Name Operating System(s) Latest Version Active Recommended
Basilisk II Windows, OS X, Linux 20-02-2015 ✓ ✓
Executor Windows, Linux 2.1pr16 (2002) ✗ ✗
Mini vMac Windows, OS X, Linux, others 3.4.0 ✓ ✓
SheepShaver Windows, Linux, OS X 01-03-2015 ✓ ✓
SoftMac Windows 8.2 (2002) ✗ ✗
PCE.js puts a Macintosh Plus running System 7 in your web browser.
Mini vMac is a multiplatform virtual Macintosh Plus, and can run System from 1.1 to 7.5.5. It's great for games with black-and-white graphics.
SheepShaver is a Windows/Linux/OSX emulator that works as a virtual PowerPC, and it runs Mac OS from 7.5.2 to 9.0.4. This is probably the best replacement for Classic mode. (If you do own a modern Mac, look for "Chubby Bunny", a pirate release of the OS X version that comes preconfigured with Mac OS 9. Very handy.)
Basilisk II is a Windows/Linux/OSX emulator that works as a virtual 68k Mac, and it runs runs Mac OS from 7.x to 8.1. Good for earlier Mac games that were in color.
SoftMac is a windows-only emulator of 68xxx based Macintoshes. It used to be a commercial product, but it is now a free download. It is no longer actively developed.
Executor is a Windows/Linux emulator for 68xxx Macintoshes. It used to be a commercial product, but was later made a free download, then open-source. Regardless, it's no longer actively developed.
Most of these emulators require a ROM image and a copy of Mac OS. Only Executor does not require a ROM image.
PearPC is an architecture-independent PowerPC platform emulator capable of running most PowerPC operating systems.
Programming language: C++, C and (on x86 platforms) assembler
Supported host platforms: POSIX-X11 (Linux, ...), Win32
The following operating systems were tested and run (to some extent) in PearPC (ie. as clients):
Mandrake Linux 9.1 for PPC installer: Runs well
Mandrake Linux 9.1 for PPC after installation: Hard to boot. Runs very well afterwards.
Darwin for PPC: Runs well
Mac OS X 10.3: Runs well with some caveats
OpenBSD for PPC: Crashes while booting (accesses PCI in an unsupported way)
NetBSD for PPC: Crashes while booting
AIX for PPC: Some people ask about that. See FAQ.
PearPC emulates the following hardware:
CPU GENERIC: Sort of G4, including altivec. A more or less portable CPU. Using this CPU, the client will run about 500 times slower than the host. As of version 0.4 the generic CPU emulation runs well even on big-endian and 64 bit platforms.
CPU JITC-X86: Sort of G4, including altivec. A very fast CPU for x86 systems that translates PowerPC instructions into x86 instructions on-demand. By caching these translations, a lot of speed is gained. Using this CPU, the client will run about 15 times slower than the host. Only works on x86 hosts.
PCI-Brige: A barebone PCI-Bridge, enough to work with.
IDE-Controller: Sort of CMD646 with bus-mastering support. You can attach IDE-harddisk(s) and/or IDE-CDROM(s) by specifying files (or devices for UN*X) from your host machine.
PIC: A programmable interrupt controller (kind of Heathrow).
VIA-Cuda: With attached Mouse and Keyboard.
Network Controller: Emulates a 3COM 3C90x or RealTek 8139 via hosts that support an ethernet tunnel.
NVRAM: Capable of storing 8KiB non-volatile memory.
USB: A placebo USB-hub. Sufficient to make the client think that it has USB support.
PROM: Sort of OpenFirmware. It's ugly and contains a lot of hacks but it allows to boot Yaboot and BootX from HFS/HFS+ partitions.