How to find out what version OSX is on an HD?

Discussion in 'UK Macs' started by Pd, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. Pd

    Pd Guest

    Is there a file within OS X which will tell you what system version it
    is? I have various hard drives with different installations, but I can't
    tell which OSX they are. Startup disk doesn't show them, so I know they
    won't boot this C2D iMac.

    There must be a bit of text somewhere in System or Library which tells
    you the version.

    --
    Pd
     
    Pd, Dec 12, 2011
    #1
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  2. In article <>,
    David Kennedy <> wrote:

    >> There must be a bit of text somewhere in System or Library which tells
    >> you the version.


    >Surely whatever Finder version you have in that system folder will tell
    >you the overall system?


    Presumably the OP wants to find out without booting from the disk
    in question.

    Grepping for 'Kernel Version' in the mach_kernel seems to do the trick:

    macavity$ strings - mach_kernel | grep 'Kernel Version'
    Darwin Kernel Version 11.2.0: Tue Aug 9 20:54:00 PDT 2011; root:xnu-1699.24.8~1/RELEASE_X86_64
    Darwin Kernel Version 11.2.0: Tue Aug 9 20:56:15 PDT 2011; root:xnu-1699.24.8~1/RELEASE_I386

    -- Richard
     
    Richard Tobin, Dec 12, 2011
    #2
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  3. Richard Tobin <> wrote:

    > David Kennedy <> wrote:
    >
    > >> There must be a bit of text somewhere in System or Library which tells
    > >> you the version.

    >
    > >Surely whatever Finder version you have in that system folder will tell
    > >you the overall system?

    >
    > Presumably the OP wants to find out without booting from the disk
    > in question.
    >
    > Grepping for 'Kernel Version' in the mach_kernel seems to do the trick:
    >
    > macavity$ strings - mach_kernel | grep 'Kernel Version' Darwin Kernel
    > Version 11.2.0: Tue Aug 9 20:54:00 PDT 2011;
    > root:xnu-1699.24.8~1/RELEASE_X86_64 Darwin Kernel Version 11.2.0: Tue Aug
    > 9 20:56:15 PDT 2011; root:xnu-1699.24.8~1/RELEASE_I386


    How do you work out the Mac OS X version from that information?

    btw, I tried

    strings - mach_kernel | grep 'Kernel Version'

    here and got:

    strings: can't open: mach_kernel (No such file or directory)

    - turns out that it's /mach-kernel.

    I get:

    Darwin Kernel Version 10.8.0

    with my Mac OS X 10.6.8 box.

    Rowland.

    --
    Remove the animal for email address:
    Sorry - the spam got to me
    http://www.mag-uk.org http://www.bmf.co.uk
    UK biker? Join MAG and the BMF and stop the Eurocrats banning biking
     
    Rowland McDonnell, Dec 12, 2011
    #3
  4. On Mon, 12 Dec 2011 14:12:58 +0000, d (Pd)
    wrote:

    >Is there a file within OS X which will tell you what system version it
    >is? I have various hard drives with different installations, but I can't
    >tell which OSX they are. Startup disk doesn't show them, so I know they
    >won't boot this C2D iMac.
    >
    >There must be a bit of text somewhere in System or Library which tells
    >you the version.


    There is indeed -
    /System/Library/CoreServices/SystemVersion.plist

    Cheers - Jaimie
    --
    "People don't buy Microsoft for quality, they buy it for compatibility
    with what Bob in accounting bought last year. Trace it back - they buy
    Microsoft because the IBM Selectric didn't suck much" - P Seebach, afc
     
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Dec 12, 2011
    #4
  5. Pd

    Pd Guest

    Jaimie Vandenbergh <> wrote:

    > On Mon, 12 Dec 2011 14:12:58 +0000, d (Pd)
    > wrote:
    >
    > >Is there a file within OS X which will tell you what system version it
    > >is? I have various hard drives with different installations, but I can't
    > >tell which OSX they are. Startup disk doesn't show them, so I know they
    > >won't boot this C2D iMac.
    > >
    > >There must be a bit of text somewhere in System or Library which tells
    > >you the version.

    >
    > There is indeed -
    > /System/Library/CoreServices/SystemVersion.plist


    Perfick. Thanks, Jaimie.

    --
    Pd
     
    Pd, Dec 12, 2011
    #5
  6. Pd

    Pd Guest

    Richard Tobin <> wrote:

    > In article <>,
    > David Kennedy <> wrote:
    >
    > >> There must be a bit of text somewhere in System or Library which tells
    > >> you the version.

    >
    > >Surely whatever Finder version you have in that system folder will tell
    > >you the overall system?

    >
    > Presumably the OP wants to find out without booting from the disk
    > in question.


    I do, and in fact David's advice seems to be almost right.

