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If you're coming here from Macintouch OS X report #22 just some clarification: at the start of my message, all of the indented text is quoted from Bryan Walls' message in report #21. I have successfully installed OS X 10.2.1 on my Beige G3/233, and I find the performance acceptable for routine tasks like reading email and surfing the web.

Also please note, I did this a long time ago and I no longer use the Beige G3, so I don't have much knowledge any more of this system.

OS X for Legacy Macs

Even older models than the Beige G3 may be supported using Other World Computing's XPostFacto. (I haven't tried it.)

Mac OS X on Beige G3

Installing MacOS X 10.0 on Beige G3

(Once you have 10.0 installed, you should install 10.1 - it works much better.)

The good news is it can be done. I was mainly interested to see if I could do my routine web surfing and emailing without crashing (my MacOS 9 configuration is a bit crash-prone).

My configuration:

OK here is what I recommend. You may need to some, none, or all of this.

  1. remove all but one (largest) RAM DIMM
  2. remove all PCI cards
  3. remove all attached serial and SCSI devices
  4. CD must be Master in order for MacOS X install to boot from CD
  5. Must install MacOS X in first HD partition. This must be smaller than 8 GB.
  6. repartition 2nd (IDE1) HD into 6 GB and 3 GB partitions. Use MacOS X disk utility from Installer menu.
  7. format 2nd HD (HFS+/Extended) as part of the MacOS X install
  8. Note: Your boot setup (Open Firmware/PRAM) will be modified as part of the install
  9. I only installed MacOS 9.1 after MacOS X. I installed it in my 2nd (3 GB) partition.

If you run into problems, and you find that when it reboots your 2nd IDE/ATA chain (bus 1) doesn't show up at all, zap PRAM by holding down cmd-opt-P-R at boot.

It appears that the only consistent way to boot into MacOS X is to use the Startup Disk selector from the MacOS X CD (this is a different version than even the MacOS 9.1 one). Also for my configuration, it seems that I need to have the MacOS X CD inserted in my CD drive.

You may need to do multiple Software Updates to get everything completely updated.

Once you get all the software and things are going ok, you can start putting RAM DIMMs back in their slots (with the machine turned off of course!) and see if everything stays stable.

Then start adding your cards and peripherals back in, and see if they work or need additional drivers.

The Good News

It does seem completely stable for routine web surfing and email (no crashes or panics yet).

The Bad News

MacOS X 10.0 compatibility report not good:

I did some scary root voodoo to try to get it to run an OrangeMicro FireWire driver for my card but that made no difference.

Update 2001-07-09

I added a 128 MB DIMM, so I now have 128 + 64 + 32 = 224 MB RAM. This gives some performance improvement. I have also read suggestions such as turning off dock animation (the thing that makes the icon bounce up and down as the program is loading) and using thousands of colours rather than millions.

More Bad News: There is NO hardware driver support for OpenGL on the Beige G3's built-in graphics chip. On my computer (motherboard rev. 2) this is the ATI Rage Pro graphics chip, which I have upgraded to 6 MB of VRAM. So if you were thinking you would get exciting new game performance from the fancy graphics subsystem with Tomb Raider: Chronicles or Oni under MacOS X, instead what you will find is they won't run at all, as they don't find any hardware-accelerated OpenGL.

This is lame as these games run acceptably using the hardware-accelerated OpenGL in Mac OS 9.

Installing 10.1

Installed 2001-10-24, Report written 2001-11-03

NOTE: Be aware that all of the Mac OS X updaters are very dumb - if they don't find the files in e.g. the Applications directory exactly as they were installed, they won't update properly. So if you like to move Apple-installed applications around to different folders, you may find that your software doesn't get updated properly. Instead, I suggest you just make aliases to the files and then arrange the aliases however you want.

The install was very straightforward - I just booted into 10.0 and put in the 10.1 installer disk - that's the CD I leave in now so that OS X will boot.

(Once you have 10.1 installed, you should update to 10.2 - it works even better.)

The compatibility is much improved:

The desktop graphics are definitely faster - routine stuff like moving windows around or resizing windows is very smooth. There is also a new option for minimizing to the dock: "Scale Effect", which is much faster. Classic is maybe faster, I'm not sure.

You should run Software Update to get the latest security updates.

