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Virtualization - who uses it and why?

maflynn

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Original poster
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Anyone using virtualization to run different operating systems?

I have an old copy of Workstation 15 that I just reloaded and I'm installing Pop!_OS, though with virtualization, I can try any number of operating systems. I use Oracle's VirtualBox at work, but I found it a bit limiting in features, and since I have a license for vmware...

Part of my goal is use Pop!_OS, get used to it, learn ore about it with an eye to re-loading it on my thinkpad or more likely loading it onto an Surface Go (or something of that nature)
 

MrRabuf

macrumors regular
Jan 2, 2019
105
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I use VirtualBox at work on a daily basis to run lots of different virtual machines. I probably have around a dozen or so VMs I routinely use and am always creating/destroying others. These days, most are Ubuntu based but I also have FreeBSD and Windows 7/10 VMs. I'm a software engineer and need lots of different VMs for the different projects I work on. It would be a major PIA for me to do my job without virtualization.
 
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sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
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Prescott Valley, AZ
I use VirtualBox on my home iMac to run older Windows apps in a WinXP VM but I much rather have native hardware to run OSes on. That is why I pick up new cheap Chromebooks (like the Acer Chromebook 14) to run Linux, and Black Friday/Cyber Monday Windows laptops at Best Buy ($100-$120) to install older versions of Windows on.

A "someday" project of mine is to set up a thin OS (Linux-based most likely) that does nothing but launch a VB VM and allocate as much system resources to it to get as close to a native experience as possible.
 
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Mikael H

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2014
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I run my entire home server environment (dns+webserver+database+mail+chat server+owncloud+gitlab+time machine+cups/airprint+stuff with which I play around) in Proxmox VE + LXC containers emulating mostly Debian and Ubuntu, but with some CentOS thrown in.

At work I run vSphere on almost all servers. Mostly Windows VMs (legacy crap), but a bunch of infrastructure servers and appliances nowadays run Oracle Linux, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, RedHat and even an SLES instance somewhere.

On my (work) laptop, I run Fusion when I need to try something out quickly, but with NSX and flash-based storage in the datacenter this is a shrinking need for professional tasks as long as I've got a good network connection. For personal stuff I have a couple of Linux distributions installed to test and develop solutions when on the go.
 
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soulreaver99

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Aug 15, 2010
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Southern California
I have Parallels on my MacBook Pro to run Windows for Microsoft Office. I don't care what anyone says, Office on Mac is still not at the level of the Windows version.

On my Windows gaming laptop at home or office, I use VMWARE to run MacOS on a second screen for iMessage and tinkering with Xcode.
 
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MacDawg

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Mar 20, 2004
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"Between the Hedges"
I run VMware Fusion on my MBP to run several VMs
  • Windows 10 to run Office, Outlook, etc. to mimic my work environment
  • Ubuntu Server 18.04 to run PHPServerMonitor through a VPN to monitor around 200 connections for work
  • Ubuntu 18.04 just for Linux environment for testing
  • Kali Linux for familiarity with pen testing and such
I can't imagine not having the capability at this point
 
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0989382

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Jan 11, 2018
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I run Parallels with Windows 10 to access MS Office apps and some of the higher level functionality not on the Mac, and dabble in Access databases. Also handy to remind myself to not buy a W10 PC by using it regularly and being reminded of the complicated errors, crashes and whatnot that foil the otherwise much improved OS since 2008!

It's a shame the Windows only features of Office will never be able to come to Mac due to depending on deep Windows code.. But thankfully virtualisation makes for a practical way to not lose out!
 
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cinnabun814

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Apr 2, 2018
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I have parallels to run Windows 10 and Ubuntu just to keep an eye on them. Not very tech savvy I just like playing with the different operating systems.
 
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2984839

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Apr 19, 2014
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I generally prefer not to virtualize. However, I am running Qubes on a ThinkPad T480 with a bunch of OpenBSD VMs segregated according to purpose. Right now I have one each for work, personal, software dev, and "vault" use cases.
 
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velocityg4

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
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Georgia
I play around with them just to try out an OS and to familiarize myself with them. Mostly I just boot into an OS. I don't have much need for virtualization.

I also tinker with emulators to run some bygone computer platform like an Apple II or System 7. I'd like to try a Xerox Star/Alto emulator and other 60s/70s era computer emulators but never get around to it.

Mostly I just use them for DOS and Windows 98 to run old games.
 
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The_Interloper

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2016
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894
I use a Windows 10 VM via Parallels to run Dragon 15 speech recognition software. The Mac version was always poor and is now discontinued. The built in dictation in Catalina looks good but still not as high end as Dragon.
 
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NoBoMac

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Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
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VirtualBox for Windows 10 off a USB-C SSD. Only time I bring it up is to update software on it every month. Maybe once every 1-2 years I actually need to use it for real.

