Thursday, July 25, 2024

MacStadium Releases Free Orka Desktop macOS Virtualization Software


Mac cloud services provider MacStadium today unveiled Orka Desktop, a free virtualization tool that allows Mac users to create and manage macOS virtual machines locally via an easy-to-use admin panel.

Orka users can create or download custom macOS images locally for their own personal use, or to collaborate with team members using a familiar workflow, versioning, audit, and review controls. The tool has been designed for iOS/macOS Developers, DevOps Engineers, and IT Admins, as well as students, hobbyists, technologists, and others.

MacStadium claims it is the “ideal tool” for those who want to learn more about Mac virtualization and learn how an image can be built and tested locally, then uploaded to the cloud.

“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.”

MacStadium says Orka Desktop achieves near-native performance on Apple Silicon, with virtualization overhead as low as 5% in most cases. Orka Desktop also wraps and compresses macOS images with an Open Container Initiative (OCI)-compliant specification, which allows it to reduce a 90GB image by as much as 80%, shrinking it to nearly 15GB, making it much easier to move around.

There are two options for creating a new VM in Orka: Clean Install, where the image is created from an existing IPSW file, and Pull Image, where the image is pulled from an Image Repository. There is also an option to pull the latest IPSW directly from Apple’s servers. More information can be found in Orka’s documentation.

The new VM application requires macOS Ventura or macOS Sonoma running on an Apple silicon Mac with at least 8GB of RAM and more than 50GB of free disk space. Orka Desktop can be downloaded for free from the MacStadium website.Tag: Orka
This article, “MacStadium Releases Free Orka Desktop macOS Virtualization Software” first appeared on

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