7 Replies Latest reply: Jan 24, 2014 10:34 AM by MlchaelLAX
stevena1 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

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.



  • 1. Re: VM software for PPC Macs
    stevena1 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    I realized someone must had put this into another discussion thread, my question is not just the Power Mac, but any Vintage Mac that can run OS X and is based on the PPC platform (iMacs, MacMini, Xserve, etc.)

  • 2. Re: VM software for PPC Macs
    BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (116,465 points)

    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.


  • 3. Re: VM software for PPC Macs
    Heikki Lindholm Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)

    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.

  • 4. Re: VM software for PPC Macs
    Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (30,410 points)



    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.

  • 5. Re: VM software for PPC Macs
    a brody Level 9 Level 9 (63,250 points)

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




    There may be others on http://www.macwindows.com/

  • 6. Re: VM software for PPC Macs
    stevena1 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    I understand the term, and familiar with the "emulation" over "virtualization". since many OSes run on Intel, it would have to "emulate" to begin with. I think it would be the same as Rosetta "emulating" PPC apps on Intel Macs.

  • 7. Re: VM software for PPC Macs
    MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,745 points)

    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.