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MAC Emulators for Wintel or Linux

Does anybody here have any experience with, and can offer recommendations for/against MAC Emulators?

The need is to be able to run OS 9x and (would be nice to have) OS X on a PC running Windows or Linux. We have VMWare (great software, fantastic value). Ideally, would like to get as close to a "VMWare-like" capability as possible, but for running MAC OS & apps.

Done some google search, and checked out info on, but I don't have any experience with the products listed. Most of those listed appear to be fairly limited as in:

1) only support MAC OS 8 or earlier, or only much older Apple II
2) only support for running MAC games or specific MAC apps, not an emulation of the entire MAC environment (a la VMWare -- run win 3.1 to XP on a physical Win 2K box)
3) require you to already own the ROMs, which pretty much means you have to own a MAC to begin with.

We're cool in the lab at work, I've got VMWare for Wintel versions/Linux/Solaris emulations, and several actual MACs, but looking for a solution for my home Lab that would ideally prevent me from having to get an actual MAC at home, if possible.

Thanks for any actual advice anyone can provide. And for any inclined to do so, I would prefer not to be provided condescending pointers to things such as "(hey dummy) check google for 'mac emulators' ". Been there. Done that. Looking for **experience** with the products and to reduce my research time, if possible. Thanks again.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

I've read that the architecture of an x86 makes it very very difficult to emulate a PPC chip.  This is why all the emulator companies stop at 68k code.  However, the other way works OK (hence virtual PC). 

Thursday, October 31, 2002

I do not think the problem is technical (though a good implementation would not be trivial), just that Apple would throw their last dime at prosecuting everyone that dared to come even close.
Remember the days when Apple revoked all the licenses from the Mac clone makers? A blossoming sector literally died overnight.
Apple has a legally unchallenged monopoly on the Mac universe. You can only buy a Mac form Apple, no clones allowed, be it hardware or software.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, October 31, 2002

Apple would lose that suit.

Look at the case of Sony vs. Connectix, over their virtual game station. A playstation emulator.

Sony lost. There's precedent for emulators.

Mike Swieton
Thursday, October 31, 2002

I doubt the reason there are few 68K emulators for x86 is because of technical difficulties. I believe the 68K instruction set is simpler than x86. My guess is that it's just a matter of marketshare. How many people really want to emulate 68K code on x86? Any real program is already available x86 native.

Zwarm Monkey
Thursday, October 31, 2002

There are plenty of 68k emulators for the x86 - for example, the Palm emulator you use while developing for the PalmOS.

The question was really about PowerPC emulation. Whole different ballgame. I'm sure it can be done; the question is can it be done efficently enough to be usable.

Chris Tavares
Thursday, October 31, 2002

Good points, folks -

I may just have to break down and see what I can scratch up off ebay someplace. G3's and G4's with some miles on them shouldn't be too $bad$, probably (of course, I'd still have to get software, but would need that and apps anyway, so that's a wash). Am running out of space (and patience) for yet another box at home, though. And I'm so stoked over VMWare, was hoping there was something like it out there I could use on the few times I need to look at something on the mac.

Ah well, better get back to work...thanks.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Go to They have full working emulators for the newest version og mac os.

Martin Schultz
Saturday, November 02, 2002

from :

"As with most emulators and as explained above, SoftMac requires the ROM BIOS from a Macintosh computer in order to properly work. This is both a legal and technical requirement."

I can understand the legal part, but what on earth could be the "technical" requirement?

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, November 04, 2002

soft mac also only run up to OS 8 it's a 68k emulator not ppc. Threr is something out there called pearpc which is supossed to run 10.2 or .3 but have never got it to work on my machines.

Friday, July 30, 2004

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