Running Snow Leopard on a PowerPC Mac

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by foxlet, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. foxlet macrumors 6502

    foxlet

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2016
    #1
    During the PowerPC challenge a few weeks ago, I was experimenting with running the Snow Leopard kernel via emulation (QEMU) on a PowerPC system. I've never seen much progress in terms of that, so I thought of documenting it at this point.

    Indeed, it is possible to boot the kernel up to a point, although in this instance the system crashes, possibly due to the emulated clock being too slow/variable (it is a rather old PowerBook G4 Ti, which makes sense). The kernel is based on a modified kernel (by nawcom) that includes a needed SSE3 emulator.

    [​IMG]

    In essence, it might be possible to actually reach the desktop with a more powerful PowerPC Mac (the image was tested on a 2009 Core2Duo Mac with an identical QEMU build, which ran Snow Leopard fine, albeit slowly).

    Case in point, I did technically run the Snow Leopard kernel on a PowerPC Mac. :)
     
  2. Lastic macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Location:
    North of the HellHole
    #2
    Could you share a link to this SSE3 enabled kernel ?
     
  3. foxlet, Jul 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017

    foxlet thread starter macrumors 6502

    foxlet

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2016
    #3
    Bonus shot of the Snow Leopard image tested under QEMU's pure-software x86_64 emulator (not on PowerPC):
    [​IMG]
     
  4. foxlet thread starter macrumors 6502

    foxlet

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2016
    #4
    And one more bonus, Windows 8 on the PowerPC machine (with some display bugs):
    [​IMG]
     
  5. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    #5
    I tried messing with emulating Windows on a PPC, I didn't have much luck but I'm shocked to see that you were able to make Windows 8's installer load!!
     
  6. Lastic, Jul 28, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017

    Lastic macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Location:
    North of the HellHole
    #6
    Try starting it with -vga cirrus , that seemed to fix my weird colour issues
     
  7. AphoticD macrumors 65816

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    #7
    Well done. Just curiously, what version of Qemu are you using? 2.4.0 is the latest I have been able to build under OS X. Whereas Linux on the same PowerPC (G5) hardware can build and run the current 2.9.0 release.
     
  8. foxlet thread starter macrumors 6502

    foxlet

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2016
    #8
    I'm using the latest version of QEMU (2.9.0) from source. They all compile fine under OS X on my end.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. LightBulbFun macrumors 65816

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #9
    I think he is referring to the QEMU version used on your Tibook :)

    for the record you should not need to use a kernel with an SSE3 emulator, QEMU is perfectly capable of emulating a Core Duo or Core 2 Duo and booting Snow leopard, you can also specify an SMC in QEMU and avoid the need for FakeSMC

    going by the bad colours, I assume your using quite an old build that uses SDL?
     
  10. foxlet thread starter macrumors 6502

    foxlet

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2016
    #10
    Yes, the regular kernel does also work, but on the PowerBook G4 it was too crash-prone (more often not even loading the kernel and switching into text mode, just crashing back to firmware). QEMU does indeed support SMC emulation, but the image I was working with already included FakeSMC, so there was no real harm in keeping it.

    As noted earlier, those screenshots are somewhat old now, they were running on 2.2.1 but it has since been updated.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 28, 2017 ---
    A normal installation of Windows 8 runs, too!
    [​IMG]
     
  11. AmazingHenry macrumors 65816

    AmazingHenry

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Location:
    Central Michigan
    #11
    Windows 8 on PPC? This may be the solution to our Netflix issues, right? :)
     
  12. LightBulbFun macrumors 65816

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #12
    considering how SLOW its going to be, not it wont be
     
  13. SourceSunTom macrumors regular

    SourceSunTom

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Location:
    France
    #13
    Nice, didn't know about QEMU, i'm going to experiment with nawcom's legacy kernels and boot flags and stuff!!! That's so cool
     
  14. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #14
    x86 emulation on PowerPC results in a huge performance cost. Not likely to be good for anything more than proof of concept and running some very light applications.
     
  15. Dronecatcher macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #15
    ....or anything that won't task a Pentium 133...
     
  16. amagichnich macrumors 6502

    amagichnich

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #16
    I always loved the idea of SL for PPC but honestly what would be the point in it? SL is Leopard but the core system parts rewritten for 64bit multi-core intel processors. Rewriting it now for PPCs (64bit multicore) would in some scenarios boost up the system a bit, but a) not very much systems could apply it and b) not many of these would really benefit of it. That's my opinion, correct me if I'm wrong ;)
     
  17. AmazingHenry macrumors 65816

    AmazingHenry

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Location:
    Central Michigan
    #17
    Yeah, only the 64 bit G5 machines could use it.
     
  18. Dronecatcher, Jul 28, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017

    Dronecatcher macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #18
    Can anyone actually quantify the performance difference between Leopard and Snow Leopard on an Intel machine? It's been so long, I can't remember.

    EDIT: Sorry, meant to post this in the Transforming Leopard into Snow Leopard thread.
     
  19. AmazingHenry macrumors 65816

    AmazingHenry

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Location:
    Central Michigan
    #19
    It's a pretty big difference on a C2D. Probably not as big on the Core Duo and Core Solo processors.
     
  20. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #20
    Win2K in VPC is okay. My experience is that even on a Quad, XP is too much. Yes, I've done it, and at the time did it for practical reasons(specific software that I needed on the Quad, which was my main desktop then).
    --- Post Merged, Jul 28, 2017 ---
    Unless you are running 64 bit applications, the differences between CD and C2Ds is entirely down to clock speed(and other things like cache amount).
     
  21. z970mp macrumors 6502a

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Location:
    Outer Space
    #21
    I get the feeling that it's not quite the G5 isn't able to handle XP, I think it's more to do with the fact that Virtual PC has a limit to how much CPU and RAM you can give the virtualization. I had 4GB of RAM and it only allowed 512MB through. It's infuriating.
     
  22. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    #22
    512MB of RAM is enough to run XP on.
     
  23. Dronecatcher macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #23
    True. VPC/Win2000 ran as well on my 1.33 Powerbook as it did on my Quad. VPC wasn't really improved much v5 onwards.
     
  24. z970mp, Jul 28, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017

    z970mp macrumors 6502a

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Location:
    Outer Space
    #24
    Not enough to make it fast. Or bearable when being virtualized.

    Especially with SP3.
     
  25. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #25
    I've had some success with running XP and 7 on VPC. Of course, my Quad is maxed out with ram, but that doesn't really impact VPC 7 as you can only assign a certain amount.

    I'm using a stripped down version of XP though (available in places on the web) and I have all the eye candy crap off with 7.

    Mainly just using for low impact games.
     

Share This Page