Snow Leopard guest

Discussions about using Mac OS X guests (on Apple hardware) in VirtualBox.

Re: Snow Leopard guest

Postby socratis » 2. Aug 2017, 09:31

Dr. T wrote:Perhaps you could in future consider being civil and not patronizing, if it's not too much to ask. Thank you.

Dr. T,
I'm terribly sorry for this, I confused your logs and I believed that they belonged to 'thibaudmonfils'. I did not pay the appropriate attention to the username. I'll be more careful in the future. Again, my apologies. :shock:

I did take a quick look at the logs, but they're way too old for what I have (OSX 10.11.6, VirtualBox 5.1.26) and the comparison is not "fair". I will try to downgrade my VirtualBox installation to 4.3.40 (if I can) later today, because I'm really in the middle of some tests.

In the meantime, could you try to increase the vRAM to 128 MB? 16 MB seems too low and it might be the "choking" factor.
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Re: Snow Leopard guest

Postby michaln » 2. Aug 2017, 12:59

socratis wrote:In the meantime, could you try to increase the vRAM to 128 MB? 16 MB seems too low and it might be the "choking" factor.

That will make zero difference for OS X guests. 16 MB is plenty for relatively high resolutions (e.g. 1920x1200@32bpp).
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Re: Snow Leopard guest

Postby mpack » 2. Aug 2017, 13:30

michaln wrote:
socratis wrote:In the meantime, could you try to increase the vRAM to 128 MB? 16 MB seems too low and it might be the "choking" factor.

That will make zero difference for OS X guests. 16 MB is plenty for relatively high resolutions (e.g. 1920x1200@32bpp).

Really?? Each frame at that display size requires 7.789MB, so 16MB is not even enough for simple double buffering. It also seems at odds with warnings given by the settings dialogs themselves, though perhaps those are guest OS specific and I've never noticed (my VMs are mostly XP, some Linux).

I appreciate that the display RAM won't be any faster, but does the VESA emulation not benefit from having more RAM to play with?

And just to confirm: this statement only applies to VESA, not to any of the GAs graphics modes?
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Re: Snow Leopard guest

Postby michaln » 2. Aug 2017, 14:47

mpack wrote:Really?? Each frame at that display size requires 7.789MB, so 16MB is not even enough for simple double buffering.

Sure. There is no double buffering. There's no VESA (or rather VBE) either, there's EFI GOP. It's a dumb framebuffer.

It also seems at odds with warnings given by the settings dialogs themselves, though perhaps those are guest OS specific and I've never noticed (my VMs are mostly XP, some Linux)

The warnings assume an OS with Guest Additions. But there's no way the settings dialog can tell if the VM actually has Guest Additions installed or not. It won't harm anything to give the VM more VRAM, but it would be unwise to expect that to magically solve anything in the case of OS X guests.
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Re: Snow Leopard guest

Postby mpack » 2. Aug 2017, 16:53

I see, thanks.
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Re: Snow Leopard guest

Postby socratis » 3. Aug 2017, 08:59

Dr. T wrote:However, the installation process now hangs when it gets to a screen reading "Welcome"...
Then hang - I cannot click on anything, it is just stuck.

The point that you were getting stuck seemed weird from the beginning. Then I remembered that this is the point where sound is played for the first time during the installation!!!

So, I downgraded to 4.3.40 (it still works fine in 10.11.6), and I run my own 10.6 guest. It run fine, it even ignored the --cpu-profile key as it should [1]. And then I compared the two logs. And I did *not* like the following from your log:
00:00:00.743028 CoreAudio: Using input device: USB Audio Device (UID: AppleUSBAudioEngine:C-Media Electronics Inc.:USB Audio Device:fd124300:2,1)
00:00:00.763188 HdaCodec: can't open in fmt(freq: 44100)
00:00:00.763634 CoreAudio: Using output device: Built-in Output (UID: AppleHDAEngineOutput:1B,0,1,1:0)
00:00:00.764042 HdaCodec: can't open out fmt(freq: 44100)

I see two problems there; 1) you're using a USB audio device, try to get rid of it, and 2) there is complain about the frequency both in the input and the output stream.

First thing to try? Disable the Audio in your VM. See if that gets you any further. After you're up and running (hopefully), you can try and re-enabling it again. Then try without the USB Audio device. See if that makes a difference.

Generally speaking, OSX and Audio are not the best friends. One key contributor to these forums (an OSX "zealot" ;) ), decided to actively abstain from any further discussions until the audio issues are resolved. Just to give you a hint, in the latest 5.1.2x series, if you have audio enabled, almost all OSX VMs crash and burn (I need to file a bug report for this one when I get some free time).

I had an old post about OSX on OSX. It hasn't been updated in a long, long time. But, one of the key advice in there was:
  • You'd better disable audio in the VM settings. If it is detected, it is prone to kernel panics on the guest (10.6) and performance issues.

I should have remembered that earlier. It would have saved us a lot of grief...


