Installing Snow Leopard on ATV1

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Wicked1, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. Wicked1 macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2009
    New Jersey
    ok so how do you do this, and how does an ATV1 work with SL installed? also will this allow you to use the USB port on the ATV1?

    (you might consider turning your ATV1 into a Leopard iTunes server and picking up an ATV2 as a replacement. If you install Leopard on your ATV1 then you can attach one of those external storage drives via USB and let it store and serve your entire iTunes library)
  2. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    Why on earth would you want Snow Leopard on 256mb of RAM? Tiger and Leopard work fine, but I don't think people have bothered with SL. The latest iTunes works on Leopard, and if you only need a server surely iTunes 9 will suffice which runs on Tiger.

    I've considered doing the same thing, if I did I would definitely go with Tiger as Leopard is unnecessary.

    And yes, the USB port does work, you can use a hub too if needs be.
  3. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    You can do it with tiger (no sound) but snow leopard would be almost unusable even if you could get it to boot.
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    The ATV1 uses a unique audio chip such that the retail OS X versions will not support it, thus you have to use the Tiger that came with the ATV if you want audio.
  5. Bill.the.Cat macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2011
    The installation process is described in detail here:

    Snow Leopard (10.6) will not work. Leopard will work fine, 10.5.8 if you are putting it on server duty, 10.5.5 if you want internal audio to work.* USB works fine but there's only one port so if you want more things attached you will need a hub. I set mine up just borrowing a Dell keyboard with built-in hub, a mouse, and an HDMI monitor. Both of my ATV1 servers run headless, though, and require very little monitoring. If I do need a GUI I VNC into them (Apple calls it "screen sharing," command-K from Finder).

    As mentioned you are very limited by RAM. This isn't a big deal if all it's doing is home server duty. You could even run it as a little kid's computer with just a web browser, but you can't really do any multitasking.

    *I can confirm that audio *does* work on 10.5.5; if you want audio on 10.5.8 you can use a cheap USB audio adapter. The thread I linked above has some discussion on appropriate USB audio options.

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