Upgrading MacOS From 10.9.5 To 10.13 - MacPorts Implications

Christopher Chavez chrischavez at gmx.us
Tue Jun 18 16:56:05 UTC 2019

On 6/18/19 at 5:41 AM, Michael Newman via macports-users wrote:

> I have an old 2009 MacBook Air (2GB RAM) which is running MacOS 10.9.5 (Mavericks)… 
> I have a couple of questions:
> Will this old machine actually run 10.13 without blowing up?

As pointed out already, the officially supported maximum version for the 2009 MacBook Air is 10.11 El Capitan.

For the adventurous, though, it is possible to run macOS 10.12 Sierra, 10.13 High Sierra, and even 10.14 Mojave on that model with the help of an installer patching tool: http://dosdude1.com/software.html

The hardware limitations (mainly the amount of RAM, but also CPU and graphics) will likely make it challenging to running modern software comfortably (GUI, web apps), but scripts and other lightweight software can probably run fine assuming the OS leaves enough resources leftover.

(Something I think there is an unspoken consensus on is that running macOS versions on unsupported models is allowed by the macOS EULA; I think users who do this are assuming the EULA merely requires an actual Mac made by Apple, without specifiying that it must be a model the software officially supports; I do not know if the EULA is that unambiguous. They may appeal to the observation that Apple does not appear to actively punish/go after these users, who have been doing this for over a decade.)

I have personally run macOS 10.14.5 on a spare 2010 MacBook Pro, thanks to dosdude1's tool, along with generous hardware upgrades such as an SSD and 12GB of RAM (4GB more than the Apple-supported maximum). My experience has been very positive, but that should not be taken authoritatively ("your mileage will vary").

Christopher A. Chavez

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