SheepShaver and BasiliskII for Linux

(updated June 08, 2022)


SheepShaver emulates a PowerMacintosh computer running Mac OS 7.5 up to 9.0.4 (depending on the Rom file used).
BasiliskII emulates up to a 68040 Macintosh Macintosh computer that can run Mac OS 7.x to 8.1.

This guide mainly describes the installation of the latest versions of Mac OS both emulators can run.
However, there is an additional section on how to install Mac OS 7.5 from floppy disk images.


  • Download the latest SheepShaver and/or BasiliskII builds for your Linux flavour (64 bit or 32 bit) from here: https://github.com/Korkman/macemu-appimage-builder/releases/ into their own folders. To ease administration also put other files related to the emulator in the same folder.
  • For installation (and removal) options (particularly to set the appimages to be executable) see the readme at https://github.com/Korkman/macemu-appimage-builder#readme
  • For SheepShaver: Get a valid PPC Macintosh ROM image: Search the web for “redundant robot sheepshaver” (without the quotes) and download both the new world rom and the old world rom.
  • For BasiliskII: Get a valid 68k Macintosh ROM image from the same site: download the performa rom.

Note: With the old world rom file SheepShaver can run System 7.5.3 through Mac OS 9.0.4, with the new world rom file SheepShaver can run Mac OS 8.5 through 9.0.4. If you want to install 8.6 through 9.0.4, best use the new world rom.
Note: SheepShaver and BasiliskII for Linux can boot from real CD roms that contain an generic retail MacOS installer. If you have such a CD, the two steps below are not required. An installation CD provided for a specific Macintosh model will not not work.

  • For SheepShaver: Acquire a generic retail MacOS install CD or a disk image. Go to macintoshgarden.org. On that page scroll down to find and click the “Mac OS 9.x (Main Page)” link. From that page download Mac_OS_9.0.4.toast_.zip (393.05 MB). Use an archive manager to unzip the disk image.
  • For BasiliskII: Acquire a generic retail MacOS install CD or a disk image. Go to macintoshgarden.org and search for “Mac OS 8.1” Open the first result and download Mac_OS_8.1.zip from that page. Use an archive manager to unzip the disk image.

Configuring SheepShaver

Note: Due to SElinux security policy and a memory requirement SheepShaver has to be run as root. When starting the appimage it will prompt for your root password twice:

once to temporarily change the SElinux policy.
once to temporarily allow memory be mapped to a low address.

Note: The prompts also provide hints on how to make these changes permanent, but this is not recommended. A host reboot restores the settings to the original values.

Note: All preferences set using the SheepShaverGUI are by default kept in a hidden file in your home folder called .sheepshaver_prefs. You can edit this file to set options not available in the GUI. See the section “Setting additional preferences”.

Start SheepShaver by double clicking the SheepShaver.appimage file.

The SheepShaver settings GUI appears, allowing you to configure the emulator.


“Create” allows you to create a “hard disk” onto which you can install Mac OS. To accommodate a typical installation of Mac OS 9 and some programs allow at least 500 MB in size.
“Add” allows you to add pre-existing disk images to the volumes list.
“Remove” removes a disk image from the Volumes list (but does not delete the disk image itself.)

Note: the order in which disk images appear in the volumes list determines the hard disk boot order. SheepShaver always attempts to boot from the first entry.
Note: you can drag and drop entries in the list to change the order.

“Unix Root” points to a shared directory to be used to transfer files between the emulated system and your host system.

Note: This should not be left at the default setting as that allows sharing your entire system and you will be running SheepShaver as root user. Instead, create a dedicated directory and point to it.

To later on boot from a real CD: At “Boot from” select “CDROM” and leave the “disable CD-ROM driver” box unchecked.
To later on boot from a CD image: On your host set the CD image to read only, then click Add and make sure the CD image is the first entry in the volumes list.

“Quit” exits the settings GUI, but saves the settings.
“Start” obviously starts the emulator, but should not be clicked now as start would fail. First continue configuring SheepShaver:


Use the Graphics/Sound tab to set video and audio preferences

Video type: Select either Window or Full screen
Window Refresh Rate: Set the screen refresh rate. The higher, the smoother the emulation will be.
Width and Height: Choose from the preset values for width and height of the screen. Maximum uses your current monitor resolution.

Note: You can also type custom resolutions at width and height.

Quickdraw Acceleration: selects to use some quickdraw acceleration.
Disable Sound Output: disables sound output.

Audio Output device: allows you to set the preferred audio output device.
Audio Mixer Device: allows you to set the preferred audio mixer.


Use the Keyboard/Mouse tab to set keyboard and mouse preferences

Note: When using a non US-EN host or keyboard, you require a keycodes file to map your keyboard layout to the Mac OS layout. A suitable keycodes file is available here.

Use Raw Keycodes: sets whether or not to use a keycodes file. When set, the browse option becomes available at Use Raw Keycodes.

Mouse wheel Function: select whether to interpret a mouse wheel turn as Cursor Up/Down or Page Up/Down.

Lines to scroll: Set the number of lines to scroll when using the mouse wheel.


Use the Serial/Network tab to set the output of the Modem and Printer port and which Ethernet Interface to use.

Modem Port: Select where to direct the emulated Mac modem port output.
Printer Port: Select where to direct the emulated Mac printer port output.

Ethernet Interface: Select which Ethernet interface to use.

