Mac OS 9

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Mac OS 9
developer Apple Computer, Inc.
License (s) proprietary , Apple EULA
Current  version 9.2.2 (December 5, 2001 Info )
Kernel monolithic
ancestry Macintosh system software or Mac OS
Copland technology from Mac OS 7.6,
OPENSTEP technology from Mac OS 9.0
Architecture (s) PowerPC
timeline Mac OS 9.0-9.0.4
Mac OS 9.1
Mac OS 9.2-9.2.2
Languages) Multilingual

Mac OS 9 is the last version of the original Mac OS operating system , formerly "System" or "System Software", for Macintosh computers made by the US company Apple . Only Macs with a PowerPC processor are supported. Mac OS 9.0 was released on October 23, 1999; the last update to version 9.2.2 was released on December 5, 2001.

Development and functions

Mac OS 9 was referred to as "Mac OS 8.7" before it was released in developer versions. Accordingly, the changes that Apple made in the half-version step from 8.1 to 8.5 are greater than those from 8.6 to 9. The jump in the version number is also due to the fact that Apple for Mac OS X , the new generation of the operating system, is close to 10 wanted to. To boost sales, Apple introduced the initially free iTools (later .Mac , then MobileMe , and finally iCloud ), which mainly included a free e-mail account, but required Mac OS 9 to register.

The most important new features of Mac OS 9 were multi-user support, the keychain function, with which a central repository for passwords was introduced, and the software update , which automatically offered updates from the Internet and installed them on request. However, Apple's servers for older systems are no longer available, so the software update and iTools no longer work.

After the first preview version of the successor operating system, Mac OS X 10.0 ("Cheetah," 2001, Public Beta 2000), had already appeared in 2000, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced in May 2002 that Mac OS 9 would not be developed more continued. In January 2003, the first Power Mac that could no longer start Mac OS 9 was sold. After protests from users, a Power Mac G4 was launched in the same year that could boot Mac OS 9 natively - the last Mac OS 9 bootable Macs were officially sold by Apple in summer 2004. Mac OS programs can still be run on all PowerPC-based Macintosh computers in the Classic environment from Mac OS X up to version 10.4 "Tiger" .

System requirements

Mac OS 9 runs on Macintosh computers with a PowerPC processor, 32 MB main memory (40 MB including virtual memory) and, with the recommended installation, between 150 and 250 MB free hard disk space, depending on the Macintosh model and the format of the target medium. With a full installation, up to 400 MB of data is installed on the target medium.

The Blue Box ( is no longer supported by Rhapsody and Mac OS X Server 1.0 to 1.2v3 , which is intended for the execution of Mac OS as a virtual machine within the operating system developed independently as a successor. Only Mac OS 8.5.1 and 8.6 can be run virtualized under Blue Box.

In the further development of Blue Box, the classic environment of Mac OS X , Mac OS version 9.1 or higher can be virtualized so that programs that do not run under Mac OS X can be used. The Classic environment is only available in Mac OS X on the PowerPC architecture and only up to Mac OS X Tiger (10.4, 2005) - on all Macs with Intel processors sold by Apple since 2006 and from Mac OS X Leopard (10.5, 2007), also on PowerPC, the virtualization of Mac OS using "Classic" is no longer supported. As an alternative, SheepShaver is recommended , which can emulate Mac OS both as a virtual machine on PowerPC-based Macs and as an emulator on Intel-based Macs, but only up to and including version 9.0.4.

Since System 7 with the introduction of English "New World" Macs Apple has indicated in the ROM less part of the operating system contained to a minimum. With the introduction of Open Firmware Mac OS therefore needs a Mac OS ROMtitled file, the parts of the specifically adapted to the particular Macintosh computer Macintosh Toolbox ( English Macintosh Toolbox ) holds. Without these system-specific functions, Mac OS cannot run. In older systems, Apple English "Old World" called the Macintosh Toolbox was still stored in ROM. Macs released prior to Mac OS 9 are supported by the included ROM file, but models released after Mac OS 9 are not. Since the Macintosh kit is no longer included in the ROM of new Macintosh computers, models from around 2000 require specific versions of Mac OS, which were supplied on installation or recovery media and contain the specific ROM file for the respective Macintosh model . The latest release of Mac OS ROM for Mac OS 9 version 9.5.1, which settled ( english bundled , included in the preinstalled Mac OS 9.2.2 and on the recovery media) with the iMac G4 800 MHz 17 "" flat panel " was sold from July 17, 2002. The same iMac model (referred to as "X only" - only for Mac OS X) was reissued on February 4, 2003 without the ability to start Mac OS 9.2.2 natively and thus without Mac OS ROM.


version Publication date Code name Remarks
Older version; no longer supported: 9.0 November 23, 1999 Sonata was initially planned as Mac OS 8.7 , code name "Sarah"
Older version; no longer supported: 9.0.1 unknown Minuet Should have been released at the end of 1999, but was postponed until after the presentation of the iMac P7A in February 2000
Older version; no longer supported: 9.0.2 February 16, 2000 pre-installed, specific version of the last PowerBook G3 "Firewire / Pismo" (2000)
Older version; no longer supported: 9.0.3 unknown pre-installed, specific version of the iMac G3 "Slot Loading" (2000)
Older version; no longer supported: 9.0.4 April 4, 2000 free update, requires Mac OS 9.0 to 9.0.3 already installed
Older version; no longer supported: 9.1 January 9, 2001 fortissimo free update, requires Mac OS 9.0 to 9.0.4 already installed; Since not all parts are included in the free update, on some Mac models only installation from an installation CD is possible
Older version; no longer supported: 9.2 Moonlight
Older version; no longer supported: 9.2 July 18, 2001 Starlight pre-installed, specific version of the Power Mac G4 "Quicksilver" (2001)
Older version; no longer supported: 9.2.1 August 21, 2001 Limelight free update, requires Mac OS 9.1 or 9.2 already installed
Older version; no longer supported: 9.2.2 December 5, 2001 LU1 free update, requires Mac OS 9.2.1 already installed
Old version
Older version; still supported
Current version
Current preliminary version
Future version

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Apple Support: Mac OS X 10.0, Mac OS 9.0.4: Classic environment requires update to Mac OS 9.1 (or later) , accessed November 28, 2015
  2. Apple Support: Mac OS 8 and 9 compatibility with Macintosh computers , accessed November 27, 2015
  3. a b Apple Support: Mac OS: Matching Mac OS ROM File To Mac OS Version , accessed November 30, 2015
  4. Stephan Ehrmann: Mac OS 9.0.1 for the developer test. In: Heise online . November 26, 1999 . Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  5. Apple Insider: Minuet (Mac OS 9.0.1) Falls Behind Schedule , Kasper Jade, December 23, 1999; accessed March 29, 2016.
  6. a b c d Apple Support: Mac OS 9: Updates Available , accessed November 27, 2015
  7. Apple Support: Mac OS 9.1: Boot from CD for installation on original Power Macintosh computers , accessed November 27, 2015