How to find out program serial number through Terminal?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kathrynk, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. kathrynk macrumors newbie


    Nov 25, 2013
    Hi guys. I just installed Mavericks a couple days ago and it's been a nightmare. Some of my apps (which I use for work) are not working and even worse: I don't have their serial numbers anymore.

    My idea is to find out the serial numbers through Terminal, so I can restore my macbook back to Snow Leopard with my original CDs. Since I'll lose all my HD and will have to install everything again (feels like dying when I think about it), I need to find a way to have these serial numbers again

    Also, if anyone knows how to downgrade from Mavericks to Snow Leopard without losing/deleting my programs, I may even make a donation if that works. I am THAT desperate. Thank you so much :(
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Hmmm, interesting question. With regards to application serials, shouldn't you be able to contact the developer with your proof of purchase and get your serial?

    I saw this command: ioreg -l | grep IOPlatformSerialNumber but I believe that will give the serial of the machine, not a specific application.
  3. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    How serial numbers are treated depends on the application, AFAIK, there is no standardised way to work with them. Some would write them into their plist file, some would make a special signature file in the preference directories. It is not even clear whether all applications save the serial somewhere, they can just use a some sort of cryptographic key to indicate that you have passed the license check.

    You could try copying the application data for the applications you need from Library/Preferences and Library/Application Support, blanking your HDD, installing SL, putting the data back and hoping that it would work. If you do that, please make a full disc backup of Mavericks first, because there is no certainty at all that you will get even one app to run...

    The best solution would be to do what kathrynk says: contact the developer and ask for their help. And in general, you should be very careful with system upgrades when working with outdated legacy software..
  4. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    Or you could do a time machine restore to pre-mavericks :)

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