Legacy OS's

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by pctechtv, May 23, 2015.

  1. pctechtv macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #1
    Hi does anybody know of any guides or images that can enable you to install OS's as old OSX 9 and OSX 8 on VirtualBox or any other hypervisor? I have some iso's of the install CDs but I just letting them boot up does not do much. I knew nothing of Mac at the time these were made. I am running a Mac Pro with Yosemite (don't know if that matters). Thanks
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    VirtualBox won't work to run OS9 and OS8, those operating systems were written for the PowerPC CPU. Virtual box uses Intel's Virtualization technology in the CPU. You would need something like sheepshaver which is an emulator, you'll need the old Mac os Roms to make it work
     
  3. Partron22 macrumors 68000

    Partron22

    Joined:
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    #3
    If you can get down to 10.4.11 (Tiger), you'll find you can run System 9.2 in "compatibility mode" through System Preferences. Mac minis through 2007 will allow that.
    Slot loading iMacs from the early 2000's will go up to 10.4.11, and are perfectly happy running System 9.
    Both options should be pretty cheap now days, if you can find the units for sale.

    You can also run older systems (7.5.3 etc) on a rooted nook reader.
     
  4. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #4
    Although I've never used Tiger on an Intel Mac, I'm pretty sure that it doesn't have Classic mode.

    The reason is that it's not actually an emulator, but rather a virtual machine with OS 9 running in it. It talks directly to the processor, and so will only work on a PowerPC processor.

    I've never liked classic mode. IMO, for OS 9 use, you're better off with a computer that can run it natively. The best desktop is the Powermac G4 MDD(mirrored drive door) with a 1.25ghz processor. Both single processor and dual processor variations of this are available, although you really don't see any benefit in OS 9 from multiple processors unless you're running a piece of software that can use both(Photoshop 7 is the stereotypical example).

    The best laptop for OS 9 use is the 1ghz Titanium Powerbook.

    Of course, if you need to connect to legacy peripherals, you need to go a little bit further back. If you need a serial port, you can install one in any G4 using a Stealth Serial Port, although these are a bit difficult to find(the Stealth Port replaces the modem). If you need SCSI, a SCSI card will do the job, but you need to check for OS 9 compatibility(some G3s and G4s shipped with SCSI cards that will work natively). If you need ADB, a B&W G3 is newest computer with such a port(these can be upgraded to a G4 pretty easily, although a G4 offers little benefit unless you're running Altivec-enabled software).

    System 7.1 was the first that would run on a PowerPC processor, and only a handful of them at that. System 7.5.5 is better in pretty much every way. OS 8(note the change in naming) is a big mess, and you're better of skipping it for OS 8.5. OS 8.6 is a free update(it's still up on Apple's site) for OS 8.5, and adds support for USB mass storage devices. Pre-G3 computer officially stop at OS 9.1, although 9.2.2 runs great on them(installing needs a little bit of work).

    If you want to run System 7 or earlier, you need a 68K processor. Better 68K processors(I think the 68030 and 68040) can go up to OS 8.1, but for your own sanity stick to OS 7.5.5 with them.

    As for older versions of OS X-any G3-based system can run up through OS X Tiger(10.4.11), although OWR systems(anything without built in USB) requires using a program called XPostfacto to install. NWR systems that lack built-in Firewire need XPostfacto to install 10.4.11. Any G4 system can run Leopard(10.5). It's straight forward on a system with AGP graphics(you just need to bypass the processor speed check on systems with processors slower than 867mhz-there are several ways to do this) although those without AGP graphics need a fair bit more work.

    I have a computer set up to boot every version of OS X from Public Beta to 10.5. Honestly, there's little reason to actually use anything below 10.4, as it loses no functionality over earlier versions and software availability is much better(including an up to date web browser).
     
  5. Partron22, May 24, 2015
    Last edited: May 24, 2015

    Partron22 macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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    #5
    According to this chart Versions, Tiger would run on some Intel Macs, so there might have been some that'd do Classic mode. Rare birds now days, I'm sure.
    I ran 9.2 in classic mode on my PPC Mac mini (G4-2005) under 10.4.11 just last night.
    Write Now 4.0 still works, as does Cricket Graph. Couldn't find my copy of Spaceward Ho!
     
