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Installing software onto your emulator

Once you download software off of the Macintosh Garden, you may have trouble getting it into your emulator of choice. Here are the steps you need to take. If you need more help, or if something here isn't clear enough, try the forums, or you could browse around on this website for some more detailed instructions:

Most files uploaded to the Macintosh Garden have been archived using some form of compression software.

A common archived format you will encounter here, are files that have been compressed using a version of StuffIt (Deluxe, DropStuff, or Lite) and saved as ".sit" archives.

If you are new to classic Macintosh and require a version of StuffIt to access ".sit" files and you do not have a copy of StuffIt already installed or know how to go about extracting ".sit" archives; then:

Install the StuffIt Expander v5.5 from here. This is the easiest method to place a version of StuffIt onto your Mac or emulator and it can access many of the archives found here (including other compressed formats and not only StuffIt's own ".sit" archives).
Note: If you are running Mini vMac you will need to use an earlier version of StuffIt (v 4.x or earlier).

Mini vMac

(a) The software will probably be compressed. Use the decompression utility of your choice to expand it (StuffIt Expander is a good choice). If the utility is in the emulator, skip to (c).

(b) If the software came in a disk image (.dsk), try dragging it onto a Mini vMac window. The emulated computer should be started up and running a version of System. If Mini vMac says the disk must be initialized and the disk image is not empty, it is probably a compressed disk image. In Mac OS X you can open the image in Disk Utility and click the "convert" button to remove the compression. Select "read only" from the menu. This disk image should now work in Mini vMac. Alternate procedures could be attempted to try extracting the files from it with another emulator or separate piece of software. The Disk Copy utility from pre-Mac OS X Macs may help.

(c) If the software came by itself without a disk image, or if you need to put a compressed archive into the emulator, you must place the file onto a Mini vMac-formatted disk image. In Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) and earlier Disk Utility can write to .dsk files if the extension is changed from .dsk to .dmg. In later versions of Mac OS X Disk Utility can only read .dsk files. Some HFS utilities, and other emulators can also do this. Then, drag the disk image onto Mini vMac the same way as in step (b).

Basilisk II and SheepShaver

You can almost always put the file into the shared folder. Do not run programs or extract archives from within the shared folder, move it to your emulated hard drive beforehand. The shared drives primary use is for moving files between the emulated hard drive and the host hard drive.
Disk images can be opened in Disk Copy. If this fails, try adding the disk image to the drives list in Basilisk II GUI or SheepShaver preferences. Or, download directly inside the emulator.

QEMU is capable of emulating Mac OS 9 up to 9.2.2, with some quirks such as some latency and missing audio (as of 2020). However, the system runs fine and stable. The installation instructions can be found on the QEMU wikibook:

A recipe that produces a complete build of OS9.2.2 in QEMU can be found here:


MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2021, January 12 - 4:17am

@zamlet: See the reply to your post regarding this subject, in the Spaceward Ho page.

zamlet's picture
by zamlet - 2021, January 12 - 2:10am

I have a game (Spaceward Ho! 5.0.5) that the manufacturer is distributing for free since it is so old. I know it should run on my Basilisk/System8 emulated computer; however, it is distributed in .dmg format and I cannot figure out how to get at the contents to install it. Is it possible to open/extract a .dmg file on a 680x0 emulated computer? If so, how?

inuya5ha's picture
by inuya5ha - 2018, July 18 - 4:08pm

More information on how to extract file's contents depending on target OS version and file's format would be really appreciated by new users. But don't add endless chunks of text for this too, use a simple table with clear and brief explanations on SW needed and procedures.

Mac128_1984's picture
by Mac128_1984 - 2016, May 11 - 3:30am

On gryphel I a single line ( allowed me to import an un-Stuffed application from Mac OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger) into Mini vMac:

"Renaming a disk image to end in '.dmg' (not '.dsk') makes it directly mountable in recent versions of Mac OS X."

It works. End of story. No fussing required.

I just had vanlandingham running on my machine care of such a downloaded .sit that had to be transferred to a disk before it'd run in Mini vMac. That takes me back! I still remember being in awe of its elegant simplicity and the smoothness of its operation on my Mac 512 (I've never called it a Fat Mac). I've recently taken it upon myself to do something that I should've 23 years ago--formally study computer science. Perhaps I'll be able to build my own vanlandingham in the not-so-distant future.

Update: I decided to try this in Windows. Not nearly as simple! So far, I've had to use Basilisk in a very round-about-way to get a Stuffit archive into Mini vMac. The issue is that the Stuffit archive is from a newer version of Stuffit, incompatible with the default 4 MB Mini vMac "Mac Plus":

1. Copy .sit file to a .dsk with HFV Explorer, included with Basilisk II
2. Obtain a .dsk with Stuffit 5.5 on it from gryphel (since I needed to install it). Does not work under Mini vMac (because it requires Color QuickDraw... apparently it works under the Mac II custom build)
3. Get Basilisk II running. Rather than getting the GUI to work, I added lines to the prefs file pointing to .dsk containing System 7.5.5 & stuffit_expander_55.bin and vanlandingham.sit:
disk c:\pathname\MinivMacBootv2.dsk
Note: installing Stuffit 5.5 can be done in Mini vMac but you cannot run Stuffit 5.5 in Mini vMac (the default download).
4. Extract the .bin archive using Stuffit Expander 4 or 3.5 (can't remember).
5. Install Stuffit 5.5
6. Extract the .sit archive in Basilisk II.
(optional: reStuff vanlandingham using Stuffit 4 or 3.5)
7. Go back to Mini vMac and use the relevant .dsk files.

