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Mac System 2.x

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Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
System_2.x.sit (274.17 KB)
MD5: ea3135b370fc092206cd960cbb131c0c
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
HD_20_Startup_-_E_-_1.img (400.00 KB)
MD5: 68595cda0fb7adee299dda9d308c5f46
This app works with: Mini vMac

Macintosh System 2.0 was originally released with the same finder as System 1.1. In April 1985, a new release, featuring Finder 4.1, made all the difference. New features included: folder creation, shutdown, the Minifinder, and a feature that some modern OSs still don't have--file list printing.

There apparently is a System 2.1 that's teamed with Finder 5.0 that provides support for Apple's first Mac hard drive, the HD 20. This was kind of a rough period in Mac system software as Apple struggled with evolving their flat file system, MFS, into a hierarchical system, HFS, which was a practical necessity for large volumes.

This archive contains two System 2.0 boot disk images--one for each Finder version.

Architecture: 68k


MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2021, February 1 - 11:13pm

Hello RedPro. Thanks for the offer to help out. By all means, if you convert archives into compatible for System 6 and earlier Mac OS's so they can be easily accessed by those systems. Please do add them to the pages where you got them from. They would be a great contribution. I do the same when I come across such items as I know that StuffIt 5.5 archives cannot be accessed on Mini vMac or on Systems earlier than 7.1

As for your System 2.1 - please add it to this page. If that version is the System (file) version, and which we don't have a copy of. It's an odd one (therefore rare) as it's not included on the Mac dev disks. It may be one of those system releases that were recalled, like System 6.0.6 and never seen again. If you use the SysVersion app to determine the System and it returns version 2.1, then it will be from a System Software release (version 0.6?) which we definitely do not have.

RedPro's picture
by RedPro - 2021, January 30 - 9:17pm

Also I've located System 2.1 and would like to upload it on Macintosh Garden.

RedPro's picture
by RedPro - 2021, January 30 - 9:14pm

Thank You Mike TomTom very helpful information. BTW has any effort been made to modify some of the file types (of the compressed files) for a lot of these old system versions that others have uploaded here? A lot of them look like they just dragged files using their modern OS into folders, compressed and uploaded them. As you know for these files to be usable in OS 1-6, they need to be on .img disks. I've been having to uncompress, open sheepshaver running 9.0.4, mount a blank .img disk in OS 9, drag the uncompressed folder into the UNIX folder, copying into the .img disk and copying back to the UNIX folder before I can mount and use it in Mini vMac. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about? I'd be willing to help with that since I've been working on archiving all of these on my own computer for the last couple of weeks.

MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2021, January 27 - 11:51pm

I guess a full System 2 is much harder to get these days.

Perhaps even discerning System 2.0 from System Software 2.0 is even more difficult Wink

The naming convention Apple used for its early OSs requires detective work that reveals some facts that are unusual.

That is, Macintosh System software versions did not match their release version names until System Software 6.0

If the included System file is version 2.0 and the Finder is version 4.1, then it is System Software version 0.5 - Looking at the screenshot up in the description area, it appears to be System Software 0.5, not System Software 2.0


Early Mac OSs
Early Macintosh System Software naming conventions (click to expand)

So, an actual System Software version 1.0 would contain System (file) 4.0 and Finder 5.4
and an actual System Software version 2.0 would contain System (file) 4.1 and Finder 5.5

If you need original master copies of early system releases, download one of the early Apple Developer series CD ROMs from here at the MG. For example: E.T.O. Essentials - Tools - Objects (1991) contains all System releases from System Software 0.1 to System Software 7.0 (US English releases) and multiple System 6 releases for other countries. All images are in Disk Copy 4.2 format.

Note that version numbering used on the CD corresponds to the numbering convention used in the above screenshot.

For a breakdown of early Mac OS systems see this Wikipedia page, it's where the above screenshot was adapted from, but the above is updated to reflect the content of those original master copies as found on the early Apple dev disks. There are conflicting results from those recorded at Wikipedia.

[Edit] I've looked at the download in this page. It expands to two disk images named: "System 2.0 (Finder 1.1).dsk" and "System 2.0 (Finder 4.1).dsk" respectively. Both are user modified disks. The 1st has System file version 2.0 but has a Finder version 1.1g (from System Software release 0.1), the 2nd disk has the System file version 2.0 and Finder 4.1 (from System Software release 0.5) plus a kind of launcher app called MiniFinder, which it starts up from. Both disks include the 3rd party "SysVersion" software, which when run, returns the version of the System (file).

RedPro's picture
by RedPro - 2021, January 27 - 8:24pm

It's great you have this System 2 posted here but after I was able to get it to work in Mini vMac, its a very scaled down version with no control panel or anything in the Apple menu. Is there an installer .img that you know of? I have system 1.1 working fine with all included OS files I guess a full System 2 is much harder to get these days.

Jatoba's picture
by Jatoba - 2019, May 14 - 10:28pm

According to what was on Wikipedia, System 2.1 introduced HFS. It's such a shame if all we have of System 2 is everything, but that version! Sad