A developer says he’s successfully virtualized the ARM version of Windows on an M1 Mac and he reports it’s “pretty snappy.”. The 8-Bit reports that developer Alexander Graf was able to virtualize the ARM version of Windows on Apple’s M1 chip, with no emulation.
Currently, M1 Macs do not support Windows and do not offer the Boot Camp feature found on Intel Macs. However, many Mac users would like to see Windows be an option for their M1 Macs.
Graf virtualized the ARM version of Windows on Apple’s M1 chip using the open-source QEMU virtualized. As the M1 chip is a custom ARM SoC, users can no longer install the x86 version of Windows or x86 Windows apps using Boot Camp
Graf tweeted that he virtualized Windows ARM64, and that it was “pretty snappy.”
— Alexander Graf (@_AlexGraf) November 26, 2020
Graf ran the Windows ARM64 Insider Preview by virtualizing it through the Hypervisor framework, which allows users to interact with virtualization technologies without having to write kernel extensions (KEXTs).
Graf applied a custom patch to the QEMU virtualized by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU. This shows that the ARM version of Windows can be virtualized on an M1 Mac with more than acceptable performance.
Graf says that while others should be able to reproduce his results, he reminds them that this is just an early step. “It’s early days for this. It’s definitely possible to reproduce my results – all patches are on the mailing list – but don’t expect a stable, fully functional system yet,” he said.