macOS Development and Testing

macOS Development and Testing

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This was asked on a Facebook Group and I felt like a comment wouldn't suffice.

Calling all MAC people...I'm coming from a world of Windows out of necessity, but also fairly comfortable in Linux. I would love to be able to do some more crossbrowser testing on real Safari and it would be nice to at least have a clue how to navigate MACs when I get asked, but for crying out loud, do I really have to invest $8-900 for even a refurbished Mac mini desktop? I refuse to go hdd because I have experienced enough wait time in my life.
Any ideas? Anyone else gone through this dilemma? I'm not being cheap, I am watching my pennies and question how much am I willing to invest in this little piece?
Thanks in advance!

I've had to have a macOS workstation available for a long time. Sometimes even multiple macOS versions. So I've been through a bunch of setups, I've listed them all below.

Current Setup

Currently I'm rocking a Mac Mini with an upgraded SSD sitting in my basement in my my quater rack with my Synology SAN. I use TeamViewer and VNC to manage it.

Option 1 - Refurb Mac Mini

You can grab an older Mac Mini with an HDD and it'll be super slow ;) But will do the trick.

Mac Mini SSD conversion

You could also install an SSD into the Mac Mini if you have one that is serviceable. Look up your model and then "install ssd" on Google and you'll either find instructions or potential a kit.

Currently I'm rocking a Mac Mini with an upgraded SSD sitting in my basement in a quarter rack wall mounted with my Synology NAS. I use TeamViewer and VNC to manage it.

Mac USB Boot

If you don't want to take apart the your Mac Mini or maybe you have a spare laptop kicking around. You can always boot an Mac from USB or USB-C. This works really well and I personally use it for repairing macOS sometimes when the main volume has issues or runs out of space.

Option 2 - Hackintosh

You could also run a Hackintosh if you have a PC kicking around that supports running the Hackintosh build.

Option 3 - Vritual macOS

Lastly you can run a virtual instance of macOS on Proxmox or KVM. This can be done on PC hardware. I use the Lenovo M720q Tiny, you can buy them off eBay.


These are great for running Proxmox and deploying Windows and Linux VM's for testing.

Here's the KVM Projects

Remote Access

Once you get your solution in place. You don't have to use a monitor, keyboard and mouse. You can use either Teamviewer or VNC. You can even use the Proxmox viewer! Here's link to some common remote access software.