basiliskiivm: A VM Management Utility for BasiliskII ¬

2016-12-09

I’ve got some data I’m trying to get off my Newton and writing a bit of Newton code to bridge some gaps seems like my best bet at this point, so I found myself setting up a Newton dev environment… again. An old Mac still seems like the best dev environment after all these years (with the most documentation, examples, and other resources, anyway). I have literal piles of old Macs, but neither the time nor space to set one up for such a task right now. The quickest route was to re-install & configure BasiliskII (a great 68k Mac emulator), incl. installing MacOS 7.x and the Newton dev tools (innumerable thanks to everyone who contributed to the excellent NewtonDev disk image).

After doing so, then moving all the files around & symlinking the preferences to their default location, I wished that BasiliskII data & configs were all just packaged nicely into VMs like VirtualBox/VMware/Parallels/etc. So, I made a utility to create, run, and manage exactly such BasiliskII “VMs”:

http://github.com/morgant/basiliskiivm

While it’s still pre-release and incomplete, I expect to have v0.1 out in a week or two. It currently supports running (creating, coming soon) and snapshots (so I can always have a fresh state to go back to, if I screw up my install) of .BasiliskIIVM VMs. I’ve written & tested it on OS X, but it’s just Bash and written pretty platform-agnostically, so it should work well on other UNIX-like OSes with little-to-no modification. Hopefully the few of you out there who still use BasiliskII will find it useful and that it makes managing BasiliskII VMs easier (it should also make sharing Newton dev environments a piece of cake… er, sip of soup?).

This utility also means that if it turns out that this attempt at developing some Newton software doesn’t work out and my BasiliskII data sits around for a long time, I won’t have lost track of all the bits & pieces again and can just pick up where I left off.

I would love to hear if you end up trying it.

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