Is there a way to add Linux binary compatibility to Mac OS X 10.5+ such as that found in FreeBSD?

For instance, and totally as an example, here is Arlequin 3.5, a population genetics software that my lab uses with a Linux binary:


4 Answers 4


Linux applications often need to be recompiled under their host OS, even in Linux. Users of closed source programs are at the mercy of their vendors. No source? Little hope.

To run Linux software, your best bet would be to install Linux onto a virtual machine such as VirtualBox.

Perhaps you could use an open source clone of MATLAB or the GNU Statistics programing language R which have been compiled or made available for the Mac OS X.

Good luck!

  • depending on how cpu intensive arelquin is a vm might not be ideal. you might want to consider having an external linux box that you ssh or remote desktop into.
    – yanokwa
    Commented Mar 14, 2010 at 19:53
  • A real box is always faster than a VM solution. However, VMs are far cheaper.
    – dotHTM
    Commented Mar 18, 2010 at 14:47

The FreeBSD way of doing this certainly sounds interesting. Unfortunately, I have not heard of a ‘linux.kext’ for OS X being available.


You can run the Windows version of Arlequin (and many other Windows applications) directly on a Mac using either Crossover or Wine (with Parallels you need to buy Windows).

There are instructions and suggestions for wine here: http://darwin.eeb.uconn.edu/Arlequin/
Crossover may be easier but it has the same limitations- http://www.codeweavers.com/compatibility/browse/name/?app_id=9201


The best approach would be to use a virtual machine; I recommend Parallels Desktop which I feel is better than VirtualBox.

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