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Re: [Xen-users] Xen and OS X.

George Dunlap <george.dunlap@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> More specifically, one of the things that makes Apple's life a lot
> easier than Microsoft's is that they only need OS X to run on a small
> handful of hardware platforms -- platforms which Apple controls.
> Unlike Windows, which needs to run on any PC, or Linux, which runs on
> just about everything on the planet, OS X assumes that it's running on
> an Apple hardware platform and will simply fail if you try to boot it
> on a platform that doesn't look like an Apple system.

You need to differentiate between two distinct aspects. AIUI :

1) One is hardware compatibility. Apple hardware isn't that special these days 
- and on the various forums etc you'll find information on what hardware is 
"supported" (as in, has drivers etc). In that respect, Xen isn't so different 
either - if you have a supported CPU and emulate supported devices (eg NICs) 
then that's half the battle.

2) The biggie is that there is code which explicitly checks for Apple hardware 
and deliberately stops the boot if it's "not genuine". So a big chunk of the 
Hackintosh task is in working around this code, and dependencies on it. It's 
not so much booting a "non-Apple but OS X like" kernel, but booting the real 
Apple OS X kernel, but working around the bits that are designed to break the 

> In either case, you'd be in questionable legal waters with regard to
> the license for Apple's software (or at least this used to be the
> case), so take care.

Indeed. Though given how many forums/sites are still up after quite a long 
life, one has to suspect that Apple might be taking a slightly "pragmatic" 
approach to things. Yes, if you try and make money from it, they very publicly 
come down like the proverbial ton of bricks - but it does appear that they at 
least turn a bit of a blind eye to "personal use". That's just conjecture based 
on observation - perhaps they'd rather have those personal user on board and 
perhaps they'll get converted into "real" paying users over time ?

Then there's the grey areas. Parallels won't run OS X 10.6 as a VM - but there 
is a workaround which makes the system "look like" it's a server version (and 
then Parallels will run it). The difference is that the EULA for the server 
version permits virtualisation (on Apple hardware), the desktop version permits 
only running on Apple hardware.
I've had people who really you would expect to know better argue that when you 
virtualise a system (in this case, with Parallels and hosted on Apple 
hardware), it's no longer running on the Apple hardware. So it's held in the 
same RAM, it executes on the same CPU, but it's no longer running on the Apple 
hardware ... that's an "interesting" interpretation.

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