Author Topic: MachTen from Tenon Intersystems  (Read 3697 times)

Offline Protools5LEGuy

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MachTen from Tenon Intersystems
« on: August 31, 2017, 08:45:25 AM »

MachTen from Tenon Intersystems
Bringing the Power of UNIX to Your Desktop

MachTen is the only Macintosh product that combines UNIX and MacOS functionality. Based on BSD4.4 and the Mach kernel, MachTen brings the power of UNIX to your desktop at an extremely attractive price point. It is POSIX compliant and includes an industry-standard UNIX API. Applications that run on MachTen should be able to run on other platforms with a simple recompile. MachTen is implemented as a hyper-portable "UNIX virtual machine" for MacOS, and runs on all Macintosh platforms (PowerPC and M68K). Coupling MachTen with Apple's new G3 and G4 machines creates a high-performance UNIX Workstation.

MachTen Enables You to:

Develop applications in a Unix development environment, replete with the acclaimed GNU development toolset. Program in Ada, C, C++, Objective C, Fortran, and more.

Price: $99*
Run Xwindows applications, from remote workstations or on your Macintosh.
Compile and run OpenGL applications.
Run hundreds of Unix applications.
Run a high speed internet server, complete with WWW, FTP, NFS, DNS and print service.

Use as a remote file server for Docutech backup.
*The current version of MachTen is vers. 4.1.4, previous versions must upgrade to this version to run MachTen on Mac OS 9. Previous versions of the Macintosh Operating System will run older versions MachTen without this upgrade. The price of this upgrade depends on the version of MachTen you currently own, check our Order Pages for pricing.

Downloads and Reference Information
Power MachTen (Current version is 4.1.4)
Download the Power MachTen User's Guide (PDF)
Professional MachTen (Current version is 2.3)
MachTen & CodeBuilder FAQ
What people are saying about MachTen
Usenet: comp.unix.machten
Join the MachTen Mailing List

Looking for MacOS 9.2.4

Offline Protools5LEGuy

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Re: MachTen from Tenon Intersystems
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2017, 09:15:14 AM »
Floodgap's Power MachTen Hacking Page: Classic Mac Unix in the 21st Century!

What's different about MachTen?
Most of MachTen acts just like Unix, because other than the microkernel, that's what it is. However, besides the obvious difference in operating environments, Power MachTen does have one other critical difference between it and many other Unices: it is a real memory operating system. While you can run it with Virtual Memory turned on (which would be unabashedly slow and stupid), it itself has no virtual memory management. More to the point, it has no protected memory, so it is possible for a rogue app to stomp all over the system (or, more typically, a buggy app or memory hungry app to stomp all over the system). While there are various kludges to deal with this, they are not automatic and they don't always work. Every so often, you're going to make a wrong move, usually while compiling a large and complicated package, and MachTen will politely freeze up.

(Please don't interpret the last paragraph as me saying MachTen is unstable, because under normal use it's perfectly steady. However, if you stress it or grind it with things like compilers that can thrash memory a lot, sooner or later something is going to glitch, and MachTen does have kernel bugs.)

However, the memory situation isn't all bad. Power MachTen is one of a few Classic Mac applications that can grab memory from the system dynamically (and, optimistically, give it back sometimes) instead of booting up with a fixed allocation set in the Finder. In fact, you should not futz with its allocations, or you will actually give it less memory to run. This is one reason why it works as well as it does in OS 9, and why it will almost certainly not run under OS X in Classic.

Speaking of OS X ...

Why would I use MachTen if I have Mac OS X?
If you simply want Unix on a Mac (or if all you have is an Intel Mac), stop reading this page. You have several better and currently supported options, not the least of which being Mac OS X itself, which is Mach, has a BSD userland, and is actually supported by Apple. Those of us in the know use another *BSD (I am a longtime fan of NetBSD, even back to the MacBSD days), and some of you who don't know any better might even use Linux. All of these are better supported and (sorry, Tenon) are almost certainly better suited for your purposes.

There is one situation where, however, MachTen will be your best solution, and it comes in two parts:

    You have to run Classic applications (particularly simultaneously)


    You have to have a locally running X11 and/or Unix environment. (Most of the time this means you need to have direct access to your filesystem -- MachTen can mount any Mac drive as a Unix volume, even AppleShare volumes, and understands resource and data forks.)

