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Maximum R.I.S.C.'s picture
Joined: 2017 Oct 18
Anyone on MorphOS?

Checked this out about 5 years ago and it looks like a lot of Fun, but other than oodles of threads about bugs and installer problems, haven't heard anything in a long time. Anyone on version 2 or 3? How is it?

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fogWraith's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 23

If you can get your hands on (if you already don't have one!) a Mac Mini G4 1.5Ghz, it really is a delight to work with. Of course, if you want to go mobile theres a few compatible machines.

It boils down to wether or not you can live with an "Amiga" Wink

Maximum R.I.S.C.'s picture
Joined: 2017 Oct 18

Thanks for the info! Am NOT that excited about it for Internet or Graphics, but for Retro-Gaming looks great. Amiga had some really fun titles. I wonder if Mac Amiga emulators are comparable?

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

So what would be the benefit (other than speed) of running MorphOS? I ask because I've got two 1.5GHz G4 Minis, one of which is running Leopard Server and managing Time Machine backups, and one that runs 10.4 with 9.2.2 for running old software. Both are headless.

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

I have a Quicksilver running a registered copy of MorphOS. While binary compatible, your favorite Amiga games won't run out of the box. You'll need an emulator (E-UAE). While E-UAE is not part of MorphOS itself it is freely available, (requires a 68k kickstart file though) and well integrated into Ambient (the Workbench replacement): adf files can get launched with E-UAE straightly. I still find the implemenation under Amiga OS4 much nicer (and more native), but if you don't want to spend your money into buying a SAM460 or A1222 aka Tabor (rumored to be available soon), this might be your best option.

Indeed, the big advantage of MOS is that it is soo much more faster than OSX on the same machine and is getting updated. (I'm still on 3.9 though - didn't have the time to apply the latest 3.10 update) And it's quite customizable. Something that reminds me of the old Classic MacOS days ...

SkyCapt's picture
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Joined: 2017 Jan 11

Presently MorphOS does not respect a Mirror Door G4 that has transitioned to identify itself as a Mirror Door G5. Unless I temporarily turn off my G5 identifier to use MorphOS and then restore my G5 identifier when finished using that, MorphOS locks up when booting its installer and locks up when booting the OS itself. The team morphos needs to be made aware of this issue with their software, on top of being made aware that the Mirror Door G5 is a real thing with performance benefits over G4 that are worth having. Actually I don't mind if morphos failed to accelerate, like Leopard does for example, I just don't want to have to edit my Open Firmware every time I go in and out of morphos. I was considering purchasing, now I'm not sure, are they as expert with PowerMac as they claim?

dr.zeissler's picture
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Joined: 2016 Sep 4

I'll take a start on G4-Mini 1,5 with MorphOS 2.4 soon...

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

Let me know how it goes; that's my target device too. I'm also interested in opportunities for running Mac OS 7 / Mac OS 9 software inside MorphOS somehow.

OpenSourceMac's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jan 21

So after playing with it, it isn't nearly as good for a Multiprocessor G4 or G5, since there are so many more software choices for those, but for a single processor like a Mini or PowerBook, it rocks. Still can't get over how efficient H.264 video playback is.

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

Have you tried Haiku? There's PPC builds, although they take a bit more work to install than the x86 ones. Haiku is to BeOS what MorphOS is to AmigaOS.

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Very interesting Smile I think I only saw a mention somewhere about Haiku!

I may have to consider one or both of these for those (so far) unbootable G4 Minis of mine

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

Personally, I'd love to see some frankenstein merging of MorphOS, Haiku and ReactOS -- it would be even better if it also had a blue box onboard to run classic Mac OS software Smile

Considering BeOS almost became the base for Darwin, it seems to me that the design around Haiku and MorphOS could at least deal with this -- ReactOS and Mac OS in compatibility layers may be much more of a stretch.

Haiku looks like it would be an awesome media player solution though.

