Author Topic: How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?  (Read 2761 times)

Offline Iria2

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How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?
« on: December 22, 2015, 09:35:53 PM »
I have heard it mentioned in several places but I am having a little trouble figuring out how to execute it. How would I go about booting Mac OS straight into a fullscreen application? If possible, I'd like to shut the system down as soon as this application exits as well.


Offline GaryN

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Re: How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2015, 10:56:50 PM »
There are a couple of ways (possibly more) to do this. The easiest (little or no coding) would probably be to use the Quickeys App to assemble a macro to run at startup that would automatically launch the app and if necessary, expand it to full screen. It's difficult to say precisely how to proceed without knowing what app you want to launch, if it has a fullscreen mode that will "stick" after shutdown and a few more things I've listed below. You could write another macro for shutdown triggered by whatever works for you that would just start the Mac shutdown routine which would automatically quit the app (after asking about saving the work) and then shutdown.

You can also accomplish all of the above with Applescript. This requires scripting (simple coding) a set of instructions that tell the Mac how to behave.

Either way might involve the use of a "restricted" user account - a method by which you can exchange the normal desktop screen for a "panel" with a minimum of buttons to access limited parts of the system and/or files. This simplifies things somewhat and enables you to easily have an account to login to just your app or another to access the whole computer for maintenance and such.

Note that in all of the above, you're not eliminating the Finder - just sort of hiding it. It's damn difficult to operate the Mac without it because it is the native app that knows what and where everything is so you can actually, well, find stuff.

So, now we need to know: 1) What model Mac;  2) Exactly what Mac OS version;  3) What app do you want to launch  4) Anything else that seems important

Final note: If anybody knows a better, reasonable (or Finder-less) way to do all this… anybody?

Offline Mat

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Re: How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2015, 02:30:55 AM »
If you just like to start the application after the Mac booted, you can always use the startupfolder. Simply put an alias of the application into "Systemfolder" -> "Startup items" (or however that folder is named in english Mac OS´) and the program will start automatically at eery booting of the system.

Offline Iria2

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Re: How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2015, 10:36:22 PM »
Well in this case I am using Mac OS 9.0.4. I want to have an image that loads StarCraft at bootup, using only the necessary extensions to run the game, and then shut down upon the game's exit. I'd like to avoid the desktop if at all possible.

Offline GaryN

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Re: How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2015, 01:22:43 AM »
OK, now we know…it's a game. I believe it's also a game that requires an internet connection (?) You're going to have to get a lot more specific here. Are you trying to create a dedicated gaming machine that acts like a game machine instead of a computer? Is it just for you or is it going to be played by others so that you want to actually lock people out of the rest of the system? Or, is it just for you and your convenience? All of these different ideas require very different setups. Example: If it's just for you, what Mat says above is a really simple method and will launch the game at startup, but it will allow access to the desktop. So, does that really matter?

Much more info about what you're doing and WHY will help.

Also, I'm not a gamer, but if you're running an internet-connected game, it might be a good idea to update from 9.0 depending on the computer model you're using…which is…?

Offline MacTron

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Re: How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2015, 01:54:28 AM »
Well in this case I am using Mac OS 9.0.4. I want to have an image that loads StarCraft at bootup, using only the necessary extensions to run the game, and then shut down upon the game's exit. I'd like to avoid the desktop if at all possible.

If you wish to replace the Finder with your favorite application, you have to:
- Change its type to FNDR and its creator to MACS.
- Rename it as "Finder".
- Place it in to the System folder.
- ... and Restart.
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Offline Mat

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Re: How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2015, 05:26:01 AM »
You can as well replace the Mac OS boot screen with every image. Either by ResEdit or some programs out there. ;)



If you wish to replace the Finder with your favorite application, you have to:
- Change its type to FNDR and its creator to MACS.
- Rename it as "Finder".
- Place it in to the System folder.
- ... and Restart.
Thats working? Cool! Never heard about it! So the machine runs really just that one program, without the possibility to do anything else? I love to get new informations after years!

