Documentation/Platforms/PowerPC

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PowerPC Macintosh Emulator

Description

An emulator of the Apple Beige Power Mac G3 and Sawtooth Power Mac G4.
Note: Information below true for qemu-system-ppc builds as of 23-06-2018

Hardware options

Recent builds of qemu-system-ppc default to emulating a PowerPC Mac G4, Mac Model PowerPC3,1.
The machine model selector on the command line (-m) has three options:

Machine model selectorProvides
-m mac99,via=pmu pmu power management, providing USB mouse and keyboard
-m mac99,via=pmu-adb pmu power management with adb bus for older OSs not supporting USB
-m mac99,via=cuda cuda power management with adb bus (this is the default)

Optional commands:

Optional commandsDefaultProvides
-prom-env "auto-boot?=true"yesAutomatic boot at openbios prompt
-prom-env "boot-args=-v" noVerbose start-up of OSX guests
-prom-env "vga-ndrv?=true" yesOn the fly resolution/colour depth switching for Mac OS/OS X guests

Guest compatibility

Operating systemStatusRemarks
Mac OS 8.0 to 8.6Not supported
Mac OS 9.0Boots, installs, runsRequires 9.0.4 with rom version 5.2.1 and above (e.g., 9.0.4 for the Cube)
Mac OS 9.1Boots, installs, runs
Mac OS 9.2Boots, installs, runs
Mac OS 10.0Boots, installs, runs
Mac OS 10.1Boots, installs, runs
Mac OS 10.2Boots, installs, runs
Mac OS 10.3Boots, installs, runs
Mac OS 10.4Boots, installs, runs
Mac OS 10.5Boots, installs, runs
Mac OSX Server 1.2v3Boots, installs, runsNo networking due to lack of gigabit ethernet support
Lubuntu 14Boots, installs, runsRequires -g 1024x768x8 to see text while installing
Fedora 12Boots, installs, runsRequires -g 1024x768x8 to see text while installing
Debian 10Boots, installs, runsRequires -g 1024x768x8 to see text while installing
OpenSuse 11Boots, installs, runsRequires -device rtl8139 for networking, -g 1024x768x8 to see text while installing

Build directions

 ./configure --target-list=ppc-softmmu && make

Due to mouse issues when using the default GTK gui in Windows, it is advisable to use the SDL-based GUI when compiling on that platform:

 ./configure --target-list=ppc-softmmu --enable-sdl --with-sdlabi=2.0 && make

Pre-built binaries for Windows and OSX

Pre-built binaries for Windows can be found here: https://qemu.weilnetz.de/w64/
Pre-built binaries for OSX are provided at the emaculation website: https://www.emaculation.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=8848
Experimental builds for Windows/OSX with e.g., sound support are provided at the emaculation website: https://www.emaculation.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=8848&p=52102#p52104 and here: https://www.emaculation.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=9028

Guest installation instructions

Mac OS/Mac OSX

Mac OS 9.x

Command-line options to install Mac OS 9:

 ./qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot d -M mac99 -m 512 -hda <hd image file> -cdrom <iso file of installation media> -netdev user,id=mynet0 -device sungem,netdev=mynet0

Mac OS X 10.0 to 10.4

Command-line options to install Mac OS X 10.X:

 ./qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot d -M mac99 -m 512 -hda <hd image file> -cdrom <iso file of installation media> -netdev user,id=mynet0 -device sungem,netdev=mynet0

Mac OS X 10.5

Command-line options to install Mac OS X 10.X:

 ./qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot d -M mac99,via=pmu -m 512 -hda <hd image file> -cdrom <iso file of installation media> -netdev user,id=mynet0 -device sungem,netdev=mynet0

Mac OS X Server 1.2v3

Installation requires several steps:
Step 1: boot from installation CD, use disk utility to partition disk as Apple Server, quit Qemu and reboot with command line in step 2.

 ./qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot d -M mac99,via=pmu-adb -m 256 -net none -prom-env "auto-boot?=true" -prom-env "vga-ndrv?=true" -prom-env "boot-args=-v" -sdl -cdrom OSXServer1.2v3.iso -hda OSXServer1.2v3.qcow2

Step 2: initial installation (note machine and CPU, otherwise no desktop is shown).

 ./qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot d -M g3beige -cpu G3 -m 256 -prom-env "boot-args=-v" -prom-env "auto-boot?=false" -net none -sdl -hda OSXServer1.2v3.qcow2 -cdrom OSXServer1.2v3.iso

At the boot prompt enter "boot cd:9,\\:tbxi" Initial installation starts. Quit Qemu after completion.

Step 3: Installation continued. Boot with the following command line to complete the installation.

 ./qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot c -M g3beige -cpu G3 -m 256 -prom-env "boot-args=-v" -prom-env "auto-boot?=true" -net none -sdl -hda OSXServer1.2v3.qcow2 -cdrom OSXServer1.2v3.iso

Step 4: Boot the installed system:

 ./qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot c -M g3beige -cpu G3 -m 256 -prom-env "boot-args=-v" -prom-env "auto-boot?=true" -net none -sdl -hda OSXServer1.2v3.qcow2 -cdrom OSXServer1.2v3.iso

32 Bit PowerPC Linux

Lubuntu 14

Installation:

 ./qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot d -M mac99,via=pmu -m 1024 -net nic,model=sungem -net user -sdl -hda lubuntu14.qcow2 -cdrom lubuntu-14.04.5-desktop-powerpc.iso

Running:

