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Apple will allow Mac OS X to run inside VM

updated 02:35 pm EDT, Wed October 31, 2007

OS X Server on VM

Apple has apparently changed its tune on the ability to run Mac OS X Server inside a Virtual Machine (such as VMWare's Fusion or Parallels Desktop). Though the company's license wording previously disallowed running multiple copies of Mac OS X Server on a single Mac, the new software license agreement included with Leopard reads "This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Mac OS X Server software (the "Mac OS X Server Software") on a single Apple-labeled computer. You may also install and use other copies of Mac OS X Server Software on the same Apple-labeled computer, provided that you acquire an individual and valid license from Apple for each of these other copies of Mac OS X Server Software." According to TidBits, the license change could herald new offerings from Parallels and VMWare that allow Mac OS X to run inside a virtual environment on top of itself.

Ben Rudolph, Director of Corporate Communications for Parallels, told the publication, "Enabling Leopard Server to run in a virtual machine may take some time, but we're working closely with Apple on it and will make it public as quickly as possible." Pat Lee, Senior Product Manager at VMware, concurred, saying "We applaud Apple for the exciting licensing changes implemented in Leopard Server. Apple customers can now run Mac OS X Server, Windows, Linux and other x86 operating systems simultaneously on Apple hardware so we are excited about the possibilities this change presents."

The Leopard Server license agreement, however, restricts virtualization to "Apple-labeled hardware."

System administrators say the ability to run multiple instances of Mac OS X Server on single systems would provide great enhancements to productivity and resource utilization.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Cool

    Now I don't need to buy a new "lab" Mac on eBay to play with Leopard Server... I can just trick out a Mac Pro with enough horsepower to be my primary machine and run a VM of Server.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    not 'OS X'

    It appears this applies to 'OS X Server' (which makes sense, as well).

    Time to buy more X Serves.

  1. shmoolie

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -2

    Another good move

    Apple is just eating MS's cake. While Microsoft has been doing everything it can to disallow or severely limit virtualization from third party vendors Apple is going out of its way and putting it right in the license agreement.

  1. fishtech

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    erm...

    yes, this is way cool.

    But... there is no virtualization software available for OSX server yet.

    Parallells or VMWare or someone needs to create & release an XServe VM environment before we can start the virtual machine party.

    I'm guessing it won't be too long until the party starts.

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Well...

    this used to be possible in previous versions of OS X on the PPC using VPC_

    Then Microsoft bought them and boycotted any future Mac support_

    And good luck trying to get VPC running on an Intel machine_ So then when VMWare and Parallels popped up - I was pissed that I couldn't get a copy of Leopard Beta running on top of Tiger_

    But this at least explains why - a little better_ A licensing agreement makes sense - Apple wouldn't allow it so VM and Parallels go without_

    But yeah - this is definitely a good thing_ Something that Apple shouldn't have blocked 2 years ago_

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: another good move

    Apple is just eating MS's cake. While Microsoft has been doing everything it can to disallow or severely limit virtualization from third party vendors Apple is going out of its way and putting it right in the license agreement.

    Um, they aren't putting it in the license agreement. There's nothing I read there that specifies "in a virtualized environment". The way I read it was that you could install two copies of OS X on a single machine (say on two hard drives).

    Also, you decry MS's attempt to stop it with their Basic Windows versions, but this appears to only apply to OS X server, not OS X itself. Seems kind of a blockage to me.

  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    How about Tiger?

    The ability to run previously supported OSes within Leopard is more desireable.

    How about running Tiger within leopard to support apps that Leopard does not without a reboot?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: well

    this used to be possible in previous versions of OS X on the PPC using VPC_

    I never saw this on VPC. In general, OS X hasn't been bootable on any type of computer but a physical mac (except where hacked, but those don't count).

    Then Microsoft bought them and boycotted any future Mac support_

    Well, they killed total Mac support, not just booting MacOS X. And, just like how you can't do it with VMWare now, it was probably a license thing to begin with (if MS wanted to stay in Apple's good graces and all).

    And good luck trying to get VPC running on an Intel machine_ So then when VMWare and Parallels popped up - I was pissed that I couldn't get a copy of Leopard Beta running on top of Tiger_

    Of course it won't run. They killed it. And you wouldn't want it anyway. VPC for mac was an emulator. VPC for Windows, as well as VMWare and Parallels, are virtual machines, just passing commands off to the processor. They're a different beast altogether.

    But this at least explains why - a little better_ A licensing agreement makes sense - Apple wouldn't allow it so VM and Parallels go without_

    What I don't see is (a) why should it take that long to get it to work, and (b) how come you couldn't do it without Apple's blessing.

    For (a), they're already virtualizing the hardware, from CPU to the graphics to the components. Aren't these the same components OS X uses?

    For (b), how can Apple stop them? With OS 9 it was easy, since you needed the ROM. But with OS X? Are they claiming DCMA over their EFI stuff? Technically, if you can run OS X in a virtual machine on a Mac, you're meeting the license restriction of running it on a mac (and just like Apple to restrict VMs to only their computers).

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: how about tiger

    The ability to run previously supported OSes within Leopard is more desireable.

    How about running Tiger within leopard to support apps that Leopard does not without a reboot?


    The tidbits article specifically said the tiger license was unchanged. Which does blow, since you're more likely to want to run older versions for software that hasn't been updated for 10.5 support.

  1. fishtech

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re. testudo

    > The way I read it was that you could install two copies of OS X on a single machine (say on two hard drives).

    Now that really would make no technical, logical or legal sense.

    I do hope you are trolling or your users are in trouble.

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