Apple GS/OS

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GS/OS running.
Developer Apple Computer
OS family GS/OS
Working state Historic
Source model Closed source
Latest release GS/OS v4.02 (System Software 6.0.1) / May 6, 1993; 22 years ago (1993-05-06)
Kernel type Monolithic kernel
License Apple Software License Agreement

GS/OS is an operating system developed by Apple Computer for its Apple IIGS personal computer that uses the ProDOS filing system. It provides facilities for accessing the file system, controlling input/output devices, loading and running program files, and a system allowing programs to handle interrupts and signals. GS/OS was included as a component of Apple IIGS System Software versions 4.0 through 6.0.1.

GS/OS included a facility known as File System Translators (FSTs) which allowed it to support multiple on-disk file systems in a manner transparent to application programs, a feature not found in ProDOS or most other microcomputer operating systems at the time. It was usually used with the ProDOS file system (which was the only one from which it could be booted), but GS/OS also supported a variety of other file systems, including the Hierarchical File System used by the Mac OS. Other File System Translators, in addition to ProDOS and HFS, included those for MS-DOS, High Sierra/ISO-9660, Apple DOS 3.3 and Pascal, albeit read-only (full read/write support had been planned but never completed). Another advantage of GS/OS over ProDOS 16 was that it was written in 16-bit code for the 65816 processor used in the IIGS, rather than primarily in 8-bit 6502 machine code that did not take advantage of the IIGS's unique features. It also extended the ProDOS file system to provide for resource forks on files similar to those used on the Apple Macintosh, which allowed for programs to be written in a more flexible way.

The big change from the previous versions of ProDOS is that GS/OS incorporated many features of the Macintosh System 5. In particular, GS/OS has a Finder, loadable fonts, plug-in device drivers (modem, printer, etc.). In addition GS/OS's Toolbox was largely compatible with the Macintosh; in fact it seemed like the Macintosh Toolbox ported to the 65816 processor, with improvements.[citation needed] A command-line development environment called APW (Apple Programmer's Workshop) was available; much like the Macintosh Programmer's Workshop.


  • 1986 - MouseDesk 2.0, Apple II DeskTop 1.1
  • 1987 - GS/OS 2.0, GS/OS 3.1
  • 1988 - GS/OS 3.2, GS/OS 4.0
  • 1989 - GS/OS 5.0, GS/OS 5.0.2
  • 1990 - GS/OS 5.0.3
  • 1991 - GS/OS 5.0.4
  • 1992 - GS/OS 6.0
  • 1993 - GS/OS 6.0.1

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