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I would like to tinker with OS X in a VM. It doesn't have to be VMware, but I do want it to run under Windows.

I tried the instructions at: http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/Vmware_how_to but couldn't get the OS X install disc mounted.

What's the best way to get OS X to run in a VM?

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8 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

This question has been asked and answered before:

In short: it's illegal. Please don't discuss the subject here.

EDIT Jan 24th 2011: in light of some other questions, there seems to be a gray area regarding OS X Virtualization and the above may no longer be fact.

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Sorry, the question didn't show up in the list of similar questions. :( –  Scott May 4 '09 at 16:00
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Since Apple doesn't want me running it on non-apple hardware, I won't be tinkering with their OS. –  Scott May 4 '09 at 16:02
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Against the EULA is not the same as "illegal", especially if he's bought a copy of the OS legally. –  alxp May 4 '09 at 16:44
    
this comment is no longer true please see the other answers. –  mrTomahawk May 4 '09 at 17:10
    
I thought Serverfault was a forum for discussing sysadmin topics, not for people to advance their own legal theories. How this answer got voted up is a mystery to me. –  thrillscience Jan 22 '11 at 20:23
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Apple has opened up the ability to virtualize Mac OSX server as long as it is ran on Apple hardware. Previously they did not allow this at all, but times have changed and they now allow it to a certain level. Please see the following posts for more information:

Apple to Allow Virtualization of Leopard

Virtual Leopard Server, Uncaged: Virtualized Mac OS X Leopard Server on VMware Fusion 2.0

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From the question "It doesn't have to be VMware, but I do want it to run under Windows." so given the question it is still illegal –  trent May 4 '09 at 17:33
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Not true, you can virtualize Mac OSX server using Parallels and run it from a Boot Camp windows partition on Apple hardware and still be completly legal while not using VMware, and not violating any rules/laws –  mrTomahawk May 4 '09 at 20:39
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Sorry, but that's some pretty heavy semantic gymnastics to dodge the clear intent of the questioner. –  ceejayoz May 4 '09 at 22:33
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Doing this might be illegal,no responsible here, but I found this simple instructions.

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It's indeed illegal; it probably is also not a very good idea to state "it might be illegal" and then refer to a HOWTO on the subject.. –  Aron Rotteveel May 4 '09 at 14:57
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Since I entered my reply I have being looking around and haven't being able to find anything that points it to be illegal. If you own a copy of Mac OS (which is for sale at any computer store), I see now reason why you cannot run it on a VM. My first reaction was to say "You can't, buy a Mac", but I have being modded down before for a similar answer. –  user1797 May 4 '09 at 15:02
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Is there a citation in Law where we can see that this is illegal. This seems more like a contract provision that may be against the contract, or against a license, but not necessarily illegal. –  Dan Blair May 4 '09 at 15:22
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Legally you can't .... technically it may be possible but as nice as it would be to do you shouldn't

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this comment is no longer true please see the other answers. –  mrTomahawk May 4 '09 at 17:10
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To be honest, OS X is a sweet desktop environment. With all the usual UNIX-y tools available without resorting to things like CygWin. As a headless O/S, it's kind of crap. There's a grey area where as a developer one might want to have a stack of virtualized OS X systems to test different versions. Beyond that it's not really a good virtualizable platform. Apple allows it sufficiently for developers and test purpose, but there's no ESX-like virtual data center setup... And I can't figure out why anyone would want to.

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While running OS X on anything other than Apple Hardware is a violation of the license agreement, and therefore you will be out of support, and could have legal action taken (IANAL, but the agreements strike as 'binding'), you could look at the opensource Darwin project, depending on what you want to "tinker" with.

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Since the only way to legally obtain a license for OSX is to buy an Apple manufactured machine it is illegal to virtualise OSX, even if you purchase a "boxed" version, which in itself only contains upgrade media. For the benefit of forbes, the law is broken when breaching an EULA because the agreement is a contract. The contract is broken when a licensor attempts to install OSX inside a virtual machine or on non Apple manufactured hardware. This constitutes a breach of contract under civil law, irrespective of whether original install media is used, which is illegal. The sale of the boxed version is done in good faith and in itself for upgrade only. This is implicit because the media can only be installed on pre-licensed Apple manufactured machines. "Please don't use terminolgy [sic] regarding legalities if you are unfamilliar [sic] with them."

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Adds nothing to the technical discussion. –  snowcrash09 Apr 5 '11 at 9:24
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There is a HUGE difference between breaking an agreement by installing legally owned software on something Apple says you can't (civil tort) and doing something illegal like pirating software for financial gain (criminal offense). Please don't use terminolgy regarding legalities if you are unfamilliar with them.

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Adds nothing to the technical discussion. –  snowcrash09 Apr 5 '11 at 9:25
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