't interested in making their system open - and it certainly isn't right now. AES-encrypting of modules, hiding the encryption keys, etc... that's in a sense even worse than Win64's patchguard. At least patchguard's justification (apart from protection DRM subsystems) is making exploits harder. Apple's system? To prevent people from running custom kernels.

You can run vanilla *or* custom kernels fine on any hardware IIUC (at least I ran both custom and vanilla kernels fine on my Dellintosh once EFI was emulated). I'm not sure which bits are AES encrypted, but the kernel itself is open-source and thus easly modified (which is what the hackintosh hackers do, download source from Apple and compile). Apple could be much more obstructive than they are, and if anything largely ignore the hackintosh community IMO. The Psystar case may change all that sadly.
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f0dder
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« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2008, 08:22:23 PM »

No, the issue is that Apple uses the more modern EFI instead of a BIOS, once that is emulated then OS X boots as long as the hardware is supported.
If (U)EFI itself was enough, all you'd need would be a motherboard with (U)EFI support - there's already a few of those out there. The hacky USB device apparently does more than just provide (U)EFI support.

well, physical bloat in the sense of distributions needing many more kernel extensions, much more hardware enumeration and so on. i don't understand the low-down kernel secrets of how OS X enumerates hardware to know if it would be affected much, but I don't want to take risks! :-) My macbook always reliably boots in under 30 seconds and I want it to stay that way.
Shouldn't really be necessary - you only need slow enumeration for really old legacy devices. Other than that, you probe the PCI bus for vendor IDs - then you use those to load appropriate drivers. So it's not like you need to "test for a zillion devices that might not be present", you more or less simply use PCI vendors IDs to index a "database" of drivers.

You can run vanilla *or* custom kernels fine on any hardware IIUC (at least I ran both custom and vanilla kernels fine on my Dellintosh once EFI was emulated). I'm not sure which bits are AES encrypted, but the kernel itself is open-source and thus easly modified (which is what the hackintosh hackers do, download source from Apple and compile). Apple could be much more obstructive than they are, and if anything largely ignore the hackintosh community IMO. The Psystar case may change all that sadly.
Hm, you say "Dellintosh" - that would imply either using one of those pira... gray-zone torrents or manually modified installs, wouldn't it? I should go link-hunting for the info on the AES encryption and other weirdness being done in OS X. But from my memory of it, it seems like Apple has released only the bare minimum they need to in order to comply with the licenses from the projects they're using source from, not because they want to be open.

EDIT: I found the stuff I was thinking of - unfortunately, it's part of a book, so only part of it is online (hm, I think I read a longer part of it - either I remember wrong, or it was turned to book and snipped down later on). Anyway, it implies that certain apple applications are encrypted, and protected by kernel-mode code that does decryption. And from what I remember, the decryption key isn't located in the public available source code, and apple are jumping through hoops to try to make you unable to dump the decryption keys from memory... thus the little poem you get when you try to:
Quote
Your karma check for today: There once was was a user that whined his existing OS was so blind, he'd do better to pirate an OS that ran great but found his hardware declined. Please don't steal Mac OS! Really, that's way uncool. (C) Apple Computer, Inc.U??VWS?5P
.

Yeah, apple is open alright  undecided undecided undecided
« Last Edit: October 06, 2008, 08:32:33 PM by f0dder » Logged

- carpe noctem
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« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2008, 09:47:09 AM »

If you are talking about TPM encryption, then it is AFAIK a myth:

http://www.osxbook.com/bo...onus/chapter7/tpmdrmmyth/

There is an easily accesible key in the system management controller, perhaps that is what you mean:
Quote
"The key (actually, a pair of 32-byte values) comes from the System Management Controller (SMC). Unlike in the case of a TPM, accessing this key involves no cryptography, no random numbers, no hardware security—it's merely obfuscation. Just as you can use I/O Kit interfaces to retrieve motion sensor data and numerous other readings from the SMC, you can retrieve the key—no number crunching involved. You don't even need superuser privileges. In fact, assuming you know how to access hardware from user-space, a program to do this would be quite straightforward to write on Mac OS X—perhaps around 50 lines of C."

Your poem is simply part of "dont steal mac os x.kext" that reads this obfuscated key.

EDIT: just read your edit link, and yes, this easily available key is what "protects" the apps.

As I said before with an EFI emulator (PC EFI and Chameleon are the two products around), a vanilla, unhacked kernel is bootable:

http://netkas.org/?page_id=21

As he says, this is legally compiled from Apple's code. The only other requirement is the modified SMC extension (the obfuscation, not encryption key).

