I know how to determine if a program is an Intel or PPC application (with Cmd-I or in the Activity Monitor).

But how can I find all PPC applications that still lurk on my disk?

Before upgrading to Lion I'd rather know which (seldom used) applications on my disk won't work anymore (I'd be happy with GUI or terminal ways to do this).

2 Answers 2


this shell script

find / -type f -perm -u=x -exec lipo -info {} \; 2>/dev/null | grep ppc | egrep -v 'i386|x86'

will print all binary executables (not only applications, but command line executables too) what are ppc but not intel.

Warning: will run really long time (maybe several ten minutes).

The script is really not effective, because will start zilion times the command "lipo" for all regular file. (what are clearly not executables too - like images). If someone want optimize it - feel free ;)

  • Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for. It also finds the stuff in /usr/local/bin that I need to update for Lion.
    – pesche
    Aug 3, 2011 at 17:01

Bring up System Profiler (System Information in OS X Lion) -OR- go to Apple, About This Mac and click on the More Info... button. If in Lion, click on the File, Show System Report menu. In the left sidebar choose Applications under the Software section and sort by the Kind column. Now just find the applications that are PowerPC.

  • Thanks for this easy solution. This is the Apple way to do it and only people using the command line should use jm666's solution, which also finds command line tools for the PPP architecture.
    – pesche
    Aug 3, 2011 at 16:55

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