(Page Updated November 29, 2020)
Executor is a software application for Windows and Linux systems that allows users to run older Macintosh applications. It's not a true emulator - and so doesn't require a ROM image or a copy of Mac OS. It resembles an emulator, however, as programs are run via a GUI designed to mimic Mac OS. On an x86 Machine, Executor can run many (but not all) applications designed for System 6 and some designed for System 7. Users running Executor in Linux on a PowerPC machine can run some PowerPC applications.
The final official version (link below) was made available in 2002. The source code of the emulator was made public in 2008. A modern fork of this code is called Executor 2000, which is being developed for macOS and Linux. An Executor setup guide is available for Windows users.
- Executor 2.1pr16 for Windows. serial: 99991004 authentication: n9rk57f369byp (Probably need to “run as administrator” at first). This executable is from 2002.
Help and Documentation
- Official documentation (via archive.org)
Clifford Matthews incorporated his company ARDI (Abacus Research and Development, Inc.) in 1989 in Delaware. Since 1986, he had been developing an application called ROMlib, a tool used to port programs written for the Macintosh. According to Matthews, “we had difficulty persuading people that ROMlib could indeed be used with large programs, so in-house we wrote some “glue” that would read a Mac program into memory and then start running it, calling ROMlib routines whenever OS or toolbox traps were encountered. That was the birth of Executor.”
Executor 1.0 was released in October, 1993. Version 2.0 shipped three years later. The software was pricey then, retailing for about $295.
Development continued until 2002, when the final version of the program, 2.1pr16, was released.
Executor is not being developed at this time. Lead designer Cliff Matthews, has moved on to other projects, though in 2007 he provided a serial number that allows interested users access to the full version of Executor (serial: 99991004 authentication: n9rk57f369byp). The serial number will not expire.
In October of 2008, Matthews released the source code of Executor. Updates to the source code began showing up around June, 2009.
In 2010 Matthews demonstrated (but did not release) a port of Executor to Apple's iPad.