Ultima Online on a Mac
So you have a Mac and you want to play Ultima Online? Not a problem!
- 1 First, Does Ultima Online Even Run on Macs?
- 2 Ultima Online, Macs, and Intel and PowerPC
- 3 Hardware Requirements for UO on a Mac
- 4 Classic Client or Enhanced Client?
- 5 Methods for Running UO on a Mac
- 6 Apple's Boot Camp and Ultima Online
- 7 Virtualization, Macs, and Ultima Online
- 8 Virtualization Software to Run UO and Windows on a Mac
- 9 Compatibility Layers
- 10 Compatibility Layer Software
- 11 Other Information About Running UO on a Mac
First, Does Ultima Online Even Run on Macs?
The answer is yes. It runs quite well in fact, but how well it runs depends on what method you use, and just as with running Ultima Online under Windows on a PC, it depends on your hardware.
Ultima Online, Macs, and Intel and PowerPC
This article is only going to cover running Ultima Online on an Intel-based Mac (Macintosh) from Apple. It's not going to cover the older pre-2006 PowerPC Macs, as the hardware/system architecture is quite a bit different, and it's not very playable. If you are on a PowerPC Mac, you are better off spending a small amount of money on a dual-core "netbook". Most of the software covered below are either not available for Intel Macs, or will not handle running a game like UO under a PowerPC system.
Hardware Requirements for UO on a Mac
For the most part, the requirements are the same as on a Windows/PC, but do take into account the three main ways of running UO under Mac OS X (listed below). It is recommended you have 4GB of Memory, 2GB at the very least.
It is also recommended that you are running on at least a dual-core Mac. There are no more single-core Macs being made, and later versions of the some of the software listed below do not support the single-core Macs anyways.
Classic Client or Enhanced Client?
Actually, it doesn't matter too much whether you run the Classic Client or Enhanced Client. Both run quite well, provided you have decent hardware. Those who prefer the Classic Client may want to run Ultima Online in a virtualized environment, especially if they are using one or more add-ons together with UO.
Methods for Running UO on a Mac
There are three main methods for running Ultima Online under Mac OS X:
- Using Apple's Boot Camp
- Using some form of virtualization (Parallels Desktop, VMWare Fusion, or VirtualBox)
- Using a "compatibility layer" such as WINE or CrossOver
Apple's Boot Camp and Ultima Online
What is Boot Camp? It's a feature of Intel-based Macs that basically allows dual-install of Windows Vista or Windows 7 and Mac OS X. You can only do one or the other, depending on which you've booted into.
- Best performance you'll get - it's the same as running it on a Windows/PC from Dell, HP, Acer, etc.
- Requires you to dedicate 20GB or more of your hard drive to Windows and UO
- Requires the purchase of a Windows license.
- Installing UO under Boot Camp is the same as installing UO on any Windows PC.
- You have to reboot into Windows to run, and cannot use Mac OS X until you reboot into OS X.
- You need to purchase a separate Windows license.
Installing UO Under Boot Camp
Once Boot Camp is installed, installing Ultima Online under Boot Camp is the same as installing UO on a PC. For instructions on installing Boot Camp as well as system requirements, please see Apple's Boot Camp page.
Virtualization, Macs, and Ultima Online
- You get a full install of Windows in a self-contained environment.
- It's easy to run UO add-ons alongside UO
- You are running UO under OS X (unlike Boot Camp), even if it's within a Windows environment.
- It places more of a demand on the hardware/system itself since you are running UO and Windows at the same time.
- Requires the purchase of a separate Windows license, and possibly the virtualization software depending on which software you select.
- Requires 16GB or more of hard drive space just for the Windows install, on top of what UO requires.
Virtualization Software to Run UO and Windows on a Mac
There are three main virtualization products:
Which is the best option for virtualization?
If you are on a tight budget, VirtualBox will do just fine, and it's free. Parallels Desktop and VMWare Fusion are commercial products that have some features not available in VirtualBox, and also tend to have better performance. All three are very mature products, and if you are choosing between Parallels Desktop and VMWare Fusion, in many cases, you could go with whatever is on sale at the moment, and will not have any problems.
A compatibility layer is what it sounds like - it's software that creates a compatible layer of drivers/libraries/etc. in between UO and OS X. It does NOT require an install of Windows, unlike the two options mentioned above.
- The most "seamless" way to run Ultima Online under a Mac
- Does not require a separate purchase and install of Microsoft Windows
- Can have better performance than a virtualized Windows session
- Requires less hard drive space than virtualization or Boot Camp