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I'm a developer and I'm working in a company where i will have to develop cross-platform desktop apps (with electron), mobile apps (with Cordova) and even extensions, including Safari. So it goes without saying that I need all three platforms.

I currently have really powerful laptop (so virtualization is not a problem) where I have Windows and Linux (as dual-boot & vagrant VirtualBox).

I have MacOS and iPhones at work, but i would like to install MacOS in a VirtualBox, so i can work from home too (that I do a lot), since I don't have any apple products at home (and I can't take any from work).

The problem is not MacOS itself as I have already installed Hackintosh in the past.

My question is, is it, somehow, legal to install MacOs or Hackintosh on my laptop, so I can use it in commercial environment (work), as we get legal checks quite often. (Buying new licence is not a problem, or I can use one of the MacOs at my work - I don't know how this works with Apple)

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  • 1
    Ask Apple - but you already know the answer, don't you? Apr 8 '17 at 21:07
  • @MartinSchröder actually DONT ask apple - they will say no, however depending on jurisdiction, they may not be right - if you walk into a store and purchase the software, the EULA may or may not be enforceable (at least in some/most jurisdictions you can't impose terms after the sale, and it could be argued they are doing that).
    – davidgo
    Apr 10 '17 at 4:40
  • In most jurisdictions the sale hasn't happened legally until you agree with the EULA, so you have a right to a refund. Of course you then don't have a right to use the software. But nowadays you cannot buy MacOS without buying a Macintosh computer, so this all only applies if you buy a Mac, it breaks, and either it is out of warranty or you decide not to fix it.
    – gnasher729
    Apr 28 at 12:28
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The Apple macOS EULA is here

Basically the license says you can only run macOS VMs on Apple hardware that is running macos.

The part on virtual machines includes 1 iii)

(iii) to install, use and run up to two (2) additional copies or instances of the Apple Software within virtual operating system environments on each Mac Computer you own or control that is already running the Apple Software, for purposes of: (a) software development; (b) testing during software development; (c) using macOS Server; or (d) personal, non-commercial use.

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  • So, basically, i can run virtualbox with MacOS, but ONLY on another mac... Apr 9 '17 at 8:22
  • Hm. Didn't want to create a new question for this but does EULA carry other to the source code? I.e. if somebody takes macOS code, maybe modifies it and compiles it can he then run it on non-apple devices legally?
    – Dan M.
    Mar 9 '18 at 3:20
  • That us a different question and what do you mean by macros code as much of it us not available so how did you get it?
    – mmmmmm
    Mar 9 '18 at 11:10
  • @Mark sorry. I didn't investigate further. I just saw some announcement regarding the release of source code for macOS. Unfortunately it's only the kernel. So you can't build complete macOS from source currently.
    – Dan M.
    Mar 9 '18 at 15:33
  • That published kernel source code has various open source licenses which are included in the source code.
    – mmmmmm
    Mar 9 '18 at 17:11
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Pretty sure they don't sell licences to install on non-mac pcs/laptops.

The fact that mac os has runtimes that try to prevent itself being installed on non mac devices is a strong indicator of this.

To be sure, check the terms of the license for the mac os

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In addition to the other answers, MacOS reportedly checks for the presence of some chip containing a 64 bit code, which is then used to decode some software that is part of the operating system. This chip is easily simulated by virtualisation software, but that would be a DMCA violation - you can be sure that no virtualisation software that you can buy will allow this out of the box.

A few years ago, a company trying to sell PCs with MacOS installed was convicted to pay $30,000 for copyright infringement, and $2,500 per computer that they sold for DMCA violation. (Since they didn't manage to make any money from their scheme, neither Apple nor the company's lawyers ever received any payment).

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