Any experiences with using Glyphs on Windows machine?


I’m wondering if anybody has experiences running Glyphs on a windows machine, in particular through virtualization, not dual boot.

Currently I’m working on a Mac and use Windows both in dual boot (games, mostly) and through VirtualBox (for debugging and quick checks), so I am somewhat familiar with the use via VirtualBox. However, I was curious if anybody is using that kind reverse setup on a regular basis and how that works out particularly in regard to your Glyphs work flow? Is it clunky, or is the performance reduction from running the virtualization negligent? How about other side by side tools for testing, previewing, scripting? Or does anybody actively use Glyphs via a Hackintosh setup, and on what kind of hardware?


I have seen it once or twice on a student laptop. It worked, surprisingly fluently, but still with a noticeably lower screen refresh rate, especially when dragging and resizing windows. The biggest difficulty I have seen though was the keyboard, amongst other things because Cmd was mapped to the Windows key, Ctrl to Ctrl, and they are in a different order on Windows keyboards. So spacing was a drag. And some other shortcuts didn’t work as expected IIRC but I don’t remember what it was exactly.

You should be able to get around the keyboard/modifier key problem without much fuss… I haven’t used virtualbox in so long I couldn’t offer any specific assistance; but it seems like it was pretty straight forward—it would really have to be. It would be pretty ridiculous for virtualization software not to provide a means to access all the modifier keys, especially the main ones (like Cmd key)! I’m pretty sure it lets you use the left & right modifier keys differently (like one for the Cmd key and the other as the Windows key). Or you could repurpose the Context/Menu/Apps key—who really ever uses that?! You may need AutoHotKey to kelp with that…

A Hackintosh is running MacOS on non-Apple hardware, right? I would suspect that you’d be more likely to encounter stability and performance issues (probably not with Glyphs directly, but with the OS itself) trying to do that… But you would still get much better performance than you could through virtualization—assuming you could even get it working. I kind of doubt you’re going to find such information here though. Plus any issues would almost certainly be with the OS; not any apps your running.

Yes the control keys take some getting used to, but that’s just generally because you are switching context.

Hackintosh is exactly that, running the whole OS from boot. I appreciate that the real issues are not going to be glyphs specific - more looking for anecdotal experiences using such a setup. I’m tired of my Mac and there is just so much better windows hardware out there, so I’m trying to figure out if running some of my Mac only software will be worth it, or a shitty experience. :wink:

Running a hackintosh is possible. But it takes so much time to keep it running and you never know if it still works after the next system update. I’m pretty sure that the time spend on fixing it can pay for an iMac Pro.

At least you need to be very particular with the hardware. You need the same chipset/WiFi/sound chips … as are used in a Mac.

Yea, Hackintosh is a bit too involved for me, especially considering maintaining it as a stable production machine. Since I had experience with VirtualBox running Windows I figured I might as well try running VM Mac - on my current Mac to test. It appears that for Mac Guest systems there is less support, i.e. no “guest additions” like for other operating systems, which means the performance is quite sub-par.

Curious though if anybody else has other experiences :slight_smile:

I can’t speak for Glyphs, but I have some first-hand knowledge of this to share. At one of my jobs, we had to do some gaming work which required designers to move most of their work over to PC desktops. Often times, I would have both my Macbook and my PC running side by side, and switching between the two was cumbersome and frustrating so I decided to run macOS in a Virtualbox VM (for things like Sketch, iMessage :slight_smile:, and programming… I still do not know if you can even ‘ssh’ on Windows!).

My PC desktop was, at the time, relatively high-end since the work we were doing was in VR. I had a GTX 980, a modern mobo, i7 CPU – I don’t remember the specific model parts, this was in 2014 or 2015. Even with a strong computer like this, and enabling as much direct hardware passthrough as I could sort out via the BIOS software, the Mac VM was nearly unusable on a daily basis. You will need an incredible amount of patience and a high tolerance for random failures. I could simply not do any meaningful work that way.

On the flip side, I have seen the reverse set up working quite well (especially with Boot Camp, if you don’t need both OS’es side by side). Some people that I currently work with have Macbook Pros, and external GPUs (I believe also mainly GTX 980s at the moment) Thunderbolted in with the Windows OS getting a direct passthrough. In my observation this setup as been far more stable and productive.

In any case, if I truly had my way, I would simply keep the machines separate. During this earlier experimental time I discovered the tool Synergy which lets your mouse cursor travel freely (and drag files!) between desktops on different computers/OSes and that solved many of my problems.

Hey Weston! Thanks for the input :smile:
I currently use dual boot as well to occasionally run Windows on my Mac , but the more I research into Hackintosh the more it seems the same setup in reverse is not quite that easy to achieve, which is a pity. Thanks also for the anecdote about using a Mac as guest OS in VirtualBox; it confirms what I have been testing now trying to test run the virtualization on my Mac, unfortunately. Plus I imagine coding might even work better but for Glyphs in particular editing vectors with any kind of delay will be unacceptable.

I’ve used Synergy a few years back when we had some internal admin and server stuff running on a separate machine on my desk, so that would indeed be one practical option, but of course require having two devices in use.