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Run Vista on your Intel Mac with Q

David Chartier

Parallels Desktop is all the rage in Mac virtualization these days, but it doesn't offer one major feature (yet): the ability to run Vista on an Intel Mac (believe it or not, this will be useful to many a Mac user). Sure, they've promised it's coming on their blog, but who wants to wait for Parallels when the open source virtualization project Q can already do it?

That's right: if you have a copy of the public beta 2 of Vista (which unfortunately closed not long ago), you can check out their documentation (which boldly welcomes Parallels switchers) with simple instructions for installing Vista as a virtual machine. However: I don't know yet what is and is not supported under Q. Parallels has had issues up until this latest beta with supporting a lot of USB devices, amongst other things. Vista requires some heavy video card support, so I don't know how well it will run depending on how much support Q (and the QEMU project it's based on) has baked in.

While I snagged a copy of Q already and installed Ubuntu in it, I'm still turning over every half-empty box in this new townhouse trying to find my Vista images. If you readers beat me to the punch, by all means, share your experience in the comments.