Virtual PC

Virtual PC was an Intel emulator originally developed by Connectix (of QuickCam fame), which got acquired by Microsoft and dragged into Mac OS X as a way to run Windows applications (and the whole of Windows itself) inside a PowerPC Mac.

With the Mac moving on to Intel, it has been discontinued but remains one of the best ways to run Intel software on PowerPC architectures – since it not only emulates the hardware and CPU, but also caches emulated code (a very nice trick that QEMU doesn’t do).

On Windows, it has since evolved (or rather, mutated, since the core changed from an emulator into a virtualizer) into a series of different products.

Notes:

  • The Virtual PC 7.0.2 update restores “virtual switch networking” (i.e., layer 2 access by virtual machines) in Mac OS X versions up to (and including) 10.4.8 .
  • CentOS 4.4 Server will not run inside it – Q , however, has absolutely no trouble.
  • Installing a slipstreamed version of XP with SP2 absolutely requires you to disable automatic installation of Virtual PC Additions – otherwise, it will hang on “Installing Devices”.
  • When running under Leopard, you will see VirtualPCNetworking1040.kext pop up on the dock. To hide it add a key of LSUIElement with value 1 to its Info.plist file.

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