Trace: » SheepShaver


SheepShaver is an Open Source PowerPC MacOS run-time environment. That is, it enables you to run PowerPC Classic MacOS software on your computer, even if you are using a different operating system. However, you still need a copy of MacOS and a PowerMacintosh ROM image to use this program. SheepShaver is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

If you are using a PowerPC-based system, applications will run at native speeds (i.e. without any emulation involved). On other systems, SheepShaver provides the first PowerPC G4 emulator, though without MMU, to enable the execution of MacOS Classic. Performance with the current CPU emulator using basic just-in-time (JIT) translation techniques is roughly 1/8-th of native speeds.

The following platforms are currently supported: Linux (i386, ppc, x86_64), MacOS X (i386, ppc), Darwin, NetBSD 2.0, FreeBSD 5.3 and Windows for x86. Please note that I am pretty careless of the Windows version since I am not a Windows developer. You are heartly invited to join the effort!

Note: This webspace contains precompiled binaries and sources snapshots extracted from development CVS to ease testing until a formal release is available.

Last update: 2006/05/15 -- New snapshot.


  • SheepShaver runs MacOS 7.5.2 thru MacOS 9.0.4
  • PowerPC G4 emulation on non-PowerPC platforms, direct execution otherwise
  • Basic but portable JIT engine (x86, x86_64, mips)
  • Copy and paste of text between MacOS and the host OS
  • File exchange with the host OS via a Unix icon on the Mac desktop
  • Color video display with support for run-time resolution switching
  • Run-time depth switching from 1 bpp to current host depth settings
  • Native QuickDraw 2D acceleration for BitBlt and FillRect operations
  • CD-quality stereo sound output
  • Networking: SheepShaver supports Internet and LAN networking via Ethernet and PPP with all Open Transport compatible MacOS applications


  • [2006/05/14] SheepShaver 2.3 snapshot
    • Handle up to 1 GB of Mac memory
    • Improve SLiRP network emulation performance
    • Fix Native QuickDraw acceleration
    • Fix a crash during MacOS 9 installation
    • Fix a crash in the AppleShare extension
    • Fix support for MacOS 7.5.3 Revision 2.2
    • Fix gigantic window dimensions on first boot
    • Fix extfs volume name to Unix (Toshimitsu Tanaka)
    • Fix unaligned accesses in SLiRP network emulation (Brian J. Johnson)
    • Initial port to IRIX/mips
    • MacOS X:
      • Port to MacOS X for Intel, including the JIT
      • Add a primitive graphical preferences editor
      • Add support for run-time CD-ROM auto-detection
      • Fix clipboard (copy/paste of text from/to the host OS)
      • Fix extfs to preserve native folder attributes
      • Fix extfs to handle file/folder creation times
      • Fix SLiRP network emulation (workaround MacOS X bugs)
      • Improve overall performance on PowerPC (by a factor 2)
    • Windows:
      • Add SLiRP network emulation (ether slirp)
      • Add TAP-Win32 network emulation (ether tap)
      • Fix CD-ROM auto-detection (pollmedia now works)
      • Fix idle sleep (idlewait now works)
      • Fix native cursor to be updated as soon as MacOS modified it
      • Improve GUI for network configuration
  • [2005/11/30] SheepShaver 2.3 snapshot
    • Add fullscreen DGA mode via fbdev in Linux
    • Add screen prefs item a-la Basilisk II
    • Add missing lvsl/lvsr instructions in AltiVec emulation (Adobe FrameMaker)
    • Add support for old toolchain (gcc “2.96”, glibc 2.2)
    • Add user-space network emulation (ether slirp in prefs file)
    • Add Ethernet and Serial support to Windows
    • Add GTK+2 based GUI to Windows
    • Add initial port to Darwin/x86 with JIT
    • Improve portability of FPU emulation code to non C99 capable systems
    • Improve interrupt processing in emulated mode
    • Improve idle wait on Linux platforms
    • Properly fail to load MacOS < 8.1 with NewWorld ROMs
    • Fix native execution in Linux/PowerPC
    • Fix PowerPC test-and-set implementation (fix clipboard)
    • Fix Ethernet support in Linux, avoid hangs
    • Fix occasional hangs during interrupt processing
    • Fix High Resolution Timing code for Linux
    • Fix support for 4+ GB hard disk images
    • Fix SDL/x11 native cursor acceleration
    • Fix sheep_net driver to properly work with Linux kernels up to 2.6.11


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