[1]: The code for the "CPU compatibility" is completely different in the 5.x series, that's why the key is not required in the 4.3.x series.
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Re: Snow Leopard guest

Postby Dr. T » 4. Aug 2017, 10:31

socratis wrote:
Dr. T wrote:However, the installation process now hangs when it gets to a screen reading "Welcome"...
Then hang - I cannot click on anything, it is just stuck.

The point that you were getting stuck seemed weird from the beginning. Then I remembered that this is the point where sound is played for the first time during the installation!!!

First thing to try? Disable the Audio in your VM. See if that gets you any further. After you're up and running (hopefully), you can try and re-enabling it again. Then try without the USB Audio device. See if that makes a difference.

Brilliant, thank you, this solved it. For the record, only disabling audio in the virtual machine setup was not enough, but both disabling audio and disconnecting the USB microphone allowed the guest to continue working fine.

Hmm. Now what does this mean in terms of viability of this solution? I find that the internal microphone is not good enough for my audio VoIP calls. But this generation of MacBook Pros (13" Early 2011) only has one audio port, which I believe can be used as either audio in or audio out. My earlier MacBook (13" 2007) had two audio ports, one for output, one for input, so I was able to use them to solve this issue. But on this MacBook Pro, I need to have a USB device with a regular 3.5mm jack just to plug in an ordinary microphone (which I would be able to plug straight into the Mac if it still had that port - i.e., it is not a special microphone). But I understand that the newest Macs no longer have even a single audio jack. So how can I use a new Mac laptop both to be able to continue doing my day to day work (within the Snow Leopard VM) and to use VoIP (outside the VM)? Will I have to keep plugging a USB microphone in and out all the time? This seems awkward and error-prone, and will surely wear out my one USB port before long. How about those USB device filter setup options in VirtualBox, can they be used to make VB not see the microphone?
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Re: Snow Leopard guest

Postby socratis » 4. Aug 2017, 12:55

Dr. T wrote:this generation of MacBook Pros (13" Early 2011) only has one audio port

According to Mactracker, your early-2011 13" MBP (MacBookPro8,1) has two audio ports; in and out. But according to Apple it has a combined one. They're both right. BTW, there is no 2007 13" MBP, the earlier is from mid-2009... ;)

Dr. T wrote:But I understand that the newest Macs no longer have even a single audio jack.
Mine does. It's described as audio output only and you use the built-in mics for audio input. But, people that have tried headphones with a combined microphone in a single audio jack have reported that the audio jack on the Mac is a dual in/out one. The jack has 4 rings and it's easy to distinguish.

But USB input should work as well. As I said earlier, upgrade your OSX installation to the latest 10.6.8 and you should be OK. The thing is that you don't even need the sound in the VM.

Dr. T wrote:How about those USB device filter setup options in VirtualBox, can they be used to make VB not see the microphone?
Only if you have another VM that is set to capture the device. It won't have to come down to this, believe me...

EDIT: I just remembered that I have a USB "audio card", in the sense that it's a USB audio device with input/output channels. I plugged it in and my 10.6.8 client booted just fine...
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Re: Snow Leopard guest

Postby Dr. T » 4. Aug 2017, 13:37

socratis wrote:According to Mactracker, your early-2011 13" MBP (MacBookPro8,1) has two audio ports; in and out. But according to Apple it has a combined one. They're both right. ... It's described as audio output only and you use the built-in mics for audio input. But, people that have tried headphones with a combined microphone in a single audio jack have reported that the audio jack on the Mac is a dual in/out one. The jack has 4 rings and it's easy to distinguish.
Excellent. I had not realized this. I guess all I need to do is buy a TRRS splitter cable and then there is no need for a USB microphone. This will be even better than my current setup.
socratis wrote:BTW, there is no 2007 13" MBP, the earlier is from mid-2009...
My 2007 machine is a 13" Late 2007 MacBook (i.e. no "Pro").
socratis wrote:... upgrade your OSX installation to the latest 10.6.8 and you should be OK.
I see, so this is only a 10.6.3 issue? Good news.
socratis wrote:I have a USB "audio card", in the sense that it's a USB audio device with input/output channels. I plugged it in and my 10.6.8 client booted just fine...
Excellent - does it provide working audio to the VM? So maybe I could use my USB adapter (which actually provides both a jack for a 3.5" jack microphone and a separate 3.5" jack for audio out, but I'm using it only for the microphone) for audio in the VM?
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Re: Snow Leopard guest

Postby socratis » 4. Aug 2017, 13:43

Dr. T wrote:Excellent - does it provide working audio to the VM?
I thought you didn't even care about audio in the VM, I didn't even try it. My bet would be on "yes".
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Re: Snow Leopard guest

Postby Tanny » 8. Aug 2017, 15:47

Not sure if this is helpful, but here goes..

The simplest solution to your need to run Snow Leopard may be to buy an older used Mac suitable for that operating system. You can get Snow Leopard installers on Amazon if needed.

Example, a few years ago I bought a used Mac laptop for $400 from a used Mac vendor and it came with Snow Leopard installed. The price today would be around $300. Old desktops from that era may be even cheaper.

Given how committed you are to Snow Leopard (arguably the best OS Apple ever made) maybe you should skip virtualization and just buy an old machine suited to that OS?
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