1. Your Mac

Since 2002 Apple has shipped the Mac OS X ('Mac OS Ten') operating system with all Macs. Each of the major releases of Mac OS X has been named after one of the big cats and so they are usually known by that name rather than their release number. OUCS supports the shipping version of OS X as well as the two previous versions, i.e.:

  • Mac OS 10.7 - known as Lion (current shipping version)
  • Mac OS 10.6 - known as Snow Leopard
  • Mac OS 10.5 - known as Leopard

If you are not sure which version is on your computer you can find out by clicking on the Apple menu (on the far left of the menu bar) and selecting About This Mac and the resulting pop up window will show the version:

Pop up window showing details of About this Mac

Older versions of OS X (10.4 Tiger, 10.3 Panther and 10.2 Jaguar) are only supported on a 'best efforts' basis, and we cannot guarantee to provide any support for legacy versions1 of the Mac operating system: OS X 10.1, OS 9 and earlier.

Apple has a strict policy on support for older hardware and maintains a list of obsolete models . Hardware is classed as 'obsolete' by Apple when it has been discontinued for more than 7 years and they will not provide any hardware service or parts for it. Consequently OUCS cannot provide any maintenance or repairs for obsolete hardware.

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To date, Apple has released new versions of Mac OS X about every 2 years. Typically, each new version introduces a few features that are not fully backwards compatible. Mac software is regularly updated to use these features, which means that there can be no guarantee that Mac software (Apple or third-party) will run on all versions of the operating system. It is important when upgrading or installing software to check that it is compatible with the version of OS X that you run on your Mac. This means that we cannot guarantee that all software required in the University will run on all supported versions of OS X as this is entirely dependent on the software vendors themselves.