You Can Now Run VirtualBox on Apple Silicon (M1 / M2)
Mac VirtualBox users will be happy to know that VirtualBox now runs natively on Apple Silicon ARM processors, including the M1 and M2.
VirtualBox is virtualization software that allows you to run other operating systems in containers on your Mac directly from the application, for example you can run Linux or Windows directly within VirtualBox, and without having to use dual-booting or anything else. It does this by virtualizing hardware (that you can adjust to allocate RAM, storage capacity, etc), so the operating system itself doesn’t know that it’s not running on actual hardware.
While technically in beta, anyone can get access to the developer preview beta ARM build of VirtualBox through the VirtualBox website. As usual, VirtualBox is completely free to download and to use.
- Go to https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads to find the appropriate download, listed as “Developer preview for macOS / Arm64 (M1/M2) hosts”
There are many other options available for virtualization, including the free UTM app which allows you to easily run Windows 11 on an Apple Silicon Mac for example, but there’s also paid solutions including VMWare and Parallels.
If the topic of virtualization interests you, check out some more of our posts on the subject.