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Is there any way to install and use PowerPC applications on Intel based macs? I have older Adobe software that I would like to use, and cannot use on my new iMac.

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I assume you mean on intel Macs running Lion, right? –  gentmatt Mar 19 '12 at 14:24
    
This question is somewhat vague. Rosetta (PPC Library) dependencies aside, whether or not a given application will run is going to depend on many things. Perhaps you can provide a little more information about what you're trying to accomplish. –  jaberg Mar 19 '12 at 14:27
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Yes I should have mentioned that, did not think it would make that large of a difference –  BrettAdamsGA Mar 19 '12 at 15:11
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5 Answers 5

up vote 15 down vote accepted

There was an emulation layer called Rosetta to allow Intel Macs to run PowerPC applications that Apple provided from Mac OS X 10.4 to 10.6. Sadly, they removed it in 10.7 Lion and it no longer works. Given that you said your iMac is brand new, it presumably came with Lion preinstalled, and is unable to run anything older. So, unfortunately, the answer is no.

Your options are to upgrade your Adobe software to an Intel version, trade in your new Mac for a slightly older used Mac (from early 2011 or earlier) and put Snow Leopard on it, or continue to use your old hardware for your Adobe software.

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Adobe Photoshop 7 stopped working under OS X 10.5(?-memory may be failing me here) for reasons other than Rosetta. The base answer is the same—*no*—but a future Rosetta magic box won't necessarily allow all PPC software to run under Lion. –  jaberg Mar 19 '12 at 17:52
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There is a solution: Use Snow Leopard. It comes with rosetta which is an emulation layer for PPC apps.

If you use Lion there is also a solution: Use Snow Leopard:

To achieve a dual system configuration use either VirtualBox, VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop for Mac.

Install Snow Leopard on a virtual machine.

Install Rosetta and your applications.

Run the applications on the virtual machine.

It is not the most efficient or the most convenient way, but until LionRosetta is released it should do.

An up to date setup is described here.

Edit: LionRosetta is no more.

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According to the Mac OS licensing terms, you can not virtualize Snow Leopard client (only server). In this case, I would recommend installing SL on a separate partition/disk and booting to it when needed. –  jmlumpkin Mar 19 '12 at 17:18
    
Your link for LionRosetta goes to a page stating "Buy this domain! This domain is FOR SALE!". Perhaps the project never got off the ground? You might want to remove the reference. –  Chris W. Rea Jul 5 '13 at 22:03
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Instructions for installing Snow Leopard (and Rosetta) into Parallels 7 in Lion:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1365439

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Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone. –  Daniel Lawson Jul 5 '13 at 20:29
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I just used terminal to install FCP6 on my new intel macbook pro. I was getting hit with the "Cannot install PowerPC" error when clicking on the installer. screenshot1 screenshot2

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How does this solve the problem of running PPC applications on recent OS X versions? –  patrix Apr 28 at 19:36
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I was experiencing the same problem and was shocked that I can't use PPC on the Mac I bought.

So, after reading all of the sheepshaver and Snow Leopard forums, I finally came across "winebottlercombo.bmg". Look it up, download it and set it up. You might have to download xquartz.dmg as well, I had to.

When you download and set up these two programs, they allow you to use a .exe (Windows execution file) and from there you can use what is known to the Mac as an "unsupported" ppc file as a .exe Windows file through "Winebottler". Totally bypasses the "unsupported PPC" on Mac OS X Lion.

So just copy the image of the CD that you want using a Windows pc, make sure that you are copying the .exe file and open/set it up with the wine file on your Mac and it will work like a charm, without having to go through all of the set up procedures.

After it is set up, whatever .exe and .lnk file you want to use, always "Open With--> wine.app"

Note: you may have to look for the .lnk file via search in Finder. That is the file I needed to find to use the program I set up.

So sorry if this is not so clear, I am also new to the Mac world and don't know all of the Mac lingo yet.

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You were shocked that you couldn't use software written for a processor that Apple hasn't used in its computers since 2006? –  Paul D. Waite Mar 18 '13 at 12:59
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I am confused here - Wine (of which there are easier ways to use) runs windows programs nor PPC –  Mark Mar 18 '13 at 13:02
    
ALso if you found winebottlercombo please give a link rather than ask us to search for it. –  Mark Mar 18 '13 at 13:05
    
Wine can enable running Windows exe files on an Intel Mac and Winebottler creates standalone application bundles for running Windows programs. Neither of these has anything to do with running a PowerPC Mac application or any Mac application. –  Mr. Mel Jul 5 '13 at 23:27
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