Mac OS X Lion Minimum Installation Requirements

Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2 GB of RAM minimum

Apple released OS X 10.7 Lion in July of 2011. Lion melds some of the capabilities of OS X (now macOS) and iOS. Lion incorporates multi-touch gesture support, as well as additional iOS technologies and interface elements.

OS X Lion

Apple, Inc.

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For Mac portable users, this means the trackpad will get an extra workout as new gestures become available to access Lion. Mac desktop users will need to invest in an Apple Magic Trackpad to gain the same level of control.

Lion also works fine without a trackpad. You can still use your mouse and keyboard to access the new features. However, you won't have as much fun as your trackpad-using friends.

OS X Lion Minimum Requirements

  • Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better: Lion is a 64-bit OS. Unlike Snow Leopard, which could run on the first Intel processors that Apple used (the Intel Core Duo in the 2006 iMac and the Intel Core Solo and Core Duo in the Mac mini), the Lion OS won't support 32-bit Intel processors.
  • 2 GB RAM: Lion will likely run with only 1 GB of RAM. However, Apple has shipped Macs with at least 2 GB of installed RAM since 2009. Most Macs since 2007 can be updated to at least 3 GB of RAM.
  • 8 GB drive space: Lion will be delivered via download from the Mac App Store. The download size will be slightly larger than 4 GB, but this is probably a compressed size. Plan on needing at least 8 GB of drive space for installation.
  • DVD drive: Because of the new distribution method, a DVD drive isn't required to download and install Lion. However, with the help of a few installation guides, you can burn a bootable CD of Lion to ensure you can reinstall it or run repair options.
  • Internet access: Apple provides the OS as a download from the Mac App Store, which means you'll need an internet connection to download OS X Lion.
  • Snow Leopard: Because the Lion OS can only be purchased from the Mac App Store, you'll need Snow Leopard on your Mac. Snow Leopard is the minimum requirement for running the Mac App Store application. If you haven't upgraded to Snow Leopard, do it now, if the product is still available.
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