This page is a wiki. Please login or create an account to begin editing.

Rikintosh's Mac OS ClassiX

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)
Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
classix1.0.dmg (1.45 GB)
MD5: 87a4d216777df62956368dc63f6ff15e
For Mac OS 9 - Mac OS X
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de (1,022.02 KB)
MD5: 5cd7229e985b52a984d4afd9bbd36940
For Mac OS 9 - Mac OS X
Guides on emulating older applications

I chose Macintosh Garden as the main publisher, since all the people who would be interested in this are here.

After a lot of frustration trying to run Mac OS 9 natively on my PowerBook, I decided that the most viable way to run my classic games would be through the classic environment of Mac OS X 10.4. But for everything to work satisfactorily, it would take a huge effort to research and modify the system, and in my opinion, that would only be worth my time, if it were to help the community of PPC lovers, so I did it.

To understand my choices a little better, I will list them and explain why I made them.

Mac OS X 10.4.11

When it comes to classic environment, we all know that Tiger is not the best choice, he suffers from performance problems in classic, Apple seemed to be trying to kill classic once and for all, to force developers to migrate to OS X. So, why did I choose this version? Simple! My goal is to make the most recent PPC machines run satisfactorily on Mac OS 9, many machines from the year 2005 do not support another version of the older Mac OS X.

So what good has all this effort been done to modify the system, if Tiger is not good with classic?
- Simple! Because I ported the Classic from Panther (10.3) to Tiger! With that, we have a performance of 30 to 60% better than in the original classic of the system!

In addition, I optimized the entire system so that the center of attention is our beloved Mac OS 9. This means that I removed some things from OS X that were not important, so that the system runs better and faster, BUT ... you you will still have the best of both worlds! Things that were not possible in Mac OS 9, can now be useful! How about a Mac OS 9 with native support for your AirPort card, WPA? Or support for screen brightness, fan speed control, remote control, bluetooth, java, and even our beloved TenFourFox, already configured to have the best possible performance (believe me, it is incredibly fast in this build).

You may be asking yourself now: But that sucks, an OS X Tiger with a classic, any Mac does it! - Not quite. I built this system, so that it was a secondary system in a bi-partitioned HD. It is the reincarnation of Mac OS 9, the several hours I spent on this system, it was improving the performance and compatibility with OS 9, in addition, 90% of the graphical interface is with the Platinum visual and also acts / responds like it, for you to feel at home, as if in OS 9. It is basically a Mac OS 9 running under the Mac OS X platform, which serves as a basis for mediating between legacy and unsupported "modern" hardware. Classic may not be exactly the same as OS 9, but on an unsupported G4 or G5, it's either it or nothing.

What still needs to be done...

- I would like to customize the boot screen to insert the image at the beginning of the post, unfortunately the apps available to change the image of the boot screen do not resize the image, they just change. I plan on replacing the current boot screen with the Happy Mac image on the gray screen. Suggestions?

- I combed through all the OS X documentation and found nothing about it: As soon as the boot screen ends, the system starts the graphical interface (a blue background) then a window written Starting Mac OS X ... appears. I would like to change the BLUE COLOR in the background, but I haven't found anything about it.

I placed a trash can on the work area provisionally. It is not the best choice, it does not work as well as I expected. I tried the tip to create a shortcut to ./Trash, but the problem is that it will only work for the drive where the trash is, and the icon does not change to empty trash / Trash full.

- Unfortunately Dock is necessary for the desktop to work. I'm still looking for a solution to hide it forever.

- My initial idea was to modify so that it would run in full screen. There is even a tip out there about changing something in the Mac OS 9 Finder, so that the OS 9 Finder can be seen, but still, somehow, classic does not allow you to see the desktop, and this was the great flaw that made me change my mind, so I decided to modify the entire OS X. I tried to run from Mac OS X DP2 and 3, because it allows you to run classic in full screen, but unfortunately it doesn't work outside the original system. Searching the classic Panther code, I found entries for a button called Show Mac OS 9 desktop, but it seems to have been disabled during compilation.

