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SheepShaver - Classic for Intel Macs

During a search of the HyperCard Maling List archives, I just stumbled across Sheep Shaver. Sheep Shaver is a PowerPC Mac emulator that originally started out on BeOS, but later got ported to Linux and Darwin as well. The neat part about this is that it's been ported to Intel and thus runs on all currently selling Macs.

Set up is fairly easy. On XLR8YourMac's Classic on Intel Macs page, you can find a recent experimental snapshot of SheepShaver for Intel Macs. It even comes with a little X11 GUI that lets you set up the config file easily.

Of course, like most emulators, it needs a ROM. Aforementioned XLR8YourMac page contains a link to a MacOS 9.0.4 updater that contains the "Mac OS ROM" file, that you can extract by using TomeViewer on any Classic-capable Mac. Sadly, I skipped 9.0.4, and ShapeShifter doesn't support 9.1 for which I have a system CD, nor does it support PCI-based Macs like my old G4. Luckily, this MacOnLinux Download Page has a link to a ROM Updater on Apple's site that includes a ROM file for a Mac from the 8.5 era, so I didn't have to use an extracting app to get the ROM from my old 7200.

Once I had my ROM file, I selected it in the SheepShaverGUI setup utility, created a disk on the first page, upped the hard disk size (1024MBs) and RAM on a later one (512MBs), and increased the refresh rate (otherwise it'll run just fine, but seem slow due to, effectively, "dropped frames"). Then I inserted my 8.5 System CD ROM for a Classic Mac and clicked "Start" to boot. The Mac started up, realized the disk image had no OS, and booted from my CD, where I ran through the installer just like on a real Mac. A restart later, I went through the installation assistant. It hung after a few settings, so I had to force-quit it. (So, just quit the assistant and hope for the best...) I took the opportunity and inserted a CD with the 8.6 update on it, started it back up and installed the update.

After a restart, there was no sound. To fix that, I brought up the old "Sound" control panel (the new "Monitors & Sound" won't do), which had been installed under "Apple Extras" onto my hard disk. Once you selected the sound input device, I had a classic MacOS on my Mac Mini.

It's not perfect by any means: A few keycodes on the keyboard seem to be off (guess it wants a US keyboard), a few things seem to crash, e.g QuickTime Player when I try to open the good old annoying "QuickTime Pro Information" file it insists on saving to my desktop.

But hey, this is free, and it's the only Classic environment I have for my Mac so far. Great work, thanks Mr. Gwenole Beauchesne and consorts!

Update: I recently realized where I had backed up a System 9.x installer, and when I found it I was delighted to see that it was 9.0. So, I booted up SheepShaver into my old 8.6, ran the updater, and whaddaya know, it worked. Okay, the setup assistant crashed, but since that tries to do some hardware stuff, I'm not too surprised about that, and a reboot later the system just seems to work.

It was a great feeling to run the HyperCard Mailing List CD on my Intel Mac, and HyperCard 2.4 and SuperCard 3 also boot and run there, and my OMO trial version, and I'll probably now try installing a System 7 Sound -> AIFF converter app to get all my nice old sound files into Mac OS X (looks like QuickTime doesn't do System 7 Sound files anymore). And then to dig out some of the other apps I'd like to have on my Intel Mac...

Great work, guys!

