CherryOS Fraud

Ever since the public was exposed to CherryOS, lots of comments and criticism have appeared. This article, is dedicated to collecting evidence that CherryOS is a rip-off of open source software applications.

Background

Ever since the public knew the existence of the open-sourced PearPC, it has been a hot topic. Although the emulation speed isn't so fast, it was actually the first PowerPC emulator that could run Mac OS X. Many PearPC-related sites have sprung up. The development went rapid as interested coders found out how great PearPC is. Many Mac admirers bought Mac OS X even though they didn't have a Mac, for one reason: to install it on PearPC. After a while, someone revealed the existence of CherryOS, and causing it to be slashdotted. The strong public opinion that CherryOS is a rip-off product of PearPC resulted in Maui X-Stream ("MXS"), the company behind CherryOS, strongly denying that "CherryOS is a ripoff of PearPC."

The main developer, Arben Kryeziu, has provoked the public because of all of these acts. Let's first see the backgrounds of the two software:

PearPC

  • Open-source, licensed under GNU Public License.
    Because it's open-source, it's free, and anyone can view and download the code.
  • Still in development. Although the emulation speed is still acceptable, it's still not for productivity use.
  • Targeted use: emulating PowerPC architecture.
  • Easy of use: not easy. It has a command line interface, it needs a lot of configuration, including editing a text file, know as the config file.

CherryOS

  • Commercial, so it's close-sourced. No one can even give a peek of its code.
  • As a commercial release, it should be "stable" and is intended for daily productivity tasks.
  • Targeted use: providing an emulated environment for running Mac OS X.
  • Ease of use: Really easy, user friendly, has a graphical interface, and basically doesn't require much configuration.

Between the Two

Before we go on for anything else, let's continue to compare the two applications for advantages and disadvantages.

  • Price. PearPC is more preferrable, because it's free. On the other hand, CherryOS costs US$49.99.
    Update: It now costs $99.95, according to MXS.
  • Application status. PearPC is still "in development", while CherryOS is a productivity commercial product. CherryOS should win more users because of this.
  • Easy of use. CherryOS just prompts you to click through the wizard and pop in the Mac OS X installation CD; PearPC, in contrast, needs you to manually modify configuration files, set up TAP-32 networking, and many other things. CherryOS apparently wins at this.

Claims vs. Facts

CherryOS promised many features, some of which did not turn out to be available. Here are some of them:

  • 80% emulation speed of the host computer.
    They now claim that CherryOS is "3 times faster than PearPC", although many people proved that it's actually slower than PearPC's G4 emulation.
    Note that a recently update claimed that the new CherryOS 1.2 provided 300% speed of the original CherryOS (1.0 and 1.1)
  • G4 emulation. It is available as they promised.
  • Hardware support. They first claimed that it "has complete access to the host computer's hardware resources -- hard drive, CPU, RAM, FireWire, USB, PCI, PCMCIA bus, Ethernet networking and modem", but when I boot Mac OS X in CherryOS and plug in my iPod Shuffle, nothing happens.
  • Network bridging. They promised the feature, but they now say that "network bridging will be included in the next version".
  • Sound emulation. They promised the feature, and definitely, Mac OS X does display the volume control, but prasys can't even adjust it. It doesn't work.
  • Drag and drop support. It was thought one would be able to drag-and-drop objects between the virtual machine and host computer like in VMWare or Virtual PC, but actually, one could only drag-and-drop to move or copy files using CherryOS' internal "file manager", which looks almost identical to HFV explorer, a free HFS volume explorer on Windows. (Thanks to Casey for letting me know this)
  • CherryOS is a MDI application. MDI stands for Multiple Document Interface, which consists of a "main window" and a "child window".
  • When the screen window is clicked, the CherryOS main window loses focus. This hints some sort of embedding of another video window.
  • CheeryOS states that it will format a "HPFS" volume. This is incorrect, because Mac OS X uses HFS, not HPFS. HPFS stands for "High Performance File System" and is used by IBM OS/2, while Mac OS X uses HFS which stands for "Hierarchical File System". A later CherryOS release fixed this blunder.
  • Disk images are created in quite a strange way.

