Virtualization Technology News and Information
MacStadium Brings macOS Virtualization to Everyone for Free with Orka Desktop
MacStadium unveiled Orka Desktop, a free, local macOS virtualization tool. Orka Desktop is a desktop virtualization program that allows you to create and manage macOS virtual machines locally with an easy-to-use GUI interface.

With more developers building, testing and deploying macOS and iOS apps, Orka Desktop becomes a critical virtualization tool providing reliable, standardized development environments. According to an Apple enterprise report, 76% of large enterprises report an increase in their use of Apple Devices in the past year. Virtualization enhances consistency between development, testing and production phases, significantly improving operational efficiency.

"Orka Desktop provides the tools to allow developers to create many different macOS image versions locally, commit those into a shared repository, and pass them around for collaboration. Developers can also scale further by pulling those resources into an Orka Cluster at MacStadium where you can orchestrate workloads with cloud resources," said Chris Chapman, MacStadium's chief technology officer. "Because Orka Desktop wraps and compresses your macOS image with an Open Container Initiative (OCI)-compliant specification and sparseness, it can mean a 90GB image is reduced as significantly as 80% shrinking it to nearly 15GB, which makes it much easier to move around. The OCI wrapper also allows teams to work with most standards-based registries."

"Developers regularly use virtualization tooling, but most aren't aware of the fundamental differences and optimizations that tools can provide for Mac. We designed Orka Desktop to be the most performant and standards based macOS virtualization tool for Apple Silicon. Users can create or download custom macOS images locally for their own personal use, and collaborate with team members using familiar workflow, versioning, audit, and review controls. Ultimately, teams get the consistent environments that they need," said Jason Davis, MacStadium's chief product officer.

Orka Desktop allows developers to spin up macOS VMs quickly and easily. This is an ideal tool for developers who want to learn more about Mac virtualization as well as development team members who want to build and test locally. Some key features that customers can expect include:

  • Orka Desktop offers free local macOS virtualization, providing developers with powerful tools to create, package, and distribute VMs easily without cost.
  • Orka Desktop achieves near-native performance on Apple Silicon, with virtualization overhead as low as 5% in most cases.
  • Developers can create a seamless workflow for building and sharing OCI images, simplifying content collaboration and distribution.
  • An easy-to-use GUI interface supporting actions on VMs from local machines to the cloud, enhancing efficiency and flexibility.

Existing Orka customers can use Orka Desktop as an extension of their current MacStadium Orka Cluster, facilitating smoother transitions from local development to global deployment. This enhances team collaboration and offers safer and more reliable testing environments.

Published Wednesday, July 10, 2024 7:27 AM by David Marshall
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