MacOS 10.4 (Tiger)

MacOS 10.4 (Tiger)

Mac OS X version 10.4 “Tiger” is the fifth major release of Mac OS X, Apple’s desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers. Tiger was released to the public on 29 April 2005 for US$129.95 as the successor to Mac OS X v10.3 “Panther”, which had been released 18 months earlier. Tiger was succeeded by Mac OS X v10.5 “Leopard” on 26 October 2007, after 30 months, making Mac OS X v10.4 the longest running version of Mac OS X.Some of the new features include a fast searching system called Spotlight, a new version of the Safari web browser, Dashboard, a new ‘Unified’ theme, and improved support for 64-bit addressing on Power Mac G5s.

Mac OS X v10.4 “Tiger” was included with all new Macintosh computers, and was also available as an upgrade for existing Mac OS X users, or users of supported pre-Mac OS X systems. The server edition, Mac OS X Server 10.4, was also available for some Macintosh product lines. Tiger is also the first version of any released Apple operating system to work on Apple-Intel architecture machines (Apple machines using x86 processors). The Apple TV, as released in March 2007, ships with a customized version of Mac OS X v10.4 branded "Apple TV OS" that replaces the usual graphical user interface with an updated version of Front Row.

Six weeks after its official release, Apple had delivered 2 million copies of Tiger, representing 16 % of all Mac OS X users. Apple claimed that Tiger was the most successful Apple OS release in the company’s history. At the World Wide Developers Conference on June 11, 2007, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that out of the 22 million Mac OS X users, more than 67 % were using Tiger. Tiger is the last version of Mac OS X to support a Mac OS 9 extraction layer called Classic Environment. However, Classic Environment will not work on Intel Macs.

Tiger was supported until November 2007 because of the release of Mac OS X Leopard 10.5. As of September 2009, Apple has continued to produce security-related updates to Tiger.

Mac OS X v10.4 was initially available in a PowerPC edition, with an Intel edition released beginning at 10.4.4; there is no universal version of the client operating system, although Tiger Server was made available on a universal DVD from version 10.4.7. While Apple shipped the PowerPC edition bundled with PowerPC-based Macs and also sold it as a separate retail box, the only way to get the Intel version was bundled with an Intel-based Mac. However, there were still unofficial places to buy the Intel version such as eBay, although the only Intel discs produced were the gray-colored "restore" DVDs supplied with new Macs that will only install on the model of Mac that they are intended for, unlike the retail DVD that can be used on any Mac supported by Tiger.

The system requirements of the PowerPC edition are:

  • A PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 processor running at 333 MHz or more
  • Built-in FireWire
  • At least 256 MB of RAM (512 MB or 1 GB recommended)
  • At least 3 GB of available hard disk space; 4 GB of disk space including the Xcode 2 Tools
  • DVD drive (CD media exchange was available; offer ended 19 March 2007)

Tiger removed support for older New World ROM Macs such as the original iMacs and iBooks that were supported in Panther; however it is possible to install Tiger on these Macs using third-party software (such as XPostFacto) that overrides the checks made at the beginning of the installation process. Likewise, machines such as beige Power Mac G3s and “Wall Street” PowerBook G3s that were dropped by Panther (the preceding release of Mac OS X) can also be made to run both Panther and Tiger in this way. Also Tiger can be installed on unsupported Macs by installing it on a supported Mac, then swapping hard drives.