I’ve been testing VirtualBox 3.2.0-beta1 out on my Mac mini.  The capabilities of this new beta are quite helpful for system developers and coders in addition to users.  Some of my favourite features include:

  • Real, working APIC 1.4 support.
  • Better SMP support.
  • EFI works much better, but still has really odd bugs.
  • More guests support 2D accel.

Snowflake works well and Windows 7 works better.

But my most favourite new feature, by far, is the ability to install and run Mac OS X.  Apparently both 10.5 and 10.6 work, but my 10.5 DVD is for Mac minis only, so I got 10.6 working.  On a real Mac, it takes nothing but time.  It took over 2 hours to install.  However, it does work, and it works quite well.  Most effects are smooth, even without a native framebuffer kext.  It did take a tiny hack though: I had to boot to the EFI shell and run:

mount fs0:
fs0:\System\Library\CoreServices\boot.efi rd=disk0

Then it Just Worked™. On a real Mac, you don’t need any additional kexts, or anything. It boots natively. Only thing that is missing is the Apple boot logo; it always boots in verbose, again due to no native framebuffer kext.

If you’re unlucky enough to have a genuine not-Apple computer and still want to run Mac OS X in VirtualBox, I highly recommend this helpful guide (which I have even commented on).  It has worked for a few people I know, and I hope to try it on my Core 2 box tomorrow (er, today, it just turned midnight).  I’ll certainly report how that works.  But for now, it’s back to kernel hacking for me.

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