Offline MacTron

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Re: How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2015, 05:36:02 AM »
thats working? Cool! Never heard about it! So the machine runs really just that one program, without the possibility to do anything else? I love to get new informations after years!

Yes, it works. In this mode only one application can run ... forever ... ;D
If you wish to run a standard system, you have to boot to another partition or device.
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Offline ovalking

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Re: How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2015, 08:03:08 AM »
Well in this case I am using Mac OS 9.0.4. I want to have an image that loads StarCraft at bootup, using only the necessary extensions to run the game, and then shut down upon the game's exit. I'd like to avoid the desktop if at all possible.

There is a tiny utility called QuitFinder that does exactly that. Can't recall where I saw it, probably on a magazine CDROM.
You could run it just after opening Starcraft. Note at least one app must be open all the time - so if you run QuitFinder with only the Finder running, the Finder will quit then restart. (This can actually be used to fix the odd bug on occasion without the need to restart.)
But why do you want to do this? Starcraft performs well on most PPC machines and is extremely stable. If you have a really slow machine or insufficient RAM I suggest you switch to OS8. If these aren't a problem I suggest updating to 9.2.2

Offline MacTron

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Re: How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2015, 08:44:07 AM »

There is a tiny utility called QuitFinder that does exactly that. Can't recall where I saw it, probably on a magazine CDROM.
You can easily add a "Quit Finder" menu option to the finder Edit menu ( my finder always have this option enabled, can be checked on the MacTron Rescue CD ) and even though the effect is practically the same, Iria2 is asking about booting Mac OS straight into a fullscreen application.
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Offline Iria2

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Re: How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2015, 04:48:55 PM »
Thanks for your patience everyone! I'll do my best to be more clear.

So for testing the waters, I'm using SheepShaver to run Mac OS 9.0.4. Yes, networking is both supported by StarCraft, and achieved through slirp. What I would like to do is use SheepShaver and 9.0.4 as a wrapper of sorts to run an application- in this case StarCraft. The desire would be for any other parts of the OS to be invisible and/or restricted to the end user, e.g. you run the app bundle, are presented with StarCraft, quit, and the bundle closes properly with no other fuss.

It just seems like a fun experiment!

Now I have tried putting an alias to StarCraft in the Startup Items folder. Of course, that works but when you exit, you have to go to Special>Shutdown still. I also tried replacing Finder, and successfully changed the Type and Creator codes. Unfortunately, exiting StarCraft relaunches it (which I assume is an intended function to keep Finder running) instead of shutting down.

The last thing I can think of is using Applescript to wait on the process.

Offline GaryN

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Re: How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2015, 12:27:28 AM »
It just seems like a fun experiment!

The more I learn about what you're trying to do, the less it "seems like a fun experiment" and more like trying to find a way to develop (distribute?) an iso to package and run the old Mac OS version (that hopefully Blizzard doesn't really care that much about) on Intel hardware.

But hey, I could be mistaken… that's just what it "seems like".

Anyway, if it is "just a fun experiment" and if you have a system that will run Sheepshaver, you could just as easily add and run a Snow Leopard boot volume and run the game natively there under 10.6 + Rosetta. You might have to spend a few bucks for 10.6 and maybe a CD key for the game…?  But it would certainly run a helluvalot better and faster than with Sheepshaver.

The desire would be for any other parts of the OS to be invisible and/or restricted to the end user, e.g. you run the app bundle, are presented with StarCraft, quit, and the bundle closes properly with no other fuss.

So, to summarize, it appears that you want an iso or dmg that when launched, will launch Sheepshaver, then 9.0.4 under that, then StarCraft fullscreen automatically without any input from the user, run the game, then shut everything back down at game over and eject the dmg, again automatically with no user input. Is that correct?
There are folks on this Forum with far more coding smarts than I, but it sure sounds like to get what you want, you're going to have to wrap all of the necessary ingredients into a package controlled by some fairly slick applescript at the very least, and I'm not certain that will really even do it OR hide/restrict what you want hidden all that well from the user. I am pretty certain though, that it won't be invisible to anyone who really wants to look…

BTW, I'm really not trying to be snarky here, because even though though this is primarily an audio and music production forum, we all love a good game as much as anybody, but IMO it seems that you might be right on the edge of what would be better discussed in a less public environment. Am I wrong?
« Last Edit: December 25, 2015, 12:41:17 AM by GaryN »

Offline Iria2

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Re: How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2015, 05:01:47 AM »
If you are suggesting that I am looking to promote piracy, the answer is no. That is not what I am trying to do.

