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Dt990

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 24, 2020
11
15
Oregon
Hey All, I figured this would be of interest, it's pretty frictionless to run PowerPC OSes via QEMU x86. I fully expected more problems. I haven't seen any try this but I would not be surprised if someone here already has.

Screen Shot 2021-01-13 at 1.34.01 AM.png

The requirements are as follows:

Xcode + Xcode-select installed
x86 Homebrew installed
Disk Image of the OS you'd like to run, I used OS 9.2.1, OS X 10.0, 10.1 and 10.3

Code:
arch -x86_64 brew install qemu
qemu-img create -f qcow2 myimage.img 2G    
qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot d -M mac99 -m 512 -hda myimage.img  -cdrom path/to/disk/image
qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot c -M mac99 -m 512 -hda myimage.img

The above code is:
  1. Installing QEMU as x86
  2. Create disk image (2G = 2GB)
  3. Run QEMU with newly created image and report as Mac using OpenBIOS, boot of the D drive (Optical), 512 MB of RAM and also include the disk image. You'll need to format the disk. 10.0 doesn't have a disk utility in the installer so you'll need another bootable image that has one.
  4. After installation boot off the C drive where the OS was installed.
I wrote a blog post summarizing it here:


And a youtube vid if that's your thing:

Not really included in either is that you'll want to test out QEMU screamer, I haven't tried yet but I wouldn't surprised if it works. This is the best resource I've found.

It runs well enough, I as able to play SimCity 2000, which wasn't exactly demanding but works. QEMU runs PPC OS X about as fast as Parallels does with X86 Macs despite going through the insanity of PPC -> x86 -> ARM. For whatever reason, the VM support for OS X with Parallels is pretty clunky and choppy.

I also tried Windows 10 but already had burned enough time. It ran sloooooow but I was able to mostly install it, but it failed on the reboot.
 

Spectrum

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2005
1,735
1,082
Never quite sure
Thanks for sharing. In the future I will need a way to run 10.6.8 on an M1 Mac. I currently use VMWare and it works well on Intel Macs, but they won’t last forever...
Do you think 10.6.8 will work with QEMU? I have the retail 10.6.8 server install disks. Is that what is needed?
 

jdb8167

macrumors 68030
Nov 17, 2008
2,508
1,793
The version of QEmu installed by brew doesn’t currently work on the M1. It just reports an error. There is a patched version of QEmu but that patch is only for running Arm64 code through a hypervisor.
 
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duervo

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2011
2,408
1,165
Thanks for sharing. In the future I will need a way to run 10.6.8 on an M1 Mac. I currently use VMWare and it works well on Intel Macs, but they won’t last forever...
Do you think 10.6.8 will work with QEMU? I have the retail 10.6.8 server install disks. Is that what is needed?
I wouldn’t worry about Fusion going away anytime soon.

Snippet of VMware’s recent blog post regarding macOS Bis Sur, Apple Silicon, and Fusion:

The other big question is how M1 chips in host devices will affect guest VMs on Fusion running Windows and other x86 operating systems. Our colleagues over on the Fusion team have said “While we’re not quite ready to announce our timeline, we’re happy to say that we are committed to delivering VMware virtual machines on Apple Silicon!” So, stay tuned to the VMware Fusion Blog and Twitter account for the latest.
 
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Xii-Nyth

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2021
1
0
Aw shoot, you got me really excited as I though u ran it in intel x86 and not ppc.

Also, how did you get 10.4 working? Ive been about to get 9.2.2 and 10.0 to work but not 10.4
 

Floop

macrumors regular
Jan 14, 2003
167
90
This is so interesting to me but I cannot get it working, when I run:

arch -x86_64 brew install qemu

I'm getting:

Bash:
Error: Cannot install under Rosetta 2 in ARM default prefix (/opt/homebrew)!
To rerun under ARM use:
    arch -arm64 brew install ...
To install under x86_64, install Homebrew into /usr/local
 

jdb8167

macrumors 68030
Nov 17, 2008
2,508
1,793
This is so interesting to me but I cannot get it working, when I run:

arch -x86_64 brew install qemu

I'm getting:

Bash:
Error: Cannot install under Rosetta 2 in ARM default prefix (/opt/homebrew)!
To rerun under ARM use:
    arch -arm64 brew install ...
To install under x86_64, install Homebrew into /usr/local
You are trying to run a Rosetta 2 install in a terminal configured for native M1. Native M1 home brew installs in /opt/homebrew while x86-64 homebrew installs in /usr/local. I think you can have both at the same time though I haven’t tried it.

You should close the terminal, right click on the terminal icon and Get Info then check the open in Rosetta box. Reopen terminal and now it is in x86-64 mode. Install homebrew as normal again and it should install in /usr/local. now when you want Rosetta 2 emulation of x86-64 brew command line you can switch to Rosetta in the get info dialog.

I haven’t tried this so I can’t confirm it works and you take responsibility for any issues.
 
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Floop

macrumors regular
Jan 14, 2003
167
90
You should close the terminal, right click on the terminal icon and Get Info then check the open in Rosetta box.

Thank you for explaining that!

