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, Dec 12, 2011
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  2. [/QUOTE]
    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
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  3. 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 McDonnell, Dec 12, 2011
  4. There is indeed -

    Cheers - Jaimie
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Dec 12, 2011
  5. Pd

    Pd Guest

    Perfick. Thanks, Jaimie.
    Pd, Dec 12, 2011
  6. Pd

    Pd Guest

    Presumably the OP wants to find out without booting from the disk
    in question.[/QUOTE]

    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

    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, Dec 12, 2011
  7. Pd

    David Empson Guest

    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, Dec 12, 2011
  8. 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
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Dec 13, 2011
  9. Pd

    Chris Ridd Guest

    IIRC the Startup Disk preference pane will also show the OS version
    installed on all attached disks.
    Chris Ridd, Dec 13, 2011
  10. Pd

    Pd Guest

    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, Dec 13, 2011
  11. Pd

    Pd Guest

    Except that the Finder version is not necessarily the same as the System
    Pd, Dec 13, 2011
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