bb2
Contributor
Contributor

Limitation on Mac Classic environment -- due to Intel or VMware?

It would be nice if we could add back the Classic environment with the Intel machines using VMware. However, there is a FAQ stating that VMWare fusion cannot run 32-bit OS on the Intel Macs. What is the limitation? Is this a limitation on the Intel chip or the VMware side?

http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/faqs.html

Can I run 64-bit virtual machines? Yes, VMware Fusion allows you to create and run 32-bit and 64-bit virtual machines. However, you can only run 64-bit guest operating systems on Intel Macs with 64-bit processors (Core 2 Duo or Xeon).

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6 Replies
rcardona2k
Immortal
Immortal

The Classic (TrueBlu) environment requires a PowerPC processor or emulating a PowerPC processor and even in Leopard on a PowerPC, Classic is no more. You could run PearPC in Windows XP in a Fusion VM, but I would be surprised if Classic ran under that. Not to mention you would need to get OS 9 into a PearPC container. This is way past my idea of fun. Good luck.

You're better off running an older MacOS emulator like vMac which can run Mac OS < 1.0 - 7.5.5, no VMware needed at all. I run my MacPlus games on vMac very well.

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Bob_Zimmerman
Expert
Expert

I'm pretty sure you read that restriction incorrectly. It means to say that 64-bit VMs can only run on a system with a 64-bit processor such as a Core 2 Duo or a Xeon. 32-bit VMs can run on either a 32-bit or 64-bit chip. There are exceptions to that, but they are irrelevant to this discussion.

As for running Classic, I don't think TrueBlu was even a proper emulator. I think it was more like VMware but for a single purpose and only for PowerPC chips. VirtualPC is an example of an emulator, since it let you run x86 code on a PowerPC chip. VMware only allows x86 on x86 virtualization.

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rcardona2k
Immortal
Immortal

As for running Classic, I don't think TrueBlu was even a proper emulator. I think it was more like VMware but for a single purpose and only for PowerPC chips.

TrueBlue is a proper OS X app which provided emulation of a MacOS 9 machine, it does not provide OS 9 itself. Embedded in OS 9 is a 68K nanokernel emulator which allows it to run a mixed-architecture execution environment, even on the stack. This means anything like drivers, extensions, applications, could be mixed 68K/PowerPC. The 68K nanokernel is so complete the original PPC Macs could even boot 68K MacOS with no modifications - that's a feat of engineering.

TrueBlu besides not written for Xcode, could be re-compiled for Intel but it's main value is virtualizing a PowerPC-Mac capable of running MacOS. Classic even has it's own Mac manufacturing code.

Apple purged a lot of 68K code in MacOS 8.5, but I'm not sure if they ever reached 100% PowerPC code in OS 9.2.2, that's one reason for OS X to begin with. In short, Classic is an Apple-thing, not open-source (e.g. not in Apple Public source license) and it requires a native PowerPC processor to run the 68K emulator and PPC CPU pass-through virtualization.

This is why it's better to find a good all "68K" Mac emulator or an all "PPC" emulator. vMac is very good at the Mac 68K side, and PearPC is a quarter-baked start to running PPC OS X (circa Jaguar) on Intel (Windows). Again OS X comes with the Classic app but not OS 9, so you would need to migrate an active installation of OS 9 into an HFS container so Classic has an OS to run. On an Intel Mac, this is quite a tower of babel. Not impossible, probably, but not easy either.

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Bob_Zimmerman
Expert
Expert

Well yes. That was my entire point. TrueBlu doesn't do instruction translation or much of anything else. Thus, the best anyone could hope for is running it in Rosetta, which would provide the instruction translation, but doing that is apparently completely unsupported by anyone. Apple decided that seven years of EoL support was enough for their previous software architecture and finally cut it off.

Adding PowerPC emulation to VMware would radically change the product and probably isn't something they're going to be doing in the near future.

As for the PPC/68k stuff, I was around for that transition, too. I've been using Mac OS since about the LCII. The move from 68k to PPC was a lot rougher than the move from PPC to x86, which still strikes me as weird.

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rcardona2k
Immortal
Immortal

Thus, the best anyone could hope for is running it in Rosetta, which would provide the instruction translation, but doing that is apparently completely unsupported by anyone. Apple decided that seven years of EoL support was enough for their previous software architecture and finally cut it off.

Right. I remember reading a good article on the architectural reasons Rosetta could not support Classic the reasons ranged from jit-correctness to hardware-access requirements. This is why I mention the PearPC route over Rosetta. There are third-party emulators which may be able to fare better but the investment in them would be more nostalgic than economic. Smiley Happy

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DaveP
Commander
Commander

Sheepshaver may be a good bet. There is an article on it here http://uneasysilence.com/archive/2006/08/7352/.

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