Blog Post

Classic on Intel Macs, courtesy of SheepShaver.

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

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.

117 Responses to “Classic on Intel Macs, courtesy of SheepShaver.”

  1. Sprocket999

    This is so exciting. As much as I am fond of the stability of OS X, I have still am fortunate to have the use of ‘classic’. That day will have to end in the near future with my current PPC hardware, but I still like to certain classic apps, just because I enjoy the OS 8/9 interface. This is MOST encouraging!

  2. Found a real fix for the icon problem. It has a problem loading shared folder occasionally, not the desktop. Just right click the app, go into package and then right click the file COI and get into the contents of that too. make it so you can show hidden files then open .classic and drag things into applications. :D

  3. Loved the idea behind this emulator, and installed COI V4.0.1. No issues on install and launch. However… I tried to run two of my favorite games – “Star Wars Episode 1 Racer” and “Star Wars Dark Forces”. Both seem to hang OS 9 (within SheepShaver – SheepShaver itself continues to run).

    Any thoughts would be very much appreciated!

    • Jeff:

      We are also trying to run Star Wars Episode 1 Racer on an intel Mac, after installing chubby bunny (sheep shaver with a built-in ROM). It doesn’t work. Did you get yours to work?


  4. I’ve been searching the web for a workaround to this: I want to run things faster than 100 mHz in my Classic emulator. I’ve installed all the emulators there are and can’t get any to move faster than that. If anyone knows a way, however technical, let me know cuz I’d love to implement it. Thanks!

  5. So, i have tryed all the basic steps, as I have little knowledge in this area; however whenever i double click install i get “This program cannot run on your computer. See the documentation for more information.”

  6. Since misery loves company, I am happy to see that someone else is using MacMoney, a nice, straightforward financial program. Good to know, Anthony #101. I have kept my Imac on OS 10.3.9 so I can still use this program that I have had since, I think, 1988. I have tried, Quicken and Quickbooks, neither of which I cared for, but even if I did like one of them, I would still like to have my 20 years of data easily available. So I will wait to buy a new computer.


    Well, maybe I’m stupid, but when I click “Start” on SheepShaverGUI I always get the message “SheepShaver error: Cannot map ROM; File exists.” I have tried a New World ROM, a ROM extracted from Mac OS ROM Update 1.0, and the ROM from the system folder of an OS 8.6 installation disk. Always the same result. Can anyone help?

  8. Macsweep

    It’s been almost two years since I started looking for a way to run Folio Views for Mac on an Intel Mac. I’ve tried Mac-on-Mac, Basilisk II without success. Mostly I’ve been using SheepShaver since the beginning of this quest.

    With SheepShaver I’ve managed to install Mac OS 7.6.1, 8.6 and 9.0.4. I’ve played with the extensions and control panels and I don’t know what else. But, still Folio Views causes the OSs to hang “forever”.

    If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to send them to me:

  9. I’m not sure if this was asked before, and I apologize if it has, but after installing Sheepshaver (which worked fine, btw), i keep getting a message that says that the computer (in this case, the emulator) doesn’t recognize the “disk,” and the “disk’s” icon is the classic hard drive icon (this is after booting from the 8.5 cd). It asks me if I would like to initialize it. Should I? or would that be a mistake? I know it’ll erase whatever is on that disk, but it’s called “untitled” and I don’t know what it actually is or what it has.

  10. I know this is a little late in coming, but this is for others finding this blog entry via google.

    If you are having trouble booting from a disc image created with MacOS X disc utility, it is because the drivers needed to boot in classic are not installed on the image by default.

    To solve this, after you create the disc image, use the MacOS X utility to “partition” the image and make sure you check the box that says “Install Mac OS 9 Disk Drivers”. Then I just copied the files from the non-working image to the new one… then I blessed the system folder while it was mounted in SheepShaver (at this time running off the CD). OR you can just reinstall MacOS 9 on the new image from the CD.

    Hope this helps.

  11. Chris Moss

    Try creating a shared disk image with Disk Utility. Set it up in Sheepshaver to be mounted by SheepShaver, and put Tech tool Lite onto that disk. Either run it from that disk or copy from it to your OS9 disk image whilst in Sheepshaver.


  12. Chris, I can’t run Techtool Lite (or any classic applications that I bring in) in Sheepsave. Even if there’s a classic application in the “Unix” drive, it still doesn’t run in Sheepsaver.

    It reads as document (not app) in the “get info” window and not application and the error message says that “The document Techtool Lite cannot be opened because the application that created it cannot be found.” Any suggestions? Thanks again! How did you do it?! For the life of me I can’t figure this out…

  13. Chris Moss

    I know it is a long thread now, but above somewhere you will see I had the same problem and the answer is to rebuild the OS9 desktop. You can’t do it the old way, pressing Opt-Cmd as you start up, so you have to delete the invisible files Desktop DB and Desktop DF. TechTool Lite will let you do this (check,


  14. I have managed to install and run Sheepsaver on an Intel MacBook Pro. Can someone help me with HOW to run my 9 applications (which are saved on a firewire drive). I can see them in Leopard, but of course they don’t open. If I copy them onto the Sheepsaver desktop from the “Unix” drive, they copy as documents and not applications! How can I bring my 9 apps into Sheepsaver and run them?! THANK YOU TO WHOEVER ANSWERS THIS!

  15. Hi, Im running OS 9 on Sheepshaver, Was wondering if anyone has figured out how to maybe change the gestalt number via a Resource editor- in the sheepshaver app to maybe run faster then a 9500 G4 @100MHz? Let me know anyone thanks.

  16. hey does anyone know where i can find a mac os 9 rom that will work with sheep shaver?
    I can’t use the rom from the os 9 Install any help please please i want to play marathon on os 9 and use other os 9 apps