Mac OS Compatibility

1. Does Mac OS comes with a command line?

Yes, it does come with a command line. To open a command line, open Applications, Utilties and select Terminal. This loads the bash terminal, you can then run command line type programs, type Exit when done.

You can also access the command line at boot up by pressing Command+S for Single user mode or Command+V for verbose mode.

Colour terminal

More infomation about bash commands for Mac OS, visit, the bash command list page.

2. Can I get old programs to run under Mac OS?

For pre-Mac OS X computers, Classic Mac OS, you can use an emulator such as Basilisk and Sheepshaver.

For PowerPC only programs, you could use a Virtual Machine under VMWare Fusion, Parallels or Virtual Box to run and emulate another version of Mac OS (upto MacOS 10.6 - Snow Leopard). All versions of Mac OS from 10.7 (Lion) are now compatible with Intel or Universal programs only.

3. Where is the web server in Mac OS?

Mac OS comes with a web server called Apache which is installed by default. You can enable the Web Server, by opening System Preferences, Sharing, then enable File & Web. Click the button labelled Start to start Apache.

You can set up your web pages in the default \User\username\Sites folder on your Mac.

4. How do I share a printer on Mac with another Mac or Windows PC?

Yes, you can enable sharing for Printers in Mac OS with other computers. In System Preferences, Sharing enable Printer Sharing. If enabling with Windows users, you will also need to enable Windows Sharing and configure a user account to share the printer. Any drivers have to be installed by the user on the other computer.

8. I cannot run Java applications or Applets. Where can I download Java?

You can download the Java Runtime files (JRE) from the Java website. You can also download the Software Development Kit (SDK) and program developments tools such as NetBeans (7.0 or later) from the same site. For Adobe products, you may need to still install Java 6.

9. Can I run Linux or Windows as well as or intead of Mac OS?

Yes, on the old PowerPC Macs there was YellowDog Linux. Now, with Intel Macs, you can install most distributions of Linux including Ubuntu, Mint Linux, SuSE, Fedora etc.
You can run Windows 7 or later on MacOS. Windows XP and Vista are no longer supported.