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Christian Campbell
Christian Campbell

SheepShaver: The Best Way to Experience Mac OS 8.6 on Your Mac

This page provides a system that makes it easy to set up and use SheepShaver under macOS 10.12 or later. You will need to supply a "ROM file" (as described below) and you will need an installation CD for any version of the Mac OS from OS 8.5 through 9.0.4, or a disk image of such a CD, as described below.

[2] Mac OS 8.6 On Disk Image SheepShaver

1. Download the application bundle here. It is enclosed in a 13 MB ZIP file. Extract it and move it from the Downloads folder to any other place on your hard disk. Launch it once so that macOS will request the permissons it needs.The first time you launch it, it will display a warning that you need to add a ROM file, and SheepShaver will not start. Close the warning message and follow the next steps.

3. Prepare an installation-disk image for installing Mac OS 8.5 through 9.0.4. The step that follows this one (step 4) requires you to have a copy of an OS 8.5 through 9.0.4 installation CD on a disk image. (You cannot use an actual CD, only an image made from a CD.) The installation CD image must be one that was made from a retail CD, not one that came with a specific machine. Note that when installing, you should not try to format or initialize the virtual hard disk; it is already formatted, and contains some Apple-supplied updates for OS 8.6 and 9.0.4 in a disk image file in a folder named "OS Updaters". Some of these are US-English versions; other versions may be found through a web search.

(Important note: When installing OS 9, when you reach the menu that lets you specify which parts of the OS you want to install, click Options and turn off the option to "Update Apple Hard Disk Drivers"; for reasons that I don't understand, the OS installation will stall when this option is on. When booting from an OS 8.5 CD image, hold down the shift key to turn extensions off, or else the CD image may not boot; this is not required with OS 8.6.)

4. Start up SheepShaver and start working in Mac OS 8 or 9. When you restart the SheepShaver Wrapper again, it should now boot to the copy of Mac OS 8 or 9 that you installed; the installation-disk image will notbe mounted. The "Unix" folder in SheepShaver will be set to be your Documents folder in macOS. If you want to use a different folder as the "Unix" folder, or if you want to change the screen size or other features, use the Preferences menu.

The virtual hard disk in the system is a 4GB disk. If that does not provideenough disk space for your purposes, create a second disk, using the procedures described in the wiki at Or use the SheepShaver Preferences to add the unformatted Backup 4GB disk also included in the system.

You are correct that Snow Leopard eliminates AppleTalk, so file sharing with a Mac OS 9 machine is impossible. SheepShaver should work, according to this documentation: _for_sheepshaverBut other utilities are required, and it doesn't look easy!

SheepShaver is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). However, you still need a copy of MacOS and a PowerMac ROM image to use SheepShaver. If you're planning to run SheepShaver on a PowerMac, you probably already have these two items.

What is a .dsk file?A .dsk file is a DiskDup image, an exact copy (sector by sector) of a floppy disk. DSK images were a popular format for cloning or duplicating 1980's and 1990's Macintosh floppy disks.

DSK images are mountable and writeable/clonable onto real floppy disks. Tough, remember that if you want to write a DSK image onto a real floppy disk using a Windows PC floppy drive, it may not work properly, because Apple floppy drives had special firmware allowing them to write an additionnal amount of kilobytes on a given floppy disk. PC floppy disks could hold 360KB (or 720KB for double density) while Macs could hold 400KB (or 800KB for double density).

You can also mount, browse and extract files from DSK images using various disk image tools under Mac OS. Mounting a .dsk file makes a new drive appear on your OS, effectively letting you use it as if you had the original media inserted.

DSK images can also be attached to many emulators since it was a popular floppy disk archiving format. Namely, Mini vMac supports direct drag and drop of DSK images onto the virtual machine window. It will mount as it were a real floppy disk on the emulated desktop.

Open it using HFVExplorer to browse and extract SOME of the files, altough be warned that any file having a resource fork will be destroyed if you export it out to a Windows disk partition. Alternatively, PowerISO also reads most of the HFS disk images.

One of the problems retro Mac enthousiasts face nowadays is figuring out how to mount old/random disk images in order to access the game or app in it. First of all, you have to know that there were at least a dozen disk image formats back then (altough only a handful of them were widely used) and fortunately for you, there is a very nice disk image mounting tool for classic Mac called Virtual DVD-ROM/CD Utility that mounts just about all of them (tough, NOT ALL of them).

