Will new Airs run OSX 10.6 ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by skinnfell, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. skinnfell macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2011
    Sorry if this sounds like a stupid question, but
    is there any chance the new sandybridge Airs will NOT run OSX 10.6?

    The more I learn about 10.7 the more I realize it is not for me. Especially the lack of rosetta is going to be a tough nut to crack, and I am not too keen on the new auto-everything functions either.
    And now since apple has decided to hold off the new airs until lion is ready, I am worried that they might (for some reason, tecnical or policy-wise) not run earlier versions of osx.

    Can anyone offer an educated guess on this?

    EDIT: I do not have the funds to buy until the end of summer, when most machines most likely will come pre-installed with lion. Hence my predicament.
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Yes, there is a good chance they will not be supported to run 10.6. If they only ever ship with 10.7 (this will obviously depend on when they are released) then Apple will not build support for them into any version of 10.6. There may be hacks to enable 10.6, especially if there already 10.6 drivers for all hardware in them but I would not rely on that.
  3. GekkePrutser macrumors 6502a


    Aug 18, 2005
    I'm also afraid they might not be able to run 10.6.

    The whole 'waiting on the OS to be ready before launching the new MacBook Airs' thing is just not Apple. I don't think they'd easily give up the opportunity to make a big turnover especially at the end of the quarter.

    So it could well be that they have other reasons for doing so, such as not having to bother building driver support for them in 10.6.

    On the other hand, the hardware will be pretty similar to the 13" MacBook Pro, same videochip, same class of processor and chipset. I can't imagine it would be a lot of work.

    But I wouldn't count on it. It might be good idea to wait until they come out and someone tries 10.6 on them, and if it doesn't then buy either a new one in a sale somewhere or a refurb old one if they're still available. But if they're priced well they might run out soon. Also, if Lion is delayed so will the Macbook and in that case Apple will probably run out of old stock before the new one comes out. So it's a risk either way. Hard to say what to do.

    I'm going to wait either way, I think I'll like Lion, and I don't like being behind with my OS versions. Besides, the full-screen feature sounds like it's made for the 11"!
  4. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    I seriously doubt the new 2011 Airs will run Snow Leopard without a hack.

    Like others have said, there's support for Sandy Bridge and the Intel HD 3000 in 10.6.7, so that might be an option.

    But the process would have to be something like:

    1. Install 10.6.3 (last retail release of OSX) to an external Hard Drive.
    2. Update that external HD to 10.6.8 (probably out by the time new Airs come out)
    3. Boot your 2011 MBA from the external (and pray it works - Apple may have other things they put in the 2011 MBA That 10.6.8 won't know what to do with).
    4. If it works - clone the external back to the internal SSD on the MBA and pray that any updates from Apple don't bork your system drive.

    Not an ideal situation to say the least.

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