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My company develops commercial Mac software. Our flagship product runs on OS X 10.6.8+. We want to improve our software quality with better and more comprehensive testing.

What hardware and OS's should we supply our tester with? My thought so far is either a Mac Mini or an iMac with an SSD, lots of RAM, and either Parallels or VMWare so that he can run OS X 10.6.8, OS X 10.7, OS X 10.8, OS X 10.9, and OS X 10.10 in virtual machines.

Is this feasible? Recommended? I'd love to hear your feedback.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I use VMWare Fusion Professional for software testing. Virtual machines make regression testing and replay of problems wonderfully easy.

I run a copy of VMWare Fusion on my older Mac Pro and it performs well. The professional edition allows for linked virtual machines – linked machines can share common content to save on disk space. Machines can quickly require ~20GB if no content is shared.

Snow Leopard Server

Be aware that Mac OS X 10.6 Server is required for a virtual machine. The standard client edition is not permitted to run within a virtual environment.

OS X 10.7 and later can all be legally run within a virtual environment, so long as the underlying hardware is an Apple computer.

Maximise Resources

You are right to opt for as many resources as possible for your Mac. Running virtual machines can push your Mac. Try not to require needing multiple virtual machines running at once.

Graphical Limits

Graphical applications or those needing OpenGL support are not yet well supported by either VMWare or Parallels. OS X copes but falls back to software rendering; this may not best match your customers' environment.

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re Graphical if you need heavy graphical use a Mac Mini is limited in power –  Mark Jul 5 at 14:22
    
Thanks for the detailed answer. –  Steve McLeod Jul 5 at 18:04
1  
Can you elaborate as to how you get hold of a valid DMG or ISO of 10.7 and 10.8 that VMWare is able to use on a machine running 10.9? –  Steve McLeod Jul 6 at 10:34
    
Older editions of Mac OS X are normally available as an Apple Developer; see stackoverflow.com/questions/3629523/… –  Graham Miln Jul 6 at 11:04
    
@GrahamMiln: Where exactly can I download OS X 10.7 and 10.8 images for installation in VMWare Fusion? I sifted through developer.apple.com/downloads but all I could find were updates. They seem to have removed those version from the app store as well. –  Alexander Rechsteiner Jul 11 at 9:29

It is possible to run mutliple Virtual Machines on a Mac - i7 Macs with geq 16GB of RAM should be okey. If your Application does not need to much resources.

I think there are better Solutions - for Example a Beta Version ... I don't know what Application you would like to test, and how large the usernumber is.

Also interesting is: you can run on a VMware a Macintosh System - so if there is a Virtalization Server or sth like that already in your Company - try to start there a virtual instance ;)

Edit_2: You can run on Non Apple Hardware a virtual MacOS but if you are in the US you will violate the EULA - here is the Point. For Example in Germany there is no DMCA clause and also the EULA not valid in this form.

Sources: Ask-Different - Chip.de - lowendmac - Chip.de

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OSX can only be legally run in a VM running on Apple hardware - so a Virtualization server won't help As for a beta you need to test before you release outside your company –  Mark Jul 5 at 14:23
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An open beta is just one part of a good QA strategy. It shouldn't replace comprehensive in-house testing. –  Steve McLeod Jul 5 at 18:02
    
of course not - but the question wasn't filled with the detail of what kind of BETA Testing and mentioned only other Idea –  bMalum Jul 5 at 18:05

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