Chapter 2. Installing Lion and Migrating Data

New Macs come with Lion (10.7) preinstalled, but that doesn’t mean buying a new Mac with Lion on it is the only way to get Apple’s latest and greatest operating system. A much more economical way to enjoy Lion is to upgrade your current Mac, something you can do for a fraction of the cost of a new machine. This chapter teaches you how.

If you’re lucky enough to have a Mac with Lion preinstalled, you likely want to move all or some of the data off your old computer onto your new, Lion-powered Mac. In that case, see Moving Data and Applications from Another Computer to learn how.

What You Need to Run Lion

Snow Leopard could run on any Intel-based Mac, but Lion is slightly choosier, jettisoning some models of Intel-based Macs from the lineup. To run Lion, you’ll need an x86-64 processor or better. If “x86-64” doesn’t mean much to you, you’re not alone. To help clarify, here are the actual names of chips that meet that criterion:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo

  • Intel Core i3

  • Intel Core i5

  • Intel Core i7

  • Xeon

Since most people don’t bother committing the names of their processors to memory, there’s an easy way to find out what kind of chip you have: Go to the Apple menu () and select About This Mac. The window that appears includes the name of your processor. If it’s on the list above, your Mac is compatible.

Warning

Thanks to a weird naming convention, there’s been ...

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

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