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FOUND: 68KMDS version 2.0


Well-known member
I think this is a fairly major find: to my knowledge the complete version 2.0 of Apple's Macintosh 68k Development System (MDS) has not been previously available online anywhere. (I believe @dog_cow's MacGUI had disks 1 and 2, but not disk 3, which is critical as it contains the Path Manager needed to set up MDS for HFS compatibility. Version 1.0 was famous NOT HFS compatible, making it useless on an HD-20 and requiring the traditional multi-floppy setup.)

I am excited to try it out, but immediately made the images available here for posterity: https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/68k-macintosh-development-system-68kmds

These came with a manual but it appears to be the same as the version 1.0 manual though with updated copyright information. I would love to see an updated manual for version 2.0 if anyone stumbles upon this! (And if there even was an updated manual. It's possible the one I have is all there was.)



Active member
Awesome! I tried to use version 1 and I might as well have assembled by hand---that would have been faster :p. I certainly hope version 2 is better.


Well-known member
It may have been at some point (I don't know), but the original development platform for Macintosh, up into some months after its commercial sale, was the Pascal Workshop running on the Apple Lisa.


Well-known member
So is this an Assembler for 68k assembly code, then?

Edit: I guess I could just search for my answer.

Edit edit: It's the first native Macintosh development system so you could actually develop Mac apps without a Lisa.


Well-known member
Correct! MDS was the first Macintosh development system that ran on a Macintosh.

It used a (by modern standards) weird and interesting UNIX-like approach instead of an IDE: the editor (Edit), compiler (Asm), linker (Link), and “executive” (Exec … basically ”make”) were separate applications that handed off control to one another during the build process based on instructions in the “makefile”. It’s quite fun to use (but very slow). However the original version made explicit assumptions about what directory things lived in and so completely failed to run under HFS, meaning you couldn’t run it on an HD20 (without entirely cluttering your HD20 by putting everything in the root directly), forcing constant disk swaps. I’ve always wanted to try out this HFS-compatible second version but could never find it anywhere.