In the past, VMware when I was running Linux and Solaris VMs as well. But got tired of the every couple years pay them $50 due to old version no longer runs on latest MacOS.
 
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akuma13

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2006
883
374
I have a stupid question, is there anyway to run MacOS virtually on a windows laptop without going the hackintosh route?
 
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Mikael H

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Sep 3, 2014
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I have a stupid question, is there anyway to run MacOS virtually on a windows laptop without going the hackintosh route?
Technically, yes. It will violate the terms of the macOS license agreement, though. Several people report success with VMware Workstation.
 
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willpost

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2019
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0
I generally prefer not to virtualize. However, I am running Qubes on a ThinkPad T480 with a bunch of OpenBSD VMs segregated according to purpose. Right now I have one each for work, personal, software dev, and "vault" use cases.
A question about qubes os if you know. I'm using a 2019 MBP and would like to install and use Qubes OS. Does this require a reformating SSD and partitioning for Qubes? -And (can't find my machine on the list of compatible machines) does Qubes run on a 2019 Mac? Can't find a forum to post questions on Qubes OS-
 
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maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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A question about qubes os if you know. I'm using a 2019 MBP and would like to install and use Qubes OS. Does this require a reformating SSD and partitioning for Qubes? -And (can't find my machine on the list of compatible machines) does Qubes run on a 2019 Mac? Can't find a forum to post questions on Qubes OS-
Qubes OS is a Linux distro based off of Fedora, so to answer your first question you will need to repartition the drive. however, from what I've heard/read, you may not be able to install Linux on the internal partition thanks to the T2 chip (even lowering the SIP ). Apple doesn't want you to install anything on the internal drive (but begrudgingly permits windows) You'll need to install it on an external drive.

Secondly, the hardware requirements seem to indicate an iGPU over a dGPU, if you have a 13" MBP, you're in luck
Recommended

The compatibility list on their site only has very old MBPs, so I would think you'll have more problems then maybe its worth. My experience with Fedora with Macs as that it was a constant pain of manual tweaks and changes to get everything to work. That was some time ago, so it may be easier but If I were to guess, I'd say it hasn't changed much
1572456782552.png
 
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StellarVixen

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2018
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Anyone using virtualization to run different operating systems?

I have an old copy of Workstation 15 that I just reloaded and I'm installing Pop!_OS, though with virtualization, I can try any number of operating systems. I use Oracle's VirtualBox at work, but I found it a bit limiting in features, and since I have a license for vmware...

Part of my goal is use Pop!_OS, get used to it, learn ore about it with an eye to re-loading it on my thinkpad or more likely loading it onto an Surface Go (or something of that nature)

I do. For cross platform testing code and apps.

I am always disappointed by sluggish performance of VMs, but it gets the job done for what I need them.
[automerge]1572461644[/automerge]
Technically, yes. It will violate the terms of the macOS license agreement, though. Several people report success with VMware Workstation.

It is simple. There is Python script that unlocks VMware to allow Mac OS option. As it has been already said, it violated Apple’s terms and conditions, but I already assume you are not much concerned about that.

But the performance is disappointing. And forget about hardware acceleration.
 
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cdcastillo

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Dec 22, 2007
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The cesspit of civilization
I use virtualization with VMWare Fusion to run a copy of Windows 10 in my mac to remotely read and rate EEG studies (recorded on custom software that does not have a Mac version). This way I don't have to use 2 machines for work.
 
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2984839

Cancelled
Apr 19, 2014
2,114
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A question about qubes os if you know. I'm using a 2019 MBP and would like to install and use Qubes OS. Does this require a reformating SSD and partitioning for Qubes? -And (can't find my machine on the list of compatible machines) does Qubes run on a 2019 Mac? Can't find a forum to post questions on Qubes OS-

I think you'd be frustrated. The new MBPs don't use a traditional USB touchpad, so that might not work at all: https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Linux-Finally-MBP-Key-Touchpad

The T2 chip could also be a major impediment.

I did run Qubes years ago on a 2011 13" MacBook Pro. It worked, but I had to jump through a lot of hoops to get the Broadcom firmware on the netvm and IIRC it would freeze if it didn't find it.
 
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willpost

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2019
11
0
Thanks for info and replies on this subject. It is sort of what I expected - the T2 chip would be a problem. I still have my older 2011 17" MBP so that will be a better option for Qubes OS to run on. I'll just have to replace the failed logic/main board to get it running. When you use both the 2011 and the 2019 MBPs side by side, the style of the old machine is evident. The smooth rounded sides are -to me- much perfered to the sharp edges of the 2019 machine. The keys on the older MBP feel more natural to use. The smaller trackpad is not continually getting in the way as it does with the latest MBP. A better design would be a halfway inbetween sized trackpad. The new machine's trackpad's lighter touch though is easier to use than the older trackpad which you really have to push down hard to activate. I will post again when I install Qubes on one or the other.
 
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