Mac OS X Server 1.0 installs on Qemu

OS X Server 1.2 on qemu single user mode

That’s right, the ADB is usable enough now to type and move the mouse, meaning that OS X Server can now be installed within Qemu!

It’s incredibly slow, and the mouse is incredibly jumpy, but it’s actually running!

Basically, like A/UX, you boot up into MacOS to partition the drive.

qemu-system-ppc-screamer.exe -L pc-bios -m 256 -M mac99 -prom-env “boot-args=-v” -prom-env “auto-boot?=true” -prom-env “vga-ndrv?=true” -hda 2GB.vmdk -cdrom “Mac OS X Server 1.2, MOSX_Booter.iso” -sdl -device usb-mouse -device adb-keyboard -boot d

OS X Server 1.2 MacOS 9 Create OS X Server partition

And then kick off the installer:

OS X Server 1.2 MacOS 9 Start Install

Which really isn’t much to do, other than tagging the partition, and prepping the machine to reboot.

It’s OK

Qemu doesn’t emulate the NVRAM, so it’ll complete with this ‘non fatal’ ‘fatal error’

After that, boot into the OS X Server kernel, and continue the install:

qemu-system-ppc.exe -L pc-bios -prom-env “boot-args=-v rd=sd0″ -drive file=2GB.vmdk,index=1,format=vmdk,media=disk -M g3beige -cpu g3 -drive file=”Mac OS X Server 1.2, MOSX_Booter.iso”,index=0,format=raw,media=cdrom -prom-env “boot-device=cd:9,\\:tbxi” -m 256 -net none

OS X Server 1.2 installing text mode

It will then format the disk, and copy over the base operating system.  After that it’s time to shutdown, and reboot the VM.  I couldn’t figure out a pure hard disk boot, but again using the CD-ROM, you can just tell it to pull the root from the hard disk.

qemu-system-ppc.exe -L pc-bios -prom-env “boot-args=-v rd=hd0″ -drive file=2GB.vmdk,index=1,format=vmdk,media=disk -M g3beige -cpu g3 -drive file=”Mac OS X Server 1.2, MOSX_Booter.iso”,index=0,format=raw,media=cdrom -prom-env “boot-device=cd:9,\\:tbxi” -m 256 -net none

OS X Server 1.2 installing

And after this, it’ll want to reboot again.  Launch it up and now we get the initial setup

Setup Assistant

And with that out of the way, we can logon!

And after a while, it’ll load up the desktop

OS X Server 1.2 Desktop

As mentioned above, the mouse is incredibly jittery.  Doing anything graphical is very difficult. But here we are, running OS X/Rhapsody for the PowerPC!

That’s all!

Because the mouse is VERY jumpy at the moment, Im going to make some pre-configured disk images available because running the disk tool under OS 9 is a major pain.  The first image has only been partitioned, while the second has completed the ‘text mode setup’, aka a minimal install.

And that’s it for now!

15 thoughts on “Mac OS X Server 1.0 installs on Qemu

  1. Hey Neozeed,
    I seem to have the same CD as you, but in the second stage of installation when using -prom-env “boot-device=cd:9,\\:tbxi” to boot, I’m getting the dreaded “No valid state” error.

    Oddly, OpenBIOS states “Trying hd:,\\:tbxi” which indicates to me that it’s trying to access the HD instead of the CD for the EFI. I tried changing the flag ordering:

    Putting -prom-env “boot-device=cd:9,\\:tbxi” before -prom-env “boot-args=-v rd=sd0” just changes the error to “No valid state has been set by load or init-program”.

    • I’m re-installing right now… sigh the crazy mouse makes setting up the disk in OS 9 a real chore, but after an hour I got it partitioned…

      There is a newer branch update for the mac99/G3beige over here:

      and I’m on the ‘text’ mode 2nd phase right now…

      qemu-system-ppc.exe -L pc-bios -prom-env “boot-args=-v rd=sd0” -drive file=2GB.vmdk,index=1,format=vmdk,media=disk -M g3beige -cpu g3 -drive file=MacOSXServer1.2MOSX_Booter.iso,index=0,format=raw,media=cdrom -prom-env “boot-device=cd:9,\\:tbxi” -m 256 -net none -g 800x600x32

      • Figured out my problem… just in case anyone else is using non-Windows to boot, my problem (and probably has been for years) was that cd:9,\\:tbxi tells BASH to escape the second \, becoming cd:9,\:tbxi — which obviously won’t work.

        So changing that parameter to cd:9:\\\\:tbxi does the trick!

  2. Hi neozeed,

    I’m installing on a Mac Pro Mojave 10.14.5, using the latest build from Cat_7 24-04-2019 The -device usb-mouse and -device add-keyboard don’t work.

    I’m using a wireless mouse and keyboard on this machine.

    Any thoughts?

    Much appreciated …

    • It’s adb, not add.

      Your host peripherals don’t matter at all, as long as they are working.

      I have one Mac left somewhere, I can maybe try, it’s a 2014 I think so it may still work.

      What are your full flags?

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