Note: This is hypothetical, I would never break macOS's terms of service. Please don't pull a Microsoft on me.
So there is a goal I have had for a while now, as silly as it seems. I wanted to have a VM of Windows and Mac running concurrently on the two screens to either side of my main screen, naturally running Linux. For whatever reason, I had been putting off the Mac VM assuming it was hard since there are guides about it and none say the magic L word. However, I have lately been using a Windows 10 VM because Adobe refuses to make a Linux compatible Photoshop (not using some broke ass old Photoshop, while I have become used to GIMP/Inkspace/Pencilsheep for my artistic endeavors it still has become a necessary evil). As any former Windows user can attest, that OS is damn annoying with the cutesy sounds and pop up irritations by Cortana (who has soiled any fond memory of the Halo franchise I once had, how Master Chief didn't end himself by the end of game one with her in his ear is a testament to it being fiction). So after the third update of the ISO I had just downloaded from the Insiders* site, I decided to look up and see exactly what would be required to install macOS on VM so I could use it for Photoshop, maybe try out sketch and provision a hard drive for a MacBook Pro I have laying around (client gave me it).
To my surprise, once you source the ISO, the rest was EXTREMELY easy. Without making this a full tutorial, I started the box, turned it off and adjusted the settings per the macOS required settings to start(you are smart enough to deduce the process or you can follow the Windows guides with success). Then I needed to run a script (I will include below) that basically tricks the iso installer into thinking the VM is an iMac. The only line I needed to change was the cd command which used that caddywhompus style of Windows drive basic filesystems (you know C:\i\am\junk) to the Unix style and pointed at the VirtualBox file. Then I booted the box up and to my surprise it installed no problem. The VBox shell commands are the same in Windows as in Linux and while I ran them one at a time unsure if they would work, there is no reason you couldn't run it as a script (remember to change the box name to what your box name is). Then I updated from Sierra to Mojave and have been playing with it ever since.
My impressions of the macOS (at least as a VM) it is more stable than Windows, sure that's true of everything but the Hindenburg though. Now that I have logged enough time into Unix, its pretty UI even is something that my custom icon packs and wall paper themes can easily top if I bother to configure them as such. Its somewhat like MX17 is to me, bland even if useful. I am excited to have a safari browser to test my web development sites in, a not-Windows VM to use for Photoshop and to be able to confident in my mac abilities if clients aren't trying to throw money away at geniuses too baked to see straight. Is it worth 2 grand for a laptop I couldn't really even work on for fear of breaking it? Not really, its a status symbol for some who seek to show off how they wantonly waste their capital. Now even with the recent price increase, Mac Minis seem worthwhile considering the use case those little buggers have found in enterprise applications and without a battery there is no battery to replace using Apple Branded Solvents or consulting with the Geniuses trying to talk me out of giving them business thus meaning they would need to work.
Just because I need to seem as pure-bred dev as possible here's some of pros and cons of macOS from my short test drive of the OS.
- Intuitive Design - at least by Linux standards, while this may take getting used to for Windows users, it is a similar experience to use Gnome 3 without any reminders of the sperg-master-generals in the GNU project. The same Unix approach to file systems, a useful dock and the Bash shell makes me feel right at home. -Pleasant Appearance - while often described in a joking way as a pretty Linux, I wouldn't go that far. Its about as ugly popOS' theme for Gnome 3 minus the robots everywhere. I've had iPhones, so the novelty of those icons has long since receded for me - Accurate Timers - this may seem a small point but when it says "9 minutes" before the install is finished, it means 9 (or less) minutes which is a substantial difference from the ambiguous 92% for an hour our dear friends in Redmond tease us with during the infamous Windows update process - Download speeds and connections are faster than dial up - sorry but Windows Update seems to have some issues connecting with its repositories and Mac proves the point its just them, not my internet, not that Linux has magic speed package delivery elves or whatever excuse they give for the broken mess on Windows Insider - Doesn't Decide to Boot Itself Off While I am working - Because of the above and it being slightly less needy in the update department, macOS is a safer VM for projects because it isn't going to decide "Now I reboot" nor have some option buried behind two menus and 56 screens to adjust that F&&*% my work flow.
- App Store - yes there are other ways to get programs and yes it is better than Windows but what a racket it still is. Sure its not 45% spyware and 20% websites in their own window but is still in the 65% garbage range and charges 0.99 for that garbage. Its one thing if it is FOSS garbage and your ranting will help improve it, but if you charge me for the garbage I don't feel nearly as bad for going full unhinged Linus about how craptastic something is (ask Adobe Support, standing in for a therapist this week) - Deliberate Contrarian Tendencies - Linux puts the close windows buttons on the right and they have better reason to hate Windows than making bad business choices most of the time unlike Jobs (until the iPod, he certainly didn't look like a genius. More like a weirdo who had been given the boot by his own board, spare me the piety). There really is no benefit to the little "screw you windows" moments like that, but techies will be techies - Package Manager - the app store would be like Gnome Software if homebrew was a builtin feature aka easy to ignore. Instead its an extra step (oh no!) which is not a huge deal but the use of homebrew feels a little tacked on for an OS that is so tightly integrated into itself and its hardware. Developers are a niche for Apple and Homebrew is pretty much there for them to spin in, did they hire some of the Windows 10 team or what? - Bloat - while not resource heavy like even Windows stripped down, I don't need all that pinned to the dock or want your mail client Apple. I have the internet and Thunderbird seems the easiest to configure with ZOHO I have tried. Also iTunes and owning my own music, legal or not, is so last decade. I am not using your or Google's streaming either in case I decide to switch around, so don't load the OS with so much BS. Automator could be a free download for those interested from the AppStore as could most of the garbage that comes pre-loaded (facetime and iMessage on the default dock, really?). - No Guest Additions - virtual networking back to the good old days without the helper function because the upwards bent noses at apple don't want you to VM their sacred OS and keep it on its once great now average hardware.
Nonetheless, today my goal was achieved and one the three screens were Windows, Linux and Mac respectively all performing extremely well even with the others under load. If you are in Web Development, even if a Windows Die-Hard (bless your heart) you should test your sites against Safari just to be sure anyway and its a good chance to deepen your virtualization and BSD (cause that's the base, I know your highness) skills while giving you a taste of DevOps and shell/batch scripting.
What have been your experiences with VM macOS? macOS in general? Any tips or tricks for me ;]?
*Pro-Tip: It seems like you get annoyed less about entering a keycode when using the Insiders Builds and Education = Enterprise.