14 Replies Latest reply: May 8, 2014 12:18 AM by summersault
darkshadow21 Level 1 Level 1

Hi guys,


we searched over the internet and here in the forum too but we didn't found an answer about it.


I know that virtualization for mac os x is valid only on mac hw that's because we will take a Mac Pro Server (or other mac server) but we want to know if its possible to create the following architecture:


Mac Pro Server

     hypervisor (VMWare Esxi or other)

          1 or more Mac OS X Lion Server (or Snow Leopard Server) Virtual Machines



The above architecture is called HW virtualization and we didn't find some thing about it on mac system we only find OS Virtualization that is the following:


Mac Pro Server

     Mac OS X

          Virtual Machines (Guest)s


The difference between the 2 architectures is that in OS virtualization VM runs as applications (Application Level) over MAC OS X while in HW virtualization VM runs at OS Level.



So, it's possible to make hw virtualization over a mac system?


Thanks in advance.




Mac Pro, HW Virtualization on Mac Pro Server
  • Király Level 6 Level 6

    You can use Parallels Desktop. It allows you a choice between OS level and application level virtualization in the guest OS. In fact, when running a Mac OS X guest, OS level virtualization (hardware) is the only type supported.

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9

    That is not HW virtualization though like the OP wanted.


    You can't use Esxi from VMware or others.

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9

    As this thread stands, it is an argument over semantics.


    Perhaps if you stated your objective, or your specific complaint, Users could lend some assistance.

  • darkshadow21 Level 1 Level 1

    Ok i will explain you what we want to do.


    We want to create a "little farm" of mac os x machines to develop applications for apple mobile devices such as iPhone and iPad. Now we one to develop 1 app but in the future more apps will be done and multiple developers wil work in this projects so we need not 1 machine but at least 2. That's because we ask you if it's possible to create the architecture above because for windows development we have a blade server with VMware as hypervisor and N virtual machines running Windows Server where developers logged in via RDP through their clients pc to develope applications.


    So in summary we want to recreate the same architecture we have for windows development but for apple development (using hw + sw apple + some hypervisor). It's possible?


    I wish now it's clear what we want to do.



  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9

    So ultimately, what you want to do is run multiple instances of IOS simulator. Mac OS X does not really support Time Sharing.


    But these articles looked promising:




    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1334527/two-iphone-simulators-at-the-same-tim e

  • darkshadow21 Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks for your reply but your post "solve" in part the problem because as i said before we want to recreate the same architecture we have for windows development (blade server + hypervisor [vmware or the like] + some windows server VM) for apple development. Your solution is a single raw (no virtual) server with multiple accounts on which more users can run multiple istances of iOS simulator.


    We want to create a mac farm using a single server (Mac Pro Server) on which we can add some virtual machines (mac os x) that work at os level (eg. vmware Esxi) not application level (vmware player and like).

  • darkshadow21 Level 1 Level 1


  • m4kbassman Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Darkshadow21,


    We try to do same stuff than you, but the road is not simple as the windows one.


    To this day, VMWare team told us that the only supported apple HW to install ESXi is Xserver3,1 (sic!)


    So we try with the blind man on an iMac21"5 core i5, but we success.


    Now I'm trying to start-up insallation of Lion on my virtual mac to install it. I don't know if it hangs on the grey apple logo or if it's really take a long time (I start it on 13:15 this day, it's 14:00 now - still on the grey apple)

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9

    Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization technology will come to Windows 8, marking the first time the software is available in both the server and desktop versions of Windows, Microsoft confirmed today.