 ./qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot c -prom-env "boot-device=hd:,\yaboot" -prom-env "boot-args=conf=hd:,\yaboot.conf" -M mac99,via=pmu -m 1024 -net nic,model=sungem -net user -sdl -hda c:\Linux-disks\lubuntu14.qcow2 -cdrom c:\Linux-images\lubuntu-14.04.5-desktop-powerpc.iso

Fedora 12

Installing:

 ./qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot d -M mac99,via=pmu -m 1024 -net nic,model=sungem -net user -sdl -hda fedora12.qcow2 -cdrom Fedora-12-ppc-DVD.iso -g 1024x768x16 

Running:

 ./qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot c -prom-env "boot-device=hd:,\yaboot" -prom-env "boot-args=conf=hd:,\yaboot.conf" -M mac99,via=pmu -m 1024 -net nic,model=sungem -net user -sdl -hda fedora12.qcow2 -g 1024x768x32

Debian 10 (Buster)

Note: To get a graphical desktop, at software selection, remove the default desktop environment and install only Xfce
Installing:

 ./qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot d -M mac99,via=pmu -m 1024 -net nic,model=sungem -net user -sdl -hda debian10.qcow2 -cdrom debian-10.0-powerpc-NETINST-1.iso -g 1024x768x8

Running:

 ./qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot c -prom-env "boot-device=hd:,\yaboot" -prom-env "boot-args=conf=hd:,\yaboot.conf" -M mac99,via=pmu -m 1024 -net nic,model=sungem -net user -sdl -hda debian10.qcow2 -g 1024x768x32

At the Linux boot prompt enter "Linux modprobe.blacklist=bochs_drm"

Pre-installed images of Debian 6 (Squeeze) and 7 (Wheezy) (both minimal and with desktop) can be found here: https://people.debian.org/~aurel32/qemu/powerpc/

These images boot with:

 ./qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot c -M mac99,via=pmu -m 1024 -net nic,model=sungem -net user -hda debian_wheezy_powerpc_desktop.qcow2 -g 1024x768x32 -sdl

OpenSuse 11

Installing:

 ./qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot d -M mac99,via=pmu -m 512 -net nic,model=rtl8139 -net user -sdl -hda opensuse11.qcow2 -cdrom opensuse11.iso -g 1024x768x8 

Once the license screen appears, press Ctrl-Alt-Shift-X to open a terminal. Follow https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Install_openSUSE_on_an_Apple_PPC_computer to create partitions with pdisk. Write the map after partitioning and continue with Yast. Once Yast arrives at partitioning, select Expert partitioning, select the Hard disk and click Rescan disk.
Leave hda2 as it is.
Edit hda3 to format as Ext2, mount at /boot and set fstab option to: Mount in /etc/fstab by to Device Path (instead of Device ID)
Edit hda4 to format as Swap and set fstab option to: Mount in /etc/fstab by to Device Path (instead of Device ID)
Edit hda5 to format as Ext3, mount at / and set fstab option to: Mount in /etc/fstab by to Device Path (instead of Device ID)

Accept the partitioning and continue with formatting. Continue installing. There will be an error while the boot manager is being installed. Ignore it, do not retry and wait for the installation to finish and the system reboots. Quit Qemu at the openbios screen and edit your command line:

 ./qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -boot c -M mac99,via=pmu -m 512 -net nic,model=rtl8139 -net user -sdl -hda opensuse11.qcow2 -cdrom opensuse11.iso -g 1024x768x32

Debugging tips

Command line options

 -d unimp,guest_errors

(logs unimplemented features and guest errors to stdout)

 -trace 'pmu_*'

(logs all PMU accesses to stdout)

 -trace 'usb*'

(logs all USB accesses to stdout)

Macsbug

Macsbug can be used to tell you what exactly stopped booting. The link for it is below.
Mac OS 9.2 comes with a built-in debugger. To use it, set the OpenBIOS variable “APPL,debug”:

Via QEMU's command-line options:

 -prom-env aapl,debug=2000000

In OpenBIOS type:
dev /
2000000 encode-int *Note: the number can be replaced with the many options available
“ AAPL,debug” property
then to boot from a cd type:
boot cd:,\\:tbxi

To boot from a hard drive image:
boot hd:,\\:tbxi

Emulated hardware issues

Mac OS

Only Mac OS 9.0 to 9.2 support sound well. Use an experimental build.

Links

Google Summer of Code Discussion for Mac OS 9
Macsbug 6.6.3 - debugger for Mac OS 9
Darwin OS installation iso file
JQEMU - graphical manager for QEMU (requires Java)
PowerPC Assembly Language Tutorial
QEMU PowerPC mailing list
Beige Power Mac G3 info
Sawtooth Power Mac G4 info

Pictures

Project Builder running inside of QEMU Pong 2001 Carbon

Norton Utilities Host and Guest About Dialogs
Mac OS 9 with Graphing Calculator running Doom running in Mac OS 9.2


How do I help

QEMU has many systems that can always be improved. Here is a brief list of possible areas you may want to work on:

  • Documentation
  • Testing
  • Fixing operating system compatibility issues
  • PowerPC emulation
  • User interface
  • OpenBIOS (firmware)
  • Implement a 3D video card
  • Improve various hardware (via-cuda, ata controller, etc..)

Knowledge in these areas could help:

  • PowerPC Assembly
  • 68K Assembly
  • Embedded Programming

Contacts

Maintainer: David Gibson david@gibson.dropbear.id.au
If there are any issues with this page, please contact me