There’s a nice blog post on the quirks and joys of installing and running A/UX on a Quadra 610:
and a related Hacker News discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21881271
From the blog post:
In this post, I’m going to go through the process of setting up Apple’s A/UX on a Quadra 610. It’s been a long time in the making - I think I had the hardware for nearly a year before I finally got A/UX running properly!
Wait, what is A/UX?
I’m not misspelling AIX, the IBM Unix that ran on the Apple Network Server range. It is a hybrid of Unix and the classic Mac OS, but it isn’t related to the Mac OS X we use today. A/UX is:
- an operating system sold by Apple for their Motorola 68000 computers (while Apple was developing a version 4.0 that ran on their PowerPC computers, it was never released)
- built on Unix System V
- capable of running a Mac OS environment on top of the Unix base
You can log in to and use A/UX in a few modes. The main one is a Macintosh Finder interface that can run normal Mac programs and Unix programs - both console ones (in the “CommandShell” terminal emulator) and X11 ones (via “MacX”, a rootless X client).
The version of A/UX I’m installing here is the final one - 3.1. A/UX 3.1 is based on System 7.0.1 (for the Mac parts) and an amalgam of Unix System V R2.2 with some backported bits from System V R3, R4, and BSD (for the Unix parts).
Recently, I got hold of my old Centris 660av with the intention of trying A/UX myself, since I was quite sure it was on the compatibility list. Alas, neither the Centris/Quadra 660av nor the 840av are compatible, while they feature all the prerequisites, like a 68040 processor, FPU, MMU. This seems to be due to their very special hardware setup and their special 2MB ROM.
Here’s the official compatibility list by Apple:
However, there’s still Shoebill, a special Mac II emulator to run A/UX (and nothing else) – maybe worth a try:
(The last binary release is a Cocoa build for OS X 10.8+.)
Installation media, software and guides are to be found at http://www.aux-penelope.com
and ROMs (required for the Shoebill emulator) on various sites, e.g., https://www.macintoshrepository.org/7038-all-macintosh-roms-68k-ppc-
Finally, a glance at Commando, A/UX’s built-in Unix command editor: