mac os x on kvm

While I no longer have a Mac, I still need one from time-to-time for development and testing purposes at work. My old MacBook Pro is still there, and runs just fine in that role, but for a laugh I thought if it would be possible to run Mac OS X in a virtual machine on my new laptop using KVM, the open-source virtualisation system built in to the Linux kernel. The answer, surprisingly, was yes:

For the installation, I used iDeneb, a bootable Mac OS X installer DVD that’s pre-patched and ready to boot on most PCs. The only trick to getting it working on KVM seems to be to use an alternative kernel — the Voodoo 9.5.0 kernel worked for me — and to find a virtual network card that both KVM and OS X support. In fact, I haven’t quite figured that last one out yet, but I’m giving it another go right now.

The only real problem is the performance — it’s terrible! Dock bounces aren’t scientific measure of how long it takes to start applications, but when you get to double-digits starting Terminal.app, you know you’re in trouble. Even if I do get the networking issues sorted, I doubt it’ll be usable for anything serious.

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