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”:Wikipedia: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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