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Mac OS X Lion *does* run on Core Duos/Core Solos.

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.7 Lion' started by iMacC2D, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502



    By removing System/Library/CoreServices/PlatformSupport.plist, an unsupported Intel based system (Core Solo, Core Duo, or any Mac that's been upgraded to a Core 2 Duo) will successfully boot into Mac OS X Lion Developer Preview. It has no issues running any of the applications (Safari works, for example) and the overall speed of the system is on par and faster depending on spec than its Core 2 Duo based counterpart. (Compared with my Late 2006 CD iMac Core 2 Duo)

    You should also be able to add the motherboard identifier to PlatformSupport.plist and have it work. The motherboard identifier can be retrieved by booting a Core Duo from a standard Lion install in Verbose Mode, or you can run Primate Labs Geekbench which will give you the motherboard identifier once it's benchmark results have been submitted to their online database.

    Overall, owners of Core Solos, Core Duos and upgraded-to Core 2 Duos can hope that Apple either keeps this in place until the final release, or even better, their machines won't be obsoleted after all and this is only a temporary measure. Fingers crossed.

    Credits to mcdermd on the 68k Macintosh Liberation Army forums for pointing out the method of removing the plist to bypass the board identifier check to make it boot on a Core 2 Duo upgraded Mac Mini (Early 2006). After some quick checks on an old iMac Core Duo I had around, i'm pleased to be able to say it works perfectly on here as well.
  2. macrumors 6502

    Steve Ballmer

    But the average Mac user will never know about this because they will never edit/alter/remove such .plist files. Interesting to know it is possible, though.
  3. macrumors 6502


    For sure. It'll be for the tweakers more than anything, but some minor modification can get you a long way with an unsupported machine and the fact it's possible at all is great, imho.

    Unless Apple goes ahead and changes it by the time the gold master comes around. That would be a problem.
  4. Contributor


    It's cool it's been hacked too show it "can" be done, but it "wont" simply because of what's posted above me, in that the average user that is bummed their machine is becoming unsupported will either upgrade too a new one or stay on Snow Leopard.

    For advanced users it's great though, although I'm not sure why :p
  5. macrumors 6502

    Steve Ballmer

    That's very much a possibility, especially since Apple tends to lock out older systems as an incentive to upgrade to new hardware.
  6. macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    I'm also not sure, that Rosetta will be disabled forever in Lion. I think Apple disabled it in the Lion DP, because they need to port it to 64-Bit Intel x86_64 instructions.
  7. macrumors member

    iMacC2D - is your machine having issues with sleep? My Macbook seemed to be having a couple but I am suspecting that this was due to being booted off USB/ODD ATA connections. Not quite ready to install on the SSD just yet, but a pleasant surprise that my Macbook from 2006 is still running the latest OS in 2011
  8. macrumors 6502


    Couldn't give you a definitive answer there. I've been running it from an external USB SATA case as well. I haven't noticed any sleep issues so far, but i've only played around with it for a limited amount of time before booting back into Snow Leopard.
  9. macrumors member

    aye don't suppose it'd be as big a problem on an iMac! I wonder if it will be killed in the next build... certainly hope not. If the Kernel is 32bit and the applications are still being compiled for 32bit, what else is there?
  10. macrumors member

    I remember the same thing went on with the 10.5 update. It would check for a given processor speed. The easy way around was to put the drive in something else, upgrade, and put it back...
  11. macrumors 6502


    Difference with 10.5 is that the checks were at the installer level. If you could get the OS installed on another machine or skip the checks in the installer via other methods, you didn't need to do anything else afterward.

    It's very similar in this case, you can install from a newer machine or even Target Disk Mode the older Mac to a newer Mac and run the installer on the newer Mac to the older Macs drive. The difference is because the check is actually built in to the operating system, you have to remember to trash that plist file after the installer is done.

    As far as the scenario goes though, it's pretty much the same. Leopard ran well on quite a few G4s, especially the 800MHz Dual Processor models that were also excluded from support. Leopard upgrades on older machines, although it never became a mainstream occurrence, did become popular with the technically inclined and hobbyist groups.
  12. Stevelane, Mar 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2011

    macrumors newbie

    Yes it does boot!

    Thanks for the tip iMacC2D I would never have got it going without!
    I am running an ancient core 2 Duo 2.16 iMac and so far Lion works fine for me. Of course it's early days yet.

  13. macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Btw, as long as

    lipo -info /mach_kernel
    returns "i386", you should be able to use Lion on 32-Bit Intel machines.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    This is great for tweakers, but I'd expect the Lion experience to not be optimal on those machines. How does it feel on the Core Duo iMac?
  15. macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Please read the thread!

  16. macrumors 6502a

    Oops, must have missed that bit!
  17. macrumors 6502

    Rather odd that Apple have (currently) chosen not to 'support' 32-bit processors, but that the kernel is still a fat binary..... does this mean they are currently undecided... or are they doing a 2006 "just in case" scenario?

    Most of us with 64 bit machines could do without the extra fat!
  18. macrumors 6502


    I have it running from an external hard drive, so the disk operations aren't as quick as they could be. However apart from that the performance is the same as my Late 2006 Core 2 Duo iMac and MacBook. It's not as quick as a current model machine of course, but it doesn't feel slow. As a matter of fact it feels significantly faster than Snow Leopard in some areas.

    I don't think users of 64-bit machines would gain much, if anything, from having 32-bit support dropped from the operating system. I'm not even sure removing the 32-bit kernel would be an option since a number of Core 2 Duo based Macs are still only capable of running the 32-bit kernel, even under Lion Developer Preview.
  19. richard.mac, Mar 5, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011

    macrumors 603


    oh wow! thanks iMacC2D! (such a contradicting username :D) i havent installed Lion on my Core Duo MBP yet as it was not supported. i knew it would be as simple as deleting/altering a file! as i saw the kernel was indeed i386… damn you Apple! :mad:
  20. macrumors member

    The kernel I can understand, but why is everything else still being compiled in 32bit as well as 64bit? Lion 11a390 may be the last hurrah for Core Duos, I bet retail definitely wont run :-(
  21. macrumors 601


    I'm pretty sure that almost everyone who cares about having lion on their computer has upgraded their old intel machines, and the ones who haven't upgraded come here to complain and find out about these solutions.
    But I wouldn't be surprised if this support was gone in the final release, didn't Leopard support G3s in the betas and then drop that support for the final release?
  22. macrumors member

    Leopard is running on my 550 Mhz TiBook; quite well, in fact. I still have to download the Lion preview when I get time (I see it on the App Store but just haven't gotten around to it) and give this a try.
  23. macrumors 65816


    That is indeed encouraging and all the more egregious from Apple’s side. No excuses accepted from the fanboys.
  24. macrumors 6502


    Such an awful username... it took me about 4 and a half seconds to come up with it and I haven't been able to shake it since. :p

    I believe you would be correct. Early releases of Mac OS X Leopard did have limited support for PowerPC G3 processor based machines. It was dropped from later builds. Whether it happens with Lion remains yet to be seen.
  25. macrumors 603


    so i cant get it to install. i restored the installer to a flash drive and removed the plist and tried to install while booted into SL, but it says it cannot be installed on this Mac.

    i then i tried to boot into the installer and install, but it still says the same. tried adding my Mac's mobo id, but didnt work.

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