In addition, if I was looking for the easy solution, both for implementing this setup, and for scamming some software, I probably would have gone with Winewrapper and the Windows version of StarCraft.

It really is just a pointless exercise in seeing what kind of different ways a Classic-like environment could be reimplemented- I just happen to like a particular game, but I also plan to try this with Unreal Tournament.

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it appears that you want an iso or dmg that when launched, will launch Sheepshaver

No, it is perfectly fine as an application bundle. I'm not sure where this idea popped in. The scope of my question was intended only to try and figure out what I might need to do in Mac OS to get things going.

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then StarCraft fullscreen automatically without any input from the user

This is the part that is easily implemented, as has been discussed previously in the thread.

Quote
then shut everything back down at game over

Bingo, that is the only function I am stuck on. As previously discussed, it looks like replacing Finder with the StarCraft application simply relaunches it on exit, so that won't do. Honestly, the piece of information I didn't have, that I was trolling the net for was that the type/creator codes needed to be changed to get the system to boot. Unfortunately, I think I am just going to have to get off my lazy butt and figure out applescript for this.

Offline GaryN

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Re: How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2015, 04:10:22 PM »
The idea of bundling Sheepshaver came in because you said you want everything to be in an "image" and "to be invisible or restricted to the end user". That implies an intent for there to be end users and the rest of it all flows from that. Like I said, I didn't want to be snarky - I was just trying to understand your intent to come up with a workable solution.

StarCraft relaunches on exit when replacing the Finder because that's what's supposed to happen with the Finder. It seems like all you need to do here is to get to the Mac Shut down command instead of "game exit" and just get the Mac to close out the game and shut off. That's all I got - I'm not familiar enough with StarCraft to guess how to proceed with that other than maybe scripting a "shutdown" macro that responds to a key command that you can use instead of the normal "exit game" procedure…?

Offline Daniel

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Re: How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2017, 02:22:03 PM »
This topic is rather old, but it is a very interesting idea. I think that what you would want to do is write a small application that takes the place of the finder. It should launch starcraft and quit itself, but not before writing to a file or setting some enviroment variable. After you quit starcraft, the program is relaunched. It reads the file or variable and notices that this is the second time it has been run since the system started up. It then shuts the system down instead of launching starcraft again. It should probably undo whatever it did to tell itself to shut down so that when the system reboots it doesn't immediately shut down again. It might be a good idea to allow certain key sequences to override the default behavior. Maybe holding down 'f' as the system starts should launch the original finder instead of starcraft.

Offline AphoticD

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Re: How to Boot to Application (no Finder)?
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2017, 01:07:07 AM »
If you wish to replace the Finder with your favorite application, you have to:
- Change its type to FNDR and its creator to MACS.
- Rename it as "Finder".
- Place it in to the System folder.
- ... and Restart.

I remember doing this trick for using a Window emulator for Mac called RealPC back in about '97. I had the emulator running on a Power Mac 7100, humming along at a cool 66Mhz and every hertz I could salvage counted.

Apply this to a stripped down System Folder of the minimum System version required for the game (7.6 from a quick web search). If I recall correctly, you can strip an old System Folder down to just "System" and "Finder" and it still boots.

You would also need Open Transport (including TCP/IP), DrawSprocket, InputSprockets, etc..

This would make for a tidy way to package up classic Mac games to run on newer hardware. As mentioned, you could replace the happy Mac startup screen using ResEdit with a PICT resource (at ID -16506) depicting the game preparing to start up.

-AphoticD