- A strange bug happens when I try to run Doom 1 from 1996 on any version of classic: The game runs by skipping frames, but in a certain region of the screen, the game runs perfectly at a high frame rate (as it should be). I will only be able to play it if I change the screen resolution to as low as 800x600.

Despite all the hard work, the system is not yet ready, I will continue the development after voluntary testers report tips, opinions, problems, etc...


Mega.Nz Mirror

How to use:

Dual boot:

First of all you need to partition your HD (if you want to keep your current system + ClassiX), I will not go into details on how to do this so as not to create a giant topic. Then use the disk drive to write the dmg to the new partition. When the process is over, you can select the system by system preferences / startup disk, or hold the Option key on the keyboard when starting your Mac.

ClassiX only:

Copy classix.dmg to a pendrive, start your Mac with the Mac OS X 10.4 CD, select disk drive, open the dmg on the pendrive, and restore to your hard drive.

Note: The first boot can take a little time. Within the system, a defragmenter is included, it is recommended that you repair the permissions, and defragment the system before you start using it.

Architecture: PPC

To be tested...


SkyCapt's picture
by SkyCapt - 2021, May 3 - 9:13am

@Jatoba, i'm with you - classicmodes 10.3 and 10.4 look the same bad to me, it takes 10.2 for decent classic. But that was yesterday, today I found a strange way of accelerating 10.3 & 10.4 classic. The way Rikintosh here says he found 10.3 classic to be 60% faster than 10.4 can be explained away as having compared 10.3 with strangeness On against 10.4 with strangeness Off.

I got 10.4 regular Classicmode to play most of my old Mac software which used to require 10.2 - but i'm still ironing out how I'm going to relay the 'strange' hack I just found ...

OpenSourceMac's picture
by OpenSourceMac - 2021, January 1 - 1:47pm

Nice Job. Classic has been a mixed-bag. This should really help - especially for retro-gamers.

jabbarblgn's picture
by jabbarblgn - 2020, December 31 - 10:58pm

Mac OS Classix is an ideal option for an iMac g4 and some other power pcs that cannot boot into system 9. Setup is easy.

Duality's picture
by Duality - 2020, December 25 - 7:04pm

It's not super relevant as a follow up to Jatoba's observation, and I don't want to bury his question below, but as probably one of the few people on Planet Earth with first hand experience in emulating Mac OS on POWER9...

The blog post below discusses QEMU + KVM running PowerPC versions of Mac OS X on a POWER9 Linux host with all the backwards-compatible POWER9 bits on (big endian instead of little endian, radix mode disabled). It is neat, but not a standard Linux config for POWER9. There's also no G5 profile in QEMU today, so as blog post said, you're hacking around a virtualized G4 and mapping some of those bits to a G5-ish-looking-thing. Kind of a tap-dancing elephant, really!

Since that still doesn't have GPU support, the experience is quite a bit worse than running Leopard Server in a VM on an Intel Mac, with similar limitations. It's better for 10.0 through 10.3 which didn't have an Intel release, or 10.4 if you don't happen to have a Power Mac in service at the moment.

As far as Mac OS 9 goes, QEMU + TCG (fully emulated) runs fantastically on a POWER9. Though it also runs great on Big Sur running Apple Silicon and on many other platforms.

Setting expectations, the market for a POWER9 motherboard is really for somebody that wants to see Linux on a high power workstation-class board that's not on Intel, on a chip that punches above ARM's weight on the publicly available non-Apple, non-AWS-Graviton designs on the market today.

That it does some unique emulation tricks with IBM AIX and Mac OS X is neat, but unless somebody wrangles out a single board computer (SBC) that's closer to the 32 bit PowerPC and can run classic Mac OS, it's not the better PPC Mac OS machine you might think it is.

There are a few people on Twitter that have been off-and-on trying something like a smaller, better PPC Mac OS machine, as a spare time project, kind of in the spirit of Amiga SBCs. I'd have to really dig around quite a bit to find them, but I imagine if and when they have something to show, we'll hear about it.

