Clarification on Mac Rhino

Hi there, I’m looking to replace my laptop as a long term PC user and considering Mac Book Pro. My workstation at the office is PC and use of Rhino on my laptop will be for development (VBScripting) and a bit of take home work.

The Mac Book Pro is appealing to me because the last couple of laptops I have had have had HDD and speed issues.

I’m hoping for clarification - have I pieced together details correctly that scripts won’t run and Monkey is not available on the Mac? Also I have Brazil as my renderer, but think that plugins are not yet supported? I understand also that Detail views are not supported?

  • How high on the priority list are these items if I was to go down the Mac path?

Is Parallels or VMWare feasible on newer machines to allow a fuller Rhino experience while the Mac version is further refined? Most of the non-bootcamp reviews are 1-2 years old, so I wasn’t sure what the current state of play was.
The idea of firing up in bootcamp doesn’t appeal, as it will be like having 2 separate machines - but I’d be happy to do this if I knew I was going to be Rhino’ing for a few hours.

I could just stick with a PC again, and hope that SSD might help avoid the bad record I have in recent years.

Advice appreciated!



That is correct. If you want to script in the Mac environment you will have to switch to Python. You can fairly easily convert your existing scripts, it will be a bit of work and a learning curve.

Layouts will not be available in the first Mac version. When they will become available is unknown at this point.

No Windows based plug-ins will run on Mac Rhino. How long before Mac-based plug-ins for things like rendering will be available is also unknown at this point.

Parallels and VMWare continue to be unsupported by McNeel, but there are some people out there using those systems anyway, with varying degrees of success…


Thanks Mitch - not excited to be relearning scripting, but I will take a look at Python. I have a lot of scripts to convert.

I realise that these things can take some time, especially when much of the framework has been build out MSoft. I’m visiting a friend tomorrow who has VMWare and we are going to install the trial version of Rhino to see how it performs.

If I run bootcamp or VM/Parallels I’m guessing the plugins and vbscripts will be OK just like a normal Windows Rhino?

Thanks again,


You will not need to completely relearn - a lot of your knowledge of vb scripting for Rhino and structuring scripts in general will carry over. The syntax is somewhat different, but I can pretty much guarantee you that once you get used to working in Python, you will not want to go back to vb.

Scripts should run fine in a Windows environment. Bootcamp will be pretty much just like Windows native. Virtual machines may have minor to major problems with on-screen graphics/display…

Hmmm, I’m intrigued to take a look now! Any significant advantages to Python? Or does it achieve pretty much the same thing?

What I’m lacking in vbscript is decent forms (UI). I was considering to be able to have forms with both text boxes and radio for example…

Many. It’s a far more complete and versatile programming environment than vb script. One of the examples I usually cite is the tools Python has to work with lists as compared to vb script arrays. Python’s list slicing, appending, sorting, etc. toolbox is positively huge. When you look at the hoops you have to jump through just to deal with expanding a dynamic array in vb script, you realize how limited it is.

Also, not only do you have rhinoscriptsyntax with Python, you can also access RhinoCommon, which is lower-level and can do a lot of things rhinoscript can’t.

Anyway, have a look, I have a vb script library of maybe 1000 scripts as well, but anything new I do is in Python. It’s more fun too!


Amen to that. I love PEP 20.

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I’ve maintained “3 in 1” (MacOS, Virtualized Windows, Bootcamp) Mac systems for years. Here is my take on both:

If it suits you and your interests/situation, it may be quite nice to have one box that does it all. However, my best advice is - you’ve got to want and/or need to do this, and the reasons vary. You should like the process, otherwise it may just annoy you. Setup is no big deal once you know how. If you hate maintaining (updates) one machine, consider whether you’d like to maintain 2-3. If you think it will annoy you stick with a Windows box w/SSD. If you are into it and really want to use MacOS and Apple HW as much as possible, have at it

Bootcamp is your best singular bet all things considered. It’s a “real” PC and a “real” Mac in one. On a new SSD Mac, Bootcamp switching between Yosemite and Win 8.1 is really fast. Initiate the reboot, stand up, put your arms behind your head, have a stretch, and the machine is ready. Seriously, I waste a lot more time on everyday BS. SSD reboots are a non issue IMO.

Get a 500GB SSD and duplicate most of your needs on both sides to minimize booting back and forth. For sanity, keep all your data on the Mac HFS partition (or external HFS disk) and install one of the HFS+ drivers onto Windows - MacDrive or Paragon. Minimize your Bootcamp partition to installed need + overhead.

Virtualized Windows on Mac hosts can hit or miss with 3D in terms of graphics performance. With Rhino, historically it has been mostly a miss. Generally, performance has varied per hardware, virtualization app, and version, with all “experimental” 3D, as the developers tag their virtual 3D drivers. I used to test the big 3 against each other, but eventually got bored with that several years ago and now stick with VirtualBox. Besides being free, we actually like that VB does not have the option to integrate the two OSes into one.

If you are not doing heavy modeling you may find virtualized Rhino fine for basic operations, etc. At some point you may get annoyed and decide to Bootcamp into Windows.

Bottom line, if you want a Mac now, and believe MacRhino may develop sufficiently (3rd party apps) over the life of a new Mac, then this is your stopgap. If you do find you don’t really need Bootcamp anymore, you’ll just delete the Bootcamp partition in a jiff to regain the HD space. Same for virtualization.

Hope that helps!

I have a Macbook Pro Retina which I bought in 2012 because it was such an improvement in weight, power consumption and screen resolution over the rest of the laptops of the day. Today, equivalent Windows laptops are widely available, including the Retina resolution. Check out what Dell offers.They will cost in the same neighborhood as a MacBook Pro Retina, though.

I pretty much agree with all that has been said here. Since MacBook Pro memory can’t be upgraded (it’s soldered to the motherboard), get the most memory you can. Also get the fastest processor you can. In my experience a 256 GB SSD fills up pretty fast with OS X, Parallels, and Windows 8.1 and the apps, so get 512 GB or more.

It’s true that you will be upgrading OS X, Parallels and Windows. Parallels usually releases a new version with each OS X version, about once a year, give or take. Both OS X and Parallels will have a few updates a year. You are undoubtedly already plenty familiar with Windows updates!