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Very cool idea Smile I was able to run the ReactOS live CD on my Android Chromebook using Limbo x86. It was slow, but I didn't get a drive setup - possibly with the few tricks I picked up from trying out Mac OS9 I could achieve that though.

With Basilisk II on Android present, maybe trying the older Basilisk II PC non-JIT build on ReactOS if I can get a running virtual drive may prove to be fruitful, even if it crawls on my slower 32-bit Quad Core ARM flip.

OpenSourceMac's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jan 21

No - I haven't. Thanks for the tip will look into it. Other than Morph, most other systems I've tried suck pretty hard. Linux on PowerPC isn't very good.

os9er's picture
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Joined: 2013 Nov 15

The last PPC builds of Haiku I saw were very old, though, and AFAIK they haven't done any work on that port for a loooong time... unless I missed something recently Tongue

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

It's the "oh, and I can also run this!" factor of it all Smile now if it runs nicely, who cares how old it is, lol!

dr.zeissler's picture
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Joined: 2016 Sep 4

In short, MorphOS is a must have for a G4-Mini! Fantastic Demos are on Chrysalis-Demopack for MorphOS.
MorphOS 2.4 firstly supported the G4-Mini. You will get compatibility-problems on 2.4 for Apple-USB-Keyboard (white/silver) and some games (Tileset Hurrican wrong, BattleSquadron Demo requires a newer IXEMUL lib (50+)) so you are better of, using the newest version! More to come...

OpenSourceMac's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jan 21

WOW - Was just looking at the Morph Forum/Support discussions. There are people on the fancy (very overpriced) Pegasos 2 motherboard talking about how to get a Radeon 9000 card to work. Seriously, why wouldn't you just use a PowerMac - so much better form-factor, and you can boot OSX also. Not to mention Mac AMD goes a lot further than that with cards like the 9800 pro and a lot of 'X' series that will run in 4x AGP.

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

I may just have a third project for my "experimenal" G4 Mini here... currently it runs Mac OS 9 (Wait! That's not supported...) and OS X 10.6 PPC (Wait! That's not a thing....). Being able to triple boot it into MorphOS sounds like a great idea, and I already have the drive partitioned appropriately! The big question is: should I try to get Haiku running on it too?

OpenSourceMac's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jan 21

The only issue you might run into is Partition Scheme. But external Firewire still boots great.

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Hey, why not? Smile the more the merrier! Santa

And if you then build an image of the whole volume (all vanilla-ish, ie, no personal files or media encrusted within), you could even upload a backup ready-to-deploy for PPCs like the G4 Mini Laughing out loud

Of course that may take a good minute, with all the conceivable bug fixin' and all, even though they could be versions, too, eg, the-kitchen-sink-G4-multi-boot-thingy 1.0 Wink

One caveat to all this is what OpenSourceMac mentioned about the partition scheme though.

dr.zeissler's picture
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Joined: 2016 Sep 4

Tripple boot MacOS9+OSX+MorphOS did not work for me.
It looked like this: https://www.flickr.com/photos/94839221@N05/albums/72157666841174377
MorphOS can't handle the OS9 partition map.

MorphOS also refuses to work on G4-Cube with Original 15" ADC Monitor. The screen stays black and the light on the monitor flickers. So perhaps unsupported video mode. Beside that the USB speakers are not supported on G4-Cube by morphOS. I will not make further tests on G4-Cube.

dr.zeissler's picture
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Joined: 2016 Sep 4

I will test Amithlon on X86, perhaps not on a mac.

SkyCapt's picture
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Joined: 2017 Jan 11

I'm triple booting OS 9 + X + MorphOS on the Mirror Door G5. I'm actually booting any number of any thing I wish. And I switch between them quickly and efficiently and with firewall separating everything. I literally switch between OS using switches. Every bootable storage drive has its own On-Off toggle switch, including my MorphOS SSD bridged onto the Mirror Door's ATA-33 bus. Everything boots without using StartupDisk nor Firmware, all I do is switch Off all boot drives except the one I want.

