Skip navigation

VM software for PPC Macs

424 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Jan 24, 2014 10:34 AM by MlchaelLAX RSS
stevena1 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 14, 2014 10:14 AM

There has been discussions in this board about "Planned Obsleteness" and how things can get old because of lack of developer support or lack of programming code for old hardware.


I wouldn't be surprised to see if any functioning Macs with PPC chips would be the G5 models.


I know some apps were written for PPC Macs for Virtualization about a decade ago. I know VMware didn't support Macs untill Intel chips and Microsoft/Connectix had made VM software for PPC Macs, are there others out there that provide reliable virtual machine abilities to run PC OSes (Windows/Linux 32bit models)?


I do see used computer stores in my area that sell the G5 Macs (at a prenium though!) and if I ever happen to get another PPC Mac, I'd love to use it for virutalization.



  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,765 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2014 1:53 PM (in response to stevena1)

    Hello Steven,


    Virtual PC 7 was the last & best for PPC Macs, but terribly slow, & can only run as high as XP... SP2 as I recall.


  • Heikki Lindholm Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2014 9:54 PM (in response to stevena1)

    It all depends on what do you want to use virtualization for, and how do you understand the term. For example, I see VirtualPC more as a full system emulator. Other similar emulators that work on OS X are Bochs and QEMU, which appartently are even slower at running Windows. Emulation will be quite slow even in the best case. The technology that Rosetta used was in my understanding pretty fast and would be available in the x86 to PowerPC flavour as well.


    Then there's virtualization software that virtualizes the hardware enough (~hypervisors) to let operating systems for the host (PowerPC) architecture to share the hardware resources. This type of virtualization won't run the Intel version of Windows on a PowerPC Mac, but the performance should be comparable to what is seen in the common x86 virtualization products. The OS X port of Mac-on-Linux virtualization sotftware is one example of these. Under Linux, the KVM virtual machine should work on some PowerPC CPUs, like the G5, so you could run multiple instances of OS X and Linux at the same time.

  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (29,580 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 15, 2014 7:40 AM (in response to stevena1)



    Be aware that the VirtualPC solution mentioned is not of the table any more if you want to buy new. Microsoft bought VirtualPC that let you run windows on Macs, and promptly discontinued it, keeping only the name and sticking it on a Windows-only product.


    If you get VirtualPC, you will have to shop for a very old version, one whose box you can see says it is for Macs.


    There was a competitor to VirtuaPC that is also gone. Before I retired, I used SoftWindows95 from Insignia Solutions for a long time but it was also slow. However, it was at work and at a time when RAM was dreadfully expensive. I ran it on a Beige G3 with OS 8.6 and only 192MB RAM. SW95 was very RAM-sensitive---adding RAM even in modest amounts made a noticeable difference in performance. Our IT guys were reluctant to spend money on Mac hardware of any kind so I was stuck with a low-RAM condition. Would have been nice to see the effect of maxing the old Beige Beast to its full 756MB limit.

  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (62,035 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2014 6:53 AM (in response to stevena1)

    This user tip discusses all the known solutions that I've come across:



    There may be others on

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,550 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 24, 2014 10:34 AM (in response to stevena1)

    stevena1 wrote:


    I do see used computer stores in my area that sell the G5 Macs (at a prenium though!) and if I ever happen to get another PPC Mac, I'd love to use it for virutalization.

    I am still not clear what you seek to achieve here: is it purchasing a used PPC Mac in order to run Windows?


    If that is your goal, then it only makes sense if you value your time less than the cost of other, faster alternatives.


    I used VirtualPC v6 on my iMac G4 and although it had functionality, it was an extremely slow alternative:




    The analogy to Rosetta is misplaced.  Rosetta was extremely efficient.


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.