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Weekend Geek Out: Running OPENSTEP in a Virtual Machine with VMware Fusion

next_forums_logo At a recent Apple training event the VMware Fusion team was presenting at, there was an interesting (if geeky) question asked: can you use VMware Fusion to run an OPENSTEP virtual machine?

For those who don’t know, OPENSTEP was an operating system built on the OpenStep API specification, which was itself a collaboration between NeXT and Sun Microsystems.

The long and the short of it was that this old school Apple systems engineer wanted to know if he could get OPENSTEP up and running on his VMware Fusion install.  I told him I didn’t know, but that I would do my best to find out.

800px-OPENSTEP_on_Windows_NTSo, it turns out he’s not the only person interested in doing this.  Although OPENSTEP is  not a supported guest operating system in VMware Fusion, and doesn’t have VMware Tools that are specific to it, a user named “jeffberg” on the NeXTcomputers.org forums has done everyone a favor by documenting exactly how to get this up and running.  You can find that thread here.

There are also some interesting threads in the VMware Fusion forums talking about how modify display settings, make the system clock behave better and how to make the system clock sync for non-supported OSes (of which, OPENSTEP is one). 

Please note: This is some pretty technical stuff, but because I had already done the legwork, and know that VMware Fusion has some pretty technical fans, it would be remiss to not share this.

3 thoughts on “Weekend Geek Out: Running OPENSTEP in a Virtual Machine with VMware Fusion

  1. Steve

    OPENSTEP 4.2 runs extremely well under VMWare Fusion/Workstation. Once you install the proper drivers, everything just works. 🙂 If you need more help, stop by the NeXTComputers.org Forums, home of the last few die hard NeXT Users. We try to provide as much help as possible no matter what platform you are trying to run NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP on Virtual or not! And you can find almost 70 updated *nix packages on my website along w/several screenshots of OPENSTEP running on different virtual platforms. Take care.

  2. Dan Brickley

    Glad to find this post 🙂
    Here are some screenshots I posted yesterday, exploring the idea of bringing back the original WorldWideWeb browser…
    The old NeXT code doesn’t build (yet? not sure what’s feasible) but I did load the UI into Interface Builder, http://www.flickr.com/photos/danbri/4014339947/sizes/l/in/set-72157622592588808/
    Would you or colleagues be interested in collaborating on this? I’d love to get something done that could be used in schools / colleges / museums…


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