Set up SheepShaver as virtual print server for non-IP AppleTalk-only printers

(such as LaserWriter 4/600 PS or LaserWriter 320)

These instructions are based on a guide by our forum member “mabam”. See the related forum discussion here.

Note that printers that can only be connected to a LocalTalk network require a LocalTalk-to-Ethernet-bridge, like the AsanteTalk, to make the printer available on your network. If you do not own one: Asante still sells it on their website. A cheaper option might be to buy a used one on, e.g., eBay.


Setup in Mac OS

  1. Open the Chooser, click on “LaserWriter 8” and note the exact name of the printer from the list. ATTENTION: Do not click on the printer's name, else SheepShaver might freeze.
  2. Copy the “Spool Folder” provided with the Print66 download to the System Folder in SheepShaver. It contains the file “LPD.config” which you now open with SimpleText.
  3. Delete all text in the file. Instead you put the following lines in there:
LASERWRITER "LaserWriter 8" # the default is "LaserWriter"


PRINTER pslaser PAP "LaserWriter 4/600 PS" POSTSCRIPT


Substitute “LaserWriter 4/600 PS” with the printer's name noted from the Chooser (do not delete the quotation marks).

Substitute the host IP address by the one used as static IP address for your OSX host machine.

Save & quit SimpleText.

Now you can start the “Print66.PPC” application and your print server will be up and running.

Setup in Mac OS X

Set up the printer as described at http://support.apple.com/kb/PH9543 (This is for OS X 10.6, it may be different in 10.7 and 10.8.)

Address: The static IP address set for Mac OS in SheepShaver.
Queue: pslaser

You should now be able to use your AppleTalk printer in Mac OS X 10.6 and above.

By putting an alias of Print66 in System Folder:Startup Items in Mac OS in SheepShaver, you can automate startup of the print server. You can also automate the AppleTalk setup for SheepShaver by adding the script mentioned in the AppleTalk for SheepShaver guide as login item in OS X (see: http://support.apple.com/kb/PH6392). Then all you need to do after startup/login in OS X is enter your password when Terminal asks for it and within a few moments your machine is ready for printing.

Trying to print to the AppleTalk printer from within MacOS on SheepShaver will freeze SheepShaver, even if the printer is set up as TCP/IP printer.

sheepshaver_virtual_print_server.txt · Last modified: 2023/01/07 00:22 by clockwise