The short answer is: You Can't.

It seems to be a popular question as to whether you can install/run Mac OS X under virtualization within Windows. However, most of the questions really answer the reason as to why you can't.

If you have any tips that contradict this post, and actually allow you to install/run Mac OSX within Windows Virtual PC, please post them. Thanks.


3 Answers 3


See the following URLs:

VMWare Mac OS X Guest Package
VMWare How To (OSx86 Project)

Be mindful of the license.


Can you run OS X on Windows? Yes, apparently you can with PearPC. Is it legal? Well, that is another question on its own.

While it is possible (which is what you asked), there are certain limitations:

While the CPU emulation may be slow (1/500th or 1/15th), the speed of emulated hardware is hardly impacted by the emulation; the emulated hard-drive and CDROM e.g. are very fast, especially with OS that support bus-mastering (Linux, Darwin, Mac OS X do). A lot of unimplementated features are fatal (i.e. will abort PearPC). Timings are very still a little bit inaccurate. Don't rely on benchmarks made in the client. PearPC lacks a save/restore machine-state feature. No LBA48 (but LBA). Currently no support for hard disks greater than 128 GiB. Disks > 4GiB are not tested very well.

alt text

  • But, what limitations do you have with supported applications since you aren't running on the x86 hardware? Does the current/newest version of OSX support PowerPC? And, how could I get the install discs/license/whatever necessary? Jul 17, 2009 at 1:36
  • crpietschmann - You didn't ask about limitations. You asked it if was possible. It is :)
    – Sampson
    Jul 17, 2009 at 1:41
  • I experimented with this once using vmware and a legitimate copy of osx. The installer would work and I could get into a running session, but the vm was unbootable upon restart of the vmware machine. As it was just a lark, I pursued it no further than that.
    – horatio
    Jan 5, 2011 at 19:55

Here's a post that contains a couple reasons why you can't. The reasons are also listed below:

This is not possible for three reasons:

1) Apple does not allow this in their OS licensing

2) Mac OS X specifically checks to ensure that it is installing on Apple hardware

3) Mac OS X requires that the computer has an APIC - which we do not emulate

  • 8
    The post is clearly false, as PearPC demonstrates unequivocally.
    – Sampson
    Jul 17, 2009 at 1:42
  • 2
    Technically the post is clearly True, you cant run Mac OSX in Windows Virtual PC. However it is apparently possible using PearPC; however I don't think the latest version of OSX supports the PowerPC architecture, so it wont run under PearPC. Jul 17, 2009 at 1:46
  • 10
    It is legal to run virtualized mac os x server on Apple branded hardware Jul 17, 2009 at 3:17
  • 3
    PearPC emulates a PowerPC chip and PowerPC versions don't have the same checks the Intel versions do to ensure they aren't running on non-Apple hardware.
    – Chealion
    Jul 17, 2009 at 4:07

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.