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Chapter 2. Mac OS X Basics > Mac OS X and the Classic Environment

2.6. Mac OS X and the Classic Environment

To help bridge the application gap between Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, Apple has built a virtual machine that enables you to run older Mac software under Mac OS X in what's known as Classic. Classic (or the "Classic environment") looks and feels just like Mac OS 9. The only exception is that the applications that are run in Classic don't benefit from the features of Mac OS X, such as protected memory and its advanced printing capability. Additionally, some Control Panels ( Control Panels), such as Control Strip, Memory, and Remote Access, are disabled.[1] Basically, when you're running Classic, you are running a slightly watered-down version of Mac OS 9 on top of Mac OS X with only a minor performance hit.

[1] However, if you boot into Mac OS 9 instead of Mac OS X, you will be using a full version of the OS. See later for details on how to choose your Startup Disk.

Until all Mac applications are compliant with Mac OS X, you will also need to install a version of Mac OS 9 (9.2.2, to be exact). During the installation process, you can either create a separate partition (or have a separate hard drive) for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, or you can install both operating systems on the same partition. Basically, you're creating a dual-boot system , which means you can boot your Mac into either OS. However, if you don't plan to run Classic applications, you won't need to install Mac OS 9.


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