CherryOS Mac Emulator Resurfaces

By Nate Mook, BetaNews
March 8, 2005, 8:14 PM

Following its initial announcement and subsequent controversy last October, Mac emulator CherryOS has finally been released.

The $49.95 CherryOS was developed by Maui-X-Stream — a small Hawaiian company that makes streaming media technologies — and enables users to run Apple’s Mac OS X operating system atop Windows PCs. The software mimics the Mac G4 processor and touts complete access to a system’s hardware resources and networking capabilities.

Its creator, Arben Kryeziu, found himself in hot water last year amid claims the software was simply stolen from the open source PearPC project. With the code now under public scrutiny, it appears that such allegations are true.

CherryOS boots up in the exact same manner as PearPC, and its error messages and source files are nearly identical. The emulator also includes MacOnLinuxVideo, which is the same driver used by PearPC to speed up graphics. The CherryOS configuration file also closely mirrors that used by PearPC.

According to tests by BetaNews, CherryOS launches a second process and covers the window within its own display. Thus, when CherryOS is running, a second taskbar entry appears without icon.

For its part, Maui-X-Stream has staunchly defended CherryOS as original, although Kryeziu previously acknowledged October’s preview contained PearPC code that would be removed. Nonetheless, Kryeziu’s reputation was quickly attacked by many who labeled CherryOS a scam intended to profit off the work of open source developers.

Although PearPC source code is freely available, its usage is governed by the GNU General Public License (GPL), which states that the code and any modifications must be offered by anyone that distributes it. Alleged GPL violations have forced companies such as Linksys to release their code, but the license has never been fully tested in a U.S. court of law.

A CherryOS trial, which will boot 14 times, is available for download.