Chapter 2. Installing Snow Leopard and Migrating Data

New Macs come with Snow Leopard (10.6) preinstalled, but if you’re running Leopard or earlier, you’ll need to install Snow Leopard before you can have fun with it. Even if you bought a new Mac yesterday with Snow Leopard preinstalled, you may need to move data from your old Mac to your new Mac. If you fit into either of these categories, this chapter is for you.

Which Macs Are Compatible?

Snow Leopard is compatible with all Intel-based Macs. If your Mac is one of the following (or newer), you can run Snow Leopard. There are a few other requirements: 1 GB of RAM (early MacBook Pros and Mini might not have it) and 5 GB of disk space.

  • Mac Mini (early 2006 and later)

  • MacBook (all models)

  • Mac Pro (all models)

  • iMac (early 2006 and later)

  • Xserve (late 2006)

  • MacBook Pro (all models)

  • MacBook Air (all models)

What determines which Mac makes the cut? The processor. Snow Leopard is Intel-only, so any Mac that relies on a PowerPC processor can’t run Snow Leopard. If you’re wondering whether your Mac is Intel- or PowerPC-based, a quick trip to the Apple menu will resolve the issue. Click the Apple in the upper-lefthand corner of the screen and select About This Mac. The information is next to the entry for Processor as shown in Figure 2-1.

If your Mac says Intel, you are ready to go
Figure 2-1. If your Mac says Intel, you are ready to go

Compatibility isn’t the entire story with Snow Leopard. Depending ...

Get Mac OS X Snow Leopard Pocket Guide now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.