Around the mid 90's, Toast came into play with CD imaging. So if your image is big (e.g. 100MB or more) or ends with .iso, .cdr or if it did not come stuffed (.sit) or encoded (.hqx) then it most probably will mount using Toast. As a matter of fact, if you're unsure and your disk image is bigger than 800KB, Toast will 99% of the time successfully mount it. Try this software if you're stuck with a blank icon that doesn't open with any other application. First, install Toast 5 Titanium if you have Mac OS 8.6 to Mac OS 9.2.2. For Mac OS 8.5 and below (down to Mac OS 7.5.1), install Toast 4.

DiskCopy, bundled with late classic Mac OS versions, opens Apple's own distribution disk images such as file names that end with ".img". It's worth noting that just because you could once mount a .img file with DiskCopy does not mean that you can mount all of them with it nor with the same version of DiskCopy. Two very important notes about DiskCopy: First, altough DiskCopy will successfully mount 400KB (MFS formated) single sided floppy disk images under Mac OS 7 and older, it will NOT mount them under Mac OS 8.1 to 9.2.2, so if you've got a very old 400KB disk image, the only option is to mount it under Mac OS 7 or older. Second, disk image files created with DiskCopy *CANNOT* be copied/transfered to a non-Macintosh partition. They will get damaged and lose their resource fork, rendering them useless. So, do not unzip or expand DiskCopy images on Windows or Linux. Expand them under Mac OS to be safe. With all of that said, the rule of thumb is: DiskCopy is good to mount small (e.g. floppy or zip) disk images (often ending with .dsk or .img) that you found stuffed (.sit) or encoded (.hqx) on the internet and it's good also for all Apple disk images such as software updates and installers. DiskCopy is also responsible for file names ending with ".smi" (self mounting image) altough they're actually a standalone application and so, they will auto-mount their contents by themselves.

Tough, if you run across a .img file that DiskCopy does not recognize, then it's probably a ShrinkWrap or DiskDup disk image. ShrinkWrap was Aladdin's (the author of Stuffit) proprietary format that DiskCopy could not mount, so make sure you keep a copy of ShrinkWrap handy to mount some of the 90's floppy disk images.

DiskCopy and ShrinkWrap were pretty much the standard in disk imaging from mid 80's to mid 90's, except for some fancy users who made disk images using DiskDoubler so if you have a 90's disk image about the size of a floppy or less and it doesn't mount with aforementioned tools, then try DiskDoubler.

3) It's very well possible that Toast does not recognize the file type, in which case it will show a warning message like the following. It's totally fine and 99% of the time it will mount the disk image perfectly fine, so make sure you click "Continue" on this warning. Next, if you saw the warning message, it will then ask you to define the pregap and postgap. Don't touch any of those numbers and simply click "OK".

4) Then click the "Mount" button on the Toast window and your disk image will mount on the desktop next to your main hard disk volume. If it does not, then Toast will output an error message like this. When you see this, it almost always means this is a ShrinkWrap image or a DiskCopy image. Try ShrinkWrap as it does both.

5) Launch ShrinkWrap and pull the top menu named "Image" and choose "Mount Image..." then select your disk image file. If a window very briefly appears and disappears but then nothing else happens, it means that ShrinkWrap cannot mount this disk image. Your only hope is then DiskCopy.

Installing a larger disk image into Chubby Bunny turned out to be quite easy. The three supplied disk images are standard Mac OS X .dmg files, and are simply recognized by name. When Chubby Bunny sees a .dmg file in /Users/Shared with one of the names it recognizes, it mounts it as a disk into your Mac OS 9 instance and that is that. Banking on Chubby Bunny not checking anything but the .dmg file name, I created a 12 GB .dmg file using Disk Utility. I gave this new disk image the same name as the Chubby Bunny 1.2 GB disk image, and then replaced the 1.2 GB disk image in /Users/Shared with this new but same-named 12 GB disk image. Bingo! It worked. Chubby Bunny happily mounted the 12 GB disk image into my Mac OS 9 instance and all was well. First problem solved!

I found your update the only one that worked! I did, however, update to the newer 64 bit version of sheepshave.r I just put it in replacing the sheepshaver inside the original chubby bunny. YOu even had MORE! What is exactly what I am looking for. Even cooler is 12801024 on my retina 5k monitor. Its quite readable! Cut and paste works in Mojave too!

Whether you prefer the hardware cursor version or the software cursor version is mainly a matter of taste on fast host machines. It will depend on the applications you use in SheepShaver. The hardware cursor version uses one cursor inside and outside the SheepShaver window, but does not correctly display custom cursors of some applications inside SheepShaver. The software cursor version displays all cursor images correctly, but cursors are switched between the Mac OS and the Mac OS X cursor when moving in and out of the SheepShaver window. On slow host machines the software cursor may move jerkily in SheepShaver, even to the extend of being unusable.


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