For all retro Apple II enthusiasts ADTPro is a tool you can't live without since it allows you to backup your Apple II disks or create new ones from a variety of sources.
This post is about how to setup ADTPro from scratch on Linux. An alternative to installing ADTPro by hand on an existing Pi would be to install a full 'Apple II Linux image' like A2Cloud. Doing things by hand also gives us more control, in case we want to tweak things. In my case tweaking things is necessary anyway, since I'm using an USB adapter that is not supported out of the box by Linux (and which I could not get to work on modern macOS versions anyhow).

Ok, so let's get started. First here's a list of stuff I used:

  • A Mac for connecting to the Pi. This means that this post is Mac-centric, but thing's don't get too dramatic. At least Linux users should find it easy to follow along.
  • XQuartz. XWindows environment for the Mac. This program will allow us to display the graphical interface of ADTPro on our Mac display, which alleviates the need for a display for the Pi, and is much easier and lightweight than an VNC solution.
  • Raspberry Pi setup with Raspbian.
  • Keyspan USA-28x USB to serial adapter. You will need some sort of USB to serial solution. I happened to have a Keyspan lying around, so I could use that. The ADTPRo manual pages goes through a lot more options.
  • Apple IIgs. My good old Apple II that will be the ADTPro client.

Raspberry Pi setup

Installing a Linux distribution on a Pi is easy, if you've followed a tutorial like this. I've used the Buster Lite image, since I am planning to use the Pi headless (i.e. without a display attached to it).

After you've installed Debian on your Pi, have booted it, and logged in. You may want to enable SSH on it, so you can login remotely. From this point onwards, you will not be needing the display for your Pi anymore (if you want to).

extra software

Because ADTPro is a Java program we need Java installed: sudo apt install openjdk-8-jdk. Note that I installed the development kit, the runtime environment would probably have been sufficient for what we're doing, and faster, so grab a cup of coffee while waiting.

ADTPro installation

It is quite easy to build ADTPro from source. You will just need a JDK and the Ant build system. For this tutorial we will use a pre-build version, version 2.0.3. Just download it from this page (using wget) and unzip it.

Now cd to directory ADTPro-2.0.3. There are bunch of files here that are not runnable, yet. By issuing the command chmod +x we can make the ADTPro shell script runnable.


You can download and install XQuartz from its website. After it is installed you should open up its preferences and make sure that the 'Click-through Inactive Windows' checkbox is checked on the Windows tab. Without this checked, the ADTPro window does not respond to mouse clicks.

From an XQuartz terminal window, we now can connect to the Pi with this command: ssh -X pi@<IP of your Pi>.
The '-X' switch in the command will make sure that all XWindows windows will be created on our Mac, within the XQuartz environment.

After you have connected to Pi via SSH, it is simply a matter starting the shell script. After a little while the ADTPro UI should be displayed on your Mac.
Next steps are bootstrapping ADTPro or just send disks to backup your existing pile of disks. Enjoy!

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