    There are actually lots of RAR archives with images compressed, and then automatically extracted using unrar.dll when "creating" disk images. There are 13 RAR files, ranging from 3GB to 15GB images. Here is a list of the specific name and size detail of the files:

    • cherryos_hd_3gb.rar - 1,575,206 bytes
    • cherryos_hd_4gb.rar - 2,098,796 bytes
    • cherryos_hd_5gb.rar - 2,623,145 bytes
    • cherryos_hd_6gb.rar - 3,147,745 bytes
    • cherryos_hd_7gb.rar - 3,672,699 bytes
    • cherryos_hd_8gb.rar - 4,196,719 bytes
    • cherryos_hd_9gb.rar - 4,720,917 bytes
    • cherryos_hd_10gb.rar - 5,245,531 bytes
    • cherryos_hd_11gb.rar - 5,769,876 bytes
    • cherryos_hd_12gb.rar - 6,294,497 bytes
    • cherryos_hd_13gb.rar - 6,818,853 bytes
    • cherryos_hd_14gb.rar - 7,343,481 bytes
    • cherryos_hd_15gb.rar - 7,867,832 bytes

Evidences

  • The way networking in CherryOS and PearPC are so similar.
    Originally, CherryOS promised to have a zero-configuration networking ability. Now, it requires users to do lots of configuring, which almost mirrors the configuration of OpenVPN, except CherryOS installs the driver for the user.
  • The way blank disk images are created.
    There are actually RAR archives with images compressed, and then automatically extracted using unrar.dll when "creating" disk images.
    There are 13 RAR files, ranging from 3GB to 15GB images, as mentioned previously. Why would the application hang for a while when "formatting" images? If you've ever extracted an image file using WinRAR, it also appears to stop responding as well. The presence of unrar.dll and the unresponsiveness shown when formatting images is too much to be a coincidence: file are getting distracted; no image formatting is actually happening.
  • Users have reported that the content of this file is identical to PearPC's configuration file. The phrases "pci_rtl8139_mac" and "pci_3c90x_mac" are apparent evidences.
    CherryOS 1.2, the newer release, now has some slightly different variable names, yet the configuration still strongly resembles that of PearPC. The variable change is fishy.

    Here is a sample of the content of such a file:

    pci_ide0_master_installed = 1
    pci_ide0_master_image = "e:\CherryOS_HD\Mac OS\hdimage.img"
    pci_ide0_master_type = "hd"
    pci_3c90x_installed = 0
    pci_3c90x_mac = "DE:AD:CA:FE:12:34"
    pci_usb_installed = 1
    nvram_file = "nvram"
    pci_ide0_slave_installed = 1
    
    pci_ide0_slave_image = "H:\Mac.OS.X.10.3.Panther.CD1.iso"
    pci_ide0_slave_type = "cdrom"
    prom_bootmethod = "auto" 
    redraw_interval_msec = 10
    cos_start_resolution = "1024x768x32"
    memory_size = 0x20000000
    pci_rtl8139_installed = 0
    pci_rtl8139_mac = "DE:AD:CA:FE:12:35" 
    
    key_toggle_mouse_grab = "F6" 
    cpu_pvr = 0x000c0000

    The configuration syntax is identical. Redrawing interval is set to 10, which is why the responsiveness seems to be "smooth".
    Note that a recent CherryOS 1.2 update has different value names for the configuration file, hinting even more desperate attempts to cover up evidence.

  • Focusing mode.
    When you click in the screen window, the CherryOS main window loses focus.
    Apparently, they embedded the PearPC video window into CherryOS successfully.
    It appears that they somehow replaced SDL with CherryOS's subsystem, making the video render inside CherryOS.

Possibilities of Legal Action

Personnels that have right to take legal actions

  • Sebastian Biallas as the main developer of PearPC
    Reason: Violation of GNU Public License, using the code without also releasing the source.
  • Daniel Foesch for G4 Altivec emulating
    Reason: Violation of GNU Public License, using the code without also releasing the source.
  • canadacow (for sound emulation code)
    Reason: Violation of GNU Public License, using the code without also releasing the source.
  • alex_extreme, Jens, robstah, thewer, and all other PearPC contributers
    Reason: Violation of GNU Public License, using the code without also releasing the source.
  • James Yonan at OpenVPN Solutions LLC (for networking)
    Reason: Violation of GNU Public License, using the code without also releasing the source.
  • Anygraaf Oy as the author of HFV Explorer (for shared drive)
    Reason: Violation of copyright law (using the program without the author's permission).

Companies that have right to take legal actions

  • Apple Computers
    Reason: You know how zealous they are when it's about Mac OS X
  • Indigo Rose Corp
    Reason: Using an illegal copy of the Setup Factory software.

Here is a list of company that can possibly take legal action on CherryOS:

  • Microsoft Corp
    Reason: Possible pirated use of Visual Basic.

Links

I just wanted you to know

I just wanted you to know that Arben Kryeziu from CherryOS is at it again, check out his new website:

http://www.coderebel.com
his name is nowhere on this site, but check this out:
http://www.bumpnetworks.com/products/applications/irapp/
his name is located at:http://www.bumpnetworks.com/about/company_profile/