Jatoba's picture
by Jatoba - 2020, December 25 - 4:08pm


Aside from Classic not working under Leopard (no one seems to have been able to do it yet, at least), POWER9 does not actually run it so far: that blog post only talks about virtualizing it with QEMU + KVM, instead of native booting into it, and it does not run all that well, either. But it's certainly usable and interesting.

Jatoba's picture
by Jatoba - 2020, December 25 - 3:48pm

I appreciate the idea of this effort a lot, but I should point out that, AFAIK, there's absolutely no benefit (that I know of) of running 10.3 Panther's Classic as opposed to 10.4.x Tiger's Classic.

They both are broken and make playing most OS 9 games horrible. Even the ones that don't work so poorly, such as turn-based games, will still run visibly worse, and that problem is true for even moving the cursor around the options of the Classic Finder menu at the top (problems in smoothness), so 100% of the apps are visibly affected.

But! It's another matter entirely if you take up 10.2.8 Jaguar's version of Classic instead, and somehow put that on 10.4.x Tiger. Classic-incompatible apps would still not work, so in no way is this a replacement for native OS 9 (sadly), but the ones that do work will finally work flawlessly (as far as I could tell - compared it with Hexen).

Could you please describe to us what steps exactly were used to bring Panther's Classic to Tiger? Was it as simple as dragging-and-dropping Classic files on top of the ones present in Tiger? Or was the procedure more complicated than just that?

Nonetheless, many kudos for your efforts so far. Smile

thecandymancan1423's picture
by thecandymancan1423 - 2020, December 16 - 10:12pm

any progress on this????

macs1283_2's picture
by macs1283_2 - 2020, December 16 - 9:02pm

Tested on my eMac, works awesome Laughing out loud Thanks!

I3arana's picture
by I3arana - 2020, October 24 - 8:55pm

Interesting. This would shine on leopard, esepecially since leopard runs well under POWER9 ( g5 version)

os9er's picture
by os9er - 2020, October 19 - 10:04pm

@Rikintosh: I personally would like it a lot if you could find a way to install these modifications on an existing OS X system. That way, you wouldn't need to repartition your HDD if you didn't want to do so.

IIO's picture
by IIO - 2020, October 3 - 2:53pm

the OSX dock is just a coreservice and could be removed.

but like you said, that with the trash is indeed an issue.

of course you can easily put a trash alias on the dekstop, but it might still require the

however, creating a "fully functional" trash icon on the desktop - one which is recreatable when a user accidentially command-deleted it(!), would be te first step to be able to deinstall the

an applescript can have that functionality, but it will be slow and i am also not sure about the reliability.

thecandymancan1423's picture
by thecandymancan1423 - 2020, October 2 - 4:44pm

Hey it is a step in the right direction Wink

Rikintosh's picture
by Rikintosh - 2020, October 2 - 4:38pm

I know this tip, but it is not efficient. The work area is cut from the finder, menus are opened with a kind of cut around them. The osx desktop will continue to be displayed, and the osx finder will conflict with the os9 finder

thecandymancan1423's picture
by thecandymancan1423 - 2020, October 2 - 4:08pm
Got classic up and running in full screen on Classix

Rikintosh's picture
by Rikintosh - 2020, October 2 - 12:54am

He's invisible for now. And it is possible to switch between programs the way you did in OS9, but you need to change a behavior so that all windows come forward when the program is chosen from the list of active programs

cbone's picture
by cbone - 2020, October 1 - 9:17pm

Maybe make the Dock invisible? But the Dock is the hub of OS X applications and documents, so that may not be very practical for the OS X side, I think.. this is an amazing GUI hack so far, by the way, kudos Wink

Rikintosh's picture
by Rikintosh - 2020, October 1 - 9:00pm

the big challenge is that the osx dock is not just a dock, it is rooted in the finder, it’s also the desktop, trash, and part of the window manager. I believe that to make any changes, it would be necessary to deconstruct it, and recompile it with xcode or something If I use a-dock without starting the osx dock, I will be without a desktop, and everything else I mentioned before ...