So now I've got:

Mac OS 11 Big Sur...
...running the Intel x86 version of QEMU via Rosetta 2 with the UTM front-end interface...
...emulating a PowerPC G4 PowerMac...
...running MacOS X 10.4 Tiger for PowerPC...
...running classic MacOS 9.2.2 in the Classic Environment compatability layer...
...running Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 for Mac, still able to load my aged website from 1997!

This was quite pointless but it made me very happy!

Screenshot 2021-05-22 at 14.11.25.png


Screenshot 2021-05-22 at 14.13.26.png
 

TSE

macrumors 68040
Jun 25, 2007
3,341
1,406
St. Paul, Minnesota
Thank you for explaining that!

So now I've got:

Mac OS 11 Big Sur...
...running the Intel x86 version of QEMU via Rosetta 2 with the UTM front-end interface...
...emulating a PowerPC G4 PowerMac...
...running MacOS X 10.4 Tiger for PowerPC...
...running classic MacOS 9.2.2 in the Classic Environment compatability layer...
...running Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 for Mac, still able to load my aged website from 1997!

This was quite pointless but it made me very happy!

View attachment 1781187

View attachment 1781188

You are incredible!
 

thedocbwarren

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2017
372
267
San Francisco, CA
Thank you for explaining that!

So now I've got:

Mac OS 11 Big Sur...
...running the Intel x86 version of QEMU via Rosetta 2 with the UTM front-end interface...
...emulating a PowerPC G4 PowerMac...
...running MacOS X 10.4 Tiger for PowerPC...
...running classic MacOS 9.2.2 in the Classic Environment compatability layer...
...running Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 for Mac, still able to load my aged website from 1997!

This was quite pointless but it made me very happy!

View attachment 1781187

View attachment 1781188



Could you not emulate PPC Mac using QEMU or UTM directly vs x86 and then PPC?
 

ksloth

macrumors member
Nov 21, 2019
53
89
USA
There is something so pure and clean about the older Mac OS's. I just love the way they look. Not saying I would necessarily want to go back to them full-time, but they are very cool to look at. Nostalgic rose-colored glasses maybe heh...
 

etnmarchand

macrumors newbie
Sep 26, 2021
1
1
So funny! I think there are a few of us goofing around with emulation and old PPC stuff. I spent my weekend installing (and blogging for the first time in a while) about using UTM on my M1 Mac Mini for Mac OS 9.2.1+10.4 (the 10.4 blog is coming when I finally get time to write it).

Honestly I just wanted to play Diablo 2 again (and it runs decent in 9.2.1), so I'm happy.

 
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Dt990

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 24, 2020
11
15
Oregon
So funny! I think there are a few of us goofing around with emulation and old PPC stuff. I spent my weekend installing (and blogging for the first time in a while) about using UTM on my M1 Mac Mini for Mac OS 9.2.1+10.4 (the 10.4 blog is coming when I finally get time to write it).

Honestly I just wanted to play Diablo 2 again (and it runs decent in 9.2.1), so I'm happy.

I'm glad someone else ran with this, I get bogged down with other community stuff, Definitive Mac Pro Upgrade Guide zaps my bandwidth. I need to try QEMU again now that it has an Apple Silicon native version.
 

kitsune1984

macrumors newbie
Oct 12, 2021
2
0
Help! I'm not sure what I did wrong, so i want to start again from scratch. I understand how to remove home-brew, but how do I remove/re-install QEMU? I haven't been able to find any solid info online yet.

I have tried the following command, [arch -x86_64 brew reinstall qemu], and I get the following response,

Error: Cannot install under Rosetta 2 in ARM default prefix (/opt/homebrew)!


To rerun under ARM use:


arch -arm64 brew install ...


To install under x86_64, install Homebrew into /usr/local.

I know I screwed up somewhere so I wanted to start from the beginning.
 

kitsune1984

macrumors newbie
Oct 12, 2021
2
0
Thank you for explaining that!

So now I've got:

Mac OS 11 Big Sur...
...running the Intel x86 version of QEMU via Rosetta 2 with the UTM front-end interface...
...emulating a PowerPC G4 PowerMac...
...running MacOS X 10.4 Tiger for PowerPC...
...running classic MacOS 9.2.2 in the Classic Environment compatability layer...
...running Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 for Mac, still able to load my aged website from 1997!

This was quite pointless but it made me very happy!

View attachment 1781187

View attachment 1781188
You wouldn't happen to have instructions on how you got those to run, would you? I ask, because I've been combing and having no success with instructions found.
 

Pixlet

macrumors newbie
Oct 31, 2021
1
0
You wouldn't happen to have instructions on how you got those to run, would you? I ask, because I've been combing and having no success with instructions found.
Believe it or not, getting PowerPC versions of Mac OS X is actually quite simple on M1. Here's what you need:

1. Get UTM from their website.
2. Make a virtual machine that's
PowerPC​
mac99​
2 GB of RAM​
set to 1 core CPU with Force Multicore checked​
has two drives​
one IDE​
one that's your Installer ISO (use the Import Disk button) move this one to the top of the disk hierarchy​

When you boot it up, the installer will open, use Disk Utility to format the drive. I've been able to get this to work with Cheetah to Leopard.

Intel is where the problem is...
 
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