Xamarin.iOS VS Edition: Using a shared Mac?

NicWiseNicWise NZInsider, University mod

Hi there

One question I've not seen is if you have a team of 5 (for eg), and 5 licenses (hence: LEGAL), but you don't want to shell out for a Mac for each one.

Could you (ie, has anyone at Xamarin or elsewhere tried it):

  • Install Xamarin.iOS.VS on each developers desktop PC as normal
  • Run up 5 MacOS VM's on a big MacPro (or, hell, on my laptop - I got 8 CPU's and 16GB on this bad boy!)
  • Each dev gets a VM to use, and installs the normal Xamarin.iOS package, using a license.

Basically, this saves on the hardware costs. I know (I think?) that 5 people can't share the same single Mac (that'd be cool, but... I get that it'd be a fun one to enforce the licenses for), but would this work?

I might have to spin up a Mac VM and find out, but has anyone done it?


  • NicWiseNicWise NZInsider, University mod

    BTW, this is hypothetical, but someone who was wavering was kind of asking.

  • NatFriedmanNatFriedman USForum Administrator, Xamarin Team Xamurai

    Apple's license doesn't allow it and so it's not a supported Xamarin configuration. We require you to pair VS with a Mac, and the idea is to have a 1:1 mapping of developers to Macs.

  • JonathanPeppersJonathanPeppers USInsider, Beta, University ✭✭

    @nicwise you should play around with Parallels or VMWare running on a Mac.

    I was playing with it today on my Macbook air, and it works pretty well to use Visual Studio in Parallels. I could just hit F5, and then three finger swipe over to the Mac host OS for the simulator.

  • NicWiseNicWise NZInsider, University mod


    On the surface: Yes, it does! You can do it!

    with a little digging: No, you can't. Bother :(

    Clearly, you had your lawyers (or you) read the actual agreement, not rely on the press saying "you can run it in a VM!"

    http://images.apple.com/legal/sla/docs/OSX1082.pdf (via http://www.apple.com/legal/sla/)

    Section 2.B.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 OS X Server; or (d)
    personal, non-commercial use.

    Of course, the next para says:

    The grant set forth in Section 2B(iii) above does not permit you to use the virtualized copies or
    instances of the Apple Software in connection with service bureau, time-sharing, terminal
    sharing or other similar types of services.

    And what I'd be doing in this case is time-sharing. So even tho it's allowed for "testing during development", it's also explicitly taken away in the next para.

    That could have been a good route for companies wanting to do iOS dev, but not having the initial funding to get a Mac per person.

    (personally, I'd say "get a mac per person, they are better machines than whatever you are running Windows on", but thats just me :) )

    Oh, well. Was a good idea for about 5 mins. Thanks.

  • NicWiseNicWise NZInsider, University mod

    @JonathanPeppers oh yes, I run Windows in VMWare all day, every working day (my work machine is a MBP 2.2ghz quad/16GB/SSD, runs windows 7 in a VM really nice), and that would work great in the normal way.

    I was thinking about a Windows-only shop - no Mac's - who want to try some iOS dev with the Xamarin tools. They could[1] buy a decent Mac Mini with 16GB, install 2 VM's on it with Mountain Lion, and then they have 3 "machines" (2xVM + 1 base) - one for each of three devs.

    The devs are then using their normal windows workstations for the VS part.

    Technically, I think it'd work. Legally, it's possibly on shaky ground, so I'm going to be happy with @nat 's "no".

    Just to be clear for anyone reading this in the future: OSX on anything BUT Mac hardware is always illegal.

    [1] They can't. See above. Or rather, it could be either a grey area, or allowed, or disallowed, so even if Apple did intend for it, without talking to Apple's lawyers, Xamarin can't endorse it - which is fair enough. IANAL. Use at your own risk. You get the idea.

Sign In or Register to comment.