VMWare Fusion Now Allows Virtualization of Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard [Updated]

With the release of OS X Lion, Apple updated their licensing agreement to allow the virtualization of Mac OS X under programs such as VMWare Fusion and Parallels. This functionality allows you to deploy different sandboxed installations of OS X on a single machine. The change, however, appeared to only apply to OS X Lion and not to previous non-server versions of Mac OS X such as Leopard and Snow Leopard.

So, when the Lion optimized version of VMWare Fusion was released, it allowed users to run additional virtualized copies of OS X Lion, but continued to prohibit running older versions of Mac OS X under Lion.

Those rules seem to have changed a bit in the latest version of VMWare 4.1 which was released on Friday. As first noted by Macworld, VMWare's Fusion no longer strictly prohibits the virtualization of client editions of Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard.

But one big change with this update isn’t documented anywhere: The software has been modified so that it will run the non-server versions of Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6) and Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5). Previously, VMware Fusion supported virtual Macs running Lion, Lion Server, Snow Leopard Server, and Leopard Server.

The change in support, however, is a bit subtle. Instead of prohibiting the use of non-server Snow Leopard and Leopard, VMWare prompts the user to verify that they are licensed to run such copies:

vmlicense
Macworld's Jason Snell confirmed that simply agreeing allowed him to to install and run non-server Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Leopard under Lion. Now, whether end users actually have such a license is less certain. When questioned by Macworld, Apple simply reiterated that virtualization is allowed for Mac OS X Lion, Snow Leopard Server and Leopard Server.

The main advantage for end users of such a configuration is the ability to run older PowerPC-based applications on demand. Apple removed Rosetta PowerPC emulation support in Mac OS X Lion, stranding some users who depend on legacy PowerPC applications. By running Snow Leopard in a virtual machine under OS X Lion, those users could continue to run their PowerPC applications on occasion while otherwise using OS X Lion.

Update: VMware has noted that the Snow Leopard and Leopard client virtualization was made possible by an omission of a server edition check from the new Fusion 4.1 software. WMware will be releasing an update to address the issue.

Top Rated Comments

lewis82 Avatar
120 months ago

Let's see if I can put a virtual machine within another virtual machine now.




You probably could, but the performance would be awful ;)
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jav6454 Avatar
120 months ago
Let's see if I can put a virtual machine within another virtual machine now.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coder12 Avatar
120 months ago
Haha kids! Rosetta support is mine once again!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wapa18 Avatar
120 months ago

Let's see if I can put a virtual machine within another virtual machine now.


Mac-ception.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
phpmaven Avatar
120 months ago

So does this mean I can finally upgrade to Lion and just run my Adobe Creative Suite apps in Snow Leopard virtualized?

Incompatibility with Adobe apps is the only thing keeping me from upgrading to Lion right now.


What incompatibility? CS5 is running just fine for me in Lion.

----------

This is definitely a concern. Apples shortsighted ultimate greed may quash this excellent new development. Yet again with Cook at the helm perhaps cooler heads with less fear will prevail. Jobs was terribly insecure, Cook as I understand it is not. Also as one who understands the benefits better, he may leave it stand as it is.

I'm forced to take a wait and see approach based on Apples very unpredictable moves in this early phase of Cooks rein. It's hard to tell what's coming directly from Cook, vs what remnants of Jobs "plans" he's still forced to carry out.

Time will tell.


Man, I sure wish there was a "super" vote down button so that I could vote this down to -1000 in one go. This is one of the inane comments I read in a long time.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
newagemac Avatar
120 months ago
So does this mean I can finally upgrade to Lion and just run my Adobe Creative Suite apps in Snow Leopard virtualized?

Incompatibility with Adobe apps is the only thing keeping me from upgrading to Lion right now.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 44 Feature

Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

Saturday January 23, 2021 6:00 am PST by
We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned. This week also saw rumors about the...
magsafecasedangle

Apple Elaborates on Potential for iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories to Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices

Saturday January 23, 2021 2:42 pm PST by
Since the launch of iPhone 12 models in October, Apple has acknowledged that the devices may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, but the company has now shared additional information. Apple added the following paragraph to a related support document today:Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Bloomberg: Next MacBook Pro to Feature SD Card Reader

Friday January 22, 2021 7:50 am PST by
Last week, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlined his expectations for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, including the return of the MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, and the return of more ports built into the notebooks for expanded connectivity. A concept of a modern MacBook Pro with an SD card reader Kuo did not...
airpods galaxy buds comparison

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs. Apple AirPods Pro

Friday January 22, 2021 2:34 pm PST by
Samsung in January unveiled new flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones and alongside the new phones, introduced the $200 Galaxy Buds Pro, which are priced at $199 and offer Active Noise Cancellation. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. These new Galaxy Buds Pro are clearly designed to compete with Apple's AirPods Pro, so we thought we'd compare the two sets of earbuds in our...
maxresdefault

Microsoft Touts Surface Pro 7 as 'The Better Choice' Over MacBook Pro in New Ad

Saturday January 23, 2021 11:02 am PST by
Microsoft yesterday shared a new ad on YouTube titled "Microsoft Surface Pro 7: The Better Choice," in which the company compares its tablet computer to Apple's 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro, as spotted by MSPoweruser. The ad highlights the Surface Pro 7's touchscreen and included stylus as opposed to only a "little bar" (the Touch Bar) on the MacBook Pro. Other advantages of the Surface Pro 7...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...