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Apple relaxes OS X virtualisation rules

Mac OS X Lion

By Barry Collins

Posted on 5 Jul 2011 at 09:29

Apple is allowing users to run a virtual version of OS X on their Mac for the first time.

The EULA for the newly released OS X Lion includes a clause specifically allowing users to install OS X in a virtual machine - but only on Macs where the operating system is already installed.

The precise terms allow users "to install, use and run up to two additional copies or instances of the Apple Software within virtual operating system environments on each Mac Computer you own or control that is already running the Apple Software".

Until now, only users of OS X Server have been allowed to run virtual copies of the operating system.

The new terms bolster what was already an aggressively priced upgrade. Lion costs only £20.99 from the Mac App Store and can be installed on every Mac in the home for that one-off price. Lion users do, however, need to have Snow Leopard installed before they can perform the upgrade.

You can read our first look at OS X Lion here.

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User comments

That's good of them

Steve Jobs must be getting soft in his old age.

Allowing people to run virtual copies of software they've bought on machines they own, what a generous man.

Perhaps he's already made sufficient billions this year?

By Lacrobat on 5 Jul 2011


I heard it may actually be more to do with Servers since Lion is the only version they're selling (no server edition).

Plus they make so much from the hardware and app stores they can afford to do stuff like sell SL for £20.99.

Shame MS don't allow VMs of their OS.

By tech3475 on 5 Jul 2011

So they now "allow" the stable door to be unbolted?

Too late Steve, the horse left some time ago.

Google VMWARE and OSX and you'll find PC's have been running virtual Macs for some time.

By cheysuli on 5 Jul 2011


"Google VMWARE and OSX and you'll find PC's have been running virtual Macs for some time."

My understanding is that you CANNOT LEGALLY run OSX under Windows as a virtual instance using VMWARE or any other virtualisation product.

I would love to be proved wrong! So if someone knows better please educate me!

By rjp2000 on 5 Jul 2011

I do have to wonder sometimes..

Does PCPro really claim to provide truly balanced reporting when it comes to Apple?

By ihsan on 5 Jul 2011

No you CANNOT LEGALLY run OSX under Windows as a virtual instance using VMWARE or any other virtualisation product but we all do or have at least tried

By TimoGunt on 5 Jul 2011

OS X cannot be legally run in a VM atm, though it is possible on both 'PC' (Windows/Linix/etc.), or on an Intel Mac.

It's just like it isn't legal to take that Windows DVD, install it onto iron with the serial, then use the same DVD and serial to install Windows into a VM on the same or different machine.
Possible, but not legal.

What you can do with Windows is buy a second license and install it into a VM. Until now you were unable to do this with OS X as the license prohibited it.

@tech3475, the server edition will be in the form of an extra (paid-for) package which turns your regular installation of Lion into the Server Edition.

By forquare1 on 5 Jul 2011

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