[OT] Multiple macOS recommendation sought

Phil Davis phil at pdslabs.net
Tue Oct 26 20:37:18 EDT 2021

Hi Paul,

Several years ago - 6-8-10 years ago? Not sure when - I left VMs behind 
in favor of minimally-configured actual hardware. I have a couple of 
Windows laptops but almost never use them now. My main development world 
consists of 4 Mac minis of various ages (all Intel or M1) and a couple 
of 2015 MBP laptops (and 2 iPads). Each machine has an external drive 
used by Time Machine, so I can restore my work as needed. I use Screen 
Sharing to manage things on multiple computers from a single 
keyboard/display/mouse and it works great for my purposes. I confess, I 
don't normally reinstall the OSes except for upgrades to the next 
version if needed (e.g. High Sierra to Mojave); I just keep them current 
with Apple updates and have never had a dev issue that damaged the OS.

Obviously my setup doesn't cover every macOS version, but my selected 
hardware+OS combos have been very adequate for my needs. And for me, it 
helps to have a LAN whose physical and conceptual topologies are the 
same. It helps clarify problem sources in a client/server system I maintain.

Hope this helps -
Phil Davis

On 10/26/21 2:08 PM, Paul Dupuis via use-livecode wrote:
> A problem I have struggled with for decades is software testing on the 
> various versions of operating systems our software deploys on.
> For testing on Windows, we use Virtualbox with Virtual Machines (VMs) 
> for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 (we have yet to try to 
> build a Windows 11 VM)
> For macOS we have tried a multi-boot system, a mac Mini with hard 
> disks partitions to boot to OSX 10.9, 10.10, 10.11, 10.12, 10.13, and 
> 10.14 (Mojave). We tried a partition for 10.15 Catalina, but were were 
> already experience problems switching between boot partitions where 
> the Mini would forget what Startup disk it should boot from. When we 
> added Catalina, the problem became worse, trying to go from Catalina 
> to an older OS on reboot or vice versa would fail.
> So we tried a Mojave (10.14) laptop with Virtualbox and build a 
> Catalina VM. This worked well for Catalina testing. We like VMs for 
> the ability to reset to a snapshot or to clone them. We added a Big 
> Sur VM, but playing video does not work in the VM and Virtualbox's 
> latest release has not fixed this and macOS VMs are not really 
> supported, even on mac hardware. We just tried a Monterey VM and it is 
> unstable. It will crash and reboot after a random amount of time.
> Some sort of virtual machine is very appealing because of the ability 
> to restore the machine to a snapshot after testing or to clone it. If 
> testing messes something up, you can always get back to a known state 
> without rebuilding a computer.
> What have other people's experiences been? Does anyone have a more 
> stable, easier solution?
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Phil Davis

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