Does Apple have a Virtualization Strategy?

by Todd Ogasawara

There's been a lot of interest in running Windows XP natively on the Intel-based Macs. I use Microsoft Windows, Linux (various distros), and Mac OS X every day, 7 days a week for various tasks. Although there is a cost in speed, I prefer a virtualization solution to a dual-boot (requiring reboots to switch) solution. VMware released their GSX product as freeware (Workstation and ESX are still for-fee), XEN is Open Source and free and will be integrated in the next versions of SUSE Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (though it will not support Windows as a Guest OS until the AMD and Intel hardware virtualization CPUs are supported), and the rumor is that Microsoft will drop their already lowered price for Virtual Server 2005 R2 to free (information from soon. So, if anyone has a lead on Apple's virtualization strategy for Mac OS X on the desktop/notebook, let us know what it is.


2006-03-31 11:22:32
As a Mac person I understand the need for Windows (I have such a need for mapping and gps software), but what's the difference between the UNIX on the Mac and LINUX?
2006-03-31 11:26:28
"though it will not support Windows as a Guest OS until the AMD and Intel hardware virtualization CPUs are supported"

Does this mean that the current line of intel macs won't be able to run guest os's?

Todd Ogasawara
2006-03-31 11:32:18
Anonymous: At work I have a lot of spare boxes to test Linux distros and distro updates. But, even there, I've installed VMware ESX and Virtual Server 2005 R2 to reduce the need for lots of physical boxes for testing distros, server applications, etc. At home, no spares. While the Mac OS X Mach/BSD kernel and terminal shell give me a lot of flexiblity, I would still like to test things like RPM installations on an actual target OS (say Red Hat/CentOS or SUSE) which is often faster (but more mysterious until after the installation) than a source code configure/compile/install procedure.
Todd Ogasawara
2006-03-31 11:40:04
Steven: My apologies if my blog wasn't clear. The particular sentence fragment you quoted referenced Xen, not Apple (which does not have a virtualization product). Xen 3.0 only supports Linux distros as a Guest OS (See: Xen Wiki - OS Compatibility).
Zaphod Beeblebrox
2006-03-31 12:02:13
I've heard from a fairly reliable source that VMware has a build running on "a big white flat computer with a piece of fruit on the front" (exact words)
2006-03-31 15:28:32
Why not wait? While Apple's software engineers are top-notch there are vendors who have far more experience in virtualization than Apple does, there's a market for the software. So it's more a race between VMWare and MS to see who can sell to it faster.
2006-03-31 21:15:33
Forget about Windows. What about virtualizing multiple instances of Mac OSX on a single box?
2006-03-31 21:35:24
For a fairly complete listing of various emulators, (both old and new) that either;

A) Run Windows on a Mac. (Virtual PC, iEmulator, etc..)
B) Create a Virtual Machine on a Mac. (OpenOSX, etc..)
C) Thin Client / remote control (VNC, Citrix, RDP, etc.)
D) Run Mac OS on a Mac or Non Mac hardware platform. (MAE, PearPC, Sheep Saver, etc.)

E) Run Linux / Unix on Apple hardware (Debian, Mandrake, etc...)

Check out