I'm using a 2017 i5 Macbook Pro with just 128GB of storage and need to run Revit, which is Windows only. I know there are many different methods for running Windows programs on Mac, but with very limited storage and the processing used by Revit, I'm trying to determine the smallest Windows environment with the least overhead. My preference would be for something that can run without a reboot or logoff (though I'm aware this will sacrifice some performance).

What is the smallest and/or fastest way to run Windows programs on MacOS?

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    On a sided note to Allan's answer, not all Windows programs work well with Wine and some Windows programs will not work with virtualization software as they are coded to prevent running in such environments. Boot Camp would then be required for such programs. I do not have Revit so I can't say if the first two options will be problematic. Just wanted to give you a heads up. – user3439894 Apr 29 at 14:44

In order of “size” your options are as follows:

Wine is a “compatability layer” that allows you to run Windows apps on a POSIX compliant operating system (macOS, BSD, Linux, etc). The Wine acronym actually stood for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”. In terms of size, there’s nothing smaller since you’re not installing a full Windows install - there’s no Windows environment - just the application.

Virtualization. This is the next level up where you have a full blown operating system. Virtualization allows you to customize the machine itself and make it as small as possible (i.e. the minimum system requirements). Some applications don’t function well in Wine so this is the next best thing. Most type 2 hypervisors are going to be roughly the same in “size” however, I am looking into xhyve which is a very lightweight hypervisor based on FreeBSD’s bhyve hypervisor.

Boot Camp is going to be the largest in terms of size because it’s quite literally a full Widows installation on “bare metal”

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    Both wine and the Windows program have to be 64-bit in order to run on Catalina. Any 32-bit Windows programs will not run on 64-bit Catalina, as wine32 will refuse to run – Matthew Barclay Apr 29 at 15:35
  • Revit uses the .net 4.8 or later framework. Does wine work with that? – Octavian Apr 29 at 15:44
  • @MatthewBarclay: Wine doesn't run on Catalina according to their website. – Seamus Apr 29 at 17:38

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