Running OS X 10.4 on new Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by AlbertEinstein, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. AlbertEinstein macrumors regular


    Jan 3, 2013
    As some of you are aware of, my iMac exploded. So i went and ordered myself a brand new Mac Mini, and now i am having some second thoughts.

    You see, my old iMac dual-booted OSX 10.8 and 10.4. The problem is that the new Macs can only run 10.8 (if I'm wrong don't hesitate to correct me) and as far as i can see, no-one has documented anything about running 10.4.

    Q: Why would you even want to put such an old operating system on your computer?

    A: My line of work requires me to use Tiger. Simple as that.

    Any help (and then i really mean any help) is appreciated!:apple:
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The earliest version of OSX that the 2012 macs can run is Mountain Lion.

    The older versions simply do not have the device drivers for the Ivy Bridge chipsets. There's no way to run 10.4 on any current mac.

    Edit: and when I say no way, there is absolutely no way, no hacks, not tricks no nothing.
  3. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2011
    Lucky Country
    Is it to run Tiger itself, or Classic Mode?
  4. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000


    Nov 15, 2012
  5. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    What does your line of work do when all the obsolete hardware fails and you're left with no way to use an obsolete operating system?
  6. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Then really, you need to:
    1. (short-term): buy a second hand Mac that still runs Tiger;
    2. (long-term): buy a brand new Mac and work out how to migrate your data to newer apps.

    As said above, you need to prepare yourself for the days when Tiger hardware will no longer function. (Not far off.)

    There is almost no line of work that doesn't have better, more fully-featured software now than was available when Tiger was released.
    If you are using some old program that only runs on Tiger, and all your data is in some proprietary format, then you need to ask yourself what are you going to do when you can't run that app anymore.
  7. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    How about a virtual machine....


    Never tried it, but I guess worth a shot. Nothing made in the last 3+ years will natively run Tiger.
  8. AlbertEinstein thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 3, 2013
    As for the outdated OS; i can't do much. My department is forced to use 10.4 for certain things. There is no way that anyone would finance the amount of work that is needed to port it.

    Would it be possible to install Snow Leopard then? I know it's a long shot, but otherwise i will be required to buy an old Macbook.
  9. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    As previously stated, only 10.8 will run. Snow Leopard is 10.6.

    I'm curious: What software are you using that is too expensive to update so it will run on current hardware? Is it a custom program that was written eons ago? It simply makes no sense to be tied to a program that is only compatible with an out-of-date operating system.

    At some point your company will be forced to do something because reliable hardware will be difficult, if not impossible to locate...
  10. benwiggy, Feb 18, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013

    benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    You can't run an OS version that is earlier than the hardware. It won't have the necessary code to run that hardware.
    You will need to buy a 2006 or Mid-2007 MacBook. A Late-2007 MB is too late, as it came with Leopard. If you need the Classic environment, then you will need a PPC G4 Powerbook.

    I'm surprised that a business would not be prepared to invest in maintaining their ability to work into the future. If they require you to have a computer compatible with a seven-year-old OS, then they should pay for it.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but your company's position is unsustainable. Are they still using Classic Mac OS software? There are alternative emulators that can run in Mountain Lion, such as SheepShaver.

    What is the software?
  11. sarthak, Feb 18, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013

    sarthak macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2012
    Try Parallels, it should let you run OS X Tiger within OS X Mountain Lion. They claim that it can run Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion. Tiger might work in Parallels, you'll just need a Tiger DVD. Try it with the Parallels demo before you buy the software.

    If you're using classic Rosetta apps, then Snow Leopard within Parallels is the best option. Don't buy old hardware, Parallels can run older versions of OS X within Mountain Lion. It's fast, fluid and you can share anything between Snow Leopard and Mountain Lion. You can use it in full screen and it'll run almost as smooth as if you're dual booting.
  12. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    The problem is that an Intel version of Tiger was never sold, so you're on your own as to finding an installer from an early Mac, and then circumventing the feature that locks the installer to that specific model of Mac.
  13. jchase2057, Feb 18, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013

    jchase2057 macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2010
    I too would like to know what software requires tiger. Does it require PPC? If yes then get an older system running 10.6 and use rosetta. Does it require OS 9? Then just get a g4 mini for less than 100 bucks with classic and stack them and use a kvm switch.
  14. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "The problem is that an Intel version of Tiger was never sold, so you're on your own as to finding an installer from an early Mac, and then circumventing the feature that locks the installer to that specific model of Mac."

