PowerPC on OSX virtual machine?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by philips, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. philips macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2004
    Baden-Württemberg, Germany
    Hello everybody!

    I'm looking for rather strange piece of software: emulator of PowerPC under Mac OS X. My first intent is to facilitate compiling and testing of Linux/PPC software.

    I do own iBook with Mac OS X 10.3.5.

    I have found tool which does it in reverse: Mac-on-Linux, where one can run Mac OS X (or other PPC OS) under Linux/PPC. But I want to have Mac OS X as my primary OS - and Linux as secondary.

    Dual boot is way too wasteful, as I used to run system continuously with occasional reboots caused by Mac OS updates. And as PPC architecture docs are saying (and existence of Mac-on-Linux project confirms) PPC is quite easy to virtualize.

    So is there any piece of software for that?
  2. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    First of all, Macs use a PPC architecture, there is no need to "virtualize" it.

    As for running Linux within OSX on PPC I don't know for sure how to do it. I know that you can dual boot with Linux, but I don't know how to do it within OSX. The best way I can think of is with VirtualPC running an x86 Linux, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if there's a way to do exactly what you want.
  3. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    If you don't want to dual boot, then just use x11. You can use x11 to run almost all linux programs.
  4. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    Yeah, install x11 and your favourite windowmanager.
    You can run also run linux in VirtualPC (with crappy performance,)
  5. philips thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2004
    Baden-Württemberg, Germany
    Thanks for your replies.

    It seems that there is no software to do what I need :-(

    I'm happily running most of software I need on Mac OS X - thanks to some BSD heritage. That's not the question.

    Think about what I need as running Linux it self on Mac OS. I'm application developer - and I need time after time test portability. For example networking is quite different - but Mac OS follows BSD and Berkley's sockets are completely BSD compatible.

    For moment I will try to avoid Linux/PPC stuff - and using Virtual PC will work with Linux/x86.

    My problem is that PPC and x86 are quite different - like endianess - and I already caught handful of bug by running on MacOSX/PPC - but some functionality is strictly Linux specific (like hardware access and ways of getting system info). Eventually I will have to test my stuff on Linux/PPC - seems like dual-booting is the only choice.
  6. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Buy an old G3, or a G4. Then use a USB flash drive to transfer the data across.

    It won't be fun exactly, but it would work.
  7. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003

    Mac-on-Mac. Keep in mind that this is a very preliminary build, and at the moment only OS 9 support is being tested (but that is in many ways the hard part).

    If you are interested in following or using this, it would be a very good idea to start reading the MOL list.
  8. maxvamp macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2002
    Somewhere out there
    From the MOL List

    I wonder how soon you before will be able to install yellow dog Linux ( or Gentoo ) under OSX. Looks like it is coming, and I for one will be trying it out.

  9. thatwendigo macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2003
    Sum, Ergo Sum.
    I'm not entirely sure what you're asking for, but if what you're trying to do is to test Linux applications for compatibility on the PowerPC architecture, I think you might want to look here for some answers.

    Distributions with PPC trees:
  10. philips thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2004
    Baden-Württemberg, Germany
    MOM + MOL rule! :)

    I'm downloading Mac-on-Mac right now - will give it a shot this evening.
  11. philips thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2004
    Baden-Württemberg, Germany
    Ok. this stuff at moment limited to MacOS9. And I do not have any MacOS9 laying around :(

    Well, at least development is going on. So there are some chances that we will have something to test soon.
  12. MacNeXT macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2004
    Something like PearPC for Mac OS X? I think this shouldn't be too hard to do. There are Windows, Linux and FreeBSD (I believe, not gonna check this) ports. I think it isn't that difficult to port to Mac OS X. Is there x86 specific code in PearPC??? If so, it would be good practice if they have minimized and modularized the x86 specific part.

    PearPC for PPC... It sounds a bit useless but on the other hand we also have x86 on x86 (Virtual PC, VMWare, Bochs). PearPC is a good opportunity to have the same for Mac OS X. The only thing we have to do is wait for some kind soul to do the work.
  13. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    sorry to deviate the discussion... but just about X11 - how do i run a Linux app under X11? say i just download the binary, then do i just go to the X11 terminal and launch the app from there? i guess i should try that some time. but is that the right way to do it, or is there alot of other 'set-up' that needs to be done?
  14. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    No, you don't download the binary. You download the source and compile it. It's easy.

    - Install Xcode
    - Install the 'X11 SDK' (it's on the Xcode CD, I think)
    - Download source for Linux app
    - ./configure
    - make

    Usually that's enough to get most apps running :)

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