How to use Mac OS X Snow Leopard
Mac OS X Snow Leopard (version 10.6) is the seventh and current major release of Mac OS X, Apple’s desktop and server certified Unix operating system.
This version of Mac OS X focuses on improving performance, efficiency and reducing its overall memory footprint compared with its predecessor Mac OS X v10.5 “Leopard”, rather than new end-user features. This is also the first Mac OS release since the introduction of System 7.1.2 that does not support the PowerPC architecture, as Apple now intends to focus on its current line of Intel-based products.
Snow Leopard was released on August 28, 2009, and is available as an upgrade for Intel-based Macintosh computers. Single-user licenses and “family pack” licenses for up to five computers are available. For qualifying Mac computers bought after June 8, 2009 Apple offered a discounted price through their “up to date” program provided your order was faxed or postmarked by December 26, 2009. While the license for the standalone retail version of Snow Leopard restricts that upgrade to users of Mac OS X v10.5 “Leopard”, the company has acknowledged that there is no technical barrier preventing a direct upgrade from Mac OS X v10.4 “Tiger”. The recommended upgrade path from Apple for OS X “Tiger” is through the current release of the “Mac Box Set”, which includes Mac OS X Snow Leopard, iLife ‘09, and iWork ‘09.
Apple states the following basic Snow Leopard system requirements, although, for specific applications such as QuickTime H.264 hardware acceleration support and OpenCL, a supported GPU is required (NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT or ATI Radeon HD 4850 and newer):
* Mac computer with an Intel processor (IA-32 “Yonah” processors such as Core Solo and Core Duo will only be able to run 32-bit applications; later x86-64 architecture processors such as Core 2 will also be able to run 64-bit applications)
* 1 GB of RAM
* 5 GB of free disk space
* DVD drive (also accessible via Remote Disc) or external USB or FireWire DVD drive for installation
Snow Leopard does not support PowerPC-based Macs (e.g., Power Macs, PowerBooks, iBooks, iMacs (G3-G5), all eMacs, plus pre-February 2006 Mac minis and the Power Mac G4 Cube), although PowerPC applications are supported via Rosetta, which is now an optional install.
Usage on unsupported hardware
Main article: OSx86
Some ways of running 10.6 Snow Leopard on certain unsupported hardware have been discovered. Users who have access to supported hardware have installed Snow Leopard on the supported machine then simply moved the hard drive to the unsupported machine. Alternatively, the Snow Leopard Installation DVD can be booted on a supported Mac, then installed on an unsupported Mac via the Firewire Target Disk Mode.
Since Apple moved to using Intel processors in their computers, the OSx86 project has developed and now also allows Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard to be installed and run successfully on non-Apple x86-based computers, albeit in violation of Apple’s licensing agreement for OS X. A variety of installation processes can be used, the most common being to use modified Darwin bootloaders commonly known as “Boot 132″ designed to trick the retail, or vanilla, operating system into thinking that it is running on an EFI-based Mac. This method of installation allows the use of an unmodified Apple installation DVD and the updating of the operating system from the built-in Software Update utility, but will work only on Intel Core-based PCs, unless a modified kernel is added to the pre-boot cd. Modified installation DVDs are also available illegally which offer a more outdated approach to installing. A hardware device capable of being attached to a PC’s motherboard has also been released, EFI-X, enabling much the same function as the modified Darwin bootloader.
There are three licenses available. These licenses differ in their requirements for pre-installed versions of Mac OS X:
* Leopard Upgrade: requires that Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard already be installed.
Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, you are granted a limited non-exclusive license to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-branded computer as long as that computer has a properly licensed copy of Mac OS X Leopard already installed on it.
* Single Use: places no restriction on which (if any) version of Mac OS X should already be installed. Used for the non-upgrade and Mac Box Set versions of Snow Leopard.
Subject to the terms and conditions of this License … you are granted a limited non-exclusive license to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-branded computer at a time.
* Family Pack: identical to the Single Use license, in this respect.
The license Apple’s website advertises as “upgrade from Mac OS X Leopard for $29″ is not the Leopard Upgrade license, but the Single Use license.
The Snow Leopard single user license will be available for a suggested retail price of $29 (US)
The Snow Leopard Upgrade license applies only to the Up-To-Date Program (US$9.95) for Macs bought between June 8 and December 26, 2009. and the installation discs provided through this program are clearly marked as Upgrades unlike either of the retail editions.
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