NetBSD/mac68k Current Information

NetBSD/mac68k is a work in progress. At the time of this writing, it has been several months since the release of NetBSD 1.3.3, and NetBSD-current is still in active development. Work continues on more robust video support, audio support, and support for those few machines which do not yet boot and run from their own console.

The following systems are now "fully" supported in addition to those supported by the 1.3 release:

If you are willing to live with random programs dying on you due to partially broken support for the 68LC040, the follow machines might also be considered as "supported", provided you have an external SCSI disk for those machines which have an internal IDE drive:

Note: "Fully supported" implies that the Mac will run off of its local console and disk (i.e. console-based video, keyboard, and disk are working). This means that the system is pretty much "usable". Many other features such as ethernet support or full video support may not yet be available.

Hardware Support in Progress

The following items are frequently asked about on the mailing list, but support does not yet exist for them in the -current source tree.

68LC040 Support

Although Floating Point Emulation (FPE) does work for 68030-based systems without an FPU, there is currently some trouble with FPE for 68LC040-based systems. Symptoms of the problem include unpredictable segmentation faults, rendering these systems rather frustrating to use. Work is in progress to fix this problem as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, some 68LC040 chips will still not work even after FPE support is completed. These chips will have to be upgraded to full 68040's.

IDE Support

Work is in progress to support IDE drives on those machines which have them. You can download a test kernel if you would like to try it out. Please contact Ken Nakata if you have any questions about IDE support.

ADB Support

Most machines now have supported ADB under the direct-to-hardware ADB driver, but work is in progress to further improve this support.

In addition to work on generic ADB support, many non-Apple ADB devices (like multi-button mice) still lack support in NetBSD/mac68k. Work proceeds on this as time (and volunteer effort) allows.

Color Video Support

This can be broken down into two categories: onboard-video and card-based video. Color video on NuBus-based 8-bit video cards may now be possible. Work on onboard-video for II-series hardware is in progress and hopefully will be available soon. Support for Quadra internal video should not be too far behind. See the Meta-FAQ for pointers to more information on this one.

PowerBook support

Most PowerBooks are probably working under -current, although some may be suffering from the occasional glitch with internal video. User feedback is needed to confirm the status of most of these models, but the 500-series PowerBooks have been reported to work with some -current kernels, as has the PowerBook 170.

IIfx/Q900/Q950 Support

Although several people have looked into getting the Macintosh IIfx or the Quadra 900/950 to work with NetBSD, it is unlikely that they will be fully supported any time in the near future. Several undocumented ASICs make these machines rather hard to get working (the IOPs in particular). However, all three will probably work as diskless servers if you are willing to go to the trouble of setting them up as such.

Running -current

To update your system to a more recent version of the kernel and binaries, you can either track NetBSD-current yourself, or you can grab a binary snapshot. Scott Reynolds and Steve Allen maintain NetBSD-current snapshots that are available from and many of its mirrors.

Up to NetBSD/mac68k Port Page
NetBSD Home Page
NetBSD Supported Architectures
$NetBSD: curr_info.html,v 1.3 2007/07/29 02:41:29 kano Exp $
Copyright © 1996-2003 The NetBSD Foundation, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.