Using Basilisk II to setup your 68k Macintosh

You probably know what Basilisk II is, but if not, a quick summary: Basilisk II (manual) is an open source emulator of 68k-based Macintosh computers that support 32bit memory (therefore you can NOT boot System 6 under Basilisk, but you can setup System 6 on a secondary drive image, see Section 5) that runs on Windows, OS X and Linux (also works on some other platforms). Running Basilisk II on a modern system will allow you to make changes to the minimal disk images I have on this site before you copy them on to their matching floppy disk (or floppyEMU), Iomega Zip Disk, CD-ROM, or SCSI2SD SD card etc.

Because Basilisk II is already well documented on sites like Emaculation, I’m only going to describe the basics of how to setup Basilisk II so you can use it to add or remove files from the disk images available to download on my site, to help you setup your 68k Macintosh.

1. Download and install Basilisk II

The latest versions for Windows, OS X and Linux can be found on the E-Maculation Forum.

For Windows, you need a combinations of downloads: the BasiliskII.exe file from the 2015 build and the complete Basilisk II application from the 2010 build located on the internet archive and the GTK-runtime environment.

  1. Create a destination folder on your system that you will install Basilisk II in.
  2. Download the 2010 build
  3. Unzip the 2010 build in to the installation folder you created (Figure 1)
  4. Download the latest windows build from the E-Maculation Forum
  5. Unzip the latest build of BasiliskII.exe (2015-02-26) in to the same installation folder (replacing the 2010 version of BasiliskII.exe) (Figure 2)
  6. Download the GTK-runtime environment
  7. run the gtk+-2.10.13-setup.exe file

Basilisk II is now installed, but not quite ready to run.

2. Download and select a ROM file

To run Basilisk II you’ll need a file containing a copy of the ROM from the 68k Macintosh System you want to emulate.   Luckily these ROM files are now available on the internet archive and can be used for personal/research purposes.   I personally use the Macintosh LCIII bios from my physical system, but you can also find the Macintosh LCIII bios on the internet archive.

If you want to use a bios other than the LCIII bios, you need to make sure that the bios supports 32bit mode, the bios for any Macintosh System released after System 7 should be fine.

I suggest putting the ROM file in to the same installation folder as the Basilisk II application but it’s up to you.

3. Create or download a hard drive “image file”

Disk images are essentially binary (bit for bit) copies of the contents of a storage device or medium such as your Hard Drive, removable drive, memory card or CD-ROM (ISO files).

If you are hoping to use Basilisk II to help you set up a real Macintosh system you’ll want to read a separate blog entry I’ve written that explains what drive images are and how to create them, the same blog entry also has links to image files I’ve already created with the minimal version of System 7.5.5 already installed along with some other useful utilities. 

Note: you must select one of the images with System 7.5.5 as the bootable System.   Basilisk II will NOT boot System 6.0.8.

4. Configure Basilisk II

Basilisk II includes a program called BasiliskIIGUI.exe that can be used to configure Basilisk II, run BasiliskIIGUI.exe now.

For most users you’ll only have to worry about 2 of the tabs shown in the Basilisk II Settings windows:

  1. The Memory/Misc Tab (Figure 3) where you specify:
    • Set the RAM size for your emulated Macintosh System, I suggest 32MB as a good size for most needs.
    • Set your Mac Model ID.  Select Mac IIci.   Note the bios you’ve download does NOT have to match the Mac Model ID.  As I mentioned I personally use the LCIII Bios with no issues.
    • Set the location of the ROM file you plan to use
  2. The Volume Tab (Figure 4) where you specify the location of the file(s) representing the hard drive(s) for your emulated system:
    • Use the Add button to select one or more Hard Drive image files as your virtual drives.  The first on the list will be the “boot” drive by default.
    • I select you enable the “My Computer” icon option, this will drastically simplify moving files on to your Hard Drive image files
  3. Press the Start Button to begin using Basilisk II (Figure 5).

5. Using Basilisk II to edit image files

You can read my blog entry on how to upgrade from the minimal version of System 7.5.5. to full version of System 7.5.5 for a more detailed example of how to use Basilisk II to add new applications to your virtual hard drive image files.

The method I use to install the System upgrade files can be used to install any Macintosh Application you download.

If you want to install System 6, I suggest creating a secondary drive file to install System 6 or download one of my System 6.0.8 image files to use as your secondary drive.   You can then use Basilisk II to copy files on to this secondary drive, once your done updating it, you can write this secondary drive file back to your physical device to use on your real mac.

4 thoughts on “Using Basilisk II to setup your 68k Macintosh

  1. Very curious, I’m having problems on my SE. Is this because it’s not a 32bit? Is it because it runs a 68000 Instead of a 68030? I need to use a 32bit rom I understand but then the rom does not match my machines rom. How could I solve this issue?

    • What problems? Will it not boot? Before you try using any of the images I created you’ll need to open the image in Basilisk and then change the memory setting to 24bit and shut down the emulator.
      After you make this change the image will NOT boot in Basilisk, but should boot under your SE.

  2. My Mac SE30uses system 6, and I haven’t had luck yet getting system 6 working in Basilisk using your image. Am I missing something? For example when I try all I get is a warning about 24bit vs 32bit and have to restart Basilisk…

  3. OK, I figured it out!! It was difficult to understand, but basically, you need to follow the instructions EXACTLY as outlined on this page:

    Even if you, in the end, want system 6 on your Classic Mac, you must follow the above steps to simply get Basilisk II working. I was wrongly using different files and roms because I thought I needed those to make a system 6 image: nope. The point is, you get that running in Basilisk II, then you can actually run that emulator which is step one.

    Then, since the emulator now works, you remove the boot image, and add your image (with System 6 or whatever) but keep the install.hfv disk in Basilisk GUI. And once that is all done you can run Basilisk, and you’ll see your System 6 image and can now transfer files to it. When done, you can then write the image to an SD card and boom… put it in your old MacSE30 and you’re all good!

    Even more amazing, you can add sit files if you check the box that allows the GUI to see into your PC’s contents. I LOVE IT.

    And thanks bigtime to the writer of this blog… you’ve really helped me get this all working, though it wasn’t clear cut at first. Now that I read it again, I wonder, how I could have not understood it…hehe. Thanks!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.