QEII Student IT
Can I put leopard onto a mac with less than the system requirements?
Hi, I have an iBook G4 800MHz, 256MB RAM, 12".
I am aware that the system requirements of leopard are higher than my iBook's capabilities and also I do not have a Leopard Install Disc, but I do have an eMac that runs a suitable version of leopard.
My question: Can I take an image (10.5.8) from my eMac and put it on my iBook (as specced above)?
I have the same machine, so you got me interested! Did some poking around and found one report of a successful install onto this machine -- using Firewire Target Mode. http://lowendmac.com/mail/0801mb/0128.ht...
However, this person's machine had 384mb of RAM. I'm guessing that even if you're able to install Leopard, 256mb of RAM may really limit its usability.
 according to Mactracker, the 800MHz iBook G4 12" will run Mac OS X up to version 10.4.11
but generally speaking a disk image from one Mac may not work on another - at least that was the case I know with older versions of Mac OS as there were sometimes machine specific drivers installed. but I'm not certain if more recent OS versions like Leopard are more machine-independent. I guess the easy thing to try is to make an external clone of your eMac's disk and try booting your iBook from that external clone?
edit: to clone your hard drive, use SuperDuper (highly recommended) - or you could also use Carbon Copy Cloner
QEII Student IT
I tried it, and here's how it went.
I used Disk Utility to put the 10.5.8 image from my eMac onto my iBook, the iBook previously had 10.4.11, which ran moderately slowly. The image transfer took around four hours, but it worked. Despite being sub-system requirement, Leopard will run on a 800MHz, 256MB RAM 12" iBook. As far as I can see, it has even adapted to the change in screen size, trackpad as to mouse, battery etc. In fact, it is as if the image was designed for the iBook.
However, the bad news is it is very slow, Spaces and Time Machine etc mean that a lot of the processing power is being used even when idle. To demonstrate, here are a few comparisons of how long it takes to open applications from idle:
eMac: 3.02 seconds
iBook: 16.21 seconds
eMac: 24.69 seconds
iBook: 46.67 seconds
eMac: 11.36 seconds
iBook: 31.58 seconds
I will enjoy having a portable version of my eMac, it's certainly more use to me than the tiger image it used to run. But, I might find myself waiting until I'm home at my eMac to do things than do them then and there on the iBook due to the agonising speeds. I'm considering buying more RAM but I'm wondering whether the amount I will use it and the actual increase of speed will justify the cost.