Burning CDs for Macintosh System 7 from OS X

Tagged as retro

Written on 2015-01-29 10:57:00

I have a Macintosh Quadra 650 with System 7.6.1 on it. I wanted to get software onto it, namely web browsers and other things. How does one do that on OS X?

It's actually relatively simple. Get the software you want into a folder on your machine. Let's say ~/software. It seems to work best if this software has been compressed with StuffIt Expander. If you decompress it on your OS X ("host") machine, things don't seem to work as well and things get lost.

We will need cdrtools, so install that.

brew install cdrtools

Now that we have that, we can make an image we can burn. The image needs to have HFS as its file system, as this is what is used my System 7. Making images with this file system became unsupported in versions of OS X after 10.5 "Leopard", but mkisofs from cdrtools still has this capability.

mkisofs -hfs -o software.iso ~/software

Once the image is made, software.iso, you can open it with Disk Utility and burn it. I recommend burning at the slowest speed and verifying it.

When you pop the disk into your old Mac, you should be able to explore the contents of the CD.

Unless otherwise credited all material copyright © 2015 by Robert Smith