OS-9 Emulation "os9exec"

This project is rooted in the early 90ies, when we were working with the OS-9 industrial RTOS. The idea was to combine OS-9 with the MPW development environment on the Apple Macintosh for cross-development of OS-9 industry applications. The CPU was, at that time, the same in both systems (Motorola 680xx). We had to develop a runtime environment which allowed to run the native OS-9 executables within the MPW environment.

With Version 1.14 of os9exec, which was available for download for several years, this was possible for the first time. With Version 2.13 the runtime environment grew to a real emulator, which is able to run most OS9 user programs in a multitasking environment.

By adding the UAE/68k processor emulator, it is possible to run OS9exec on other architectures, PowerPC and x86. Today's machines are even with such an emulator much much faster than native 68040 or 68060 processors.

In the meantime, the development got much further thanks to the huge work contributed by Beat Forster (beat.forster@synthesis.ch):

  • version running under Windows: released
  • version running under MacOS9/MacOSX: released (including Universal Binaries for Intel Macs)
  • version running under Linux: released
  • support for serial interfaces
  • support for RBF-formatted (OS-9 original format) disk images
  • support for RBF-formatted SCSI devices (original OS-9 formatted SCSI harddisk can be used)
  • direct access of the host's file system (in OS-9 notation)
  • multiple consoles (terminals)
  • emulation of the ISP (Internet Support package): Telnet, ftp etc.
  • support for MGR (GUI) via TCP/IP.

We have already sucessfully ported a complex industrial measurement data processing program to a modern x86 laptop using OS9exec. Several customers are using it.

The entire OS9exec project sources (which are now under GPL) and binaries for all platforms are available at Sourceforge

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