People accuse electronics manufacturers of built-in obsolescence: that hardware is designed to stop working or not be useful after a relatively short period of time. Apple has generally avoided that with Macs, letting many of its models receive OS X and macOS updates for five to seven years after the computer version’s initial release. And some people keep older systems running indefinitely, as I noted in a recent column that started with people’s love of 10.6.8 Snow Leopard, now over a decade old.
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But Apple doesn’t provide a guide as such as to the “terminal” version of its operating system you can install on any given computer. That is, how do you find the last version your computer is compatible with?
You can track it down, but you have to work in reverse. Apple has a page for each release that in older versions of the OS describes the features required in Macs to handle it, and in newer versions lists the oldest models supported or spell out every model. There may be additional requirements, such as minimum RAM installed, and one always needs a certain amount of free disk space, often specified..
For example, for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, released in mid-2011, Apple notes that an “Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor” is required, but not which models; 2GB of RAM is also needed. Fortunately, third-party sites can provide the reverse lookup that helps narrow this down. EveryMac.com, which dates back nearly 25 years, has pages that list every Mac model by processor. Click on Core 2 Duo, and you can find that the late 2006 17-inch iMac is among the earliest that can be upgraded to Lion.
Hackintosh.com links to everything you need to build a Hackintosh and get macOS Monterey (macOS 12) as well as many earlier versions of Mac OS X running on an unsupported computer - instructions, step-by-step 'how to' guides, and tutorials - in addition to installation videos, lists of compatible computers and parts, and communities for support. Easy to use for a new Mac user I have always heard that Apple puts emphasis on safety when using their products which is why I have used iPhones for years. This Mac mini is my first venture into owning a computer since it's the first time I have the money to buy an actual computer, even if it is 2020 and the mini is the 2012 model. Download Mac OS X 32-bit i386/PPC installer; Download Mac OS X 64-bit/32-bit installer; Python 3.6.2 - July 17, 2017. Download Mac OS X 64-bit/32-bit installer; Python 3.6.1 - March 21, 2017. Download Mac OS X 64-bit/32-bit installer; Python 3.4.6 - Jan. No files for this release. Python 3.5.3 - Jan. Download Mac OS X 32-bit.
Finding some of these Mac updates is tricky, but our colleagues at Macworld UK have a rundown of how to find downloads for OS X and macOS releases over the last decade. If you can only find an installer that upgrades from an existing OS X or macOS release, you may have to install a later version, often 10.6.8, before using the upgrader.
Check what version of OS X or macOS your Mac supports. The latest version of macOS, macOS Catalina, is supported on any Mac introduced in 2012 or newer. If your Mac doesn't support macOS Catalina, it might be supported by macOS High Sierra, which requires a Mac introduced in 2009 or 2010. The simplest way to install macOS or OS X on a new hard drive is by using Internet Recovery Mode. This mode is only available on Apple computers made after 2009 that were running OS X Lion or later. If your Mac is from before 2009 or never had OS X Lion, click here to jump to the next section.
Here are the links to find system requirements for Lion and later:
This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by Macworld reader Amma.
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This directory contains binaries for a base distribution and packages to run on macOS. Releases for old Mac OS X systems (through Mac OS X 10.5) and PowerPC Macs can be found in the old directory.
Note: Although we take precautions when assembling binaries, please use the normal precautions with downloaded executables.
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Package binaries for R versions older than 3.2.0 are only available from the CRAN archive so users of such versions should adjust the CRAN mirror setting (https://cran-archive.r-project.org) accordingly.
R 4.1.1 'Kick Things' released on 2021/08/10
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Please check the SHA1 checksum of the downloaded image to ensure that it has not been tampered with or corrupted during the mirroring process. For example type
openssl sha1 R-4.1.1.pkg
in the Terminal application to print the SHA1 checksum for the R-4.1.1.pkg image. On Mac OS X 10.7 and later you can also validate the signature using
pkgutil --check-signature R-4.1.1.pkg
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|R-4.1.1.pkg (notarized and signed)|
|R 4.1.1 binary for macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) and higher, Intel 64-bit build, signed and notarized package.|
Contains R 4.1.1 framework, R.app GUI 1.77 in 64-bit for Intel Macs, Tcl/Tk 8.6.6 X11 libraries and Texinfo 6.7. The latter two components are optional and can be ommitted when choosing 'custom install', they are only needed if you want to use the tcltk R package or build package documentation from sources.
Note: the use of X11 (including tcltk) requires XQuartz to be installed since it is no longer part of OS X. Always re-install XQuartz when upgrading your macOS to a new major version.
