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OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Article ID = 70
Article Title = OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 17th February 2012
Article Last Updated = 31st March 2015
Article URL = http://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?70

Article Brief Description:
Frequently Asked Questions about OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When will Mountain Lion be available?
A. Mountain Lion was released on the 25th July 2012.
Q. How much does Mountain Lion cost?
A. Mountain Lion was superseded by OS X 10.9 Mavericks but you can now buy a download redemption code for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on the UK online store (£14.00).
Q. How can I buy Mountain Lion?
A. You can now buy a download redemption code for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on the UK online store (£14.00).
Q. How many computers can I install Mountain Lion on?
A. Consumers - you can purchase once and install Mountain Lion on as many supported Macs as you own that are authorised with your Mac App Store ID (Apple ID).
A. Businesses, commercial, education and/or site licence users - You can install Mountain Lion on as many computers as you have purchased the software individually for or have a licensed installation for - there is a minimum purchase of 20 licenses.
Q. In our family/household the different Macs have different iTunes / App Store accounts on them. Do I have to buy Mountain Lion multiple times?
A. No. You can have more than one iTunes / App Store authorisation on a single machine. Use one of the iTunes / App Store accounts to authorise each computer in the family/household in turn to download and install Mountain Lion (in the App Store application click on the "Purchases" tab). However, please note that you will need to download Mountain Lion on each computer (at 4.3GB+ in size each time) to install or you will need to obtain the OS X Install Disc Image.
NOTE: Mac App Store authorisations are unlimited whereas the iTunes authorisation limit is 10.
Q. What Macs can I install Mountain Lion on?
A. Mountain Lion requires a 64 bit EFI based Mac with an Intel Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, i7 or Xeon processor, a minimum of 2GB of RAM, 8GB of available disk space and modern graphics capability. Some early Intel Macs only have a 32 bit EFI and/or old graphics so you will not be able to run Mountain Lion on those computers. Supported Macs include:
  • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)
NOTE: You will also need at least Mac OS X 10.6.8 and an Apple ID to be able to purchase OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on the UK online store (£14.00).
Q. Which older graphics systems / 32 bit EFI based Macs are not be supported?
A. The following Macs are not supported by Mountain Lion:
  • Any Mac with integrated Intel GMA 950/X3100, NVIDIA GeForce 7300 or ATI/AMD Radeon X1900 graphics
  • Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook and MacBook Pros from Late 2007 to Late 2008 (Model Numbers: MB061*/B, MB062*/B, MB063*/B, MB402*/A MB403*/A MB404*/A, MB402*/B - Identifiers: MacBook2,1, MacBook3,1, MacBook4,1, MacBookPro2,1, MacBookPro2,2)
  • The Mid-2007 Mac mini (Model Numbers: MB138*/A, MB139*/A - Identifier: MacMini2,1)
  • Late 2006 polycarbonate iMac (Model Number: MA710xx/A - Identifiers: iMac5,1, iMac5,2, iMac6,1)
  • The original Early 2008 MacBook Air (Model Number: MB003LL/A - Identifier: MacBookAir1,1)
  • The original 2006 Mac Pro and its 8-core 2007 update (Identifiers: MacPro1,1, MacPro2,1)
  • Late 2006 and Early 2008 Xserves (Identifiers: Xserve1,1, Xserve2,1)
Q. How can I check what specifications my computer has or what model it is/graphics capability it has?
A. You can check "Processor", "Memory" and Mac OS X "Version" by going to Apple menu > About This Mac.
A. To check what "model" you have the model number is usually printed on the outside of the computer somewhere.
A. To be more specific and exact you can check what "Identifier" your Mac has by:
  • If you are running Mac OS X 10.4.x/10.5.x/10.6.x go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "More Info…" button > (the System Profiler application will open) select "Hardware" on the left and check what it says for 'Model Identifier' on the right. Then under Hardware on the left select "Graphics/Displays" and check what it says for 'Video Card' on the right (you may have two cards listed, one for integrated graphics and one for discrete graphics).
  • If you are running OS X 10.7.x go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "More Info…" button > (the System Information application will open) click "Overview" in the top left (this will now show the 'Graphics' capability) then click the "System Report" button > select "Hardware" on the left and check what it says for 'Model Identifier' on the right.
Q. I have a Mac with a "Core Duo" / "Core Solo" which is an Intel processor. Why can't I install Mountain Lion?
A. Mountain Lion is a full 64 bit operating system. The original Intel "Core Duo" and "Core Solo" processors are only 32 bit processors. If you want to run Mountain Lion you will have to buy a new computer.
Q. I have a powerful Mac Pro / Xserve or a Mac with an early "Core 2 Duo" which is a more modern Intel processor. Why can't I install Mountain Lion?
A. Mountain Lion is a full 64 bit operating system that requires a 64 bit capable EFI. Some early Macs with Intel processors only have a 32 bit capable EFI so although the processor is good enough to run Mountain Lion the EFI part isn't cable of doing so. In theory Apple could update the EFI with a firmware update but this is not likely happen, sorry. So, if you want to run Mountain Lion you will have to buy a new computer.
