Best upgrade path for Leopard to Mavericks?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by ryan-e-w, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. ryan-e-w macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2012
    Upgrading a friend to Mavericks this weekend. Their computer is still on Leopard, but plenty capable of running Mavericks.

    I'm planning on doing a USB install of Snow Leopard, and then Mavericks via the App Store.

    Remembering now that you can jump from Leopard -> Lion as well…

    Do you think there will be any difference between going:
    Leopard -> Snow Leopard -> Mavericks vs. Leopard -> Lion -> Mavericks?

    Would either be easier than the other to do a USB install with?
  2. simsaladimbamba, Jan 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014


    Nov 28, 2010
    You can only jump to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion from Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard via that USB Lion install stick for 69 USD. It is cheaper to go via Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, as Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard only costs 29 USD, unless you already have it. OS X 10.9 Mavericks is free regardless if you upgrade from Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
  3. tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    No. Only mavericks is free.

    There is 1 advantage in going from leopard to lion first though instead of snow leopard. If you plan on making a bootable usb of mavericks it's better to do it in lion, not snow leopard.
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Sorry, was a typo.

    How so? I can make a bootable OS X 10.9 Mavericks installer in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard just fine using CCC or Disk Utility.
  5. tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    The method for making bootable usbs is different for mavericks.

    There is now a built-in app to make a bootable usb for mavericks called createinstallmedia which only works in lion, mountain lion or mavericks. It doesn't work in snow leopard.

    You can follow this method to make the bootable usb for mavericks:
  6. Zmijutin macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2012
    Zagreb, Croatia
  7. ouimetnick macrumors 68020


    Aug 28, 2008
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    How about backing your important stuff up, and doing a clean install?
  8. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    This is what I did for my iMac--totally smooth update. :)
  9. ryan-e-w thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2012
    Got my solution after reading simsaladimbamba's post about pricing and already owning past OS X versions.

    Realized that I had purchased Lion through the App Store when it was released, and that it can still be re-downloaded.

    So I should be able to create a bootable USB Lion install with that, and then jump to Mavericks through the normal update process.

    No re-buying old OSs to use as a stepping stone, nor dealing with shady pirated versions necessary.

    Thanks for discussing!
  10. KoolAid-Drink, Jan 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014

    KoolAid-Drink macrumors 65816

    Sep 18, 2013
    I recommend you change an entry in one of the PLISTS currently on Leopard, to fool the Lion installer into thinking your OS X version is Snow Leopard. This is because Lion won't upgrade from Leopard, and will rather spit an error message out.

    So, before you do an install of Lion, change that plist file. I'll look online and see which plist needs to be edited, then let you know.


    Aha! Here you go:


    Scroll down to the "quick-but-techie" way. Follow the instructions. MAKE SURE YOU DO A BACKUP FIRST! Then, attempt to upgrade using the bootable USB drive with the Lion installer on it.

    Let us know how it goes.
  11. ryan-e-w thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2012
    Wow, you probably just saved me a ton of time. I was thinking that you could do Lion over Leopard without any edits. I'll try the .plist route. Thanks so much for dropping in!
  12. abcdefg12345 macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2013
    why don't u make a bootable usb and erase the hard drive and install mavericks from the usb
    this method worked for me when i did clean install from mountain lion to mavericks

    Your 8 GB USB drive should be called Untitled and formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). The installer should be called Install OS X and should be in your Applications folder.

    Run this in terminal and wait about 20 minutes:

    sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --nointeraction

    You should see something like this:

    Erasing Disk: 0%... 10%... 20%... 100%...
    Copying installer files to disk...
    Copy complete.
    Making disk bootable...
    Copying boot files...
    Copy complete.

    You can then boot up from the USB by holding down the option key, then install from the USB.
  13. tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    Yes that's the proper way to make the bootable usb of mavericks, provided you already have lion, mountain lion or mavericks installed.

    But he's got leopard.
  14. KoolAid-Drink macrumors 65816

    Sep 18, 2013
  15. drew627 macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2013
    Yeah, clean install of Mavericks with no intermediary steps is the best way to go.

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