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I have a closed-source piece of Linux software written in a combination of Java and C. The application installs on my Mac (it uses InstallAnywhere), however, it isn't intended to run on a Mac.

The Java parts of it run, but of course it stops as soon as it tries to load some of the .so shared libraries. The library format for Linux is different, the system calls are different, etc. I'm looking for some kind of Linux compatibility layer for Mac, just like WINE is a Windows compatibility layer for running Windows apps on Mac / Linux. FreeBSD includes a Linux compatibility layer, but it doesn't look like it was carried over to Mac OS X.

Does anyone know of a Linux compatibility layer for Mac? I realize there's not much of a customer-base for this sort of thing since most Linux software is open source.

I'm not looking for emulation (QEMU), virtualization (Parallels, VMWare), or source recompilation (Fink, MacPorts). I'm looking for a compatibility layer.

  • Until someone steps up with better information, I believe this answer should be linked. – Moreaki Aug 14 '17 at 23:17
  • Yes. I think it should be linked. Also, QEMU states, "QEMU is also capable of providing userspace API virtualization for Linux and BSD kernel interfaces. This allows binaries compiled against one architecture ABI (e.g. the Linux PPC64 ABI) to be run on a host using a different architecture ABI"--it goes on to explain that this mode of using QEMU isn't emulation. However, that text is the only reference I can find to running QEMU that way. – watkipet Feb 22 '18 at 21:59

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