System 6 didn't boot in Basilisk II because it emulated a 32 bit machine so, if I was really wanting to run vanlandingham on Windows this round-about method would have been the only way to go. Having played with three emulators (Mini vMac, Basilisk II and Cockatrice III) I've got to say that I like the simplicity of Mini vMac. And, if you have Windows 10 open .dsk files with Mini vMac you just have to double-click on a .dsk file to hear the reassuringly and eerily familiar chime of the Mac 128 Smile.

FlatRound's picture
by FlatRound - 2014, June 13 - 8:56pm

You lost me after "commandline app" but it's ok. =) I'll just run it under a different emulator. Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it!

MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2014, June 13 - 1:03am

@FlatRound: Many of the available Stuffit archives have been compressed with later versions of Stuffit, which unfortunately do not run on Mini vMac (and therefore incompatible with Stuffit Expander 4). If you want to decompress these files on an emulator you would require an emulator that can run Stuffit Expander 5.5, at least. This means setting up either Basilisk II or SheepShaver (or the experimental '020 Mac II version of Mini vMac) and be running the Mac OS, SSW 7.1 at a minimum.

Alternatively (if a .sit archive contains disk images), you can decompress archives on your host OS, Which, if your host OS is Mac OS X then you should use Stuffit Expander or "The Unarchiver". If you run an other than OS X host OS, then you can still use The Unarchiver, in the form of a commandline app, named unar. Also available via the above link under the "Command Line Tools" tab on page.

Once you've extracted an archive on the host OS you can drag an extracted disk image into the running Mini vMac window and it will mount as a disk on the desktop. There may be a few hiccups doing it this way, for example, if your emulated OS is SSW 6.0.8 or earlier and the image was formatted in SSW 7.x, it may need to rebuild the desktop on the image in order to mount it, but nothing insurmountable or too difficult to sort out..

FlatRound's picture
by FlatRound - 2014, June 12 - 4:38pm

I'm using Stuffit 4.0.1

I was following the directions on Emaculation, here:

Should I still switch to one of the other emulators or did I miss a step?

Daxeria's picture
by Daxeria - 2014, June 12 - 1:24am

You might need to set up Basilisk or SheepShaver in order to unstuff them with Expander 5.5.

FlatRound's picture
by FlatRound - 2014, June 10 - 7:35pm

Hi guys. REALLY love this website. You guys have a TON of games I played in my youth on our old Fat Mac and Centris 610. Games for which I've been pining for a long time. I've installed and set up Mini vMac, set up system 6 and I can get games to run as long as they're a .dsk file. But I'm having a really hard time running games that are still compressed, like .sit files. I followed the steps posted above and tried to expand the files in the emulation but when I open Stuffit and look through the files to expand, the archived files don't show up. Clearly I'm doing something wrong but I'm stumped as to what. It's been a LONG time since I used a Mac, so any help would be appreciated. Thanks guys, keep up the good work!

24bit's picture
by 24bit - 2013, February 28 - 5:48pm

@wayek: Some members here may lend a hand for converting stuff to dsk or img.
I would suggest to start a new topic naming the files you are thinking of and the type of compression you would like to see.
Naked images sometimes do not survive the passage on the net. Smile

wayek's picture
by wayek - 2013, February 28 - 2:14pm

I can't get any of the games from here to work AT ALL .. is there any way to get them uploaded as actual DSK files? it would save an incredible ammount of frustration

SwedeBear's picture
by SwedeBear - 2012, March 9 - 7:27am

(c) If the software came by itself without an image, or if you need to put a compressed archive into the emulator, you must place the file into a Mini vMac-formatted disk image (Mac OS X Leopard and earlier, some utilities, and other emulators can do this) and drag the disk image onto Mini vMac the same way as in step (b).

Never, ever, never decompress/open/unstuff an archive containing applications anywhere else than it is supposed to be run. Windows et al effectively kills all functionality of almost any executable file due to it´s incapability of handling the Resource Fork of Classic Mac files, such as the ones that comes from this site.

1st – copy the archive/encoded archive onto the disk image with the help of TransMac/HFSExplorer/etc
2nd – decompress/unarchive the archive under emulation, in your case MinivMac. This way you´ll have a fully functional copy of the content in the archive, at least if were ok when archived.


cbx's picture
by cbx - 2012, March 9 - 1:27am

hey watchsmart, i very interested in your notes on how to get stuff into mini vmac using windows. i'm having a bitch of a time .sit files from this site that aren't dsk/imgs. i can't seem to get the file descriptors right after unpacking with stuffit 7.1 (windows). other versions either don't work or kick out text files/incomplete data.

any help would be great... been going around in circles for days (transmac, hfvexplorer, emulating other macs to unstuff, etc). thanks a lot for reading this.

IIGS_User's picture
by IIGS_User - 2010, September 28 - 4:11pm

Are you using an old version of Basilisk II/SheepShaver perhaps? A bug that caused problems like that was worked out in the most recent versions (2009).

Probably it was an old version at the time when I discovered this mistake (mostly used this port at this time), now using your 1.0.20091004 version, but not tested this feature again (yet).

watchsmart's picture
by watchsmart - 2010, September 28 - 5:47am

IGS User,

Are you using an old version of Basilisk II/SheepShaver perhaps? A bug that caused problems like that was worked out in the most recent versions (2009).

IIGS_User's picture
by IIGS_User - 2010, September 27 - 4:42pm

I got some problems putting the files into the 'shared folder' (Unix root) functionality, being lost of the resource fork of the files. Even on Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

watchsmart's picture
by watchsmart - 2010, September 27 - 11:39am

Yes, this is good stuff. Thanks for writing it. I hope you can make a link to it in the "guides" section if you haven't already. Otherwise it is just sort of orphaned.

I wrote a few notes about getting things into Mini vMac for Windows in the forum. Maybe you can adapt those for this page, if you think it would help.