Ken Cunningham ken.cunningham.webuse at
Sun Nov 21 17:03:32 UTC 2021

When I last updated the basiliskii and sheepshaver ports I was still 
fairly new to macports and took them on as a challenge. They had some 
interesting wrinkles I was looking to understand.

At that time, both of them did not run well when built as 64-bit 
versions; the JIT code, that really makes them run quickly, did not work 
when built 64 bit, and the networking stack had not been fixed to build 
and run 64 bit. Of course, at that time, macOS supported i386, and we 
were (most of us) unaware that 32bit Intel support was about to disappear.

So the ports were set up to force both of them to build as 32bit 
versions, which worked. I allowed a +SixtyFour variant for people who 
were explorers to try out the 64bit build.

Because the GUI required the whole x11 infrastructure to run, and it was 
pointed out that most people would not want to have to build that all 
universal, I came up with a way to build the GUI separately. That way, 
it could be 64bit only, and save the x11 stack from endless universal 

Things have changed; both basiliskii and sheepshaver have had their 64 
bit warts removed, and they do now work properly when built 64 (current 
versions). There are several forks, and one of the forks now is better 
than the upstream I used in 2017 I believe.

Both basiliskii and sheepshaver continue to work very well. I still use 
MacPort's 32 bit version all the time on my older 10.6 system, to run 
some older MacOS9 software I like to use. It works just great, and I 
don't think it ever needs to be updated, to be honest, although I have 
not rebuilt it in a while to see if anything has changed in the build 
supporting ports.

I recently downloaded a prebuilt version of both basiliskii and 
sheepshaver from the 'macemulation' website that is 64bit and runs on 
BigSur, and that works well too.

I have not tried to update the basiliskii and sheepshaver ports in 
MacPorts in recent years, although no doubt it could be done without too 
much trouble. Newer versions I note are using xcode to build, and that 
adds a layer of complexity, and makes builds on older systems harder.

Perhaps the two ports might be retired, and people sent to upstream 
sources to download prebuilt binaries instead. There are upstream 
versions available that run as far back as 10.6.8 I believe.

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