Then one just has to get the driver kexts installed as on any other "distribution"; OSx86 Tool is invaluable for this:

http://pcwizcomputer.com/...w&id=15&Itemid=34

As a "secrecy" aside (and much more valid critique IMO) , Apple allows process examination for all Apple apps except at least iTunes with the very cool Instruments/DTrace. A stir was caused when the original Leopard DTrace couldn't trace iTunes while breaking transparency for other traces, as Apple didn't want people breaking its music DRM. They relented after a Sun engineer called them on that, though still choose to obscure iTunes:

http://blogs.sun.com/ahl/...pple_updates_dtrace_again

I'd suspect any software company will defend its DRM. This seems less drastic than Microsofts wholesale jump into full system protection across hardware buses with the mess of Vista's protected media core, not to mention its antagonistic activation DRM. I don't want this to turn into an OS war, and though Apple is overly secretive as part of its modus operandi (more on marketing than anything else), I can't see exactly what is so exceptional about what is going on in OS X (or is a two 32byte easily available key really the peak of 'secrecy')?
« Last Edit: October 07, 2008, 10:10:32 AM by nontroppo » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2008, 01:16:21 PM »

I want to see how Apple will implement Bluray playback in OSX (they will at some point right?), since AFAIK all the 'evil' Microsoft DRM is mandated by the movie studios due to PAVP. My guess is Apple will have to do the same but we won't hear a peep about it in the press, except how Apple now has this wonderful new feature.
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« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2008, 02:17:13 PM »

MrCrispy: indeed this is a big question. They'll have to protect and encrypt the whole pipeline as MS did if they want compatibility. There has been absolute silence on what they are going to do. There are many Apple users who *are* going to kick up hell (including me) if it is as pervasive as Vista's implementation (and we've made it known). The difference is, at least from the kernels perspective, Darwin is open-source and Apple cannot hide this in software alone. They may finally use some sort of hardware mechanism, which could be even worse   ohmy

I do think the DRM space is different than when Vista was being baked. DRM seems to be being hammered from all sides (passing FAD or not), and Vista itself has not yet enforced its DRM mechanisms fully as DVDs are still hugely dominant. I really wonder how consistently e.g. the very troubling BD+ virtual machine will be enforced. As it appears BD+ has already been circumvented on Windows machines (by AnyDVD) maybe it is a moot point...

The argument from Peter Gutmann is that MS was not "reluctantly" building Vista's DRMed core, but actively extending it as widely as possible (MS of course also had to support both then-viable HD formats thus be more generally robust). His updated slides suggest some of that eagerness has already been shown to be unworkable in reality. Take his analysis with as many grains as salt to taste as you see fit (there are many rebuttals [and counter-rebuttals] to his perspective).

If Apple do implement it, I hope they do as little as possible, and hope the market switches to downloading movies making blu-ray a minority platform to deal with.
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« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2008, 03:03:38 PM »

I sincerely hope video DRM dies a quick (but painful) death, just like music DRM which is all but gone now from the online music stores (except ITunes) due to consumer backlash. But I fear that's not going to happen.

The only reason AnyDvd has not been sued out of existence is because they are not based in the US, but how long will that last? AACS keys change regularly on Bluray discs, and they may even turn on ICT. Managed copy is not available. And there may still be ways to enforce the existing BluRay DRM mechanisms for which there are no workarounds. My point is the story is not yet over and the studios won't give up easily. Real had a solution which let you backup dvd's legally, without breaking DMCA, and they still lost!

I'm also eagerly awaiting Apple's solution. If nothing else, its guaranteed to be user friendly, and they may even force a concession or two out of Hollywood.
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« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2008, 04:16:38 AM »

Well, Kevin Rose is predicting that the new Macbooks due on Tuesday will have blu-ray drives in some capacity:

http://www.edibleapple.co...at-live-diggnation-event/

Leopard wil be updated to 10.5.6 to support it. Now how they'll get the whole protected path in an upgrade if true is a mystery (unless Leopard already does this but it seems unlikely no-one has picked it up).
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« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2008, 01:13:16 PM »

http://www.engadget.com/2...turns-to-notebooks-event/

No BluRay, no HDMI, the big deal is the new Nvidia chipset with IGP, brick manufacturing, and glass trackpad. Nothing about Leopard 10.5.6.
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« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2008, 01:24:27 PM »

Huh, nVidia chipsets, and they said it would not happen. I hope Apple does not get the same problems from their IGPs other assemblers are getting, otherwise it could be a really bad move on their part. Not that their chipsets are well-known for running cool. Oh well, we'll see what happens.
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