Snow Leopard on iMac 5K?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by neildexter82, May 3, 2015.

  1. neildexter82 macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2013
    Snow Leopard was the last best OS X from Apple (well I think anyway), will an iMac 5K run Snow Leopard?

    I know Apple say do not put a previous OS X on your system when it comes with a newer version, but I have seen other threads where putting a previous OS X on a Mac that comes with a newer version does work. I can't find anything though about Snow Leopard on an iMac 5K.
  2. Dandu macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2009

    Snow Leopard will not work with recent CPU, and there is no driver (kext) for modern iMac.
  3. xmichaelp macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    No. There isn't even retina scaling in it.

    Leave that ugly old dated OS in the previous decade where it belongs.
  4. frompast macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2010

    Retina Aqua is beautiful :eek:
  5. PBMB macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2015
    No, it will not run. Generally, each Mac generation can run only current or newer versions of the OS. I don't quite remember if there were exceptions in the past, but even if they were, this is the rule.

    If you absolutely need Snow Leopard, your only option is VMWare Fusion and a copy of Snow Leopard Server. VMWare Fusion can create a VM only from the server version of Snow Leopard. The problem is where to find it because it is not available anymore through the usual channels. I hear that some local Apple customer services may still be able to send you the installation DVD.
  6. MarkC426 macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2008
    You can get Snow Leopard Server on Amazon (UK) but it's damn expensive.
    Also I was looking into VMWare for using old OS's and from what I could see Mac Guest OS's had a maximum resolution of 800x600!
  7. PBMB macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2015
    If you make the mistake to buy SL Server from Amazon or eBay, they will "rob" you for sure! In the cases where Apple can send you today the installation DVD, it will not charge more than 20 euros. Anything more is unacceptable.

    I think this is solved with the installation of VMWare tools. VMWare offers good resolutions for much older operating systems like Windows 2000.
  8. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Apple don't support their older software. So no. Never going to happen.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Only in a VM as mentioned. Apple has not and will not update SL with drivers and kexts to interact with the new CPU, GPU (and other components), so it will utterly fail. You'll need to use Vmware Fusion and install it as a guest OS. Performance won't be great but it will run.
  10. MarkC426 macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2008
    In the latest VMWare (7) the installation guide highlights Mac OS Guests are limited to SVGA with VMWare tools.
    If anyone has this running at a higher resolution, I would be interested to know, currently I've been put off buying it.
  11. PBMB macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2015
    Interesting. I would gladly test it but for the moment I don't have SL Server. I know though that it runs Windows 2000 at much higher resolution than SVGA.
  12. MarkC426 macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2008
    This limitation appears to only apply to Mac Guests, Windows and Linux don't mention the limitation.
  13. roadkill401 macrumors 6502


    Jan 11, 2015
    I don't know what version of VMWare you are working with. I don't happen to have SnowLeopard handy, but I have Mavericks working on my 5K iMac under VMWare Fusion 7.1.1. I can get it easily to 2560x1440, and have gotten it to work at 3200x1800 without issue as well.

    I have Mountain Lion, but have not given that a try.

    Now at my local mac store, I know they have had the 5K iMac running Maverick, as the toolbar at the bottom of the screen was not the Yosemite design. I have personally wondered if I wanted to give it a try to see about installing Maverick onto my 5K as that is what I have running on my mac mini for the family. I sort of like the graphics with that version, and it was my first mac so I don't really know any different. I got use to Yosemite so I just have not let it bother me. I am finally beginning to deprogram myself from Win7, so I figure that it's best not to rock the boat. So I just have the VM just in case.
  14. mdenwood macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2006
    I have Snow Leopard server running under VMWare fusion on a retina macbook pro - it works absolutely fine in terms of screen resolution etc.

    One of the complications in getting it installed was that 10.6.0 - 10.6.3 (I think) won't run on some newer processors even under virtualisation. I can't remember the details, but my only option to get it installed from the 10.6.0 disc I had was to install it on an old laptop (2010 macbook pro) then update to 10.6.7 on the old machine before transferring the virtual machine to the newer machine. It did work in the end though!
  15. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
  16. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    No. Even if you could (or you install it in a VM), Snow Leopard doesn't support HiDPI for the Retina display.

    It's a great OS for older Macs such as my 2008 MacBook Air, but for the 5K you're better off sticking with Yosemite (not that you even have a choice).

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