Mac OS Spotted “Running” On A Jailbroken Microsoft Surface RT

Well that didn’t take long. Here’s Mac OS running (well, it’s emulated) on a Microsoft Surface. Blasphemy? Awesome? Hard to say. Now that a jailbreak tool for Microsoft’s Windows Surface RT is out in the wild, allowing users to install unsigned ARM desktop applications on these otherwise oddball devices, hackers are having a field day figuring out what apps they can get to work. The latest and greatest of these efforts? Developer Steve Troughton-Smith shows off his Microsoft Surface RT running an old build of Mac OS.

Don’t get too excited, though. The Surface is running Rhapsody, an experimental OS build that Apple demonstrated back in 1997, reports. Troughton-Smith is using Bochs, a free, open source virtualization app to make this (magic/horror, depending on your perspective) happen.


In order for apps to run on a jailbroken Microsoft Surface RT computer, users must first run the Windows RT jailbreak tool, which takes advantage of an exploit discovered by C.L. Rokr (@clrokr). The automated tool for jailbreaking the Surface was posted on the XDA Developers forums, which also provide the installation instructions and a FAQ. The tool essentially automates the jailbreak for you, so it’s not as complex as perhaps hacking into an Android phone can be.

Like “tethered” jailbreaks on iOS devices, however, this jailbreak also has to be run each time the Surface boots – it’s not permanent. Microsoft may or may not choose to release a security patch that closes the hole in the future, the company told reporters earlier this week.

Already, a number of apps have been recompiled to run on the Surface, including TightVNC, Notepad++, IP Messenger, a Nintendo game emulator called CrystalBoy, and others. Bochs, an x86 emulator, was also one of the first on this early list.