Using qemu-system-ppc from MacPorts to run MacOS 9.2.1 in 10 minutes or less - QuickStart.

Ken Cunningham ken.cunningham.webuse at
Sun Jul 9 16:37:03 UTC 2017

[Apologies if this is off-topic for the users’ list, but I hoped this might be of interest to both users of MacPorts and the interests of the members of this list, so I thought I would share it.]

It is reported qemu-system-ppc can run MacOS 8.5 to MacOSX 10.4 PPC. Here is how to make it run MacOS 9.2.1 in 10 minutes or less.

1. Install qemu from MacPorts with the ppc variant:
sudo port -v install qemu +target_ppc

2. Make an iso image of your MacOS9 installer CD using MacOS's Disk Utility -- mine was called macos-921-uni.iso

3. Create a hard disk in the same folder as your CD image:
qemu-img create -f raw -o size=2G MacOS9.2.img

4. Start qemu. The order of the two listed drives is important.
qemu-system-ppc -boot d -L pc-bios -M mac99 -m 512 -prom-env 'auto-boot?=true' -drive file=macos-921-uni.iso,format=raw,media=cdrom -drive file=MacOS9.2.img,format=raw,media=disk

5. Once it is booted, initialize the hard drive using "Drive Setup" in the Utilities Folder, then install MacOS 9.2.1 onto the hard Drive. Shut down the system using the Special Menu.

Thereafter, to run qemu use the following command:
qemu-system-ppc -boot c -L pc-bios -M mac99 -m 512 -prom-env 'auto-boot?=true' -drive  file=MacOS9.2.img,format=raw,media=disk

To move files into and out of the emulator:

Use "Disk Utility" From MacOSX (any version probably, I used Sierra) to make a "New Image", 6 GB works, format Mac OS Extended, no encryption, single partition - apple partition map, read/write disk image.
When it's made, you can mount in on the MacOS desktop, and add files to it (SIT format, or similar, to preserve MacOS information).
Eject the disk when done. You can mount and unmount this disk from within qemu using the menus.

To enable networking:

Download the RealTek RTL8139x Driver for MacOS 9 from here:

Move it onto the emulator's hard drive, decompress it with stuffit, place it on the desktop, and install it.

Once that's done, you can do this to enable slirp networking, and mount AFP over TCP filesystems from suitable servers (10.4):
qemu-system-ppc -boot c -L pc-bios -M mac99 -m 512 -prom-env 'auto-boot?=true' -drive  file=MacOS9.2.img,format=raw,media=disk -net user -net nic,model=rtl8139

(Some of this info is helpfully culled from <>, and there is more info there.)

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