  6. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #6

    The first Intel Macs were sold in January 2006 and Leopard wasn't introduced until October 2007-there were actually quite a few Intel Macs that shipped with Tiger.

    I have a couple that could theoretically run it(I know my late '06 Mini can, and I think also my iMac), but I don't have the original install disks. The retail client versions of Tiger were PPC only, and only 10.4.8 Server was universal. The only way to get Tiger on an Intel Mac is with the original(gray) disks. As a side note, all Leopard disks-both retail and gray-are universal. Just for a proof of concept, I ran the 10.5 gray disks on my Black Macbook(late '07), updated it, and then cloned the install to a DLSD Powerbook. It worked perfectly. I've also done the same in reverse-copied a PPC Leopard install onto an Intel Mac.

    The issue with it is that-as I said-Classic mode is a virtual machine and not an emulator(Rosetta is an emulator, but only to run PPC OS X programs in OS X). Thus, if the computer doesn't have a PPC processor, I'm almost positive that Classic mode won't work. I'll track down the gray disks for the Mini and try.

    As I said, though, I'd much rather run OS 9 natively than through the Classic layer. There's no shortage of machines-all the G3 series(Powermacs, iMacs, Powerbooks, and iBooks) can run 9.2.2, and anything with a PPC 601, 603, or 604 processor can officially run up through 9.1(and 9.2.2 with OS 9 Helper). All Powermac G4s except for the FW800 MDD, all Titanium Powerbook G4s, some iMac G4s, and some eMacs can run 9.2.2(just be aware that quite a few the G4s and even some late iBook G3s need a computer-specific OS 9.2.2 gray disk).
     
  7. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #7
    This isn't strictly on-topic, but since I'm pretty adamant about running OS 9 natively, I thought I'd show the below.

    I'm not one for hyperbole, but this is likely one of the fastest computers in existence capable of booting into OS 9.

    It started life as a Digital Audio G4 that was transplanted into a Marathon rackmount case.

    I acquired it a few months back, and have done some tinkering with it here and there. A few weeks ago, I installed a GEForce 4Ti 4600-the highest performance graphics card that is fully compatible with OS 9.

    Shortly thereafter, I acquired a Sonnet Dual 1.8ghz processor upgrade. The Sonnet uses 7447A processors(the late generation G4s that were developed for notebooks). They have a native clock speed of 1.42ghz, but are overclocked to 1.8ghz. BTW, I have another dual 1.8 7447A that uses 1.25ghz processors, and has never(through three owners) run reliably at 1.8ghz-I currently have it at 1.6.

    The Sonnet applies a firmware patch to "trick" the computer into thinking it's something other than a 7447A, as the computer will not normally even boot with one installed. The 7447A Gigadesigns I have also will not boot into OS 9, although the Sonnet goes out of its way to retain OS 9 compatibility.

    Thus, I have a dual 1.8ghz G4 running OS 9. The fastest Apple made that could boot into OS 9 was a dual 1.25ghz.

    Unfortunately, OS 9 itself does not see any benefit from having multiple processors, although certain applications(Photoshop 7 is the stereotypical example) can use both processors. I can tell you that Photoshop 7 is a beast on this computer(and honestly there's nothing I need to do in Photoshpo that PS7 can't accomplish), although the lack of USB 2.0 support under OS 9 is a bit of a bottleneck. As much as I love Firewire(FW400 has full support under OS 9), high speed USB is a practical necessity for image manipulation now.
     

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  8. MichaelLAX macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    #8
    Tiger PPC included the Classic Mode; Tiger Intel had to abandon the Classic Mode as it now ran on an Intel CPU and not the older PowerPC CPU.

    The only way to run Classic software on an Intel Mac is to use SheepShaver and it "all in one" bundled cousin, Chubby Bunny.
     

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  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #9
    OS X Tiger on Intel was never capable of running Classic. This functionality was limited to PowerPC Macs.
     
  10. Fudgey Memory macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    #10

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