www.gryphel.com/c/minivmac/extras/importfl - feedback


a Mini vMac Extra


importfl-1.2.2.zip (info) a zipped hfs disk image and checksum file. The disk image can be mounted with Mini vMac. Includes source code.

ImportFl is an application to use in Mini vMac (version 3.0.0 or later) to import files into the emulated computer from the real computer.

When ImportFl is the active application running in the emulated computer, then any of the methods normally used to mount a disk image will instead import a file. For example, dragging the icon of the file to be imported into the Mini vMac window.

warning: When attempting to use ImportFl, if you see a dialog asking if you want to initialize the disk, choose “Eject”, not “Initialize”! This will happen if ImportFl is not actually the active application, in which case the file you are attempting to import is treated as a disk image. Choosing “Initialize” will turn it into a valid disk image, destroying parts of the previous content.

ImportFl is mostly useful for importing archives, since it only imports the data fork of a file, not Macintosh specific information such as the resource fork, the file type, the file creator, and comments. (In particular, applications are mostly contained in the resource fork, and so can not be imported with ImportFl. And aside from OS X, most other modern operating systems don't support resource forks, and so can not correctly store an old Macintosh application, and so there is nothing that ImportFl could import anyway.)

Since ImportFl doesn’t receive Macintosh file type and creator information from the real computer, it sets the file type of the imported file to “BINA” and the creator type to “SITx”. That creator type belongs to Stuffit Expander, which can deal with most archive types you would want to import. So double clicking on the imported file will launch Stuffit Expander, if it is available. If it is not available, double clicking on the imported file will result in an error message. In System 6: ‘The file “<file_name>” could not be opened/printed (the application is busy or missing).’ In System 7: ‘The document “<file_name>” could not be opened, because the application program that created it could not be found.’

Many old archives can be unpacked with Stuffit Expander 4.0.1. However, it is common to encounter a Stuffit file that requires a more recent version of Stuffit Expander than will run on a Macintosh Plus. In that case, it will often work with Stuffit Expander 5.5, available from the same page, running on the Macintosh II emulation of Mini vMac. If an even later version of Stuffit Expander is required, you could uncompress it on a different Macintosh emulator, such as Basilisk II, or a real Macintosh.

If what you are importing is not an archive, you can fix the file type and file creator with utilities like Finder Info or Creator Changer. This can be fine for text files (type “TEXT”) and some others, but again, many other file types have information in the resource fork, which is not imported by ImportFl, and most operating systems besides OS X cannot store in the first place.

If you do have files on OS X that you want to import, the Finder application has the built in ability to create an archive that preserves most Macintosh specific information. Right click (or click with the Control key down) on the icon of a file or folder, and choose the "Compress" command. The archive is created in the same folder with a name ending in ".zip". Once you import the file into Mini vMac with ImportFl, StuffIt Expander won’t really properly deal with it. Such archives can be unpacked in Mini vMac with the MiniUnZp application, or using the more advanced miniunz from Adam P.

Another alternative is that recent versions of OS X include a macbinary command, which can be used from the Terminal to convert a file into into MacBinary format, which can be unpacked with binUnpk or Stuffit Expander. (Thanks to Ryan Schmidt and Samir Namer for pointing out this command.)

If you would like to import plain text, ClipIn may be more convenient.

If you would like to export files, see ExportFl, the opposite of ImportFl.

See the Compiling page for instructions on compiling ImportFl from the source code.

You can redistribute ImportFl and/or modify it under the terms of version 2 of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation. See the included file COPYING.

ImportFl is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the license for more details.


February 29, 2020 version 1.2.2 now sets the creator type to “SITx” instead of “MvEx”.

July 13, 2016 version 1.2.1 fixes a bug where ImportFl would not overwrite an existing file (after the Standard Put File dialog asks if you want to replace it). And the URL in the about dialog has been updated. Also, source shared with other Mini vMac extras has been updated, fixing a couple other bugs: ImportFl should now not crash in other emulators such as SheepShaver (though it still won't do anything useful), and it can save to MFS volumes, when the computer supports HFS (previously it had the wrong test, and would support MFS only on computers that didn't support HFS).


If you find ImportFl useful, please consider helping the Gryphel Project, of which it is a part.

gryphel logo, 1K
www.gryphel.com/c/minivmac/extras/importfl - feedback
copyright (c) 2020 Paul C. Pratt - last update 2/29/2020