    An "Intel version" of Tiger may never have been _sold_ (as a standalone package), but there are "Intel versions" of 10.4. I have one installed on my 2007 white Intel iMac.

    Just because the original poster can't _buy_ it, means it's not out there to be found and had.

    All that's required is some "lookin' around"….
  15. jchase2057 macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2010
    Getting the OS is the easy part. He wants to run it on unsupported hardware.
  16. Giuly macrumors 68040


    There are Tiger Server DVDs, which happen to support both Intel and PowerPC. But a quick look at 'mac os x tiger for intel x86' on the googly web should sort this out as well.
  17. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    Only in a VM. I've Mac OS X 10.4.11 (Intel) in a VMware Fusion VM. I installed first Mac OS X 10.5.6 on one virtual partition, then started this version in the VM, installed Mac OS X 10.4.4 (a CD/DVD from one of the first Intel iMacs) on a second virtual partition, installed the Mac OS X 10.4.11 (Intel) combo update over the installed version of Mac OS X 10.4.4 (without a restart), then i selected the new Mac OS X 10.4.11 installation on the second partition as my startup disk. I removed the machine check from the Mac OS X 10.4.4 installation package, because this was a machine specific version of Mac OS X 10.4.4 (for iMacs). No versions of VMware Fusion support OS X < 10.4.11 in a VM, and the VMware Tools are incompatible with Mac OS X 10.4.x. That means you must modify:
    if you want a fixed screen resolution & other settings. AFAIK, VMware Fusion + Tiger in a VM support both boot modes (BIOS and EFI modes).
  18. AlbertEinstein thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 3, 2013
    I am not allowed to tell you what software my department uses.

    Correct me if i'm wrong, but I tought you couldn't run the client versions of OS X on virtualization software due to Apples licensing?:apple:
  19. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    That is correct for 10.4 through 10.6 client software, and if I'm not mistaken only 10.5 Server and later allow legal use in a VM. You would need to get the 10.4 Server license agreement somehow to see if it permits use as a virtual machine. It may be that the OS X 10.4 Server license predates the notion of using it in a virtual machine so it may not be addressed at all.

    In the absence of more information, you really would be well served to underline to your management the precarious business position they are in. It is not a workable business model to rely on obsolete and unavailable hardware to do a job. Mac OS is not like Windows in that it's impossible to just indefinitely keep using an old version on newer hardware, and it can't be treated as if that's an option.


    It is worth noting that this violates the software license, particularly if it's to be installed on a machine which never shipped with that version of OS. If the OP's use requires some secrecy, it's reasonable to assume that they may also pay attention to such things.
  20. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    I'd read the license carefully. The way I have understood Apple's licenses is that the license allowed you to run _one_ copy of the OS on _one_ Apple labeled (nowadays "Apple branded") computer. I don't think virtualisation is every mentioned.

    Obviously if you run say 10.7 in a VM on a Mac with 10.7 then that's two copies of the OS, not one. And if your VM runs on a PC, then it's not on an Apple labeled computer.
  21. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    Gnasher, sounds like you're the one who needs to carefully read the license agreements.

    From the Apple Lion license agreement:
  22. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    Sounds like a typical government operation... what a surprise! :rolleyes:
  23. MichaelLAX macrumors 6502a

    Oct 31, 2011
    After communicating with that German blogger about his experiences, he admitted that he was only able to install Tiger on VMWare Fusion v2 (and not on v4.x). I repeated his experience just to confirm that it would work.

    YES: Installing Snow Leopard (with Rosetta) into Parallels for use in Lion or Mountain Lion

    There is a common Urban Myth that Snow Leopard cannot be virtualized for use in Lion or Mt. Lion on Macintosh hardware. That myth has been debunked over the last year or so...
  24. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    Again, not an urban myth. The license terms and the technical ability to install a non-server version of 10.6 and earlier are two separate things.

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