Setting up SheepShaver for Windows

(Last updated September 29, 2020)

SheepShaver emulates a PPC Macintosh computer capable of running Mac OS 7.5.3 up to Mac OS 9.0.4.

(you can also set up SheepShaver for OS X and SheepShaver for Linux)

Upgrading from a SheepShaver build from before 22-09-2020

If you are upgrading from an old version of SheepShaver, the best thing to do is to download all files into a new folder and make a fresh start (but you can still use your old disk image and ROM). Most dll (application extensions) files included are needed to run the GUI. The number of dll files may be a bit overwhelming, but the up-side is that it is no longer necessary to install the GTK development kit to run the GUI.

If you kept your Rom file and hard disk image(s) in the old SheepShaver folder, copy them into the new folder. If they are outside your old SheepShaver folder, leave them where they are now.

Next, run the GUI, point to the required ROM and disks in the new folder (or where you kept them outside of the old folder) and adjust the other GUI settings to match what you had before. You can then run SheepShaver.

If everything is OK, you can remove the old folder and its content. If you had the GTK development kit installed to run the old GUI, and it is not used for any other program you have installed, you can remove it too.

Getting Started

You need:

  • SheepShaver itself.
  • A valid ROM file. Rom files come in two flavours: the old world rom and the new world rom. Using an old world rom, you can run Mac OS 7.5.3 up to Mac OS 9.0.4. With the new world rom you can run Mac OS 8.5 up to Mac OS 9.0.4
  • A installation CD or a disk image of an installation CD. Universal installation CDs work best, installation CDs for specific Mac models do often not work.
  • Note: if you are using a CD image, you may need to right-click the image (in Windows), and set it to “read only” in the “properties” menu. This will solve the “The system software on the startup disk only functions if on the original media, not if copied to another drive” error message when attempting to boot from the image.

Tip: We do not offer or link to ROM files. However, you can find compatible files when you search the web for “redundant robot sheepshaver” (without the quotes). You can likely find a collection on the Internet Archive as well.


Using a physical Mac OS installation CD

Insert your CD rom. Run “SheepShaverGUI.exe.” On the “volumes” tab, check “Boot from CD-ROM and make sure that the driver letter for the CD-ROM is correct. Next step: see Volumes below.

Using an image of Mac OS installation CD

Run “SheepShaverGUI.exe. On the “Volumes” tab click add and navigate to your cd image. Select it and click OK. Next step: see Volumes below.

For those who don't have a CD or a CD image

If you don't have a Mac OS CD or an image of a CD, you can only install Mac OS 7.5.3. Follow the Basilisk II instructions to install System 7.5.3 in Sheepshaver. You must, however, use Disk Tools 8.5 as your boot disk. You must also use an Old World ROM image (which can be found following the search suggestion above).


Figure 1: the Volumes tab, set to boot from a real CD

Figure 2: the Volumes tab, set to boot from CD image

On the “Volumes” tab click “Create…” to create a hard disk image file onto which you will install Mac OS.

Figure 3: Creating a blank hard file

Set a size for the hard file image should be (Mac OS requires at least 220 MB for a typical install) and give it a name. Click “OK” to create the file (see figure two). Be patient… it can take a few minutes to create the file.
Note: You can only create a hard disk image of a maximum size of 2 GB.

After the hard file has been created, the GUI returns to the “Volumes” tab, and the hard file will be listed as added to your emulated Mac.

Figure 4: The Volumes tab with hard disk file created

Note: When you have your installation CD image listed here too, it has to be the first entry for SheepShaver to boot from it. You can drag the entries to a different position, if needed.

Other settings on the volumes tab:
Disable CD-ROM Driver: disables CD access.
Try to automatically detect new removable media (enable polling): when checked, SheepShaver periodically checks for a newly inserted CD.
Enable “My Computer” icon on your Mac desktop (external file system): when checked, SheepShaver gives access to host drives. The drives can be listed blow at
Mount drives: shows the host drives that will be available through the My Computer icon on the desktop.

Switch to the “Graphics/Sound” tab.


Figure 5: The “Graphics/Sound” tab.

Set your video type: windowed of full screen. For best performance, set the refresh rate to Dynamic. Select the desired screen resolution. Note that you can set other sizes by editing the preset values. The “Maximum” setting fixes the screen to your current resolution. Quickdraw acceleration does exactly what it says, but you can disable it. If you do not want sound support, you can select that option.

Switch to the Keyboard/Mouse tab.


Figure 6: Keyboard/Mouse tab.

The keyboard/mouse tab allows you to select a keycodes file. You must use a keycodes file (included in our download) for SheepShaver to support other keyboard layouts and languages besides English.
You can also control the mouse wheel behaviour: set it to either move cursor up/down or pages up/down. The Lines to scroll option control how many lines the cursor moves up/down with one mouse wheel roll.

Move to the Serial tab.


Figure 7: The Serial tab.

SheepShaver can direct the Mac OS Modem or Printer port output to various Windows ports or a file: Select the desired port, or write the output to a file.

Switch to the Network tab.


Figure 8: The Network tab.

Select which Ethernet interface to use. When you select “Basilisk II Slirp” you gain default internet access.
For more advanced networking support (including running Appletalk) see below at Internet access/Networking.

Switch to the “Memory/Misc” tab.


Figure 9: The Memory/Misc tab

Set the ram size available for Mac OS and select the rom file to use. Click “Browse” to locate the file.
Select “Don't Use CPU When Idle” to allow SheepShaver to “sleep” when not active.

