I’ve gotten Mac OS 9.0.4 up and working on an Intel Mac, running off of SheepShaver. I can get out to the internet via ethernet or my workplace’s wireless network, so it looks like TCP is working fine. I can’t see the AppleTalk zones of my […]

I’ve gotten Mac OS 9.0.4 up and working on an Intel Mac, running off of SheepShaver. I can get out to the internet via ethernet or my workplace’s wireless network, so it looks like TCP is working fine. I can’t see the AppleTalk zones of my workplace though, though, so all printing looks like it’ll need to be set up via LPR. In terms of speed and screen redraw, it’s not that swift but it should be fine for a person who just needs to run one or two Mac OS applications.

Installing SheepShaver was fairly easy. I needed a Mac OS 9 CD (9.0, not 9.1 or 9.2.x.), a copy of a compatible Mac OS ROM (I used MacOS ROM 1.6 from MacOS ROM Update 1.0; use TomeViewer on a PPC Mac to extract the ROM from the installer,) sufficient space on my hard drive and a copy of SheepShaver (available from http://www.gibix.net/projects/sheepshaver/files/SheepShaver-2.3-0.20060514.1.MacOSX.tar.bz2.)

I started off by launching the SheepShaverGUI program, which is a graphical program used to configure SheepShaver’s settings as well as make the disk images that SheepShaver uses to boot off of. I built a one gig-sized disk image, set that as my boot volume, set my ROM’s location, then had SheepShaver boot off of my OS 9 CD by selecting “Boot From CD-ROM” on the Volumes tab in SheepShaverGUI and hitting the Start button.

From that point, it was like a normal installation of Mac OS 9. Within SheepShaver’s window, the disk image showed up mounted like a normal hard drive. I selected that and installed OS 9 onto it. After that, I applied the Mac OS 9.0.4 update normally. That’s as far as SheepShaver supported, so I shutdown OS 9 and started customizing the settings. Here’s the settings I’m using with SheepShaver:

For Ethernet, using slirp will let you share OS X’s network connection.


1. This isn’t like Classic, where OS 9 and OS X applications co-existed on the screen. OS 9’s running in its own X11 window.

2. The OS X hard drive shows up on the Mac OS 9 desktop as a drive called “Unix”. You can copy things from the Unix drive into the Mac OS 9 environment and vice-versa.

3. There’s some weirdness with the Unix drive, where it won’t show some folders. Specifically, it doesn’t show the Mac OS 9 “Applications (Mac OS 9)” or the “System Folder” folders, which is quite bizarre. Nothing I’ve done up to this point makes either folder (even renamed!) visible on the Unix drive.

4. If you have an OS 9 Desktop Folder on your Intel Mac’s drive, SheepShaver will pick up on it while mounting the Unix drive and show whatever is in there on your Mac OS 9 desktop as generic icons. This puzzled me for a bit, before I remembered that on Mac OS, every mounted drive had its own Desktop Folder and everything in those folders from all mounted drives showed up on the desktop.

5. Looks pretty stable, though as noted before, it’s not the swiftest. When I took a peek at Apple System Profiler, the hardware it reported itself running on was a Power Mac 9500 series, with a G4 processor, running at 100MHz.

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By Rich Trouton

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  1. Why…? Thought someone would have to ask that question so I might as well be first.

  2. to run Forge and Anvil, Marathon series map, shapes, and physics editors. There are os X alternatives but they aren’t as good yet.

  3. Ah yes… Marathon is a good reason for practically anything!

  4. The only thing I can think of booting OS 9 for are some arcane type utilities, and the old Fontographer.

    I was a Marathon freak back in the day. I can’t imagine playing it after playing Unreal, SOF and Doom 4. But that’s just me.

  5. Chris Holland Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    Why? because he can! heeh heh :)

    this is some wild stuff i’ve gotta say. Now … i wonder if you could try running a Classic version of Softwindows, with an old version of like win95/win98 inside it :)

  6. I’ve been wondering if I could do this. I need classic to run RealProducer for live Real broadcasts. I’ll have to give it a shot now.

  7. Dr. lester M Shulman Monday, July 24, 2006

    Does anyone know if SheepSaver will run MacDraw Pro , amplify, or DNA strider on an intel mac?

  8. Greetings,

    I hoped and counted on someone finding a way to run OS 9 programs on Intel Macs. I have hundreds of OS 9 games! Especially Marathon and Total Annihilation. This is the first solution I came across.


  9. Christopher Moss Friday, July 28, 2006

    Well done! I have been trying to get this working and the addition of the GUI app was just what I needed. I am trying to get SheepShaver to run an old Omnis 3 database that is used by a few holdout Mac medical offices in Nova Scotia to bill the government. To rewrite it is going to cost too much, we are told. Everything is fine except for the fact that when I copy the folder with the application and its associated files to the MacOS drive (I’m using 8.6 on it) the database itself and the database document don’t show up in the Finder. They don’t have strange names, and show fine in Classic or in a Mac started in OS8/9. They are called Claims Data and ClaimsPlus v4.5 I tried taking the gaps out of the names and so on. Any thoughts anyone?


  10. Rich Trouton Friday, July 28, 2006


    I’d noticed similar behavior when trying to copy from my OS X Macintosh HD to my SheepShaver Macintosh HD. The only workaround I found that really worked was to make a Stuffit archive in OS X of the files, copy the Stuffit file onto my SheepShaver Macintosh HD (not to the desktop, but actually inside the Macintosh HD drive) and then unstuffing them.

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