Tags: macintosh

MacOS Kitten

Those rumours...

...about a hacked OS X 86 than runs in a VMware image?

They're true. It's bloody slow though - even on a 3GHz hyper-threading box.

I decided to put on my journalist's hat and track the image down. It's not difficult to find - it's well seeded and carried on many BitTorrent trackers. The 2GB image takes a while to download, and then requires considerable unpacking. Once unpacked, you can open the image and start running. Some of the VMware device locations in the image need to be changed, and there's no networking, but it boots. And runs.

Well, "runs" is a bit of a misnomer, I think I prefer "crawls".

The lack of speed (the hype from the Wired article is best ignored) isn't surprising, VMware and Virtual PC need to know quite a bit about the OS they're running in order to optimise the virtual machine for the client OS, and this is only a hack of something that's actually intended for a specific hardware platform.

The hack has removed the current link to the developer motherboard TPM chip, which Rosetta needs to run. As Apple intends to preserve its hardware margins, we can expect that the final OS X for x86 will use TPM for a lot more than the current developer release - so the hacks used here are unlikely to work for anything else.

It's still rather odd seeing Aqua starting up on my PC.