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Is there a known, understood, technical explanation for why A/UX cannot be run on the Quadra 630?


Well-known member
Architecturally it’s a very different machine over the Macs that were designed to run it


IDE HDD implementation alone was likely enough to break A/UX, that and the two custom slots I'd think. Does it run on a Q605 upgraded to a full 040?


Well-known member
I was curious if anyone knew why?
I'm a far, far cry from being an expert—perhaps A/UX-curious would be a better label—but it is a very restrictive OS. In my initial curiosity, I was led to this very useful page: https://www.aux-penelope.com/hardware.htm

It outlines the compatible hardware architectures and the minimum version of A/UX they run. The 610 (WLCD) series appear to be the 'lowest form' of Quadra/Centris supported. A full 040 is a requirement, as outlined on that page, as certain models/configs of qualified motherboards shipped with LC040s, swapping to full-040 silicon is essential. So based on that list,
Does it run on a Q605 upgraded to a full 040?
no, sadly. I'd be interested to know if anyone has done it... though I doubt it.

Also, pay attention to the other non-logic-board requirements: storage, optical, etc.

Again, it cannot be stressed enough that this was an incredibly hardware-specific OS, not intended for the everyday Mac user. The late-model Quadras (63x/64x and their AIO counterparts) were a budget logic board design, and Apple never intended for anything other than plain-Jane Mac OS to run on them. The development qualification and upkeep was, from all I've read up on its history, fraught. There was little sense, even in the 'go wild' days of Apple R&D, to justify the development cycles for expanding qualification to other models.

I sort of want to start again...


Staff member
To cut to the chase, yes, it essentially boils down to a lack of drivers for the hardware.

The Quadra 610/650/800 were all considered “professional“ machines (or at least the 650 and 800 were and the 610 shared the same architecture) and thus made the cut to get the development work, while the 630 was lumped in with the “LC” family “consumer grade” machines, which Apple specifically excluded. There are significant technical differences between the supported and unsupported machines at the hardware level. Normal Macintosh System OS hardly cares because it relies on the ROM to shield it from the nasty details but because A/UX uses a completely different OS kernel design it needs to have actual drivers for the specific video/storage/whatever chips in the machine. This is why simple “wish I were” or system enabler hacks can’t make the LC family machines work, you’d actually need the OS source to compile new kernel drivers.


Well-known member
For the 605/475 I believe it's lack of video drivers being the biggest thing. The 630 has even more variations from the supported machines, so I'd expect more drivers would be needed.

I don't think there's any theoretical reason why someone couldn't write drivers for these machines, with patience and a certain amount of reverse-engineering, but the likelihood of anyone actually doing so is pretty much zero, I expect. The full 040 is a hard requirement, though.