I have the advantage of knowing AmigaOS already. But it's worth it to tackle MorphOS if only just to run MAME v0.148 while PPC Mac OS has been stuck with much lower and buggier versions of MAME. MorphOS is still supported and gaining following, future builds of lots of software is coming.

For the Mirror Door, the latest MorphOS v3.13 I'm using, it properly enables the CPU Nap Mode, remember how badly MacOS misbehaved, and Morph has the option of built in Temperature Monitor in the menubar, correctly computes the Mirror Door's temperature same way as Bresink/MacOS.

Problem, in addition to not being able to boot MorphOS when my machine identifies as G5, everything making use of the PowerSDL Library (like half of all MorphOS software!) is corrupt drawing in window mode, but these software all work when drawing in fullscreen modes. This in spite of PowerSDL still supported (v16.1 is its latest), the bug is surely in the PowerSDL not in half of everything else. How can the latest versions of MorphOS and PowerSDL fail anything so elementary as window vs fullscreen, looks to me like this has to be (again and again) a failure to recognize the hardware differences my MDD2003 has over MDD2002 (i.e. DDR RAM overclocked).

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

PowerSDL is a fork of SDL 1.2, correct?

There's a bug in the SDL 1.2 code that looks very similar to this; it caused many headaches on IAx86 Apple hardware as well. The bug was finally found and stomped out in a recent version of 1.2, but was never present in 2.x.

So yeah, the bug is likely in PowerSDL, and is likely inherited from SDL 1.2, not inherent in additional PowerSDL code. If you communicate with the PowerSDL devs, you might want to flag this up to them.

SkyCapt's picture
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Joined: 2017 Jan 11

This is MorphOS PowerSDL Error on my MirrorDoor G5 >


Game Fullscreen

Game Fullscreen (click to enlarge).


Game Fullscreen

Game Window Error (click to enlarge).

It's Frogatto v1.3.1 - notice the screenshot on the garden Frogatto page is of v1.1.0 which doesn't have this Lighthouse in background, so here you're seeing v1.3.1 run in MorphOS on my PowerPC Mac. I had to take photographs of my screen, because MorphOS screen "grabber" utility isn't working at all, maybe for the same reasons drawing is broken.

Below the good Fullscreen photo is what the broken Window mode looks like here. Game actually runs correctly, it is everything other than the game that is broken on the desktop screen. Desktop turns mostly black with some garbage around the game window border, and when I drag the game window its border leaves "trails" like in this photo I dragged the window from its starting top left position down and to the right.

This is an obvious failure of "compositing" the desktop screen. And it is this compositing which I already know changes its behavior (it moves where the compositing is taking place) on switching my MirrorDoor between G4/G5 modes.

SkyCapt's picture
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Joined: 2017 Jan 11

Smile It's working now. First I tried an older version of mos but kept the most recent PowerSDL. That worked windowing. Then I found an all new MorphOS 3.14 pie just came out, tried it and it worked too. Hold on, reinstalled the Morph 3.13 to find it working windows also. So what had seemed hopelessly broken got fixed by wiping clean and reinstalling. Strange. I don't believe it can be explained as random corruption, because this is precisely something most unique and least understood about the one model of Mac that I use. This "bug" ought to still be lurking behind the scenes though I dunno how to reproduce it. Anyway, thank you Morph team for being yourselves, Kiero: you rock.

dr.zeissler's picture
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Joined: 2016 Sep 4

I like the old(er) versions.

os9er's picture
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Joined: 2013 Nov 15

Tried MorphOS 3.14 on my iBook G4 a while back, it worked really well, but I switched back to OS X Tiger because I didn't have the money to purchase MorphOS Tongue

OpenSourceMac's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jan 21

It has a lot to recommend (or at least did about 5-years ago). If you were on a Single Processor system, it was a no brainer. Tiger has made some huge strides in the Open-Source community since then, and Morph was/is REALLY EXPENSIVE - costing about the same as retail Windows 10.

uxware's picture
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Joined: 2018 Dec 22

I couldn't agree more