BasiliskII for Linux

(Updated January 12th, 2021)


BasiliskII emulates a Macintosh computer capable of running Mac OS versions 7.5 through 8.1.

This guide is a work-in-progress, but it should walk you through the basic set-up of Basilisk in Linux.

Before you begin, you'll need a few things:

  • A BasiliskII build for Linux
  • A valid Macintosh ROM image (see below for notes)
  • A generic retail MacOS install 7.x or 8.x install CD or a disk image (.iso), or the System 7.5.3 software|19 installer disks for system 7.5.3 available from Apple. Installing from these images requires some extra steps, which are described at the end of this guide (see: “installing from disk images”).
  • Note that a system CD provided with a specific Macintosh will probably not work.


Install the BasiliskII package available from the package manager of you distribution. If not available, you might compile your own version.
See this guide: https://www.emaculation.com/doku.php/compiling_sheepshaver_basilisk#building_basiliskii_and_sheepshaver_in_linux


Start BasiliskII. The BasiliskII GUI is the first thing you see on launch.

The following configuration instructions are fairly basic, but should get you going. Consult the SheepShaver for Mac OS X setup guide for more in-depth instructions (the emulator is set-up in a similar way in both host systems).


Start with the “volumes” tab.

Click “create” to create a hard-file onto which you will later install MacOS. To accommodate a typical install of Mac OS 7.5 or 8, this doesn't have to be more than 200 MB in size.

The “Unix Root” is a shared directory which you can use to transfer files between the emulated system and your host system. This should probably not be left at default (the default setting is to share your entire system). Create some directory and point to it, instead. This is ESPECIALLY important if you are running BasiliskII as root, as in that case the emulator has read-write access to your entire system.

Leave “Boot from” as “any” and leave the “disable CD-ROM driver” box unchecked.


Note that full screen is only available in the full-screen build linked at the start of this article. Likewise, stable windowed mode is only available in the windowed build and the old 2006 builds. There is a bug in the SheepShaver GUI that prevents the Window refresh rate from being set in the full screen build. Check the forum notes (at the download link) for a work-around. Increasing the refresh rate can result in smoother mouse movement.

If you will run Basilisk II in a window, you can set the width and height here.


A keycodes file is not necessary is you are using a US English QWERTY keyboard. If you need one, a keycodes file is available here.


Leave the modem and printer port values at default. If you want use the network/internet, you have two options (the second one only showing up if you installed the sheep_net driver)


-Type or select “slirp” (In Mac OS you'll have to enable DHCP in the TCP/IP control panel)

Slirp is the easiest networking option to set up in the emulated system.

To get online in the emulated system, locate the TCP/IP control panel in MacOS and enter the following values:

Connect via: Ethernet
Configure: DHCP

However, if that does not work, enter:

Connect via: Ethernet
Configure: Manually
IP address:
Subnet Mask:
Router Address:
Name server addr:

There are a few more words about slirp in the SheepShaver online guide.


-Select “eth0” (this only shows up when the sheep_net driver has been installed correctly).

In MacOS, you'll have to set TCP/IP to manual and set an IP-address in your local network, including your subnet, router and dns information)


Give your emulated system some memory.

Next, you need a ROM file. ROM files that will work with BasiliskII for Linux are e.g. a “Performa“ or “Quadra” rom extracted from an actual hardware Macintosh. There is a guide to getting a ROM using Tomeviewer on a physical Macintosh. Rom files support running up to a certain Mac OS and processor, so take care to use the correct one for your needs.

Choose the mac model you wish to emulate: either a MacIICI for Mac OS 7.x, or a Quadra900 for Mac OS 8.x
Choose cpu type you wish to emulate: either 68020, 68020 with FPU, 68030, 68030 with FPU or 68040.

Emaculation.com site policy is to not offer or link to ROM files, although Apple seems to have stopped taking action against distribution of ROM files. You can find compatible files when you search the web for “redundant robot sheepshaver” (without the quotes).

JIT Compiler

Leave these values at their default.


Insert your Mac OS cd and click “start” to boot. If you haven't installed the network driver, but choose to use it under Networking you'll see an error message about that until you do.

Once the emulation has started, you can install Mac OS. You will first be prompted to initialize the hard disk image you created.

If you are using a CD image instead of a physical CD, mount it in the “volumes” tab. You must also mark this image as “read-only” (do this by right clicking in Ubuntu to change its permissions). If you are running BasiliskII as root, your CD image will never be read-only and you will not be able to install from it.


Installing from disk images

This is a special case because the Apple disk images come in a Mac format. Since we don't have an emulated mac running yet, we need to use some workarounds to be able to read and expand the files.

-Download the required bootable floppy disk image
Note: Don't use any other system 7.0/1 or 7.5 bootable disk image, or you will run into problems later.
-Download the floppy disk image containing Stuff-it expander. Expand the tar.gz archive
-Download the 19 disk images containing Mac OS 7.5.3 into a folder.

In the Basilisk GUI:
-Create two volumes through the Basilisk GUI, one large enough to hold your Mac 7.5.3 installation and future programs (e.g. 500Mb), and one large enough to hold the 19 disk images (100Mb should be ample). See the guide above for how to create volumes.
-Add the two disk images to the volumes list by using the Add button. The Disktools_MacOS8.image floppy image should be the first entry in the list (you can drag and drop entries in the list.
-Set the “Unix root” to the folder with the 19 disk images you downloaded.
-Set the Mac Model ID to support Mac OS 8.

-Start Basilisk, click OK at the first warning about booting from a floppy and initialize the two newly created volumes.
-Open the Unix disk drive on the desktop and copy the 19 files to the 100Mb disk on the desktop.
-Open the floppy disk drive on the desktop with the stuff-it expander program and use the program to unpack all 19 installer parts on the 100Mb disk.
-On the 100Mb disk, start the resulting Mac OS installer.img file. The installer will check the 19 parts and place a disk image icon on the desktop. When you open that disk image icon, you'll see the installer for Mac OS 7.5.3. Start the installation and choose the 500Mb disk as target. Once the installation has finished, you can stop Basilisk.
-Start the GUI again, set the Mac Model ID to support Mac OS 7, remove the floppy disk image entries and the 100Mb volume from the volumes list. When you start Basilisk, you'll boot into a fresh installation of Mac OS 7.5.3

Get Help

For more assistance, consult our Basilisk II forum.

basiliskii_linux_setup.txt · Last modified: 2021/01/12 04:52