Q. I have a Mac Pro and I've upgraded the graphics card. Can I run Mountain Lion?
A. No. The Mountain Lion installer checks the model identifier (and not the graphics capability) so even if you have upgraded your card you still won't be able to install Mountain Lion. So, if you want to officially run Mountain Lion you will have to buy a new computer.
Q. You say "officially" run Mountain Lion. Is there a way to run Mountain Lion "unofficially" on older Mac Pros with an upgraded video card?
A. Yes. The internet is your friend.
Q. My Mac has the correct type of processor but I don't have enough RAM. What can I do?
A. All the supported Macs can run at least 2GB of RAM so all you need to do is upgrade your RAM to at least 2GB. In the UK we recommend Kingston Technology lifetime warranty memory for your Mac. Most Macs usually only have two memory slots so it is best to upgrade to as much RAM as you can afford the first time. If your Mac supports 8GB or more then upgrade to the maximum.
Q. I'm still using an Intel Mac with Mac OS X 10.4.x/10.5.x on it. Can I still buy and install Mountain Lion?
A. Yes but you need to buy/upgrade to/install Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard first and then buy/install OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on the UK online store (£14.00).
Q. I have a compatible Mac and I am running Mac OS X 10.6.8/OS X 10.7.x so how do I buy Mountain Lion?
A. See this article.
Q. I have Mac OS X 10.6.8/OS X 10.7.x but my internet connection is slow. Will this be a problem?
A. No, but be warned, the Mountain Lion installer is 4.3GB+ in size so it may take some time to download.
Q. I have Mac OS X 10.6.8/OS X 10.7.x but I don't have a permanent connection to the internet. Will this be a problem?
A. Yes. Purchasing Mountain Lion online requires an internet connection. See the options listed in answer to the next question.
Q. I haveMac OS X 10.6.8/OS X 10.7.x but I have a internet access data cap in place / I cannot download something that is 4.3GB+ in size. What can I do?
A. Mountain Lion will not be available on a USB thumb drive so your options are:
  1. Use a different internet connection that does not have an internet access data cap in place.
  2. Go to an Apple Retail Store where you can install Mountain Lion from their local server.
Q. If there is no physical Mountain Lion disc and I install Mountain Lion but run into trouble what can I do?
A. If you purchased Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store: A. If your Mac came with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion:
Q. Mountain Lion appears to rely on iCloud a lot. Do I have to have an iCloud account (Apple ID) to install/use Mountain Lion?
A. You will need an Apple ID to use the Mac App Store to purchase Mountain Lion in the first place but once it is installed you do not have to use iCloud. An Apple ID can be your iTunes account if you have one. New iCloud features in Mountain Lion include:
  • Reminders (including location based reminders)
  • Notes (including Notification Center)
  • Accounts
  • Game Center
Q. I've heard Mountain Lion includes something called Gatekeeper. Will this stop me installing and using older software?
A. No. You can configure Gatekeeper in one of three different ways:
  1. Mac App Store = only software downloaded and installed from the Mac App Store will run (highest security)
  2. Mac App Store and identified developers = only software downloaded and installed from the Mac App Store or that have been digitally signed by an authorised developer will run (medium security - default)
  3. Anywhere = no security and will let you install any software
See our Gatekeeper security article for more information.
Q. Does Mountain Lion have Rosetta? Does it run PowerPC applications/software?
A. Just like Lion, Mountain Lion does not have Rosetta.
Q. I've heard Mountain Lion no longer includes X11. Is this true?
A. Yes. X11 on Mountain Lion now uses install on demand. When you first launch an app that requires X11 libraries, you are directed to a download location for the most up-to-date version of X11 for Mac e.g. XQuartz.
Q. I've heard Mountain Lion no longer includes Web Sharing. Is this true?
A. Sort of. Apple have removed the easy configuration of this feature (from System Preferences > Sharing) but the underlying software needed (Apache) is still included in OS X. DIYMacServer host a good site all about using and configuring OS X client as a server.
Q. I've heard Mountain Lion no longer includes Xgrid Sharing. Is this true?
A. Yes, it has been removed.
Q. I've heard Mountain Lion supports using more than one Time Machine backup device. Is this true?
A. Yes, you can "add" additional devices in the Time Machine preferences so rotating Time Machine backup devices is now easier.
Q. I've heard Mountain Lion allows you to drag and drop files using "Screen Sharing". Is this true?
A. Yes, Screen Sharing now supports dragging and dropping files.
Q. Is Siri coming to Mountain Lion?
A. No, but part of Siri's technology is being used for a new feature "Dictation". This will allow you to speak instead of typing. It uses the built-in microphone on your Mac and the more you use it, the smarter it gets.
