I'm working on a small (and very tame) FOSS utility; and I want to test it to make sure that it builds on Mac OSes. But - I don't have a Mac OS I could use for that. I have access to Linux and to Windows boxes, and that's that.

Other than trying to knock on some people's doors and asking for SSH privileges into their MacBooks (assuming they even have an SSH server on there) - what can I / should I do in this situation?

  • 1
    It is difficult to support a platform you don't have access to. But if your utility is only command-line stuff then OSX is just a fancy Unix system. If you restrict yourself to POSIX you should have excellent source portability. “Unfortunately”, GNU/Linux offers much more than POSIX which frequently leads to unintended dependencies. You can install a VM with another Unix like FreeBSD for testing. If your code is hosted on GitHub, you could also consider OSX builds with Travis CI.
    – amon
    Dec 2, 2017 at 20:07
  • Technically not legal by Apple but you should google the term Hackintosh. And I say this as a person with 3 genuine macs within arms reach.
    – Peter M
    Dec 2, 2017 at 21:17
  • @PeterM: Make that an answer perhaps?
    – einpoklum
    Dec 2, 2017 at 21:18
  • 1
    Also macincloud.com (no relation(. Dec 2, 2017 at 22:34
  • Normally I would make the that an answer and not a comment (because I do dislike comments that are actually answers) but in this case I am on the fence and technically it is against Apple's TOS/EULA for OS X. But in some ways I think that @JamesMcLeod comment is better as in you don't need to maintain your own hardware.
    – Peter M
    Dec 3, 2017 at 14:22

1 Answer 1


Summarizing what is in the comments for the specific problem of needing to confirm compatibility on a Macintosh:

  • Ensure all parts of the script are POSIX compliant
  • Borrow a Mac from someone
  • Install the Mac OS on an x86 machine (Hackintosh) (on paper, this violates the MAC OS EULA, but there may be jurisdictions where this kind of jailbreak-like action is explicitly permitted by law)
  • Use a cloud-based service that gives you access to a Mac (or maybe to a hackintosh?) like macincloud
  • I think the better advice is "This violates the MacOS EULA and is copyright infringement, and won't work unless you add a DMCA violation, but Apple doesn't care as long as you don't claim publicly that it is legal".
    – gnasher729
    Dec 3, 2017 at 23:38
  • Though expensive, Mac computers are x86 machines. They can run Windows and Linux without violating any EULA.
    – mouviciel
    Dec 4, 2017 at 13:11
  • True, and not at issue. We are more concerned with running MacOS on non-Mac machines. Dec 4, 2017 at 13:17
  • AWS's Workspaces might be another popular option worth mentioning. This might be particularly attractive if the OP or their company is already using AWS.
    – jpmc26
    Dec 4, 2017 at 19:11

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