SC: Hello, I’m a Mac.

Purpose: Describe how to run Shared Clustering on macOS.
Level: Beginner, with some computer setup skills
Format: Description
NOTE: Shared Clustering version fixed a bug in the
computation of the numerical values displayed in the cells.
This description is only valid for version or

We admit it, we were giddy when we found the Shared Clustering application. We were using one of the cloud-based clustering services, and wanted a more responsive desktop application that supported a more efficient workflow.

Then we see this:

Shared Clustering is a Windows application. It requires a
Windows system to run.

Say it isn’t so!

Well, it is, technically. But that didn’t stop us.

Hello, I’m a Mac

How-To Geek tells us there are 5 ways to run Windows software on a Mac.

Over the last few years, we have used VirtualBox to run several “small” Windows applications (e.g. (toy) train layout app, my wife’s Bernina embroidery app) on our Macs.

So we fired up VirtualBox on our Mac, booted Windows, installed Shared Clustering, and we were in business. It works. It works great!

Why VirtualBox? No particular reason, other than we haven’t used Windows applications frequently, until now. VirtualBox is free, so we haven’t been motivated to use one of the paid virtual machines that have better integration with macOS. You still need to buy a copy of Windows to run on macOS, which you can do on-line, practicing safe distancing.

We won’t write a step-by-step tutorial for installing a virtual machine on a Mac, and installing Windows and Shared Clustering on the virtual machine. The pieces of this process are available by googling.

Our configuration

Our configuration is referred to as a macOS host running a Windows guest.

Yes, that is a high-end Mac. We like shiny things. But we’ve also run VirtualBox and our “small” Windows applications on a much lower-end Mac with less memory—it works fine.

Shared Clustering and Spreadsheet Workflow

We have our spreadsheet window (running on macOS) open next to our Windows window (running on the macOS host), with the Shared Clustering window (running on the Windows guest) in the Windows window. Say that 10 times fast.

We configured VirtualBox to share a folder on the macOS file system with the Windows guest. Shared Clustering uses and saves files in this folder. We can immediately see and open clustering files in our spreadsheet application from the macOS Finder, update notes, and then immediately upload modified notes to Ancestry using Shared Clustering.

We are able to start 4 hour downloads of our Slow and complete AncestryDNA data in Shared Clustering, close (not quit) the Windows window, and keep working on other things on the Mac.

The world makes sense again.