    SLAT is a form of hardware virtualization that is included in newer versions of Intel and AMD processors, such as Intel’s Core i3, i5 and i7 processors and AMD’s Barcelona processors. Hyper-V always required some form of hardware virtualization, but this is more restrictive than the current specs.


    http://arstechnica.com/business/2011/09/hyper-v-coming-to-windows-8with-new-hard ware-virtualization-requirement/


    http://www.howtogeek.com/73318/how-to-check-if-your-cpu-supports-second-level-ad dress-translation-slat/



    Second Level Address Translation (SLAT).” This lets the hardware handle multiple translation lookaside buffers, on a one-per-VM basis (which is just what’s needed to sidestep the potential performance bottleneck that could otherwise occur). It looks like Microsoft simply opted to avoid potential performance problems from older hardware that might otherwise experience significant delays on the desktop to bypass potential customer complaints. In light of Armstrong’s admonitions to use the SVGA driver, choose a low-end graphics card, or turn off advanced graphics features, I find this decision “interesting” (in the sense of the Chinese curse) but also eminently understandable and defensible.


    http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/vista-enterprise-desktop/the-real-secr et-behind-slat-and-hyper-v-for-windows-8/


    Windows 8 Client Control Panel Window

    In the Programs window, select the Turn Windows Features On or Off option (Figure 5). 

    In the Windows Features dialog, expand and select the Hyper-V node, and then click OK (Figure 6). 

    After the Hyper-V installation is complete, click Restart Now in the status window (Figure 7).


    My Mac Pro is too old so it lacks support to test this.

  • aaaaron Level 1 Level 1

    i was wondering this as well, but am confused by the replies here.  can apple's os perform hardware virtualization or not?

  • ekghosting.com Level 1 Level 1

    I found this, it might be a fix for what you are talking about.. http://kb.parallels.com/en/6831


    On a PC you can just go into the BIOS and turn on Hardware Virtualization, apparently that is not the case with the OSX family.


    I was looking to see if Citrix Xen Server would work, but I dont think they designed it for OSX, yet.





  • wispa Level 1 Level 1

    As of VMWare ESXi 5.1 you can virtualise up to Mountain Lion Server and they now have the current Mac Pro on their HCL as well so it is now a supported solution rather than a test/hobby one only. It worked in version 5 and we had a test running using mac minis, but no current HW on the HCL at the time.


    There are a number of hosting companies using this model with the old supported hardware (the last xserve) and it works well.


    Parallels have a product 'Parallels Server for Mac' both bare metal and hosted app, Don't touch it with a barge pole, its not been updated in an age and they will not give any answers regarding their roadmap for it. the latest version of osx that can be vitualised in PSFM is Snow Leopard. Ironically there desktop solution has been upgraded to support the latest versions of OSX.


    Citrix does not have proper support for OSX.


    In conclusion if you want to virtualise OSX as a service rather than on the desktop go for VMWare ESXi 5.1

  • Jared Clemence Level 1 Level 1


    You can't use Esxi from VMware or others.

    In my office, we successfully run Hypervisor ESXi on a mid-2012 ApplePro.


    I am still trying to boot the install media to install the OS X system on one of the virtual hosts; however, the ESXi system is running perfectly fine and is running a virtual video conferencing server as I type this.


    That being said, the trouble I am having with the Hypervisor ESXi installation, asside from finding it difficult to install the OS X operating system on a host (which is possible, as noted by several resources, just extremely difficult), is that the Mac Hardware does not allow me to switch the default boot partition to the ESXi system, which means that in the event of power failure, a technician must manually boot the server using the Option button to pull up the list of bootable partitions.


    Our system is attached to a battery backup which outlasts most power failures, so it is not a huge issue for us.

  • summersault Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Jared,


    If you are using ESXi why do you still have a mac partition? if its a server you are not going to be dual booting. There is no reason for ESXi on a Mac Pro not to boot straight in without intervention.


    As for installing OSX if you are running ESXi 5.5 forget virtualising snow leopard it doesnt work anymore, I logged this with VMware and that was there response, it should be coming off the HCL if its still on there. If you need snow leopard support stick with 5,1.


    Installing newer supported systems is a breeze especially as the images are ready to roll now the installers are online only. Install the vcenter server appliance and get the webportal running. ESXi 5.5 has fixed the issues in 5.1 for managing macs, it will make yur life a lot easier. The Desktop Client doesn't support the new features so stick to the web portal.