I have a MacBook Pro and have been single-booting Linux on it for some time. I now need to do some iOS development for work, so I need access to OS X in some form.

I could dual-boot or virtualize Linux on OS X, but I'd really much rather keep Linux as my main OS and not have to reboot to start doing iOS work.

I've read that Lion's license explicitly allows virtualizing on Apple hardware.

Does that permission extend to virtualizing within Linux?

If yes, how would I go about setting that up?

If it matters, my laptop shipped with a physical copy of OS X Snow Leopard. I will not do anything that violates the Apple EULA so please do not suggest anything just because I might be able to get away with it.

  • I had this very same question, except for Windows as the underlying OS. Boo that the answer is the same. Upvote for the question. – Ian Nov 1 '12 at 7:00

Unfortunately you cannot virtualize OS X Lion under any other OS except OS X Lion. It's not enough that it's running on Apple hardware.

The OS X Lion EULA says:

Section 2, Sub-Section B:

(iii) to install, use and run up to two (2) 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.

Bolding is mine and it highlights the relevant passage that prevents you from virtualizing OS X on Apple hardware where the host OS is not also OS X.

  • 1
    So if you were running Linux in a VM in OS X, you could run OS X in a VM in there, as the machine would be already running OS X. – Cajunluke Mar 29 '12 at 0:54
  • @CajunLuke except I don't think you can run a hypervisor within a hypervisor without ripping a hole in the space-time continuum. – Ian C. Mar 29 '12 at 0:56
  • It needn't be a hypervisor-based VM. Binary translation would work just fine, if incredibly slowly. Also, I didn't say anything about it being a good idea. – Cajunluke Mar 29 '12 at 1:10
  • If you bought an additional license of Lion could you do it? – Ian Nov 1 '12 at 7:03

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