Does VirtualBox run on Apple Silicon?

Oracle has not released a version of VirtualBox compatible with M1 devices. Parallels Desktop 17 (subscription) is compatible with Big Sur on M1 devices, but the guest operating system must be compiled for Apple Silicon ARM, as X86_64 operating systems are not supported.

Virtual Machines on MacBook Pro 16″ M1 Pro | Parallels, VMWare, VirtualBox

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One issue you have is that VirtualBox does not run on non Intel architectures.

To run a virtual machine on Apple Silicon currently Parallels, UTM and Docker support Linux ARM VMs. Parallels and UTM also support other OSs that run on ARM including Windows but not macOS. (This paragraph will change over time).

VMware has now (Sept 2021) announced a preview version for ARM

The other thing to note is that if the VM you want to run is an Intel one then you need an emulator like Qemu. You probably cant just load an Intel VM to run natively as ARM so have to rebuild the VM from an ARM based install.

Docker can run Intel VMs on Apple Silicon from their blog as can UTM, both use QEMU as a part of implementing this.

As UTM includes QEMU UTM can run Intel Windows or Intel macOS or PPC classic macos (and possibly PPC OSX )

A locked and stickied post from a Site Moderator on the VirtualBox user support forum indicates that VirtualBox will never support Apple Silicon:

the mod elaborates in an additional post:

The “Face facts: if you go down the Apple ARM road you leave x86 behind.” is nonsense as “Rosetta 2 enables a Mac with Apple silicon to use apps built for a Mac with an Intel processor.” – Rosetta 2 dialog box.

To grossly oversimplify, Rosetta 2 whole purpose is to allow translation of (not emulation — this is important) x86 calls to something the ARM based M1 can handle. Sort of like how WINE translates calls for the Windows OS into something either the Mac or Linux OS can understand.

Using UTM you can even get Windows XP on an M1 MacBook or M1 Mac emulating Windows 7. (Using UTM) though if you go more recent than that performance gets worse. Heck, “Intel to build ARM chips for other companies as part of its new business strategy” shows that Intel realizes that the x86 might be headed for a decline.

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