This release supports Intel Macs, but it is also known to work using Rosetta2 on M1-based Macs. For native Apple silicon arm64 binary see below.
Important: this release uses Xcode 12.4 and GNU Fortran 8.2. If you wish to compile R packages from sources, you may need to download GNU Fortran 8.2 - see the tools directory.
|R-4.1.1-arm64.pkg (notarized and signed)|
|R 4.1.1 binary for macOS 11 (Big Sur) and higher, Apple silicon arm64 build, signed and notarized package.|
Contains R 4.1.1 framework, R.app GUI 1.77 for Apple silicon Macs (M1 and higher), Tcl/Tk 8.6.11 X11 libraries and Texinfo 6.7.
Important: this version does NOT work on older Intel-based Macs.
Note: the use of X11 (including tcltk) requires XQuartz. Always re-install XQuartz when upgrading your macOS to a new major version.
This release uses Xcode 12.4 and experimental GNU Fortran 11 arm64 fork. If you wish to compile R packages from sources, you may need to download GNU Fortran for arm64 from https://mac.R-project.org/libs-arm64. Any external libraries and tools are expected to live in /opt/R/arm64 to not conflict with Intel-based software and this build will not use /usr/local to avoid such conflicts.
|NEWS (for Mac GUI)||News features and changes in the R.app Mac GUI|
|Sources for the R.app GUI 1.76 for macOS. This file is only needed if you want to join the development of the GUI (see also Mac-GUI repository), it is not intended for regular users. Read the INSTALL file for further instructions.|
|Note: Previous R versions for El Capitan can be found in the el-capitan/base directory.|
Binaries for legacy OS X systems:
|R 3.6.3 binary for OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) and higher, signed package. Contains R 3.6.3 framework, R.app GUI 1.70 in 64-bit for Intel Macs, Tcl/Tk 8.6.6 X11 libraries and Texinfo 5.2. The latter two components are optional and can be ommitted when choosing 'custom install', they are only needed if you want to use the tcltk R package or build package documentation from sources.|
|R 3.3.3 binary for Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and higher, signed package. Contains R 3.3.3 framework, R.app GUI 1.69 in 64-bit for Intel Macs, Tcl/Tk 8.6.0 X11 libraries and Texinfo 5.2. The latter two components are optional and can be ommitted when choosing 'custom install', it is only needed if you want to use the tcltk R package or build package documentation from sources.|
Note: the use of X11 (including tcltk) requires XQuartz to be installed since it is no longer part of OS X. Always re-install XQuartz when upgrading your OS X to a new major version.
|R 3.2.1 legacy binary for Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) - 10.8 (Mountain Lion), signed package. Contains R 3.2.1 framework, R.app GUI 1.66 in 64-bit for Intel Macs.|
This package contains the R framework, 64-bit GUI (R.app), Tcl/Tk 8.6.0 X11 libraries and Texinfop 5.2. GNU Fortran is NOT included (needed if you want to compile packages from sources that contain FORTRAN code) please see the tools directory.
NOTE: the binary support for OS X before Mavericks is being phased out, we do not expect further releases!
|tools||Additional tools necessary for building R for Mac OS X:|
Universal GNU Fortran compiler for Mac OS X (see R for Mac tools page for details).
|base||Binaries of R builds for macOS 10.13 or higher (High Sierra), Intel build|
|contrib||Binaries of package builds for macOS 10.13 or higher (High Sierra), Intel build|
|big-sur-arm64||Binaries for macOS 11 or higher (Big Sur) for arm64-based Macs (aka Apple silicon such as the M1 chip)|
|el-capitan||Binaries of package builds for OS X 10.11 or higher (El Capitan build)|
|mavericks||Binaries of package builds for Mac OS X 10.9 or higher (Mavericks build)|
|old||Previously released R versions for Mac OS X|
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You may also want to read the R FAQ and R for Mac OS X FAQ. For discussion of Mac-related topics and reporting Mac-specific bugs, please use the R-SIG-Mac mailing list.
Information, tools and most recent daily builds of the R GUI, R-patched and R-devel can be found at http://mac.R-project.org/. Please visit that page especially during beta stages to help us test the macOS binaries before final release!
Package maintainers should visit CRAN check summary page to see whether their package is compatible with the current build of R for macOS.
Binary libraries for dependencies not present here are available from http://mac.R-project.org/libs and corresponding sources at http://mac.R-project.org/src.
Last modified: 2021/05/20, by Simon Urbanek