We get a few questions about whether tools like Primavera P6 Professional, Deltek Cobra, MPM and wInsight can run on Apple’s OSX, including the MacBook Pro. Ignoring Primavera P6’s EPPM web client for the moment (which can be run directly on the native Mac environment using a supported web browser and Java installation), the answer is yes, but only in one of two ways. You can run them in a Virtual Machine (VM) on Mac OSX or use Apple’s free Boot Camp program where you can set your Mac to dual boot into either Windows or Mac.
In simple terms, Virtual Machines are different PC’s that can run all on the same physical machine. To do this, you need a program on your Mac that can run Windows. There are many options for virtual machine programs, including VMWare, Parallels and, a Ten Six favorite, VirtualBox (which is free from Oracle). You will need a copy of Microsoft Windows to be able to create your VM, but other than that, it’s pretty straight forward. All of these programs will walk you through setting up a Windows VM and once that’s done, you can install Primavera P6 Professional as you would do normally on a PC.
Using Boot Camp is equally easy and allows you to dual boot your machine into either the Windows or Mac environment. It essentially partitions your hard disk and when you restart your machine, you have the option to select which operating system you want to use. The picture below, albeit a little grainy, shows Primavera P6 R8.2 running in Windows 7 64-bit on a MacBook Pro.
These virtual machine options work in both 32-bit and 64-bit modes, with the latter allowing you to use more than 4GB of RAM in your machine. Having enough RAM in your Mac is key to running these VMs smoothly. We would recommend at least 8GB of RAM which allows you to give 4GB to the Windows VM leaving 4GB for the Mac operating system.
Primavera P6 runs great, in fact we have installed the EPPM and client on the same machine with no trouble. All the Deltek programs install and run great as well.
VM’s are a great way to go and offer enormous amounts of flexibility, for example, you can set up different VM’s for different versions of Primavera P6. Using VMs allows you to run test environments and customer specific environments to name just two examples.
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