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What are the basic requirements and caveats of running OSX on a virtual machine on a VPS hosting service?

I have seen reports of running it under both Xen and Parallels Server, but the information is sparse and incomplete.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

According to Apple's EULA, OS X Server can only be virtualized on Apple hardware. If your VPS Provider runs your VM Instance on Apple hardware you can use Parallels, if not then you're out of luck, legally speaking.

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That's interesting... a big limitation. – themirror Aug 9 '11 at 20:10
The fact that you can't get rackmountable Apple hardware, combined with this limitation would lead me to strongly recommend NOT using OS X server at all costs to anyone inclined to do so. – MDMarra Aug 9 '11 at 20:25
@MarkM: I agree. With the discontinuation of the XServes and the joke that is Lion Server, they effectively put an end to OS X as a reasonable server OS, with the possible except of small Mac-only groups maybe. – Sven Aug 9 '11 at 20:33

In clarification of MarkM's answer, OS X Server is the ONLY version of OS X that is allowed to be installed in a virtual environment. Here is the exact wording from their license:

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.

That being said, both Parallels and Fusion work well for virtualizing Mac OS X Server, either Leopard or Snow Leopard.

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I haven't a link to the Lion EULA ready, but it includes the permission to run up two two virtual instances of it, limited to MacOS on Apple hardware as a base system. This probably is a consequence of the fact that the "server" variant of Lion is just an additional download from the App Store. – Sven Aug 9 '11 at 20:20
Found a link which outlines the relevant EULA sections: – Sven Aug 9 '11 at 20:22
@SvenW - Nice. I find myself forgetting that Lion came out as there was no big Apple-like hoopla surrounding it. – Jason Berg Aug 9 '11 at 20:24
You haven't missed anything. I used my Time Machine backup of 10.6 after two days. – Sven Aug 9 '11 at 20:26
@SvenW - I don't know. I'm kinda looking forward to TRIM support on my solid state drive. – Jason Berg Aug 9 '11 at 20:31

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