Mac OS X Lion Upgrade and Requirements

OS X Lion Hardware Requirements


Most any Mac made from 2006 onward should be ok running the new operating system, although a RAM upgrade may be necessary. To run Lion, a Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 10 GB of free space on your hard drive are recommended. To check your Mac machine, click the Apple logo in the top left corner and select “About This Mac” and a window should pop up with your processor and RAM information.


OS X Lion Software Requirements

Although Mac OS X Lion is designed to upgrade systems smoothly, upgrades often leave behind small bugs that can be avoided by doing a little spring cleaning.

First, make sure your hard drive doesn’t have any errors. To do this you must open Disk Utility (go to your Utilities folder and open Disk Utility). Once open, select your startup hard drive from the left side and then click “Verify Disk. Once the scan is complete, the program will give you an option to fix any problems that were detected if any. If problems are detected on your startup drive, you’ll have to boot off another disk (such as the Mac OS X Snow Leopard DVD or the DVD that came with your Mac) and run the Disk Utility from there in order to fix them.

Mac OS X 10.6.6 is the minimum software required to upgrade to Mac OS X Lion, but it is recommended to update to 10.6.8 before hand.

You may also want to do the following just to be safe:

  • Back up your Mac
  • Disable FileVault: No known issues as of yet, but Lion includes a newer version of FileVault which may have compatibility problems with the old version.Go to System Preferences > Security to do this


If you want to start fresh, you can always just back up your files, insert your Mac OS X Snow Leopard DVD to re-install your system from scratch, get the updates, and then upgrade.

Application Compatibility

So what if your favorite OS X apps won’t work properly in Lion? Roaring Apps has an updated list of applications that are compatible, have issues, or do not work.


You will only be able to get OS X Lion via download from the Mac App Store, as there will be no copies of DVD available anywhere. The download will be a 4 GB download for just $29.