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Old 09-24-2018, 05:57 AM   #1
martinlangley
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Post Mac OS X Intel Emulation!


Hi all

I'm trying something "clever" in the hope I can make it work without too much aggravation, - which is where you experts come in!

I have an ageing Powermac G5. its an excellent machine but has the drawback that it is based on the old Power PC risc chip, and so will not run later versions of Mac OS X (Like "Snow Leopard"), because they are exclusively targeted at the later Intel based machines.

So here's the clever bit, I have acquired a copy of Microsoft's Virtual PC for Mac which allows (Intel based) Windows software to run in the Powermac environment by building a virtual PC in software and executing the Windows software thru the emulation. Sure there's an overhead, but with a dual core Power chip running at 2Ghz there's enough grunt to pay the overhead and still have a lively machine running Intel software.

Now for the problem, - I'm not installing Windows, I'm installing Mac OS X Snow Leopard (Intel) using the Hackintosh iBoot driver set which provides emulation of the Mac environment for Intel PCs, - usually cheaper than Macs.

So far, so good, the PC emulation allows booting of the iBoot software and gives me a boot prompt. At that point, it doesn't seem interested in booting the Snow Leopard DVD and installing the Mac OSX Intel software, however.

Interesting challenge? - suggested solutions and encouraging noises welcome!
 
Old 09-24-2018, 07:23 AM   #2
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinlangley View Post
Hi all
I'm trying something "clever" in the hope I can make it work without too much aggravation, - which is where you experts come in!

I have an ageing Powermac G5. its an excellent machine but has the drawback that it is based on the old Power PC risc chip, and so will not run later versions of Mac OS X (Like "Snow Leopard"), because they are exclusively targeted at the later Intel based machines.

So here's the clever bit, I have acquired a copy of Microsoft's Virtual PC for Mac which allows (Intel based) Windows software to run in the Powermac environment by building a virtual PC in software and executing the Windows software thru the emulation. Sure there's an overhead, but with a dual core Power chip running at 2Ghz there's enough grunt to pay the overhead and still have a lively machine running Intel software.

Now for the problem, - I'm not installing Windows, I'm installing Mac OS X Snow Leopard (Intel) using the Hackintosh iBoot driver set which provides emulation of the Mac environment for Intel PCs, - usually cheaper than Macs.

So far, so good, the PC emulation allows booting of the iBoot software and gives me a boot prompt. At that point, it doesn't seem interested in booting the Snow Leopard DVD and installing the Mac OSX Intel software, however.
My question would be "Why?" What are you trying to accomplish by doing this? If it's just for fun, have at it, but as you said you have an aging Powermac you can't update. If you want to stay in the Mac ecosystem (which is *NOT* Unix/Linux, but based on it), it would be worth it to just buy a newer Mac. A 2 or 3 year old iMac is only about $500 on eBay, if you don't want to buy new.

And I've successfully run Mac OS (High Sierra and Snow Leopard) in Virtualbox on Linux, with no problems. The boot problem could be caused by a large number of factors, not the least of which is Apple's policies.
 
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Old 09-25-2018, 08:03 AM   #3
martinlangley
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TB0ne

Yr well informed reply much appreciated. You're clearly ahead of me 'cos my current strategy is to install Virtualbox in the emulated Intel environment using Windows and then run the Intel Mac OS X in that. So far so good but your Linux solution intrigues me. At some point there has to be a software emulation of the Intel instruction set, - presumably this is done by Virtualbox sitting on top of a PowerPC version of Linux? If so I like it and may have a shot using that method.

As to why, - you're right its as much for the challenge as anything else but I also have a very nice PowerPC laptop which is a shame to simply retire. Hence your idea of spending 500 dollars (Three hundred quid!) on a used Intel box, - why the very idea! bless my soul! (etc, etc, etc).

Thanks again for your really helpful input
 
Old 09-25-2018, 08:27 AM   #4
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinlangley View Post
TB0ne

Yr well informed reply much appreciated. You're clearly ahead of me 'cos my current strategy is to install Virtualbox in the emulated Intel environment using Windows and then run the Intel Mac OS X in that. So far so good but your Linux solution intrigues me. At some point there has to be a software emulation of the Intel instruction set, - presumably this is done by Virtualbox sitting on top of a PowerPC version of Linux? If so I like it and may have a shot using that method.
Please see the LQ Rules about text-speak, and not using it. And there is not a version (as far as I can see) of Virtualbox for anything other than x86/64 Intel systems. Again, you are probably running into a Mac limitation on what it chooses to boot/run on. The Intel emulation may be 'good enough' to run something stock, but will not run more than that.

And before you assume that the old 2GHz power pc will run things easily...I have a two year old i7, and the system load when running High Sierra is VERY noticeable. An old powerpc chip that is also EMULATING an x86/64 platform while ALSO running a guest OS? No...don't think it'll be usable at all.
Quote:
As to why, - you're right its as much for the challenge as anything else but I also have a very nice PowerPC laptop which is a shame to simply retire. Hence your idea of spending 500 dollars (Three hundred quid!) on a used Intel box, - why the very idea! bless my soul! (etc, etc, etc).
That's your choice, of course. However, rather than throw time/effort into old hardware that can't be updated (or even REPAIRED at this point), to run layer upon layer of emulation, to run something that will run a LOT faster natively seems like a waste of time. Sooner or later, your system WILL fail. And you will then have to upgrade...so why put it off? Accomplish your goals and future-proof yourself for a good while to come.

Of course, this is your project, so do as you see fit. Good luck.
 
Old 09-25-2018, 11:22 AM   #5
martinlangley
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Aha so I take it the machine running Linux is an Intel box in the first place, - so no real emulation needed! Again your point about ploughing thru several levels of software is well taken, but I've managed to mitigate that with using substantial ram, so the processing mostly takes place in real memory, and I'm running an ssd so shouldn't be IO bound.

In any event I got the box for free so all its costing is my time. I hate to throw out good equipment which has potential for recycling and keeping out of landfill with a bit of clever tweakng.

Best regards

M
 
  


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