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Legal version of OSX???

Hi there,

I have a G4, which I just got, running OSX 10.4 and I need to know if I'm running a legal copy. Does Mac issue anything like the Window$ certificate? Is there any kind of a license certificate or is possession of the original installation disk (which I don't have) all that is required? Suppose I have nothing other than a dvd copy of the install disk?



Well-known member
Nobody cares [about the legality of it]...

(edited for offensiveness)

Last edited by a moderator:


Well-known member
usually if you posses the disc that was used to install it (either Apple-Shipped or Retail) then it means you own it. Just hop onto eBay and find a 10.4 disc. It will most likely have shipped with 10.3 or 10.2, but since the G5 shipped with 10.2, i would think 10.2 was the original OS.

Anyways, Tiger isn't *too* expensive. BTW: what speed is the G4? you *may* be able to get Leopard on it and run the latest and greatest!



Well-known member
I think that most people would consider it legal if it is the version of Mac OS X that the machine originally shipped with. Apple doesn't have anything like serials numbers or activation keys. I would be hard pressed to say that they have certificates of authenticity (though they do come with some sort of proof of purchase card).



Well-known member
A Mac without an OS, when it is capable of working, is only a trip to the seaside short of being a boat-anchor. The idea that a recipient should put up with having no OS for 'legal reasons' is as patently ridiculous as the idea that a motor-vehicle without an engine is a functional acquisition. Whomever you got your G4 from did the reasonable thing by equipping the Mac, if only by leaving an OS rather than installing one, with what it cannot do without and still be a computer.




Well-known member
Technically speaking, they should have transferred the OS license with the computer itself. If they didn't do that then, properly speaking, it is the responsibility of the purchaser to legally acquire an OS. To use your motor vehicle analogy, pirating an OS is no more legal than stealing an engine just because you bought the goods sans one part.

Of course it's a moot point since you can find a free OS for virtually any Mac.


Anonymous Freak

Well-known member
Just to add my $0.03 (weak US dollar, you know,) my general theory is that the OS that shipped with the computer is always okay; otherwise you need the disc.

So a dual 450 MHz G4 is a "Mysitc" Power Mac G4 (Gigabit Ethernet).

That came with Mac OS 9.0.4 only. (It was discontinued before OS X came out.) Although there is a slight possibility, if it was the 'server' model, that it came with the pre-Aqua (aka Rhapsody) Mac OS X Server 1.x.

It is officially capable of running 10.4, and with some hacking, can be made to run 10.5. If it has a newer-than-stock video card (Stock is a Rage 128,) then 10.5 may be usable. Otherwise, I wouldn't even try. (10.5 is barely usable on my single-proc 466 MHz with a GeForce 2MX, but it is usable. With a Rage 128, it's not really usable.)



Well-known member
Technically speaking, it is not possible to give away, let alone sell, a working Mac without including the original or some suitable System/OS, and it is an offence to do so when the Mac was originally sold with one. However, were Apple so ill-advised as to seek to prosecute all of those who do so, and to take that course even further by prosecuting sellers of Macs that are 'loaded with yibbida, yibbida ...' in addition to an OS without transferring also the title to all the software, Apple would have no time for manufacture of new Macs. Unenforceable law is bad law.

That alone emphasizes the imbecility of the licensed software idea, quite apart from my long-held and oft-expressed belief that software licensing should never have been allowed to be established in preference to protection by patent (and royalty). We, the consumers, have only ourselves to blame in this regard, but who could have known what MS and others have since made of the idea?

And to forestall the riposte, having 50+ Macs of which more than 35 function with one or another of every System/OS from 6.0.8 to 10.4.x, each of which I have on multiple legitimate original media, I don't flout the convention. For example, I have six 'seats' each for 10.3 and 10.4. It is, nonetheless, only an established convention, not something that springs naturally—from the nature of—computing. And I maintain that the legal fiction of the 'reasonable man' supports provision of a System/OS on a working computer when ownership of the computer is transferred, whether that software is only installed, supported with a copy or an image, or supported with the original medium.


Yeah well, I do want to be all legal like so I'll look for an original 10.4 retail install package off eBay.

I had also heard that some hacks were required for Leopard to run as well as it running slow on the lesser G4s, so I'll give it a miss.



Well-known member
If the machine is for personal use then I would say that you're pretty much in the clear. Things like this are only really dodgy if you are using an install of an OS or other software for commercial purposes without having bought the software, since you are technically using unlicensed software for financial gain. For personal use though there is virtually no chance of any trouble coming from it.

10.4 is definitely the slickest version of OS X for a 450MHz dually, Leopard would probably be a bit too slow on it.

Yeah, I think that makes sense.

This is off the subject a little but, I'm using 10.4.11 now, can anyone give me any reason to upgrade to 10.4.3 or 10.4.4...4...5...6...etc (or to not)?

Years ago I used to use FreeBSD, then I went to the dark side for a few years, but since getting the Mac and OSX 10.4 I've realized what I was missing, speed and reliability.



68kMLA Admin Emeritus
You are already running the latest version of 10.4! Apple's OS numbering goes 10.4.8, 10.4.9, 10.4.10, 10.4.11, etc.

Generally, later version provide bug fixes and general improvements, so it's usually worth updating.



Well-known member

Of course you can, but I deliberately wrote 'working computer', which is entirely different from a functional computer without an OS.


Make sure also that you download and apply the Security Update 2008-003, which conceivably will be the last active support of Tiger by Apple.




Well-known member
Just go on ebay and buy one. They aren't expensive especially if you can find an install disc that was made for your model machine rather than a full retail disc. LEM also has a page with the best MacOS deals where you can find the best prices for both Classic and X discs. And you can install Leopard to a dual 450 if you use a few tricks which you can search for here or on Google.