Reader Comments: (RSS Feed)
Richard writes:
Uli Kusterer replies:
@Richard: There's a classic app available on the net called "TomeViewer". Use that to open the installer tome file in that .smi (SMIs are the old version of DMGs - and sorry, you need a PPC Mac to run TomeViewer, which essentially is a rough classic equivalent to Pacifist). With TomeViewer you can extract files from the Tome, in this case that would be the "Mac OS ROM" file.
Austin Hurst writes:
Hi, Uli, i'm having some problems with sheepshaver on my 2.16GHz intel imac. Boots fine, image loads & boots fine, but quickdraw 3D and quicktime make Mac OS 9.0.4 crash. I wanted to play old 3D classic games like Bugdom & myst, but that's not exactly working. I used the iMac 9.0.4 Software Restore and I used tomeviewer to get ROM update 1.0 from apple. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!
Uli Kusterer replies:
@Austin: Apart from playing a little with the settings (especially the old Sound control panel, which seems to fix a few oddities for me once run), I can't make many suggestions. QuickTime is definitely the iffiest part of the whole equation, and games have traditionally used programming that's a bit close to hardware, so are very likely to break. That said, I got the HCML CD to work, and that is HyperCard with Color Tools, so if you have the original edition of Myst, it should work just fine, since that is HyperCard with HyperTint, which is roughly equivalent. Anyone else have an idea?
Nik writes:
Hey, Have you found an easy way to access the net in sheepshaver? Like many others, I got an intel mac to run scientific software (PAUP), only to find it runs in classic only. Long story short, I've installed sheepshaver and OS8.6, but alas the program I'm installing requires an updater. When I download the update through OSX it cannot be opened in sheepshaver, as the "application program that created it could not be found." Any clue what that means and what I should do? My guess is that if I could download it whilst in my classic environment it might work out (but that's just a stab in the dark). Thanks
Uli Kusterer replies:
@Nik: SheepShaver has a bug where it forgets to endian-swap file type and creator codes. As a result, if you have a file with type 'APPL' it ends up in SheepShaver with type 'LPPA'. SheepShaver has a few built-in mappings from file name suffixes ("file name extensions" as Apple calls them, i.e. ".txt" or ".rtf") to creator codes that are correct, but for those types it doesn't know, you'll have to reverse the characters of the type and creator codes. If you have Apple's developer tools ("Xcode tools") installed, you can use the SetFile command line tool in /Developer/Tools/ to do that. So, set an application's type to 'LPPA' and it will end up correctly as 'APPL' in SheepShaver. I don't think SheepShaver emulates a network device, so I don't think you can surf the net with it.
Nik writes:
Uli, thanks for the info. I decided to try one last thing to get around this before following your advice, and I simply burned all the files I needed to update the software onto a disk. Easy as pie, I was able to transfer the files and update the software. Now I can only hope that the datafiles I need to throw back and forth will open fine via the shared folder, otherwise I may be trying the Xcode tools bizzo you mentioned. Anyway, thanks for the advice!
Josh writes:
I get a message for all applications i get in my users/shared folder and try to open "could not find the applications that created this" How can i get my beloved games to play1!!!!?!?!
Uli Kusterer replies:
@Josh: See my answer to Nick above. The application type and creator codes are reversed.
Ricardo writes:
Hey Nik...I have the same problem with a new intel mac and PAUP. Can you send me an email about your experience?
pk writes:
just downloaded the file and it works really well. thanks so much for your work on this.
cobus visagie writes:
I got paup installed in sheepshaver. However, when I want to execute a paup file, sheepshaver quits unexpectedly. Can anyone help with this please?
Joe LeMonnier writes:
Running MacBookPro (intel 2.4) I've got sheepshaver to work fairly well. There is one weird (only one?) problem that bothers me. Can you help? I can access the OSX drive of my intel machine pretty well- it shows up on the desktop as unix. I have two ancient mapping programs that use large files for data and I'd like to keep those files on the OSX drive as they are in total more than a few gigs. One of the (mapping applications can read the files on the OSX drive and the other cannot even see them. Why might this be? The two programs use 2 diffeent types of file, so it could be either the files or the program that addresses them. Any ideas here?
Nik writes:
Hi all, I know this is a bit late, but I was searching to see what kind of success others have had with sheepshaver and paup and found my old posting here plus a few follow-ups. In a nutshell, I've given up. I did manage to get paup to open on my intel mac, but as soon as I tried to run an analysis it froze up. I was able to run a very simple dataset (i.e. a fully resolvable mock dataset with only a few taxa and few characters), but my larger datasets just stopped the whole thing in its tracks. I'm guessing it might be a memory thing, but like I said, I give up.
Felix Leiter writes:
You can't imagine what a breakethrough your hint with the reversed type and creator was for me: Managing the finances for me and a hand full of other proprietors of freehold flats, I used 'Profit97' for years. All attempts to find a financesoftware working under OSX with the same reporting-features were without success. And with SheepShaver I was not able to open my original Profit97-files. Now, accounting works flawless (as long as I don't 'Safe a backup to Floppydisk' - that causes SS to hang). I am deeply grateful for your help! Thank you very, very much. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Felix
dennis writes:
have been using a sheepshaver version called 'chubby bunny' on my recently aquired 2.0 Ghz Macbook. am running photoshop 5.5, illustrator 8, and image ready. am working out a few problems which i think are due to my lack of experience with these apps, but for the most part every boots okay n mostly looks okay. i'm having a problem with ps recognizing large tiffs from a folder which i placed on the file which shows up as 'unix', but i think this has something to do with how i created them. there are other tiff files which i placed on one of the dmg files that ss created which work okay but they are much smaller. also the filters and plugins don't work on the tiffs i placed on unix, but they DO work when i open the tiffs on the ss created dmgs. image ready's filters and plugins work regardless, so i think it's all a little strange! also, why don't the dmgs i create from disk utility work on ss emulated window? haven't found a way to make the ss dmgs bigger either. i found a comment where sombody could drop items on the desktop via the shared folder and that works very good for the most part. i made the mistake of trashing a ss created dmg before i realized the ones created by disk utility would be unrecognized, so i lost some space there. also with photoshop i tried to create a dmg for a scratch disk and it did not show up on the ss window. it would be helpful to have a dmg creator of some kind like the zip files you get with Mini vMac. i am running OS 9, and have removed mostly everything but the essentials needed for photoshop, illustrator, and image ready. i did this because i am not of a high income bracket, and really can't see having to pay hundreds upon hundreds of bucks for new software when the old is perfectly okay for what i need! i'm sure this will develop into a good thing. dennis
liz k writes:
I USED SHEEPSHAVER AND NOW IT WONT QUIT :( HELP!!!!!!!!!!! i tried booting a mac 7.5 software into it and it started up normally then a notice came on in the window and read "this start up disc will not work on this macintosh model. use the latest installer to update this disk for this model." and it has "restart" at the bottom of that window, but everytime i press restart it just pops up again!!!!!!!! and in my real mac, i cant "x" out or quit or force quit!! HELP ME :(:( PLEASE EMAIL ME!!
Or E-Mail Uli privately.

Created: 2006-08-27 @321 Last change: 2023-10-02 @514 | Home | Admin | Edit
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