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I have an early 2009 iMac (24" version). It has a mini display port in the back. Is it possible to use it as an external screen? If so, how do I do it? And can I attach all kinds of devices, e.g. a Raspberry Pi (with an appropriate adapter cable)?

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    Were you able to confirm that an early 2009 24" iMac does not support TDM?
    – orome
    Commented Nov 2, 2013 at 20:26
  • 3
    Yes, I can confirm that!
    – Till B
    Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:43

3 Answers 3

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The specifications for the 24" Early 2009 iMacs according to eveymac.com and the Apple Manual for the Early 2009 series of iMacs does not mention target display mode as a feature. That unfortunately means that the Early 2009 generation of iMacs did not offer a target display mode so you will not be able to use that displayport output as an input source.

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  • Apple's support page for using iMacs in Target Display Mode seems to confirm it, unfortunately: the earliest listed model is the Late 2009 one. Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 14:08
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Check in the user manual for your particular model for Command-F2 as a shortcut to enter target display mode.

If yours has a target display mode, you are good to go. If not, then no.

I don't think that any 24-inch iMac model supports this. Initially the 27-inch models had this feature and later it trickled down to the 21-inch models.

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You will not find this information on Everymac.com or in the manual. Apple's own webpage on Target Display Mode says:

24-inch and 27-inch iMac models introduced in 2009 and 2010 To use any of these iMac models as an external display:

  • The iMac used as a display must have macOS High Sierra or earlier installed.
  • The other Mac that you're connecting it to must have been introduced in 2019 or earlier and have macOS Catalina or earlier installed.
  • The cable connecting the two Mac computers must be a Mini DisplayPort cable.

SHORT ANSWER: The 24 inch iMac from 2009 WILL WORK as an external screen.

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