legally run an os x vm with linux host

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by var name = clever, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. var name = clever macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2016
    Sorry if this is in the wrong section, I don't know where else to post it. I've got late 2011 mac mini upgraded with a 500gb ssd, from 2gb to 8gbs of ram, and from lion to el capitan with the intention of using it for web development. I'd like to continue to running linux as my primary os with os x in a virtual machine. Ideally I'd like to set it up as a dual boot system with both linux and el capitan installed directly to my hardware and with a second os x installation in a vm inside my linux installation, so I can test do things like locally stored web pages in all web browsers across all three major operating systems without having to reboot the computer and still be able to receive firmware updates with the os x installed directly to the hardware. as far as I can tell this violates the spirit but not the letter of apples eula that requires any os x vm to be installed on genuine apple hardware that is already running mac software. I belive apple intends for me to only run virtual os x inside a os x host. But because I want to do this on a mac mini and osx will still be installed directly to my mac mini prior to installing it in a vm this set up would still be within the constraints of the eula as it's currently worded. Am I correct?
  2. Shirasaki macrumors 604


    May 16, 2015
    Hmm. I don't remember all of them but if you want to run Mac OS X on Linux host, you need a hackintosh image. Apple would not allow their OS X run on non-Apple hardware, including using VM.
    Or you can do so other way around if you really want to care about legality. Run OS X, install Linux on virtual machine, and develop in virtual machine, test it on OS X installed on your Mac mini.
  3. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    It's a bit tricky. The SLA says:

    "download, install, use and run for personal, non-commercial use, one (1) copy of the Apple Software directly on each Apple-branded computer [...] that you own or control"

    It goes on to say:

    "install, use and run up to two (2) additional copies or instances of the Apple Software within virtual operating system environments on each Mac Computer you own or control that is already running the Apple Software"

    The bit that I find a little confusing is "already running the Apple Software". One interpretation of this is that you can only run an OS X VM under an OS X host. Another interpretation is that you can run a VM on a computer that is licensed for OS X (OS X is already running at the present time, but it may not be in the future). I'm not sure which meaning Apple actually intended.
  4. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Dec 20, 2013
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    you are running OS X on a Macintosh computer. you will not get in trouble (how do you see them even finding out?), spirit, letter or otherwise.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its not against the law, i.e., the police will charge violators with a crime, its breaking the end user agreement which is a civil not criminal issue. Whether you want to live within the EULA is another choice, and I think Apple states that OS X needs to run on Apple hardware.

    Personally, I used my validly purchased version of OS X and built a hackintosh back in the day. I found it more hassle then it was worth and gave up on it. I also ran a version of OS X in Vmware,but the performance was horrid and again, it required hacking/tweaking of my vmware client. The reward just didn't outweigh the hassle and work effor.
  6. var name = clever thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2016
    The "already running the Apple Software" is what i'm having a hard time understanding to. I'm thinking that as long as I leave os x installed on the actual hardware I'm not breaking any rules by also installing it in a vm on another host on the same machine even if it's not exactly the way apple meant for me to.
  7. Mikael H macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2014
    From what I know, running OS X through an ESXi hypervisor on Apple hardware is fully supported, so I have a hard time seeing how running it on top of a different operating system would be any different as long as the hardware is from Apple.
  8. Johbremat macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2011
    I'm a stickler for licensing, and feel comfortable echoing @Mikael H's sentiment.

    I've always read the EULA as stating the use of OS X (virtualized or otherwise) to be governed by the hardware (Apple-specific) it's deployed on.

    If *nix was my primary, I'd have no qualms of using a compatible hypervisor to run a virtual instance of OS X.

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