I have a PowerMac G5 PPC running Tiger and an old, white, Santa Rosa MacBook running Leopard.

If I create cloned disc images of these OS drives, will I be able to run them in VMWare Fusion/Parallels/etc. on a modern Intel Mac?

If I were to create bootable clones of these drives, would these need to be formatted as APM on FireWire drives that would only be accessible from the G5 &/or SR MacBook as opposed to bootable clones formatted as GUID on USB drives accessible from any modern Mac?

Is there any reason I would want to clone the drives via Target Disk Mode, hooked up to an Intel Mac, as opposed to cloning them directly from their own interfaces or from an Intel Mac with access to them via ethernet LAN?

Thank you

2 Answers 2


Mac OS X SLA doesn't allow to run older Mac OS Xs in a VM until Max OS X Server 10.6.8 or Mac OS X 10.7 and later. Additionally there are some technical restrictions.

So none of them will run directly in VMware Fusion, Parallels or VirtualBox.

To get an image of the MacBook3,1 running in one of those three you would have to update it to Snow Leopard Server 10.6.8 or Lion 10.7.x first. The easier and cheaper way is probably to set up a vanilla Lion VM and migrate the content of the MacBook.

The only way to get the PowerMac G5 possibly running I know of is outlined in this guide. You would have to migrate the contents of the PowerMac as well. Probably it's easier to choose the simple way and use the same approach as with the MacBook: vanilla Lion VM and migration.


Virtualization tends to run OSes of the same processor type. So you can run Windows (for Intel CPUs) on Apple's Intel Macs, and Windows for ARM in Parallels on Apple's M1 ARM Macs.

Running code for a different CPU tends to require 'emulation' (simulating the CPU's instructions somehow), or 'translation'. Both require significantly more processing effort than virtualization.

Intel CPUs are themselves now being phased out in favour of Apple Silicon, which runs Intel code in its own translator (Rosetta2).

PPC Macs are between 16 and 26 years old, making them fall into the 'vintage', 'retro' or 'hobbyist' computing categories. Whatever it is, there's probably a better alternative in the contemporary arena.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .