Civilization image

macOS is an operating system with a lot of history, from the barebones System 1 in 1984 to the Unix-based Mac OS X revamp in 2001, to its modern-day macOS incarnation. You can now try out every step of that journey in your web browser

Infinite Mac is an online “library” of virtual machines that aims to host every single major release of classic Mac OS before Mac OS X 10.0. With it, you can fire up an emulator of 1984’s System 1, or you can go as recent as Mac OS 9, released in 2000. That version arrived one year before Apple completely revamped its operating system with Mac OS X, which then evolved into what we know today as macOS.

System 3.3, 4.0, 4.1, 5.0, and 5.1
Mac OS versions from 1987

Infinite Mac doesn’t have every single version currently documented. While the online emulator is capable of running most of them, some releases can’t be tracked down online or can’t be emulated. This website put together as many images as possible, and ported the popular emulators Mini vMac and SheepShaver to WebAssembly for use in web browsers. It’s an impressive technical effort.

Developer Mihai Parparita wrote in a blog post, “The final gallery includes every notable system software release (I’m sorry, fans of System 7.0.1). Perhaps over time I’ll go back and backfill truly everything, but for now generating 36 bootable images was plenty. I tried to make the browsing experience as pleasant as possible — each release has a permalink, and you can command-click on the “Run” button to open things in new windows. Some releases only work with specific Macs, and some can run on multiple (I used the Apple ROMs spreadsheet and Mac ROMan to build up a library of machines) — which machine is used can be chosen via the “Customize” button.”

If you wish to try out these vintage macOS versions, head over to Infinite Mac. Again, you don’t really need anything — just your browser.


Profile Photo for Arol Wright Arol Wright
Arol is a freelance news writer at How-To Geek. He's a Pharmacy student, but more importantly, an enthusiast who nerds out about everything tech-related, most notably PCs, smartphones, and other gadgets. He has also written for Android Police, MakeUseOf, and XDA Developers.
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