thecandymancan1423's picture
by thecandymancan1423 - 2020, October 1 - 4:39pm

It runs pretty well very optimized a suggestion hide the mac os x dock and use a-dock as the main dock maybe even if mac os x will let you replace the dock with a-dock another suggestion is too modify a dock so that it recognizes osx apps and displays a icon for them maybe even port it to osx but with the old dock keep a option in system preferences too bring it up again also why not bring the classic platinum sounds to it like when you are scrolling you hear a sound and so on

Rikintosh's picture
by Rikintosh - 2020, September 30 - 4:39am

I tried something like this, it is possible to open the OS9 finder and navigate through it, but we would have 2 problems, the first is that the desktop will not be displayed in any way, the second is that the OS9 finder will only open the apps OS9 and will not recognize any OSX app

I'll try to remember what I used, is that I've actually been working on it for more than a month, and I've invested a lot of time to learn how osx works by reading documentation (more time reading than doing it)

But yes, I used the wayback machine to access the old unsanity website to read the documentation and learn how it works in detail, I downloaded the latest versions here in the garden.

The application that placed the open application selector, and modified the menu, is in the System folder, inside Applications. It's called X-assist. For the trash can icon, I used A-dock.

For the themes, I used a generic Plantium theme for OSX ShapeShifter, but I had to make numerous changes to the osx files so that the graphical interface was entirely plantium. was severely modified, (it provides the images of brightness and volume) I had to create them manually. I even made an icon for the spotlight that is not yet included. I will still change other icons in the system, and some loading bars. The plantium theme has "sub categories" with other colors to choose from. The OS9 wallpapers are included, the sound emitted when the volume is adjusted has also been changed.

rbshep's picture
by rbshep - 2020, September 30 - 2:59am

This is an awesome idea! I've often thought about doing something like this myself. I love the fact you've achieved showing the app icon rather than the name as the first menu item (after the apple menu). I think this was the default behaviour in DP3? I also love the OS9-style app switcher - is this an Unsanity hack?

Could you document what you've changed in the system? Which third-party OSX mods that you've used, and perhaps provide the plist files for them too? That way it would be more modular, and could be used several ways - as an OS9-style skin (which perhaps could be ported to Leopard too, or backported to Panther/Jaguar), or to the full-blown system you've provided.

I also seem to remember my Powerbook didn't like being installed from the 10.4.6 media (it would KP a lot) but when installed from the 10.4.2 image that it was shipped with it was perfectly stable. Ditto for the last gen iMac G5 - and perhaps other machines too. So it would be good to be able to apply your changes to a system installed from different media.

As regards the OS9Finder - I've never tried this myself - but i often wondered what would happen if you made an alias to :Macintosh HD:Volumes and put it in Startup Items - would the OS9 finder open a window showing all the mounted disks in the machine?

Rikintosh's picture
by Rikintosh - 2020, September 30 - 1:42am


MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2020, September 30 - 1:36am

I'm uploading again. I posted on, and it's working there

Oh OK. Thanks.

Rikintosh's picture
by Rikintosh - 2020, September 30 - 12:30am

Actually the upload was corrupted, my file is still intact. As soon as I downloaded it, I noticed that it was missing a few megabytes. I'm uploading again. I posted on, and it's working there

MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2020, September 29 - 11:52pm

Just a suggestion. Wait until the checksum is generated for the above download and check it against what you uploaded. This could save you having to upload this large file again. If the checksum matches what you had uploaded, then there would be little point in re-uploading it.

Rikintosh's picture
by Rikintosh - 2020, September 29 - 10:59pm

I left it uploading overnight, I think something went wrong, I will upload it again

thecandymancan1423's picture
by thecandymancan1423 - 2020, September 29 - 10:11pm

it will not let me mount it error 90

Rikintosh's picture
by Rikintosh - 2020, September 29 - 8:47pm

I spent the last few hours uploading, for some reason, uploading to the macintosh gardem is very slow. But now the file is available for anyone to download

Feel free to test it and share your opinion about that

thecandymancan1423's picture
by thecandymancan1423 - 2020, September 29 - 1:24pm

I am willing to test just send me a email with the link Laughing out loud