Lima: A nice way to run Linux VMs on Mac

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  • lima

    Linux virtual machines, with a focus on running containers

  • It is an option in Lima, I’m not sure if they handle setting up Rosetta yet though:

    https://github.com/lima-vm/lima/blob/master/docs/vmtype.md

  • colima

    Container runtimes on macOS (and Linux) with minimal setup

  • One more caveat: mounts don't work: https://github.com/abiosoft/colima/issues/503

    One of our tools runs in Docker just to ensure that it gets the right version of its dependencies, and that bug is a pretty huge bug for us, for that tool, as it basically broke things.

    Still, we use colima; it is a decent workaround for the "Docker on macOS" problem otherwise.

  • InfluxDB

    Power Real-Time Data Analytics at Scale. Get real-time insights from all types of time series data with InfluxDB. Ingest, query, and analyze billions of data points in real-time with unbounded cardinality.

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  • UTM

    Virtual machines for iOS and macOS

  • orbstack

    Fast, light, simple Docker containers & Linux machines for macOS

  • Totally fair! There are definitely still limitations.

    Support for "isolated" machines that don't have bind mounts is planned (https://github.com/orbstack/orbstack/issues/169). This is actually mostly implemented internally, but I'm not exposing it until a few remaining security gaps are plugged or it would just give a false sense of security.

    If you meant binding servers to specific interface IPs, it might be possible one day but it's very challenging to implement as all of the host's IPs need to be assigned to an interface in the guest and managed accordingly. If you meant connecting machines directly to your LAN, it'll be supported eventually but it's low priority due to unavoidable compatibility issues. https://github.com/orbstack/orbstack/issues/342

  • OSX-KVM

    Run macOS on QEMU/KVM. With OpenCore + Monterey + Ventura + Sonoma support now! Only commercial (paid) support is available now to avoid spammy issues. No Mac system is required.

  • You can use qemu/libvirt/kvm on any Linux host to run macOS pretty easily these days[1]. I run Ventura on unraid with nvidea gpu passthrough and it’s been fairly painless.

    You can also run macOS in docker, but it’s ultimately running through qemu/kvm as well[2]

    1. https://github.com/kholia/OSX-KVM

    2. https://github.com/sickcodes/Docker-OSX

  • multipass

    Multipass orchestrates virtual Ubuntu instances

  • How does it compare to https://multipass.run/?

  • ish

    Linux shell for iOS

  • SaaSHub

    SaaSHub - Software Alternatives and Reviews. SaaSHub helps you find the best software and product alternatives

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  • macpine

    Lightweight Linux VMs on MacOS

  • I recommend having a look at [1] which allows you to run lightweight alpine VMs on MacOS with easy port forwarding, file sharing, and you can easily run docker inside of it and use docker context to target it.

    [1] https://github.com/beringresearch/macpine

  • auto-unlocker

    Unlocker for VMWare macOS

  • You can use VMware Workstation Player and an unlocker like Auto-Unlocker (https://github.com/paolo-projects/auto-unlocker) to enable Mac OS as a guest. It works, but it's very slow because the Mac guest runs without GPU acceleration.

  • Docker-OSX

    Run macOS VM in a Docker! Run near native OSX-KVM in Docker! X11 Forwarding! CI/CD for OS X Security Research! Docker mac Containers.

  • You can use qemu/libvirt/kvm on any Linux host to run macOS pretty easily these days[1]. I run Ventura on unraid with nvidea gpu passthrough and it’s been fairly painless.

    You can also run macOS in docker, but it’s ultimately running through qemu/kvm as well[2]

    1. https://github.com/kholia/OSX-KVM

    2. https://github.com/sickcodes/Docker-OSX

  • vftool

    A simple macOS Virtualisation.framework wrapper

  • As an alternative, here's a really minimalist command-line wrapper to run VMs in the macOS Virtualization.framework: https://github.com/evansm7/vftool

  • nixos-apple-silicon

    Resources to install NixOS bare metal on Apple Silicon Macs

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a more popular project.

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