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Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard PowerPC Beta 10A190

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Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
PPC_SL_10A190.dmg (3.18 GB)
MD5: d951ddc7e07abab23e460fcb7d5dc0fa
For Mac OS X
Guides on emulating older applications

Below, the file PPC_SL_10A190.dmg is a bootable disk image of a system just after successful installation. Simply restore this image to a disk or partition using Disk Utility, and you can boot into the first time setup of a working Snow Leopard PPC install.

Note that you will need to select "erase destination" when doing the restore from the DMG file to ensure that the image is properly bootable. For more information, watch the 6 minute video walkthrough of the process here: How to install the Snow Leopard PowerPC Beta

Architecture: PPC

PowerPC G4, PowerPC G5


SkyCapt's picture
by SkyCapt - 2020, June 5 - 5:27am

@aeroraptor. I see you found one of the forum threads about the G4/G5 hybrid Mac, I'll delve into detail there, but for the sake of this section, the machine referenced is the MDD-2003 which comes with a G4 CPU riding on its unofficial G5 motherboard. This was the final PowerMac G4 produced simultaneously alongside the debut PowerMac G5.

The transition from PowerMac G3 to PowerMac G4 also included a hybrid mass production model, it: officially, was named "Yikes!" and had a G4 CPU riding on the PowerMac G3 motherboard. Yikes main distinction was the graphics card went into a 66MHz X 32-bit PCI slot whereas the "real" first G4 PowerMac motherboard had its graphics card plug into the then-new AGP formfactor slot, upto 133MHz X 32-bit at the time of release date.

So it goes to show Apple likes/liked to mass produce incremental hardware changes, for to demonstrate reliability even if only to themselves, but also to "flush out" old parts in their inventory before the next greatest thing becomes the new normal and they could be stuck holding unwanted inventory, then Apple would "play hot potato" with the parts they possessed the most of.

The main difference between an MDD-2002 and an MDD-2003 is the memory controller chip affixed to the motherboard and a permanently affixed (epoxy?) heatsink upon this chip which then hides its physical size and any numbers printed upon the chip. It is the most important chip by far that exists on the motherboard, a G4 era chip in the 2002/FW800 models and a G5 era memory control chip configured for G4 bus compatibility in the 2003 model.

The internet has failed miserably in not giving recognition to the unique G4/G5 model (it fails miserably covering lots of topics). It cannot be denied. Both Owner's Manuals indicate this difference, the MDD2002 guidebook describes it having 512MB max RAM capacity Per Slot and the MDD2003 guidebook describes it having 1024MB RAM capacity Per Slot. This being just one effect of the difference in memory controller. Two more important distinctions between these memory controllers are 1) honoring the implementation of "DDR" RAM - read wikipedia about "PowerMac G4" to see how the 2002 model requires DDR RAM be installed but it interacts with RAM as if it were pre-DDR, the 2002 (and all that came before) lacks a "DDR interface". The 2003 possesses the DDR interface, a feature Apple never came clean about (hence "unofficial" hybrid) because they decided to reserve the DDR look and feel as a G5 series technology, so that all G5 will convince everyone that G5s rule over G4s regardless of how the new G5 CPU chip would actually perform. Having functional DDR speeds up the G4 CPU only a little but it speeds up its RAM and its GPU a lot. 2) the speed of "blitter" (hardware accelerated two-dimensional and array operations) more than doubled from MDD2002/FW800 to MDD2003/G5 thanks to the more than double speed of the chip controlling memory.

Nuff said right here, anybody please use the forum threads for better info and discussion.

aeroraptor's picture
by aeroraptor - 2020, June 3 - 2:58pm

Could you provide some more context about your G4/G5 hybrid? I'd love to know more!

Jatoba's picture
by Jatoba - 2020, May 29 - 8:28am

@Romn343 The folks behind SL on PPC say Lion has zero PPC code, while 10.6.8 has a lot of Universal binaries.

supremeleader573's picture
by supremeleader573 - 2020, May 28 - 11:50pm

Launchpad too, eh? That’s pretty cool. Was it originally planned as a Snow Leopard component but then shafted to Lion? Will try on my PowerBook G4 ASAP!