    The first difficulty was finding Finder in the first place, since
    Spotlight doesn't actually find any more, and hitting Cmd-Finder didn't
    reveal the Finder.app

    The second problem is that the Finder version isn't exactly the same as
    the System version. The one I had on disk here shows Finder is v10.4.6,
    but the OS X system version is 10.4.7

    --
    Pd
     
    Pd, Dec 12, 2011
    #6
  7. Pd

    David Empson Guest

    Pd <> wrote:

    > Jaimie Vandenbergh <> wrote:
    >
    > > On Mon, 12 Dec 2011 14:12:58 +0000, d (Pd)
    > > wrote:
    > >
    > > >Is there a file within OS X which will tell you what system version it
    > > >is? I have various hard drives with different installations, but I can't
    > > >tell which OSX they are. Startup disk doesn't show them, so I know they
    > > >won't boot this C2D iMac.
    > > >
    > > >There must be a bit of text somewhere in System or Library which tells
    > > >you the version.

    > >
    > > There is indeed -
    > > /System/Library/CoreServices/SystemVersion.plist

    >
    > Perfick. Thanks, Jaimie.


    Also worth noting that at least in Snow Leopard, a Finder "Get Info" on
    a hard drive shows the version number for a bootable Mac OS X system in
    the "Version" field.

    --
    David Empson
     
    David Empson, Dec 12, 2011
    #7
  8. On Tue, 13 Dec 2011 12:05:09 +1300, (David
    Empson) wrote:

    >Pd <> wrote:
    >
    >> Jaimie Vandenbergh <> wrote:
    >>
    >> > On Mon, 12 Dec 2011 14:12:58 +0000, d (Pd)
    >> > wrote:
    >> >
    >> > >Is there a file within OS X which will tell you what system version it
    >> > >is? I have various hard drives with different installations, but I can't
    >> > >tell which OSX they are. Startup disk doesn't show them, so I know they
    >> > >won't boot this C2D iMac.
    >> > >
    >> > >There must be a bit of text somewhere in System or Library which tells
    >> > >you the version.
    >> >
    >> > There is indeed -
    >> > /System/Library/CoreServices/SystemVersion.plist

    >>
    >> Perfick. Thanks, Jaimie.

    >
    >Also worth noting that at least in Snow Leopard, a Finder "Get Info" on
    >a hard drive shows the version number for a bootable Mac OS X system in
    >the "Version" field.


    That appears to be true in Lion also, though I don't have many test
    cases - it spots other Lion and also SL correctly.

    Cheers - Jaimie
    --
    You can't get a leopard to change his spots. In fact, you can't /really/ get a
    leopard to appreciate the notion that it has spots. You can explain it carefully
    to the leopard, but it will just sit there looking at you, knowing that you are
    made of meat. After a while it will perhaps kill you. -- Geoffrey Pullum
     
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Dec 13, 2011
    #8
  9. Pd

    Chris Ridd Guest

    On 2011-12-13 00:11:53 +0000, Jaimie Vandenbergh said:

    > On Tue, 13 Dec 2011 12:05:09 +1300, (David
    > Empson) wrote:
    >
    >> Also worth noting that at least in Snow Leopard, a Finder "Get Info" on
    >> a hard drive shows the version number for a bootable Mac OS X system in
    >> the "Version" field.

    >
    > That appears to be true in Lion also, though I don't have many test
    > cases - it spots other Lion and also SL correctly.


    IIRC the Startup Disk preference pane will also show the OS version
    installed on all attached disks.

    --
    Chris
     
    Chris Ridd, Dec 13, 2011
    #9
  10. Pd

    Pd Guest

    Chris Ridd <> wrote:

    > On 2011-12-13 00:11:53 +0000, Jaimie Vandenbergh said:
    >
    > > On Tue, 13 Dec 2011 12:05:09 +1300, (David
    > > Empson) wrote:
    > >
    > >> Also worth noting that at least in Snow Leopard, a Finder "Get Info" on
    > >> a hard drive shows the version number for a bootable Mac OS X system in
    > >> the "Version" field.

    > >
    > > That appears to be true in Lion also, though I don't have many test
    > > cases - it spots other Lion and also SL correctly.

    >
    > IIRC the Startup Disk preference pane will also show the OS version
    > installed on all attached disks.


    Only if they're bootable by the computer they're attached to. As noted
    in my original post, the drive with Tiger on it didn't show up in
    Startup Disk, presumably because it wouldn't boot this C2D iMac.

    --
    Pd
     
    Pd, Dec 13, 2011
    #10
  11. Pd

    Pd Guest

    David Kennedy <> wrote:

    > > Presumably the OP wants to find out without booting from the disk
    > > in question.

    >
    > In which case, my comment is valid. Simply check the finder version in
    > each system folder.


    Except that the Finder version is not necessarily the same as the System
    version.

    --
    Pd
     
    Pd, Dec 13, 2011
    #11
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