I just bought a Mac Mini G4 1st gen. At boot I get the terminal login screen (after the apple logo with the grey background). As I enter a false id, the computer switches to a graphic login page. login page

How to reinit this computer?

I do not have a mac keyboard (just a windows one), and I've already tried at boot some shortcuts as Ctrl-Alt-P-R or Ctrl-R without success.

I have original "Mac OS X Install Disk 1 and 2" (Mac OS 9.2) but they seem to be in a quite poor condition.

On the graphic page, the only user listed is the former one... I don't know his password.

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  • 4
    Not sure if that system is really on topic here. Less than 20 years old and made to run with OS X Tiger or Leopard. MacOS 9.2 does not support the original mini. you need to install either OS X version(10.4/10.5). MacOS9 applications can only run under OS X using the provided Classic Environment (Blue Box).
    – Raffzahn
    Commented Jul 5 at 19:57
  • 1
    If you don't know a user's password, you can usually boot into single user mode and reset the password. The disadvantage of doing this is just that any passwords saved in the user's keychain will now be inaccessible, which is an issue when you forget your own password and need the saved passwords but in this case doesn't matter. Commented Jul 6 at 9:21
  • 2
    The software designed for this is very old and may not work well with the modern internet. You may want to consider a Linux distribution if you have enough ram. Commented Jul 7 at 10:41
  • 2
    @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen why would you want to run a retro computer on the modern internet, apart from as a stunt? Installing Linux on a Macintosh is a bit of a perverse waste of resources.
    – Coxy
    Commented Jul 7 at 12:27
  • 4
    @Coxy I installed Ubuntu 24.04 on my white MacBook (had upgraded the ram). Worked like a charm. Try it before you mock it Commented Jul 7 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


Actually, even if it was never supported by Apple, the 1st gen G4 Mac mini makes a quite nice (rather: very nice) platform for Os9.

Original Apple install disks will refuse to install on the G4 Mini. You need a user-modified (by the "Mac OS 9 Lives" project) version of the Os9 specifically tweaked to run on these newer machines.

The patched install media can be downloaded from Macintosh Garden https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/mac-mini-g4-macos-92-v9

If you're in need of a video guide, there's one here (But, basically, it's just insert disk and install): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LoK3E9tJjw

Expect a few quirks: The internal speaker will not work (but external audio does) and the UI is not really prepared to look nice on the high resolutions supported on the mini, and the keyboard might be a bit quirky depending on the model you have.

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