Roman343's picture
by Roman343 - 2020, May 25 - 9:45pm

I wouldn't be surprised if Lion has any small amount of PPC code in it, but not enough to make it run on PPC macs.

Roman343's picture
by Roman343 - 2020, May 25 - 9:43pm

All we can do is hope and pray.

Roman343's picture
by Roman343 - 2020, May 25 - 9:41pm

Dude, lets just hope this will keep our PPC machines going for a lot longer, at least till 2030 maybe who knows. Once they revise the beta to run fully as a golden master, I plan to install this on my Quad G5. Right now, I am using my PB G4 1.67 and that is the 1st candidate to experience SL. I am also typing on this as we speak. As for the Pismo I have, that shall stay on Tiger and OS 9.

Jatoba's picture
by Jatoba - 2020, May 24 - 3:11pm

One thing I wonder about these pre-release PPC versions is if an actual 64-bit kernel is there, like the GM versions on Intel.

If so, this would be the only true 64-bit Mac OS X system that is bootable on a G5 Mac. From what I gather, although some 64-bit support exists in Tiger and especially Leo, their kernels still ran in "32-bit mode" even on 64-bit hardware (both PPC and Intel).

Just a stray thought...

SkyCapt's picture
by SkyCapt - 2020, May 24 - 4:29am

I installed on my PowerMac G4/G5 hybrid and it wouldn't run, probably because I use SATA on PCI card not any native drive port. Boots to the gray Apple and spinning progress wheel but then shows the "prohibited" symbol. I tried a drive without partitions and tried restoring my model_id to G4... no difference.

I examined what makes it tick, and was disappointed to see the actual PPC code is a bare minimum to make it boot, then nothing else. Anything that had been intel-only was left broken, and this includes EVERY application and EVERY applications/utility. Plus more, for example, CoreServices had PPC loginwindow PPC Finder & PPC Dock but had broken Archive Utility and broken DiskImageMounter. This OS is worthless without unzip and without mounting, and that's only at first glance.

Thing is, lots of software for Tiger/Leopard doesn't run on Snow, and the things made for Snow are mostly intel-only, so PPC can't be used to run those wares. A dead end.

MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2020, May 24 - 2:34am

Tried it out on a Mac Mini G4. It installs and runs, but I found too many (window drawing) glitches that didn't appeal to me. Found it irritating and removed. Alpha quality, not beta.

Still interesting to see it tho'.

SkyCapt's picture
by SkyCapt - 2020, May 23 - 11:05pm

Swing, and a miss. Amirite?

Jatoba's picture
by Jatoba - 2020, May 20 - 12:02am

Right now this page is specific to build 10A190, but we probably ought to repurpose it for all the other Snow Leopard PPC / Universal builds, such as the Server version of build 10A96, which also is confirmed to work. Both builds have their use so far, and it could be that more useful builds surface.

Afterwards, we would have to organize the page in two ways: make it clear what is a vanilla beta disc/installer, and what is a successful pre-installed image of such builds.

If anyone wishes to, we can start sorting these things out in this page right now, but I will personally wait until more is figured out about what can/can not be done in SL PPC, and wait until more work is done to get these builds to be as usable as possible (i.e. porting over or recompiling kexts/frameworks etc.).

@MTT Yup. Some later beta builds are also confirmed as Intel-only and not PPC-compatible. This also goes for the final Golden Master release of Snow Leo 10.6(.0). Though funnily enough, some programs/frameworks remain Universal even as far as 10.6.8. I hear that from 10.7 Lion onwards, though, is when everything was finally made to be 100% Intel-only.

MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2020, May 19 - 11:34pm

This is very interesting to me, thanks. Yet to try it out, but will do soon.

So a PPC Snow Leo got axed at the Beta stage and Intel only was released from then on ?
Was that the scenario for this one ? Anyway, thanks for the addition of this archive.