Note: Always select “Ignore Illegal Memory Accesses” to prevent some programs to crash SheepShaver.

Switch to the JIT Compiler tab.

Jit Compiler

Figure 10: The JIT Compiler tab

Enabling the JIT Compiler greatly improves performance. It might, however, cause some sporadic crashes, so you can disable it. As PPC Macs contained a 68k Mac emulator, the experimental option is provided to enable it. If you enable it, your mileage may vary…

You are now ready to run SheepShaver. Click Start.
Note: SheepShaver will only start directly from the SheepShaverGUI when it finds the SheepShaver program itself to be named “SheepShaver.exe”. If you renamed the program, this connection will be lost.

Booting and Installing

When the Mac boots, it will ask you to initialize the hard disk file you created. Give the disk a name and click “Initialize”, then click “Continue”.

Figure 11: Give your hard disk a name and initialize it.

Now you can install Mac OS. Figure 12 shows the desktop of an emulated Macintosh that has booted from a Mac OS 9 CD (or CD image).

Figure 12: The Mac desktop before installation of Mac OS 9.

The actual installation of Mac OS is fairly straightforward, though the specifics differ based on which version you are installing. Just follow the directions on the screen, and make sure to install to the hard disk you initialized and named earlier. You can pick and choose which components to install, but the default selection should be okay. You can add and remove stuff later on, if need be. Installation should just take a few minutes.

Figure 13: Mac OS 9 installing.

Figure 14: Installation has finished.

When Mac OS has finished installing, select “Shut Down” from the “Special” menu.

If you installed from a real CD, eject it.
Start the SheepShaverGUI (if you started from a CD image, remove the CD image from the list of mounted volumes). If need be, at “Boot From” select “any”.
Click “Start” to boot Mac OS from the hard disk.

Figure 15: A fresh installation of Mac OS 9.

This concludes the initial setup.

Additional configuration

The Configuration Assistant

At first run, Mac OS starts the Configuration Assistant. This Assistant will lock-up while configuring network settings. Quit the Assistant when it arrives at the network settings and do the remaining configuration manually in the various control panels.

Internet access / Networking

After following the guide above, SheepShaver will have internet access through the “Basilisk II Slirp” connection. While working well for e.g., simple internet access, it limits networking capacities.


Slirp provides network address translation (NAT), name resolution (DNS) and a small DHCP server to Mac OS. The TCP/IP settings you get are:

  • IP address:
  • Subnet mask:
  • Router address:
  • Name server address:


Fuller networking capacities can be had when connecting through a tap device. This requires installation of the openvpn tap device. You can then either:

  • Share your default network connection with the tap device, or
  • Bridge the tap device with your default network connection. This also allows Appletalk to work.

When set up with sharing, you can select the tap device in the Network tab of the SheepShaverGUI and start SheepShaver. SheepShaver then gets its network settings from the sharing functionality in Windows.

When set up with bridging, you can select the tap device in the Network tab of the SheepShaverGUI and start SheepShaver. SheepShaver then gets its network settings from the DHCP server in your network. In this case, however, you can also set the network settings yourself in the TCP/IP control panel.

You can network two instances of SheepShaver and Basilisk by installing a second tap device and adding it to the bridge you created before. That way you can use Appletalk to communicate between both. Make sure to select a different tap device in the SheepShaver GUI from the device selected in the BasiliskII GUI.

Note: Use Classilla or Netscape 7 in Mac OS 8.5 and above. The versions of IE and Netscape that ship with MacOS can crash the emulator.


The BasiliskII-router option lets SheepShaver piggyback on your default ethernet connection. You should configure the tcp/ip settings in Mac OS as follows:

  • Connect via: Ethernet
  • Configure: Manually
  • IP address: a free IP-address in your network range
  • Subnet mask:
  • Router address: the IP-address of your host
  • Name server address: the IP-address of the dns server used by your host.

Redirecting a tcp port from the guest to the host

You can redirect e.g. the guest port 80 to the host port 8080 so you can run a webserver on Mac OS that is accessible on your host.
Add a preference to the SheepShaver_prefs file:

  • redir tcp:8080:

On your host navigate to localhost:8080 to see the web site.
Redirecting to ports below 1024 might require running as administrator, which is not advised.


If sound output doesn't work out of the box:

  • With Mac OS 9: Select “built-in” for the output device in the “Sound” control panel.
  • With Mac OS 8.5/6: The Sound control panel is installed in the “Apple Extras” folder. Use it to select the built-in output device.


The latest version of QuickTime that is compatible with SheepShaver is version 4.1.2. Note that it is not possible to downgrade QuickTime by simply installing an earlier version. If you happened to have installed a later version, you will need to remove all QuickTime related files first.


Consult the Printing guide

Getting a rom file from a real machine or an installation disk

You can get one from an actual Macintosh computer or you can skulk around the Internet and download one. If you own a physical Macintosh, you can legally acquire a ROM image following the directions in this guide. Note that a ROM obtained using that method is a New World ROM. An Old World ROM is extracted from an actual hardware Power Macintosh. With the old world rom file SheepShaver can run System 7.5.3 through Mac OS 9.0.4, with the new world rom file SheepShaver can run Mac OS 8.5 through 9.0.4. If you want to install 9.0.4, best use the new world ROM.


For more community-driven assistance, check out our SheepShaver Forum.

sheepshaver_setup.txt · Last modified: 2021/02/06 13:49 by cat_7
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