The default installation method for Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) is an upgrade from Leopard. If you prefer, you can erase your hard drive and start fresh with a clean install (in fact, I highly recommend that method), but in this step-by-step guide, we’ll perform the basic upgrade installation.
What You Need to Install Snow Leopard
- An Intel Mac. Snow Leopard only supports Intel-based Macs; it does not support older PowerPC Macs. If you’re not sure which type of Mac you have, use the ‘Can I Upgrade to Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6)?’ FAQ to find out.
- A Mac running Leopard (OS X 10.5). The upgrade version of Snow Leopard that was first made available will only perform upgrades and clean installs on Macs that already have OS X 10.5 installed. Apple will release a full install version of Snow Leopard soon. The full install version will allow you to install OS X 10.6 on any Intel Mac, regardless of the OS that’s currently installed.
- 1 GB of RAM. More is better, but Snow Leopard will run on a Mac with 1 GB of RAM.
- 5 GB of free space on your startup drive. Snow Leopard actually uses less hard drive space than older versions of OS X, but you need 5 GB of free space for the installation to complete successfully.
- A DVD drive. If you have a MacBook Air that doesn’t have a DVD drive, you will need to use a network DVD drive or an external USB DVD drive to install Snow Leopard.
Gather everything you need and let’s get started.