Note: The options available here may vary depending on your host system. We only cover selecting ¨Slirp“ as Interface.

Slirp provides NAT and DHCP to the Mac OS SheepShaver is running. To use it, make sure the TCP/IP control panel in MacOS is set to the following:
Connect via: Ethernet
Configure: DHCP

In rare cases where this might not work, manually enter the following in the TCP/IP control panel:

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


Settings at Memory/Misc determine the amount of memory available for Mac OS and which rom file is used.

MacOS RAM Size (MB): select an amount of ram. Do not use less than 64 Mb.

ROM File: Browse to the ROM file you downloaded earlier. If necessary reread the preparations section about which ROM file to use for the particular Mac OS version you aim to run.

Ignore Illegal Memory Access: Keep this setting enabled for compatibility reasons. It can prevent crashes.
Dont use CPU When Idle: Enable some energy savings by throttling the CPU when not active.

Note: This does not enable the Sleep function in Mac OS.

JIT Compiler

Use this tab to enable or disable the JIT compiler and 68K emulator.

Enable JIT Compiler: Select to enable or disable the JIT (Just-In-Time) compiler. Enabling it speeds up the emulation. However, on modern system this might not be necessary.

Note: If you experience emulation issues, you might try to disable the JIT.

Enable built-in 68K DR emulator (EXPERIMENTAL): Select to enable or disable the 68K emulator.

Note: This enables the 68k emulator found in all PowerMacs for backward compatibility with 68k programs. As it is experimental, it should best be left unchecked.

Configuration is now complete, so return to the Volumes tab!

Booting Mac OS

If you opted to install from a real CD, first insert the CD and wait for it to settle, then click Start. Otherwise click “Start” directly to boot from CD image or hard disk.

When freshly installing from CD/CD image onto a new hard disk image: Once the emulation starts you will be prompted to initialise the hard disk. Give it a name and select the type (Mac OS Extended). Find the installer on the CD/CD Image and start the installation. When complete, shut down Mac OS.

To boot the installed Mac OS, run SheepShaverGUI again and make sure the disk image onto which you installed is first in the Volumes list. If you booted from a real CD to install change the “Boot From” option to “Any” instead of CD-ROM.

Click Start and enjoy!

Once all settings are to your liking you can run SheepShaver directly by double clicking the SheepShaver appimage itself.

Configuring BasiliskII

Note: all preferences set using the BasiliskIIGUI are by default kept in a hidden file in your home folder called .basilisk_ii_prefs. You can edit this file to set options not available in the GUI. See the section “Setting additional preferences”.

Start BasiliskII by double clicking the BasiliskII.appimage file. The BasiliskII settings GUI will appear.

Note: As the SheepShaver and Basilisk GUI settings largely overlap we here only cover the specific BasiliskII settings.


For the Volumes tab settings see SheepShaver


The SCSI Tab is not used


For the Keyboard/Mouse tab settings see SheepShaver


Serial/Network tab:

One additional setting is available: Tunnel MacOS Networking over UDP.
It can be used to connect virtual machines running on different hosts directly over an existing network infrastructure.


Memory/Misc tab:

Running BasiliskII as either a Quadra 900 or a Mac IIci determines which Mac OS version can be installed.

“Mac Model ID”: Select either Quadra 900 (MacOS 8.x) to run Mac OS 8.x, select Mac IIci (macOS 7.x) to run Mac OS 7.x
“CPU type”: Select the CPU to be 68020, 68020 with FPU, 68030, 68030 with FPU, or 68040

JIT Compiler

JIT Compiler tab:

The JIT compiler can be unstable. Therefore the JIT compiler is disabled by default.
When disabled the other additional settings are not available:
-Compile FPU Instructions,
-Translation Cache Size (KB),
-Enable lazy invalidation of translation cache,
-Translate through constant jumps (inline blocks).

When done return to the Volumes tab and read the information in the Booting Mac OS section to boot the Mac.

Setting additional preferences


With “sdlrender” you can set screen rendering options. Choices are:



When using the Slirp network option, you can use one or more “redir” lines to redirect network traffic to and from the emulated mac to your host and network. To forward a running webserver add:

redir tcp:8080:

On your host navigate to localhost:8080 to see the web site.

To forward a FTP server (such as netpresenz) add:

redir tcp:2121:

Use a ftp client capable of connecting to old ftp servers (such as FileZilla) to connect to the IP address of your host and port number 2121.

To share files over the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP, file sharing over tcp/ip) add:

redir tcp:548:

And enable file sharing, including the option to share over TCP/IP. Then run SheepShaver or Basilisk (or Qemu) on another computer and use the chooser option “AppleShare”and then “Server IP address”. Enter the IP address of the machine running AFP and enter your credentials. Any other system capable of communicating over the version of AFP running in your installation can connect.

Note: You can add multiple redir lines to the prefs file to gain access to more services running on the guest.

Note: Redirecting to ports below 1024 might require running as administrator, which is not advised.

Installing Mac OS in BasiliskII from floppy disk images

The required 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 one 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

Known issues

Audio: SheepShaver might crash when using audio in combination with the old world rom.

Getting additional help

For SheepShaver: Check our SheepShaver forum. For BasiliskII: Check our BasiliskII forum.

sheepshaver_basiliskii_linux.txt · Last modified: 2023/01/06 21:44