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5 Key Features in Orka's CLI for iOS and macOS Virtualization

Orka node list outputs Mac Pro node resource utilization

It’s always a treat when you can do more with less code. And Orka’s CLI fits this bill. Orka is a powerful macOS virtualization tool that performs complex tasks with short, simple commands. In the spirit of brevity that makes the Orka CLI so attractive, let’s get to it, shall we?

Top five actions you can execute natively in Orka’s CLI:

1. Upload an ISO:

orka iso upload

Massive files, like a pre-configured macOS image that might be used in a CI workflow, can be quickly and reliably uploaded with this feature.

2. Generate macOS VM Image to deploy ISO:

orka image generate

Create a “blueprint” of a Mac VM that will act as a “home” for your newly uploaded OS image. That is, create an image that defines a VM that will run the OS image you just uploaded. VM Images can also be stored and reused in future workflows. This can also be used to make a virtual storage device you can pass from one VM to the next.

3. List all nodes (pulling from K8s):

orka node list

To extend the above “home” metaphor, here you can list all “lots” in a “subdivision” that will house the “homes” – i.e., the VMs themselves. That is to say, here you can list all worker machines in the Kubernetes system. In an Orka cluster, “node” typically refers to a Mac Pro.

Kubernetes call out: although Orka provides full Kubernetes functionality, the actual Kubernetes actions are executed with User-level permissions (RBAC) defined in Orka. To facilitate this User management, Orka abstracts “away” certain Kubernetes features; orka node list is one such case, as executing this command in Orka actually results in a call to kubectl get nodes, but orka node list can only be called by Orka Users with sufficient permissions.

4. Create Mac VMs:

orka vm create-config

Build the VMs from the “blueprints” – i.e., the macOS VM Images. Like manufactured homes, VMs created en masse like this are a very efficient, single-use solution.

5. Deploy VMs to K8s:

orka vm deploy

Deploy the VMs to the “lots” in the Kubernetes “subdivision” of ephemeral nodes. Here, finally, the CI processes proper can run in a known, secure and compliant environment.


MacStadium’s Orka offers a proprietary solution to running Kubernetes on macOS. Additionally, it offers broad flexibility coupled with an intuitive approach to CI workflow creation and execution in a Mac environment.

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