Mac OS X 10.1.2 - 10.1.5

WARNING: I have had no problems with any Apple Software Updates up to and including 10.1.1 but when I upgraded to 10.1.2, my Disk Copy became unable to mount disk image (.dmg) files, which meant it was impossible to install a lot of software. OS X versions 10.1.3 through 10.1.5 did not fix this problem. This problem was repeatable when starting from a clean 10.0 install.

To resolve this problem... follow the next step.

Updating to 10.2

OS Update and report done 2002-09-21

I updated to Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar and then immediately did a Software Update to 10.2.1 (along with the various other application and security patches it offered).

I am happy to report that the disk image mounting problem is fixed. I can now mount .dmg files without any problems.

To do the update, I booted into OS 9 and ran the OS X 10.2 update installer.

Update 2002-11-12: 10.2.2

Did software update to 10.2.2 - Disk Image (.dmg) mounting is broken again. I recommend you DO NOT update to 10.2.2 until this is fixed.

Update 2002-12-19: 10.2.3

I recommend you DO NOT update to 10.2.3 because:

  1. Disk image mounting is still broken.
  2. I am having display corruption problems - something as simple as scrolling an Internet Explorer window causes the upper half of the window to be filled with garbage or garbled lines.

I haven't tried the Canadian dictionary that is supposed to come with 10.2.3 yet.

Update 2003: 10.2.4, 10.2.5 and 10.2.6

I recommend you do not update. Same problems as 10.2.3 - no .dmg mounting and broken graphics driver.

Important Note: For me at least, I must have the OS X 10.2 CD (Disc 1) in my CD drive in order to boot into Jaguar.

If you're doing a full install, you may need to go through the elaborate disassembly steps required for installing 10.0

I have only started evaluating hardware compatibility:

I haven't tried VueScan X on Jaguar yet, but their website says "Note that the driver for the beige G3 built-in SCSI has bugs on Mac OS X 10.1 which have been fixed in 10.2."

Other positive news: I previously had a major problem with my setup under OS X 10.1 and earlier - I am using my Beige G3 with a Dell 15" LCD monitor, via an NEC VGA adapter and just to make things extra complicated, shared with a Windows XP PC using a Belkin Omni 2-port KVM switch. In previous versions of OS X, my display would quite frequently fuzz out black and then fade back in. It still happens with Jaguar, but much less often.

In bad news: The Internationalization seems to be screwed up. I can't set Custom settings, for e.g. Canadian date format, 24 hour time, etc.

It also forgot a lot of my settings - I suggest going through all the items in System Preferences and making sure they are correct. In Date/Time, you set your location (including city/country) by clicking on the map. X marks the spot, as it were.

Jaguar now offers a limited interface to the built-in firewall. I have more information on my home broadband security page.

Updating to 10.3

According to a June 30, 2003 ThinkSecret report Panther now requires a Blue & White Power Mac G3, dropping support for the beige G3.

2003-12-13: The official Apple hardware requirements exclude the beige G3. The oldest supported G3 desktop is the Blue and White.

Notes on Applications

Image Capture

MacOS X 10.1 Image Capture does not do lossless JPEG rotation, so you should use some other application (e.g. Graphic Converter) if you want to rotate JPEGs / photos. (I don't know if this applies to all versions of Image Capture.)

Outlook Express 5.0.6

With OS X 10.2 I use Outlook Express 5.0.6 - in order to get it to work, since I run it from OS 9 on a separate volume, I had to make an alias of the OS 9:Documents:Microsoft User Data folder and copy the alias to my USERNAME/Documents/ folder on my OS X volume. Then it worked fine.

Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac OS X

Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac allows you to connect to a Windows-based computer and work with programs and files on that computer from your Macintosh computer. It works with Windows NT 4 Terminal Server, 2000 Server, XP Pro and .Net Server.

(Note: This is different from Apple Remote Desktop, which is a commercial product from Apple for controlling and managing other Mac desktops.)


Safari web browser.


X11 for MacOS X. Windowing system (GUI) popular in the UNIX world.

IP over FireWire

IP over FireWire Preview Release.

Some OS X Audio/Video Apps

See the free software section of my digimusic page.


Discussion Groups

Other Info


Apple and VersionTracker provide pretty good software resources. Also you can look on your iDisk (if you have an active .Mac subscription), Apple has MacOS X software there.

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