You Can Now Run VirtualBox on Apple Silicon (M1 / M2)

  • 23 October 2022
  • 23 replies
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Mac VirtualBox users will be happy to know that VirtualBox now runs natively on Apple Silicon ARM processors, including the M1 and M2.

VirtualBox is virtualization software that allows you to run other operating systems in containers on your Mac directly from the application, for example you can run Linux or Windows directly within VirtualBox, and without having to use dual-booting or anything else. It does this by virtualizing hardware (that you can adjust to allocate RAM, storage capacity, etc), so the operating system itself doesn’t know that it’s not running on actual hardware.

While technically in beta, anyone can get access to the developer preview beta ARM build of VirtualBox through the VirtualBox website. As usual, VirtualBox is completely free to download and to use.

 

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23 replies

Userlevel 7
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Super news. Have used virtual box for years as a cheap option for windows testing on a Mac. Thanks for posting as I didn’t know it worked on the Apple chips yet.

Userlevel 7
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Never understood the logic of running Windows in virtualisation on a Mac...why not just get a PC if thats required??

Userlevel 7
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Never understood the logic of running Windows in virtualisation on a Mac...why not just get a PC if thats required??

I can understand your thought but I have lots of clients that use one of the windows solutions (boot camp, virtualisation tools) as they simply are a mac only company but need to one a single bespoke windows app.

Also, if you want to buy one computer but want the best of both worlds, they get a Mac and then they can run both platforms natively, whichever they want 

Of course, if windows is all you need then get a pc!

Userlevel 7
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Never understood the logic of running Windows in virtualisation on a Mac...why not just get a PC if thats required??

I use Parallels all the time when I have a Windows only app I need to run. By running the virtual machine, I also get copy and paste between systems as well, which is super convenient when the results of the windows app is needed in a document in the Mac. 
 

And seriously, why do I need a second computer when this works so well. Currently, the Windows 10 and 11 versions of Windows Arm run incredibly fast on my M1Max along side MacOS, and they also run many Intel apps as well. 
 

It seem rather straight forward to me. 

Userlevel 7
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Never understood the logic of running Windows in virtualisation on a Mac...why not just get a PC if thats required??

I use Parallels all the time when I have a Windows only app I need to run. By running the virtual machine, I also get copy and paste between systems as well, which is super convenient when the results of the windows app is needed in a document in the Mac. 
 

And seriously, why do I need a second computer when this works so well. Currently, the Windows 10 and 11 versions of Windows Arm run incredibly fast on my M1Max along side MacOS, and they also run many Intel apps as well. 
 

It seem rather straight forward to me. 

Glad I’m not the only one. It is basically 2 computers in one.
I mainly use Parallels or VMware depending on which one I have a licence for from my company. Don’t really have a favourite, it’s a much of a muchness most of the time.

Userlevel 7
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The logic makes sense from that perspective, but I am yet to find a mac user who can describe a scenario / system they use that can’t done on a PC, by which logic it (in my head, but remember I freely admit I AM biased) means that surely it would be easier to use a PC and if they aren’t familiar (which i am sure they are given they use it in a virtualised environment) and have it all come out of one system as oppposed to running two...remember, im not a mac user, so this is obviously my very one-sided argument 🤣

Userlevel 7
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The logic makes sense from that perspective, but I am yet to find a mac user who can describe a scenario / system they use that can’t done on a PC, by which logic it (in my head, but remember I freely admit I AM biased) means that surely it would be easier to use a PC and if they aren’t familiar (which i am sure they are given they use it in a virtualised environment) and have it all come out of one system as oppposed to running two...remember, im not a mac user, so this is obviously my very one-sided argument 🤣

It’s personal choice I guess. My main angle here is that clients that already have Macs don’t need to worry about having a PC for a certain programme.

Also, many users think having a Mac laptop compared to a PC is like a status symbol so they get Macs and have  a Windows OS solution on it so they can use either.

We have a couple of clients that buy Mac Laptops for ALL users and then have windows setup so the user can choose which OS they prefer to use.

As we’ve both said though, it is personal choice and there actually isn't a definitive answer!

Userlevel 7
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The logic makes sense from that perspective, but I am yet to find a mac user who can describe a scenario / system they use that can’t done on a PC, by which logic it (in my head, but remember I freely admit I AM biased) means that surely it would be easier to use a PC and if they aren’t familiar (which i am sure they are given they use it in a virtualised environment) and have it all come out of one system as oppposed to running two...remember, im not a mac user, so this is obviously my very one-sided argument 🤣

It’s personal choice I guess. My main angle here is that clients that already have Macs don’t need to worry about having a PC for a certain programme.

Also, many users think having a Mac laptop compared to a PC is like a status symbol so they get Macs and have  a Windows OS solution on it so they can use either.

We have a couple of clients that buy Mac Laptops for ALL users and then have windows setup so the user can choose which OS they prefer to use.

As we’ve both said though, it is personal choice and there actually isn't a definitive answer!

There are some good points in there. If they already have Macs then it makes no sense to buy a PC for separate apps so I will concede there. 

I definitely agree that many people get a Mac as a status symbol which is absolutely their right (even if i think they’re nuts for the price point)

I like that you have clients that give their team the choice of OS. 

Userlevel 7
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The logic makes sense from that perspective, but I am yet to find a mac user who can describe a scenario / system they use that can’t done on a PC, by which logic it (in my head, but remember I freely admit I AM biased) means that surely it would be easier to use a PC and if they aren’t familiar (which i am sure they are given they use it in a virtualised environment) and have it all come out of one system as oppposed to running two...remember, im not a mac user, so this is obviously my very one-sided argument 🤣

It’s personal choice I guess. My main angle here is that clients that already have Macs don’t need to worry about having a PC for a certain programme.

Also, many users think having a Mac laptop compared to a PC is like a status symbol so they get Macs and have  a Windows OS solution on it so they can use either.

We have a couple of clients that buy Mac Laptops for ALL users and then have windows setup so the user can choose which OS they prefer to use.

As we’ve both said though, it is personal choice and there actually isn't a definitive answer!

There are some good points in there. If they already have Macs then it makes no sense to buy a PC for separate apps so I will concede there. 

I definitely agree that many people get a Mac as a status symbol which is absolutely their right (even if i think they’re nuts for the price point)

I like that you have clients that give their team the choice of OS. 

Yes. I thought that (giving people the choice of OS) Only a couple of our clients are doing it. It costs though as they need to buy Mac laptops to do it!

Userlevel 7
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The logic makes sense from that perspective, but I am yet to find a mac user who can describe a scenario / system they use that can’t done on a PC, by which logic it (in my head, but remember I freely admit I AM biased) means that surely it would be easier to use a PC and if they aren’t familiar (which i am sure they are given they use it in a virtualised environment) and have it all come out of one system as oppposed to running two...remember, im not a mac user, so this is obviously my very one-sided argument 🤣

Well, I have a Mac as my preferred machine to start, so I do not want to switch to a Windows machine. And I use Apple professional apps like  Final Cut Pro in my work, and do not want to learn a whole new video editor program because I have to switch machines. 

And there are just some things that I cannot do on a Mac because the software is only available on Windows. So with quick click, a Windows machine shows up on my Mac and I run what I need. Oh, did I mention that the file system can be shared as well, so files written by Windows are available to the Mac as well? 

And as discussed before, the Mac is still a more secure platform, and in my experience, easier to use than a Windows machine.  Not sure this answers your question, but as close as I can get. 

Userlevel 7
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The logic makes sense from that perspective, but I am yet to find a mac user who can describe a scenario / system they use that can’t done on a PC, by which logic it (in my head, but remember I freely admit I AM biased) means that surely it would be easier to use a PC and if they aren’t familiar (which i am sure they are given they use it in a virtualised environment) and have it all come out of one system as oppposed to running two...remember, im not a mac user, so this is obviously my very one-sided argument 🤣

It’s personal choice I guess. My main angle here is that clients that already have Macs don’t need to worry about having a PC for a certain programme.

Also, many users think having a Mac laptop compared to a PC is like a status symbol so they get Macs and have  a Windows OS solution on it so they can use either.

We have a couple of clients that buy Mac Laptops for ALL users and then have windows setup so the user can choose which OS they prefer to use.

As we’ve both said though, it is personal choice and there actually isn't a definitive answer!

There are some good points in there. If they already have Macs then it makes no sense to buy a PC for separate apps so I will concede there. 

I definitely agree that many people get a Mac as a status symbol which is absolutely their right (even if i think they’re nuts for the price point)

I like that you have clients that give their team the choice of OS. 

Yes. I thought that (giving people the choice of OS) Only a couple of our clients are doing it. It costs though as they need to buy Mac laptops to do it!

Some good point here by all. But I never thought of my machine as a status symbol though. Apple just makes a damn good computer. And now with the M1 chip, my Parallels computer is faster than most PC  laptops running Intel, so there is that too. 

And my Windows machines at home? They are my older Intel  MacBookPros “boot camped” into Windows machine. This is not an emulation. The Intel Macs could be set up to boot Windows native, so I have my older Macs being my Windows 10 and 11 machines. They work great too. 

Userlevel 6
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Never understood the logic of running Windows in virtualisation on a Mac...why not just get a PC if thats required??

In my opinion, why buy a second computer if you can do it all on one? Many Mac users are graphics users. Those computers used for intense graphics programs are well equipped with higher end graphics cards, more memory and a high end processor. If I had the choice I would want both operating systems in one. 

Userlevel 7
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Glad im not the only one to champion the ‘One Machine to run them all!’

Userlevel 6
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Virtualization brings a lot of advantages. I have not used this on mac before, but have shared the article with out mac guys. 

Userlevel 7
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Virtualization brings a lot of advantages. I have not used this on mac before, but have shared the article with out mac guys. 

Virtualization is a great solution on a Mac. Not just because you need to run an OS, but superb for testing new releases.

