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Error message when installing VirtualBox in MacBook Air

| posted 27 Jan, 2022 20:16
I have a student with a MacBook Air that is running into an error message with the VirtualBox installation. She downloads it just fine. Then a window opens with a Virtual Box icon, and when she clicks on it she gets: "Unsupported hardware architecture detected! The installer has detected an unsupported architecture. VirtualBox only runs on the amd64 architecture." I have added a screenshot of this. I have looked online a bit about this but couldn't find anything useful. Has any body run into this issue in the past? Are there some Macs that cannot handle VirtualBox? Thanks!
Edited 27 Jan, 2022 20:27
| posted 28 Jan, 2022 14:46
Hi Amaya,

You can check, but my guess is that your student has an M1 Mac. These are the newer Macs using Apple chips instead of intel, and VirtualBox won't work on those.

See this forum post for some info:

| posted 28 Jan, 2022 18:17
Unfortunately there are no "good" (i.e. cheap and easy) solutions at this time to getting students access to DNA Master with the newer M1 hardware. I also suspect this is going to be more and more of a problem as Apple moves more and more of their computers to the M1 chips.

The best solution at this time is recommend to the student to buy parallels, which is akin to VirtualBox in that it will allow installation and running of Windows Virtual machines. Of course the instructions for doing this are all for virtualbox and so many exact details on installation and running of the windows machine will differ slightly with parallels. The only good news there is really is that there is a 50% discount for students for the basic version of parallels, point the student to this page for all the details:

As a final note I will say that the minimum recommended specifications for Parallels is quite low and I would expect most users with that bottom of the line computer to have a very unsatisfactory experience. I would tell my students not to bother spending $40 for parallels unless they have AT LEAST 8 gig of memory, less than that it is just wouldn't be worth the price.
| posted 28 Jan, 2022 22:06
Thank you both. This is very helpful. And thanks for the tip about the 8 gig needed. Yes, a different student also with a Mac had found Parallel and paid the $40 before coming to class. Our school has money for undergrad research so I will cover the less than a handful students that have this issue that way.
Pardon to double up the Parallel discussion, Dan! I had not seen those other posts.
Best, a.
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