OS X 10.2 on Qemu PowerPC

Blast from 2002

Blast from 2002

So yeah, I got 10.2 to install.  Well from my standpoint as a user it worked ok, but it is SLOW.. Then again my MacPro is a tad old, it is a 2006 model with 2 x 2 Ghz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors…. I hope to upgrade to the new MacPro when it finally launches later this year.

So yeah, On my computer this runs slower than my first 333Mhz iMac that I ran OS X on.  Needless to say a 450Mhz G4 blows this thing away, although I don’t think that is a fair comparison.

Even with all the screwed up colours, it is kind of neat going back into time to see where OS X, was with AIM & Internet Explorer.  How things changed with Apple carving out their own niche territory in both regards.

All in all it was an interesting time back then, with Apple making the leap from the dated OS 9, to the NeXT inspired OS X.  And as they say the rest is history.

18 thoughts on “OS X 10.2 on Qemu PowerPC

  1. Try Rhapsody DR1 and DR2 On QEMU.It was their original OS X design available as seperate CDs for PPC and 486.
    They include a NEXT kernel with updated BSD parts a more thread safe UI looking like MacOS 8 an OmniWeb beta and Quicktime.
    Cocoa was the Yellow Box also available for Windows while Classic was the Blue Box.
    With a few tricks you can run older software and drivers.
    Apple even opensourced the kernel and other parts in 1999 but its not in their repository anymore.
    There are also OS X DP1 and DP2 that still had the Rhapsody UI, but the new XNU kernel, Carbon and a FAT32 driver.

    • I doubt it’ll run as it was so picky about machines even back in the day.. let alone OS X Server 1.0 … By then I had a G4, and I sold my iMac to discover that OS X didn’t support G4s…. It felt like it was a year between OS X 1.2 and OS X 10.0 public preview….

  2. @ampharos: that’s a good point.

    Try loading qemu-system-ppc in 8-bit mode, e.g. -g 1024x768x8 which should boot with the right colours.

          • Lots of progress. I started using this in 2020. As of now, it runs OS X Public Beta through Panther with 24/32 bit color, and the resolution can be selected from the guest OS. I haven’t tried Tiger or newer, since I have convenient hardware running those.

            I haven’t been able to get DP4 or OS X Server 1.2 to work. There are instructions for 1.2v3 – I don’t know what the “v3” is, the CD I have says it’s 1.2 with no suffix, so I assume it’s older. I picked up this 1.2 CD at a flea market 20 years back and have never had an environment that runs it, sigh.

            Even on a 2022 host though, the guest is slow. It’s fun for nostalgia but still seems slower than running this software on period hardware.

          • There is some pages and I’ve done it for running 1.2 like back in the day . It’s slow and native hardware is the way to go!

  3. hi, do you think it would be possible to run MacOS < 10.2 in qemu?
    i've tried with osx public beta and osx 10.1.4 but the first one doesn't work and the second freezes after loading the CD, on the spinning beach ball…

    • I doubt it, old OS X really needs apple firmware… It would be the same reason OS 8.6 & 9 don’t load.

      Trust me, after shelling out $599 USD for OS X Server v 1.1 I’d love to run it again, mostly because it cost me so much money back then, and there was no upgrade path from v1.1 to 10.0 …. 🙁

      • too bad 🙁
        i’ve run rhapsody x86 in bochs on my old powermac g5.
        so, old x86 hardware is better emulated than old ppc hardware.
        maybe one day… who knows 🙂
        it would also be great to emulate AUX! .P

  4. Awesome! I couldn’t figure out how to get it working until now. What do you think about running 9.x thru 10.1 (maybe even Public Beta) in Mac-On-Mac in OS X in QEMU? Would it work?

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