Can I install Mac OS X 10.5 on a PowerBook G3 or how can I update iTunes?

Mark March 3, 2011

I have a PowerBook G3 with 640 MB and am having problems with my new nano and iTunes. Is there any way to download Mac OS X 10.5 into the notebook or is the processor not smart enough to do this and I’m stuck with iTunes 9?

  1. Anonymous
    March 4, 2011 at 8:53 am

    No, sorry. Officially the PB G3 can accept up to 10.4.11 for those products in early 2000 (PB FireWire). It is expected the PB G4 from November 2002 to take advantage of Leopard. Apple believed hardware that old would not be able to run Tiger adequately. They were right in some respects, as it can be very slow, but disabling some features such as Spotlight and Dashboard makes difference.

    Even it has enough RAM to run 10.5, but the installer will prevent you from installing.*

    The way will be to Bypass the installer's system requirements check , as it is possible to modify the file that checks the machine specs and decides if 10.5 can be installed.

    Here is what needs to be done:
    1.Download xar (tar and gz file).

    2.Expand the tar.gz file and open terminal and cd into its directory.
    3.Issue the folowing commands, pressing Return between each one and then waiting for its completion (Developer Tools required):
    $ ./configure
    $ make
    $ sudo make install

    4.Check that the install is in the right location (/usr » local » bin » xar) by issuing which xar; it should return the aforementioned location.
    5.Copy the required mpkg to the desktop. For 10.5, the package we want is in /System » Installation » Packages/ folder on the drive with 10.5, and is called OSInstall.mpkg.
    6.Create a new folder on the desktop, eg; OSInstall. Go into Terminal and cd into this folder, then issue the following command to decompress the mpkg to the folder:
    $ xar -x -f /path/to/OSInstall.mpkg

    7.Go into the OSInstall folder, and you'll see a Distribution file and Packages folder.
    8.Open the Distribution file in a text editor, for example I use BBEdit. It's an xml script, so you can just edit it. Look for minRam and the processor speed requirments, and change these, and any other options which could prevent install on your setup. Save the changes.
    9.Issue the following command to compress the files back into xar'd mpkg file: xar -c -f OSInstall.mpkg *.
    10.The OSInstall folder should now have a new OSInstall.mpkg file in it. We then need to copy this new file into /System » Installation » Packages folder on the drive with 10.5. Firstly I'd rename the existing OSInstall.mpkg so we have a copy of it, so cd into the /System » Installation » Packages folder on the drive with 10.5, and issue the following command in Terminal:
    $ sudo mv OSInstall.mpkg OSInstall_orig.mpkg

    11.We then need to copy over the new package, so issue the following command in Terminal

    Now that all remains is to go into the Startup Disk preference pane and select the drive we copied 10.5 to, boot from that drive, and you should then be able to install without issues.

    Do not try and run the installer on a machine with 256MB or less of RAM, in fact, you probably want at least 384MB RAM

    XPostFacto is a utility from Other World Computing which helps to install and boot Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, and Darwin on certain unsupported systems

    • Mike
      March 4, 2011 at 9:18 am

      I want to add the link to this hack for better readability

      One thing not mentioned is that this hack doesn't guarantee functionality!
      Leopard is only reported running on the last models of G3 Mac's (mostly those shipping with 10.4.11 as OS).
      On earlier models it will most likely kernel panic right at the boot screen.

      As for hardware requirements I would say you need at least a 800MHz CPU and 512MB RAM, better 1024MB... Mac's like RAM :-)

      • Anonymous
        March 4, 2011 at 2:07 pm

        Exactly right, I have had Leo on one of my old iMac. It was not worth the experience... I tried several, SERVERAL, tweaks and not really got it moving the way it should.

        In my experience, stick with 1 gb of ram, and a 1 gHz processor. The best Powerbook G3 was 500 mHz, I think.

    • Jeremy RAmirez
      May 7, 2012 at 12:24 am

      So what you're saying is if i do all this i will be able to install 10.5 (i have a ibook g3 10.4.11) ? And it is possible to run os x lepoard on an ibook g3?