Setting up PearPC for Windows

(Updated October 22, 2018)


PearPC emulates a PPC Macintosh (G3 or G4) capable of booting Mac OS X versions 10.1 to 10.4 (Tiger).

Setting up the emulator is fun and easy! But before you begin installing, there are a few things that you need to assemble:

  • A copy of Mac OS X. You can use versions 10.1 to 10.4. The screenshots and instructions in this guide assume an image made from an installation DVD of 10.4. Installing from multiple disk images is more difficult, and you can read about it here. Note: While PearPC can read physical CDs, it cannot read physical DVDs.
  • PearPC 0.5.0. This is the most recent stable release of the emulator.
  • A front-end called PearPC VirtualBox GUI which can be used to set up the emulator. Note that this includes a compressed 6 gb disk image that often is identified as an “arc-bomb” or a trojan by some virus scanners. Rest assured that this archive does not contain a virus.
  • A bootable 6 gb hard disk image. Use this one instead of the images included with the PearPC VirtualBox GUI.

Dealing with Mac OS X

It is much easier to install OS X on your emulated computer from an .ISO image, rather than from a physical OS X installation disk. In Windows, you can create an .ISO from a physical disk using something like MagicISO. If necessary, you can perhaps download an ISO from a torrent site. If you have a .TOAST or a .CDR image, just change the extension to .ISO. If you download a .DMG image, try using dmg2iso to convert it to an ISO.

There are a few more notes about converting .DMG files in our dmg2iso article.

Getting Started

Download PearPC and the VirtualBox GUI. Install the GUI and locate “ppc.exe.” Replace this file with “ppc.exe” from the 0.5.0 archive you downloaded earlier (the version contained in the VirtualBox GUI is out-of-date). Next, extract the 6 gb hard disk image provided above.

(Note that the download buttons included in the GUI are not needed)

Start the VirtualBox GUI and click “new” to set up your emulator.

Follow the prompts to first give your setup a name and select an Operating System. Next, you will select the hard disk image you expanded earlier. Third, if you are using an ISO image of OS X, you will browse to and select it.

Figure One: Default Settings in PearPC VirtualBOX GUI

PearPC should now run. But you can adjust some of the default settings by clicking the headers.


You might want to increase your resolution a bit, to make it easier to see the OS X installation screens (they might not scale down to fit a 640×480 screen).

The default redraw interval rate is optimal, but for a possibly faster emulation (with jerkier mouse movements) try increasing it. Lower this number to make the emulated system seem more responsive.


Note that if you have trouble installing Tiger, try setting the memory to 128 MB. Increase it afterwards for faster performance. Note also that Tiger may not work correctly when emulating a G4 processor.

The USB option “tells PearPC to simulate a sort of placebo USB hub,” (ref), and does not give the emulated system access to USB devices.


Consult PearPC.net.

Installing Mac OS X

Click start to run the emulator. Installing OS X is fairly straightforward, but some instructions and screenshots follow. When the installation is finished, the emulated system will shut down. Before restarting, remove the install ISO from the VirtualBox GUI to prevent it from being booted from again.

The OS X installer should start to boot. You will first be prompted to select a language. You will then see a splash screen looking something like figure two, below.

Figure Two: A splash screen

If you are installing on to the bootable disk image linked to at the beginning of the guide, you will not need to partition it. Just follow the on-screen instructions to install OS X. Installation might take from thirty minutes to a couple of hours. To speed this up, you can do a “custom” install without foreign language files or extra printer drivers.

Figure Three: About to install OS X

Figure Four: OS X 10.4 (Tiger)


You're finished! If everything went according to plan, you should be looking at a desktop looking something like figure four. If you need any help, we run a support forum.

pearpc_setup.txt · Last modified: 2018/10/22 06:48 by clockwise
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