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Which OS X version to download?
April 20, 2010 1:19 PM   Subscribe

I need to do a fresh install of OS X on a G4 1.42ghz mac mini. What OS version do I need to download?
posted by nitor to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Install from the discs that came with your mini.
posted by Wild_Eep at 1:23 PM on April 20, 2010


The 1.42GHz Mac Mini comes with Mac OS X 10.3.7. You'll find it on the discs supplied with the Mac.

The newest version of OS X compatible is 10.5 "Leopard". This is no longer for sale, but you can find copies on eBay.

No version of OS X is available for download. Please don't pirate it.
posted by Mwongozi at 1:24 PM on April 20, 2010


There is no version of Mac OS X that you can just download, you have to go buy it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:26 PM on April 20, 2010


Leopard works great on my G4 1.25GHz, but you'll pay a pretty penny for it on eBay.

It's extremely frustrating how Apple discontinues past versions of the Mac OS immediately when a new version is released, which is particularly bad with Snow Leopard 10.6 cutting out PPC support. Lousy situation all around, but not a license to pirate a copy.
posted by porn in the woods at 1:27 PM on April 20, 2010


Given the choice between the several versions, I think your best bet would be Tiger (10.4), as it's much more functional than Panther (10.3) and Leopard (10.5) will perform poorly on that machine.
posted by Oktober at 1:28 PM on April 20, 2010


What was the version of OS X that was current when this mini was new? 10.2? I don't think there's anything wrong with downloading a version of that if it came with the computer.
posted by speedgraphic at 1:41 PM on April 20, 2010


I have Leopard running on mine. It is slow but I only use the machine as a home server. I rarely log in directly unless I am scanning a document, as that's the only thing I can't access over the network. It will probably be faster running Tiger, but you will lose some features that were introduced with Leopard.
posted by caution live frogs at 1:44 PM on April 20, 2010


If you are willing, you can go with a PPC version of a Linux flavor, such as Unbuntu:

http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ports/releases/intrepid/release/
posted by GJSchaller at 2:28 PM on April 20, 2010


10.4 Tiger is a good choice if you can't land a copy of Leopard - it runs happily and quite nimbly on my 1st gen G4/867MHz PowerBook 12" (Leopard introduced some weird bugs I couldn't resolve, like a menu bar that would flash every 15 minutes or so).

Caveat: software support is going to start drying up for Tiger - for example, the next major release of Firefox will drop 10.4 support.
posted by porn in the woods at 2:55 PM on April 20, 2010


OS X is not legally available for download. You're asking for advice on illegal activity, which is pretty much a no-no on the green.
posted by chairface at 3:31 PM on April 20, 2010


I ran 10.5 (Leopard) on a PowerBook G4 1.5GHz, maxed at 1.25GB RAM. I didn't really notice a significant drop in performance compared to 10.4. Given that more current software is available for 10.5 I'd recommend that, so long as you up your RAM to 1GB.
posted by 6550 at 4:13 PM on April 20, 2010


(I'm at a university where a server accessible to authenticated students and faculty offers downloads of site-licensed OSX builds from Tiger to Snow Leopard. While it's good to point out that asking about piracy is wrong, there's room for a benefit of the doubt here too.)
posted by caution live frogs at 10:31 AM on April 21, 2010


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