Mac OS X virtualization for developers

March 21, 2008

Cocoa developer Craig Hockenberry wants you to file a bug report on the OS X license restrictions that prevent desktop virtualization:

How can you develop new products for Leopard when you need to have Tiger installed for supporting your legacy applications? How easy is it to test a new feature on Mac OS X 10.4.11 when you’re running 10.5? How quickly can you reproduce a bug on 10.4.10 if you’re running 10.4.11? Can you run Xcode versions 3.0 and 3.1 at the same time from /Developer? We all know the way to get Apple’s attention regarding our issues is to submit bugs. So now is the time to vote for virtualization. If you agree with the following, please copy and paste this bug report and submit it so that it becomes a duplicate of Bug ID# 5812840.

I agree with everything Craig is saying, and I can’t wait to see OS X virtualization available. As a developer, the benefits to testing software without switching computers or rebooting to a different operating system are enormous. The only downside is that virtualization will never allow me to emulate PPC processors along with Intel. Until I decide to cut support for PPC entirely (it will probably be a few years before I even consider this), I’m going to have to keep my old PowerBook on a side table for additional testing.

Marc Charbonneau is a mobile software engineer in Portland, OR. Want to reply to this article? Get in touch on Twitter @mbcharbonneau.