Q. What Languages will Mountain Lion's Dictation support?
A. At launch the following languages are supported but more may come in the future:
  • English (Australia)
  • English (United States - American)
  • English (United Kingdom - British)
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
OS X 10.8.2 or later supports:
  • Mandarin
  • Cantonese
  • Spanish
  • Korean
  • Canadian English
  • Canadian French
  • Italian
Q. Does Mountain Lion's Dictation feature only work with Apple's applications?
A. No, it works with any application. Dictation works with text fields in any OS X app — no additional third-party developer support is required. You can assign a keyboard shortcut or select "Start Dictation" from the 'Edit' menu.
Q. What's this "Power Nap" feature all about?
A. Certain Mac models i.e. those with built in flash storage (currently MacBook Airs and the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display) can sync and download updates while they are asleep. Periodically the Mac will update Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, Photo Stream, Find My Mac and Documents in the Cloud. When the Mac is connected to a power source, it downloads software updates and makes backups with Time Machine.
Q. Which Macs support the "Power Nap" feature?
A. Not all Macs support this feature as it appears to be dependent on the hardware in your computer, so basically older computers won't support this feature. Macs that officially support "Power Nap" include:
  • MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer) - supported with OS X 10.8.2 or later
  • MacBook Pro with Retina Display (mid 2012 or newer)
  • Mac mini (server) (Late 2012 or newer)
  • iMac (Late 2012 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Black 2013 or newer)
Q. Which Macs support the "Airplay" to an Apple TV (gen 2 or later) feature?
A. Not all Macs support this feature as it appears to be dependent on the hardware in your computer, so basically older computers won't support this feature. Macs that officially support "Airplay" include:
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Early 2011 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro with Retina Display (all models)
  • Mac mini (server) (Mid 2011 or newer)
  • iMac (Mid 2011 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Black 2013 or newer)
Q. Which Mac do I have?
A. You can check "Processor", "Memory" and macOS/OS X/Mac OS X "Version" by going to Apple menu > About This Mac > Overview tab if necessary (hint - clicking on the version number will give you the "build" number).
A. To check your Mac's "Model Name" go to Apple menu > About This Mac > Overview tab if necessary > check for the computer name in the top line e.g. "MacBook Pro" (this can only be checked with OS X 10.7 or later)
A. To check your Mac's model date version go to Apple menu > About This Mac > Overview tab if necessary > check the details after the Model Name e.g. "Early 2015" (this can only be checked with OS X 10.7 or later) - to be more specific and exact you can check what "Model Identifier" your Mac has by:
  • If you are running Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "More Info…" button > (the System Profiler application will open) select "Hardware" in the top left > check what it says for 'Model Identifier' on the right.
  • If you are running OS X 10.7 or OS X 10.8 go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "More Info…" button > (the System Information application will open) select "Hardware" in the top left > check what it says for 'Model Identifier' on the right under 'Hardware Overview'.
  • If you are running OS X 10.9 or later go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "Overview" tab in the top left > click the "System Report…" button > (the System Information application will open) select "Hardware" in the top left > check what it says for 'Model Identifier' on the right under 'Hardware Overview'.
A. To check what graphics capability your Mac has:
  • If you are running Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "More Info…" button > (the System Profiler application will open) select "Graphics/Displays" under 'Hardware' in the top left (click the triangle down if necessary) > click on the 'Video Card' on the right to see the technical information below.
  • If you are running OS X 10.7 or OS X 10.8 go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "More Info…" button > (the System Information application will open) select "Graphics/Displays" under 'Hardware' in the top left (click the triangle down if necessary) > click on the 'Video Card' on the right to see the technical information below.
  • If you are running OS X 10.9 or later go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "Overview" tab in the top left > click the "System Report…" button > (the System Information application will open) select "Graphics/Displays" under 'Hardware' in the top left (click the triangle down if necessary) > click on the 'Video Card' on the right to see the technical information below.
A. To check your Mac's "Model Number" it is usually printed/engraved on the outside of the computer somewhere (it usually begins with the letter A or M).
Q. Is iChat dead because it's been replaced with Messages?
A. No, Messages should have all the functionality of iChat but also allows you to have iMessage conversations with iOS device users (hence the name change).
Q. I hear Mountain Lion has Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and Flickr integration. Will this cause a problem if I don't use these web sites/services?
A. No, if you don't want to use these features you don't have to (just don't enter any account details). Facebook integration was not a part of Mountain Lion at launch - it came with the OS X 10.8.2 update.
Q. Have they fixed the Duplicate/Save As issue with Auto Save documents?
A. Not exactly, but unlike Lion you can now duplicate a document using the Command-Shift-S keyboard shortcut and use Command-Shift-Option-S to save a document using a different name and location. You should also update to OS X 10.8.2 or later (Apple ID required for Apple software updates) as that includes extra Save As features/bug fixes.
Q. If I install OS X 10.8 and don't like it can I easily downgrade to 10.7/10.6?
A. We're currently working on an article about that - check back soon.
Q. What should I do to prepare for Mountain Lion?
A. See this article.

Article Keywords: OS X OSX 108 Mountain Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

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