Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mind the update

Apple released Mac OS X Server 10.5.6 today.

If you are using VMware Fusion 2.0 or 2.0.1, VMware recommends that you do not update your existing Mac OS X Server 10.5.x virtual machines to version 10.5.6 at this point. For details, hit this link.

The next maintenance release of VMware Fusion will take care of this issue.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Have a safe browse!

At the Black Hat USA 2008 conference, Alexander Sotirov (full disclosure: Alexander works for VMware, Inc.) presented a novel way to bypass the web browser's security mechanisms in Vista (slides, paper).

While this does not mean Vista's security is game over, it does highlight how important it is to run your browser in a virtual machine to protect yourself against any browser vulnerability.

VMware Fusion 2.0 makes it so easy for you that it is just not worth taking any risk: click on a web link on the host, and the web page automatically opens in a browser in a virtual machine (video, application for web developers).

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Cat Is In The Bag

Well, my precious is out, so now you too can play with True Leopard Server virtualization.

VMware Fusion 2.0 beta 2 supports running Mac OS X 10.5 Server inside a virtual machine on any decent Mac OS X version on the host:
  • Latest Tiger
  • Latest Leopard
  • Even the latest Snow Leopard!
To help you avoid the quirks of this beta, and until we fix them, the Fusion team has created a document that describes how to get the best out of your Mac OS X Server virtual machine.

But VMware Fusion 2.0 beta 2 does not stop there. Here are the videos demonstrating its numerous new features, such as:
  • Multiple snapshots
  • DirectX 9 Shader Model 2 support
  • Keyboard and mouse shortcuts mapping
  • Improved host/guest integration
  • Improved performance
We hope you will enjoy using it as much as we enjoyed making it!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

True Leopard Server virtualization

On the outside, Mac OS X looks beautiful. No wonder a lot of people want to run it.

Mid-August 2005, crackers from the OSx86 Project take a version of Mac OS X already installed on a physical hard drive, copy it into a virtual hard drive, modify it to run in a VMware virtual machine, and distribute it on the Internet, hence allowing unscrupulous individuals to run what they claim is Mac OS X on any PC with VMware software.

In the following days, they refine the process: they take the Apple install DVD for Mac OS X, copy it into an ISO image, modify it to run on any PC, distribute it on the Internet, allowing unscrupulous individuals to run what they claim is Mac OS X on any PC.

But is it really Mac OS X these people are running? Of course not. It is an illegal modification and distribution of Apple's copyrighted work. It is dubbed a hackintosh.

Fast forward to the end of October 2007: Apple releases Mac OS X Server 10.5, and change its licensing terms, allowing it to be run inside a virtual machine, as long as the physical hardware is an Apple-labeled computer.

From that point on, things happen very fast. I have been primarily working on that in the last seven weeks, and it was quite stressing :)

End of December 2007, Alex Graf demonstrates at 24C3 QEMU running Mac OS X. This is true virtualization (it is running the unmodified OS), so this is promising, but quite a few things do not work:

  • You cannot install Mac OS from the Apple factory-sealed DVD.

  • 100% of the CPU is consumed.

  • No networking.

  • No rosetta (i.e. no support for PowerPC-only binaries).

On Jan 9th 2008, Parallels announces that they can run Mac OS X Server in a private beta version of their software. They subsequently demonstrate that capability at Macworld. They do not publicize the extent of their virtual hardware support, but various sources report that, like QEMU, they fail to install Mac OS from the Apple factory-sealed DVD.

On Jan 14th 2008, VMware announces and demonstrate at Macworld that they can, in a Technology Preview version of VMware Fusion:

  • Install Mac OS X Server from the Apple factory-sealed DVD.

  • Run Mac OS X Server with support for most virtual devices: mouse and keyboard, IDE and SCSI hard drives and optical devices, Gigabit ethernet, USB 2.0 devices. Sound is not working at this point, but who needs sound in a server anyway? :)

Virtual Leopard Server Gets Legit

Show floor video: VMWare demos virtualization of Mac OS X Server

Macworld: VMWare Fusion's Virtual Insanity