FAQ: Can I run A/UX on my XXX?
« on: May 13th, 2003, 9:12am »
Since this seems to be coming up a lot lately, and most people seem too lazy to read the salient parts of the A/UX FAQ, I'm putting this here to clarify a few things:
From the FAQ:
G.02) What's the minimum system I need (CPU, disk and RAM) to run A/UX?
A/UX 3.0 works on the MacII (with PMMU _or_ 68030 upgrade with FDHD ROM's
installed), IIx, IIcx, IIci, IIfx, SE/30, IIsi (with 68882 chip) and the
Quadra 700|900|950 computers. A/UX 3.0.1 (and later) adds support for the
Q800 and Centris Machines (the Centrises _must_ have the real 68040 w/FPU -
See Q&A #G.03). A/UX will run on the Quadra 610 and 650s (recall that A/UX
requires the _real_ 68040 chip!) with a little bit of work:
You should make a copy of the A/UX Install Boot floppy and then copy the
Enabler for the Q610|650 onto this copy. You then boot up from this floppy
and install A/UX as usual. Finally, you'll need to copy the Q610|650
Enabler onto the A/UX MacPartition (or whatever MacOS disk you will use
when starting up your Mac and booting A/UX); do this by first booting off
a boot floppy or boot CD and then copy the Enabler over. You do _not_ need
to make any changes to the A/UX System Folder (i.e. the System Folder used
A/UX will NOT run on the PowerMacs, any AV machines, any PowerBooks (or
portables), the LCs, the Duos, the ClassicII, the Q605 or on the Quadra
630... It is recommended that you NOT run A/UX 3.1.1 on the II, IIx, IIcx or
SE/30 machines, since their MacOS-compatibility is unreliable under 3.1.1.
Recall that A/UX _is_ UNIX and thus contains some very hardware specific
drivers. It's for this reason (and not Apple not doing things correctly) that
A/UX won't work on newly released platforms. To support a new platform, at
least _some_ work (and possibly extensive work in some cases) must be done.
Q: "But I *want* to run A/UX on my LC! That'd be cool! There's has to be a way to do it!"
A: Sure, there is. Get Apple to release the complete kernel source to A/UX and write your own platform support drivers.
Q: "But can't I (insert MacOS-centric suggestion, like using "Wish I Were" or ResEdit) and fool it into running?"
Q: "Why not?"
A: Because A/UX does horrible nasty things directly to the hardware that MacOS doesn't.
MacOS does almost everything through the interfaces present in the Macintosh toolbox ROM, so the *substantial* differences you'll find at the hardware level between different Macintosh models don't matter that much. Those Resedit or Wish I Were hacks that work to put some versions of MacOS onto unsupported hardware simply break (fairly arbitrary) software blocks that Apple put in some of their newer OSes to keep them from installing on machines they didn't think were qualified to run them. A/UX, on the other hand, accesses all the hardware in your machine directly, with no help from the toolbox ROM, so if Apple didn't write a driver for your *specific* computer, you're SOL. Period.
Q: "Fine, then. Can I run A/UX on an emulator?"
A: If anyone ever writes a cycle-accurate emulator which *exactly* duplicates the hardware in a supported Macintosh model, then yes. However, all the currently available Mac emulators, including BasiliskII, Fusion, and Softmac, don't emulate a complete set of Macintosh hardware. Instead, they take advantage of the ROMcentric nature of MacOS and simply patch the Toolbox ROM to 'fake' most hardware devices. That simplifies the emulator, and lets it run much faster then a full emulation of a MacII would, but it also means there is *zero* chance of A/UX running on it.
In conclusion: If your Macintosh isn't on the list in the FAQ, don't ask how to make it work. It won't.