Virtual Machine for my iPad???


macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 24, 2009
Hello All,

Here is my problem, I'm going on a road trip round North America with my Family (as well as migrating my family from the UK to Australia... Road trip is the bit in the middle).

I only want to take an iPad on our Family road trip as it does nearly everything I want... However, I am currently studying for my Cisco CCNA and am doing another University course, in short both require a Windows machine to run the software (I'm currently using VMWare Fusion on my mac, which in turn runs Windows XP for the software; Cisco Packet Tracer, and another bespoke app for other Uni course).

My question is; can I subscribe to a service similar to OnLive for a remote connection to a Windows machine. The only reason I'm not going for OnLive is that for the Games side of things it requires a very fast connection, which I can't really guarantee on a road trip, VNC or remote access should not require fast access should it (512Kbps should be enough right?) Anyhows anyone got any ideas?

Thanks for taking the time to read!


macrumors regular
Mar 24, 2011
North Carolina
To be honest, you will not get anything using a remote desktop that will let you game. It's the nature of the beast.

I will tell you that you have the OnLive option but you can also look into cheap windows VPS accounts. It's basically a shared hardware server that is virtually serving you a desktop. It is still like OnLive and OL is probably cheaper.

As for running a virtual desktop HOSTED on your iPad... No. Apple will not allow it and even jailbroken its just not really possible.

I have taken the Cisco courses too and for packet tracer you just need a windows desktop somehow.

If you are just needing it at sporadic times, and you are the geeky type (with all the subnetting fun I would assume yes) you can look into Amazon EC2 instances.

Good luck!


macrumors 6502
Aug 8, 2010
You need a netbook, the iPad just isn't going to cut it for those sorts of uses. Even if you jailbreak it and do a bunch of workarounds it's going to be slow and clunky.


macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 24, 2009
Sorry for the late reply... Thanks for the answers... I don't need to game no. I'm flabbergasted that there is no option... Why oh why don't Cisco do an iOS version of packet tracer!?


macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2005
You're studying for CCNA, and you're "flabbergasted" that an iPad can't run a Windows virtual machine? For one, you'd actually need an x86 emulator, not a virtual machine. You have a lot of studying to do.

Setting that aside, the remote access/OnLive/VNC option should work for anything you need Windows for, provided you don't need it to be extremely low-latency. Is it okay if there's a one second delay between what happens on the Windows machine and it appearing on the iPad? If so, you'll be fine. You will need internet access on the iPad, though.


macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2008
Remote desktops and cloud instances presume you'll have good connectivity as you travel. Prepare for immense frustration! And cost.

Either take a Mac with Windows in VMWare/Parallels or Boot Camp, or buy a crappy netbook for the voyage.


By the way, 512kbps is way better than I see in the vast majority of my hotel, airport and public hotspots.


macrumors newbie
Nov 28, 2014

There is an app called BOCHS for ios or Bochs4ipad.

Bochs is a highly portable open source IA-32 (x86) PC emulator written in C++, that runs on most popular platforms. Ported by iSoft Team and later modified by Picklejw and Miles Brown. This version removes a dependency (from ShockDevTeam, their repo is down) from Bochs.

it is availible from the MrPowerGamer repo!
add that url to cydia!


macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2011
Leeds, UK
Really you have two options -

- low cost small netbook style laptop running windows, get one with Hdmi out and you'll be able to plug in to a hotel TV.

- Microsoft surface, windows on the go.

Personally I'd do the first option and go with an SSD as its going to get a lot of bumps with travelling across continents, and I'd have a cloud sync set-up, something like Dropbox, then if the machine was broken you just need cellular or wifi access for all your important documents.
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