Also better than Boot Camp for quick switching to Windows/Linux etc without needing to fully restart the Mac

Userlevel 6
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Virtualization brings a lot of advantages. I have not used this on mac before, but have shared the article with out mac guys. 

Virtualization is a great solution on a Mac. Not just because you need to run an OS, but superb for testing new releases.

Also better than Boot Camp for quick switching to Windows/Linux etc without needing to fully restart the Mac

That is the value of virtualization indeed. 

Userlevel 7
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The logic makes sense from that perspective, but I am yet to find a mac user who can describe a scenario / system they use that can’t done on a PC, by which logic it (in my head, but remember I freely admit I AM biased) means that surely it would be easier to use a PC and if they aren’t familiar (which i am sure they are given they use it in a virtualised environment) and have it all come out of one system as oppposed to running two...remember, im not a mac user, so this is obviously my very one-sided argument 🤣

Well, I have a Mac as my preferred machine to start, so I do not want to switch to a Windows machine. And I use Apple professional apps like  Final Cut Pro in my work, and do not want to learn a whole new video editor program because I have to switch machines. 

And there are just some things that I cannot do on a Mac because the software is only available on Windows. So with quick click, a Windows machine shows up on my Mac and I run what I need. Oh, did I mention that the file system can be shared as well, so files written by Windows are available to the Mac as well? 

And as discussed before, the Mac is still a more secure platform, and in my experience, easier to use than a Windows machine.  Not sure this answers your question, but as close as I can get. 

I understand the logic here completely, your scenario makes sense. It really depends what you’re used to using and your preference. I have a friend working a similar setup to what you have described here and he is always trying to convince me Macs are better. That my or may not be the case but because I am so engrained in Windows (and love it), its simply my preference. 

Userlevel 7
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Also wasn't aware that Mac can share a file system with Windows, that's pretty cool

Userlevel 6
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Also wasn't aware that Mac can share a file system with Windows, that's pretty cool

https://www.parallels.com/pd/windows-on-mac/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw--2aBhD5ARIsALiRlwDE4CFb0yVP-Qc-k6JUg7ix0FXI4K-WfI8NqojqcdI40LvrwRD3yrUaAs5BEALw_wcB am also reading up and labbing a few things to get more acquainted to it. 

Userlevel 7
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The logic makes sense from that perspective, but I am yet to find a mac user who can describe a scenario / system they use that can’t done on a PC, by which logic it (in my head, but remember I freely admit I AM biased) means that surely it would be easier to use a PC and if they aren’t familiar (which i am sure they are given they use it in a virtualised environment) and have it all come out of one system as oppposed to running two...remember, im not a mac user, so this is obviously my very one-sided argument 🤣

Well, I have a Mac as my preferred machine to start, so I do not want to switch to a Windows machine. And I use Apple professional apps like  Final Cut Pro in my work, and do not want to learn a whole new video editor program because I have to switch machines. 

And there are just some things that I cannot do on a Mac because the software is only available on Windows. So with quick click, a Windows machine shows up on my Mac and I run what I need. Oh, did I mention that the file system can be shared as well, so files written by Windows are available to the Mac as well? 

And as discussed before, the Mac is still a more secure platform, and in my experience, easier to use than a Windows machine.  Not sure this answers your question, but as close as I can get. 

I understand the logic here completely, your scenario makes sense. It really depends what you’re used to using and your preference. I have a friend working a similar setup to what you have described here and he is always trying to convince me Macs are better. That my or may not be the case but because I am so engrained in Windows (and love it), its simply my preference. 

Personal preference definitely. Currently though, you cannot really run macOS properly or legally on non-Apple hardware so if you want Mac and windows OS then seems to be the winner.

I used to be a Technical Trainer for Apple and I used to present the slide deck from my Mac (in the macOS system) but have a virtual machine running Windows server with AD. I coould run an entire Active Directory integration course teaching Techs how to support Mac clients on a Windows Domain entirely through my ONE MacBook Pro. Worked flawlessly!

Userlevel 7
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Also wasn't aware that Mac can share a file system with Windows, that's pretty cool

One of the best features is being able to drag and drop files from your Mac Finder to Windows Explorer. Dragging a file from one OS to another! Love it.

Userlevel 7
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Also wasn't aware that Mac can share a file system with Windows, that's pretty cool

One of the best features is being able to drag and drop files from your Mac Finder to Windows Explorer. Dragging a file from one OS to another! Love it.

This is pretty awesome, its been a while since I looked at a Mac properly, but I always assumed the two were like chalk and cheese and this sort of thing was simply not possible. Great feature! 

Userlevel 7
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Also wasn't aware that Mac can share a file system with Windows, that's pretty cool

One of the best features is being able to drag and drop files from your Mac Finder to Windows Explorer. Dragging a file from one OS to another! Love it.

This is pretty awesome, its been a while since I looked at a Mac properly, but I always assumed the two were like chalk and cheese and this sort of thing was simply not possible. Great feature! 

I was working for Apple at the time virtualisation came out. This feature blew us all away. I was an Apple trainer at the time, you should have seen all the ‘microsoft lovers’ in the classroom when I demoed it!

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