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Can I upgrade to Lion straight from 10.5.8?

For us 10.5 users, is the only path a two step upgrade to 10.6 then 10.7?

Also, is there a hardware compatibility chart? My mac is an older macbook, not sure if it's even supported by Lion.


2 Answers 2


According to this page, you need to get on Snow Leopard before installing Lion. It also gives hardware compatibility requirements, which are basically that you have an Intel Core 2 Duo (note: NOT Intel Core Duo), Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor in your Mac.

  • Thanks, I missed the hardware reqs there, thanks. But no memory footprint, either RAM or Disk. It also says "To update on day one". But will a disk ship on day 30? Apple usually allows two major revs back to update. Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 19:17
  • There's been no mention of disk-based updates at this point. As for RAM, I assume Apple feels that any Mac that shipped with a Core 2 Duo would have shipped with enough memory to meet the OS's minimum. I agree that disk footprint, at least for the installation, would be helpful.
    – David
    Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 19:24
  • According to what I see on the betas, you will want to have 4GB for the image to download and another 10GB for the upgrade. I don't have proof or official info about this, but so far that's been my little experience on an old White Macbook. Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 19:45
  • @Rich there's not going to be a DVD ship as far as I've seen. You will, however, be able to save the download (so far it's possible, don't know when final is released). There will be a hidden partition created by the installer where it will put all the OS ready to -reinstall + restore from TimeMachine-. If your harddrive fails, you will presumably have to re-download the image after you have SnowLeopard. I haven't seen (yet) any utility to create the DVD from the downloaded stuff (that would be a decent idea). Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 19:46
  • 2
    I've been experimenting and i've found that inside the downloaded package for the installer (show package contents) there's a Contents/SharedSupport folder that has a InstallESD.dmg, if you burn that to a DVD it's an independent installer. I don't know if this will be officially supported or if it will work with the final version. Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 20:23

Please consider not only the technical but also the legal issues: Lion's license agreement requires that you own a valid license for Snow Leopard before installing Lion.

Check: https://www.macworld.com/article/161087/2011/07/install_lion_over_leopard.html for a detailed explanation of the methods availiabe to Upgrade from Leopard -> Lion

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