Mac On a Stick - Portable Macintosh on a USB stick

Mac On a Stick aka: Mini vMac, just as the name imposes, is a portable Macintosh emulated operating system that can be booted and run from a USB flash drive. Although for most, it isn't a complete replacement operating system, a MOS installation can include many useful applications running from an emulated Mini vMac (a Macintosh Plus emulator).

Mac On a Stick | Mini vMac

Mac On A Stick Screenshot
Mini vMac is a project that allows users to emulate early Macintosh computers on modern hardware, preserving and providing access to software from that era. Here are some of its key points:

  1. Purpose and Origin: It started as a spin off of the vMac program. Initially designed as a simpler version to introduce programmers to vMac, and has evolved into its own project, serving as a continuation of vMac.
  2. Emulated Macintosh Models: Emulates several early Macintosh models, including the Macintosh Plus, 128K, 512K, 512Ke, SE, Classic, and SE FDHD. Work is also in progress for Macintosh II emulation, showcasing the project's commitment to preserving a variety of Macintosh models.
  3. Minimalism: The "Mini" in Mini vMac emphasizes the goal of keeping each emulator in the collection as small and simple as possible, while the build system for generating emulators is more complex.
  4. Includes many useful Apps: Some example applications include BBEdit Lite, Excalibur, Glider, Nisus Compact, QuickPop, Sokoban, Tex-Edit and Texris.
  5. Legal Use and ROM Image Requirement: Mini vMac requires a ROM image file to run, and users are expected to legally own a 680x0 based Macintosh to use the emulator. This requirement aligns with copyright laws related to software and ROM images.
  6. Preservation and Convenience: The project, as part of the Gryphel Project, is dedicated to preserving software created for early Macintosh computers. Mini vMac provides a practical solution for users to continue using Macintosh software on modern hardware, especially when original hardware may become unreliable or unavailable.
  7. Advantages of vMac Emulation: vMac emulation offers advantages over using original hardware, including faster performance on modern computers, the ability to use modern peripherals like screens, keyboards, and mice, and easier file transfer between the emulated environment and the host system.
  8. Portable Macintosh: Mac On a Stick is a portable operating system that can be run completely from a USB flash drive.
  9. Gryphel Project: It is part of the Gryphel Project, which aims to preserve and make accessible software designed for early Macintosh computers. This includes not only the emulators but also alternatives and resources for those interested in this aspect of computing history.

Mini vMac Requirements

Specifications | Official Site | Where to Download

  • Authors Website: Project Page
  • Developer: Paul C Pratt
  • Release Date: First released in 2001
  • License: Open Source
  • Downloading: You can choose from different variants here:
    Mac On a Stick Download

Making a larger Disk image

To make a 52M image, using either a Linux or Mac OS X computer, open up a terminal and type:

dd if=/dev/zero of=hfs52M.dsk count=106496