[OpenBIOS] [Report] AmigaOS 4.0 for Mac Mini

BALATON Zoltan balaton at eik.bme.hu
Fri Aug 5 02:04:35 CEST 2016

On Thu, 4 Aug 2016, Natalia Portillo wrote:
> Correct, setting boota-device makes it go further. Not booting still.

What does it show? (Just curious, don't expect to get it working as it's 
not even working correctly on real hardware as I've read in forum posts.) 
I've read that it should display some prompts where you have to press 
return for it to continue (or select a config first). Then on the video 
linked from that forum post it displayed loading some modules. That's 
probably the farthest we could expect to get on QEMU.

> Considering AmigaOS 4 and MorphOS use real PowerPC devices maybe it's
> better to create a qemu machine for them... I know MorphOS uses
> SmartFirmware that is basically, OpenFirmware.

Recent MorphOS can run on Mac hardware with OpenFirmware (it only uses 
SmartFirmware on some other PPC hardware). The current OpenBIOS and QEMU 
mac99 model would be good enough to boot MorphOS 3.x but not good enough 
to be anything useful because of missing graphics output and very low 
speed. (I hope BenH's current work on improving mac99 model could also 
help with MorphOS performance but the missing graphics would still be a 
problem and limit usefulness.) Unfortunately unlike MacOS it's difficult 
to debug or circumvent this from the MorphOS side as these are not 
documented and we cannot get support from MorphOS developers who had the 
means to solve this easier than what we can do (having access to source 
code and be able to write new graphics drivers for MorphOS) but they've 
expressed that they are not interested and won't support it. (Which likely 
also means that one could only try the demo version but cannot get a 
license to use MorphOS on QEMU so this is mostly for academic interest 
rather than real use.)

But this is still much better than AmigaOS 4 which AFAIK is legally not 
possible to run on QEMU even if we could get it to work technically so I 
did not even try that.

I have also considered creating a new non-Mac PPC device emulation that 
could also run MorphOS and other OSes (based on previous work in progress 
by others on this) but we're also missing some hardware emulation for that 
so it needs time and knowledge I lack to implement everything needed. I'm 
still interested in these but don't have time for it so I can't contribute 
much more now than following this list and share what I know and 
occasionally try a few things as time permits. We may eventually get 
somewhere but progress is very slow.


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