Remember that Steve "The Destroyer of History" Jobs, in his infinite turtlenecked iPod squawking Woz baiting Cupertino huffing glory, has removed Classic support from Leopard, and we can confidently expect him to toss Tiger in the unsupported dustbin any day now, not that Classic was a full substitute for OS 9 anyway. (And while I love SheepShaver, it is even worse than Classic with regard to compatibility, not to mention stability, and Basilisk doesn't run PPC apps at all!)

This means running Classic apps is best done on OS 9 itself. However, there is no need to run MachTen if you don't need your Unix local; in fact, it's probably better for you just to go buy a mini or dust off that old tower, slap OS X on it, stick it headless in the closet and use NCSA Telnet to talk to it. Or go find a cheap PC and toss FreeBSD on it and do the same thing. If you have netatalk, you can even mount the other side as a drive as if it were local (and don't forget that OS 9 does speak AFP-over-TCP). For many people this is the best approach.

That said, if you need Classic apps and you want a local Unix, including the best implementation of an X11 server ever written for the classic Mac OS, then MachTen is your best bet.

Can I use MachTen as a client?
Can I use MachTen as a server?

The answer to both is yes. If you check Allow Incoming Connections in the MachTen control panel, then inetd starts up when you boot MachTen, and connections can be received from the outside world. If you uncheck this, it is simply a standalone workstation; you can do things like ssh forwarding and run apps in X like any client, or run client apps like a browser. (The ssh is rather old, however, so you will want to replace it. See my notes on building packages to get your system up to snuff.)

Please don't boot it as a server, however, without going through /etc/inetd.conf and /etc/rc.conf and disabling darn near everything. Many of these utilities are quite old (and some, like telnetd, don't work right), and some have security holes. If you want to make your MachTen installation into a server, see my notes on building packages to get your system up to snuff first!
What's the best way to set up Power MachTen?
These are, based on my heavy hitting and use, my tips for smooth usage:

    Make a separate partition (or add a separate hard disk) and install MachTen to that. The reason is you will crash sooner or later and sooner or later that crash is going to take out the filesystem with it, and if that happens to your main drive you run the risk of making your system unbootable (don't ask how I know this). If you install to a separate partition or separate disk than your System Folder, then even if MachTen poops its pants and the HFS+ on its home disk at the same time, you can still boot and run DiskWarrior on it.

    Update your CPU if you can. Power MachTen does not care how you do this (things like Sonnet CPU cards work great). The only thing that might be glitchy is 68K machines updated with PowerPC cards, depending on their implementation.

    Get plenty of real RAM, and turn Virtual Memory off. The 1.25GHz MDD FW400 dual G4 was the natively fastest (and last) Mac to run OS 9, which is why I bought one, and with 2GB in this unit OS 9 sees 1.5GB which MachTen can use nearly all of. Although MachTen says 32MB is the minimum, you're asking for trouble with that. 64MB or 128MB would be my recommendation, and none of the systems I have ever run MachTen on have had less than 512MB. RAM is cheap, so go buy some, ya cheapskate.

    Avoid running File Sharing at the same time. You can have AppleShare volumes mounted, just don't be sharing your own files to another box simultaneously. This really bogs things down.

    Clean out your Extensions and Control Panels. C'mon, you knew I was going to say that.

    If you're mostly using MachTen as a server, move the slider bar in the MachTen control panel three ticks from the Unix side (maybe a hair closer if you are doing a CPU-intensive job). However, if you're mostly using MachTen as a client (like in X11), move it back a bit towards Mac because the closer to the Unix side, the less MachTen will yield the CPU to the OS for the UI.
Looking for MacOS 9.2.4

Offline teroyk

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Re: MachTen from Tenon Intersystems
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2020, 10:36:40 AM »
this is good to know:
MachTen 4.0 runs on Mac OS 7.5 to 8.6
MachTen 4.0.3 runs on Mac OS 7.5 to 9.0
MachTen 4.1.1 runs on Mac OS 7.5.5 to 8.6
MachTen 4.1.4 runs on Mac OS 8.1 to 9.2
I bought my first new Mac when OS X 10.1 released. And I bought that Mac because it had Mac OS 9 too. And I bought my first 68k Mac when Apple stopped PPC Macs.


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