Getting Started

Peter Rutenbar edited this page Jul 1, 2014 · 9 revisions

Table of Contents

What you need to boot Shoebill

  • A Macintosh II, IIx, or IIcx ROM
  • An A/UX installation CD (or any other disk image with an A/UX root partition)
    • A/UX versions known to work are 1.1.1, 2.0.0, 3.0.0, 3.0.1, and 3.1.0, and likely other versions will run too.
    • A/UX 3.1.1 may not work yet. Purportedly, 3.1.1 only runs on 32-bit clean ROMs, which excludes the Mac II
  • For OS X
    • To run the Cocoa GUI, you need OS X 10.8 or 10.9
    • The SDL2 GUI can also be compiled for OS X 10.5+
  • For Windows
    • You need Windows 7 or higher. The released binary might run on other versions of windows too. I dunno, haven't tested much.
  • For Linux
    • You need the SDL2 runtime libraries and an i386/x86_64 CPU


Shoebill is different from other Macintosh emulators in how it boots. Instead of booting directly into the Macintosh ROM, Shoebill implements a bootloader and boots directly into A/UX itself. Traditionally, A/UX is booted by first booting Mac OS, and then running SASH/launch to mount the A/UX root partition, run fsck if necessary, load the unix kernel, and then boot it. SASH provides the ability to manipulate the A/UX filesystem while actually running in regular Mac OS.

Shoebill cannot boot into regular Mac OS, although that's a future goal. Instead, it replicates the functionality of Apple's bootloader, and boots directly into A/UX.

Running Shoebill on OS X

Once you have all the ingredients, booting Shoebill is simple.

  • Double click, and go to the Preferences menu item.
  • Under the General tab
    • Specify the path to your II/IIx/IIcx ROM file
  • Under the Disks tab,
    • Next to SCSI ID 0, specify the path to your A/UX installation CD ISO
    • And you can also attach other disk images to the other SCSI IDs
    • Make sure you've backed up your disk images! They might become corrupted!
  • Then click Apply and Run

Running Shoebill on Windows/Linux

v0.0.3 gotchas

Innumerable, but here are a few highlights

  • System 7's Time Manager is completely broken on A/UX 3.0.0.
    • Shortly after you boot into A/UX 3.0.0 for the first time, it will completely freeze for about five minutes. Just wait it out, and the freeze won't reoccur on subsequent restarts. No idea what's going on here yet...
  • The real time clock is approximately correct, but can't be modified, doesn't use the right time zone, and is subject to random time traveling.
  • The video card gets its color table messed up a lot (e.g. Marathon). Also, it will crash if you click "options" in the Monitors control panel.
  • Things that try to play sound sometimes crash because sound isn't implemented at all yet.
  • Lots of instructions aren't implemented yet, and there are asserts everywhere to catch unhanded situations, so Shoebill crashes a lot.
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