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Apple to allow Mac OS X Server virtualisation

Apple to allow Mac OS X Server virtualisation

Apple has relaxed the licensing of its server software and will now allow users to run it in virtual machines, a sign that the company may focus more attention on the business market, said one of the companies developing virtualization software for the Mac.

The change in Apple's end-user licensing agreement (EULA) for Mac OS X Server 10.5 Leopard, first noticed by a system engineer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, permits OS X Server to run in a virtual machine (VM) as long as each VM is stocked with a different licenCe and the physical system is Apple-made. The new rules don't apply to the client edition of Apple's operating system, which is still barred from being virtualised.

"You may also install and use other copies of Mac OS X Server Software on the same Apple-labeled computer, provided that you acquire an individual and valid licence from Apple for each of these other copies of Mac OS X Server Software," the new EULA reads (download PDF). "You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-labeled computer, or to enable others to do so."

"This is the first time they've changed their EULA to allow virtualisation," said Ben Rudolph, the director of communications at Parallels, maker of Parallels Desktop for Mac. "We've known for a long time that it was technically feasible to implement OS X in a VM." But Parallels -- like its rival in the Mac virtualisation market, VMware -- was leery of entering the market without a green light from Apple.

Apple sells Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard in single-licence editions that support up to 10 client machines for US $499 and an unlimited number of clients for $999.

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