Apple now offers Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Mountain Lion for free

Posted:
in macOS
Users still hanging on to older Macs no longer have to pay $20 for their Mac OS X download thanks to new Apple support documents.

Apple makes older Mac OS X versions free for the first time
Apple makes older Mac OS X versions free for the first time


Apple stopped charging for Mac OS X with the release of version 10.9 Mavericks, but users looking for older versions had to pay for the download codes via the Mac App Store. Both Mac OS X Lion and Mac OS X Mountain Lion are still available for purchase for $19.99 each.

In new support documents discovered by Macworld, Apple will allow users to access the download codes for these old operating systems for free. Those who are feeling nostalgic can download the installers and run the old operating systems on compatible hardware on a partition, or on modern machines in a virtual machine.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    j2fusionj2fusion Posts: 117member
    I wonder if Mountain Lion Server is also available for free. The user (non-server) version will not run in a Virtual Machine. Only the server version is licensed to run in a VM. 
    repressthistwokatmewwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,441member
    Cheapskates rejoice!
    lkrupp
  • Reply 3 of 20
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,304member
    Beats said:
    Cheapskates rejoice!
    Realize that there’s still a forum for OS 9 users too. Some people...
    Beats
  • Reply 4 of 20
    j2fusion said:
    I wonder if Mountain Lion Server is also available for free. The user (non-server) version will not run in a Virtual Machine. Only the server version is licensed to run in a VM. 
    Having licensed a newer version of Server as I recall prior versions were (happily) available...
  • Reply 5 of 20

    lkrupp said:
    Beats said:
    Cheapskates rejoice!
    Realize that there’s still a forum for OS 9 users too. Some people...
    Some abandoned applications offer function or legacy project access that is not only useful but arguably required by legal statute...
    Additionally some older hardware can continue to function well using legacy software / drivers vs ending up in recycling or landfill.
    This may include printers and plotters with orphaned drivers running off legacy print servers, for example.
    If I was an author I might still be OK with MacWrite on an SE30 with a large monitor and System 7.1
    Apple at one time required all apps to use similar commands and shortcuts for ease of use.  Ironic for a proprietary hardware company?
    Enter Adobe and the adopt, extend, extinguish digital colonialism of microsoft?
    I remember looking at Quark long ago and asking how could it possibly be meaningfully improved - it seemed perfect.
    Personally I find a remarkable purity in much legacy software, like visiting old friends, all sentimentality aside,
    and I have yet to find an easier (of use) web app than iWeb for example, with a perpetual license,
    as a sequel to PageMill, both of which did/do the 20% of things I need 80% of the time so well... Sigh...
    edited June 30 elijahgapplguyspock1234
  • Reply 6 of 20
    seanjseanj Posts: 240member
    Beats said:
    Cheapskates rejoice!
    I still use my fully functional 2006 Black MacBook for ripping CDs and DVDs… my newer Macs don’t have optical drives.

    Just because something is old it doesn’t mean you throw it away for something newer… 
    baconstangelijahgspock1234Bombdoetwokatmewdewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 20
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 735member
    seanj said:
    Beats said:
    Cheapskates rejoice!
    I still use my fully functional 2006 Black MacBook for ripping CDs and DVDs… my newer Macs don’t have optical drives.

    Just because something is old it doesn’t mean you throw it away for something newer… 
    I'm using my old '06 iMac for a jukebox.

    Not only does it have an optical drive, it also has an IR remote to control level, pause and skip!
    applguyspock1234Bombdoewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 20
    basjhjbasjhj Posts: 90member
    I would just download it for the wallpapers. Is there a gallery at Apple where you can download these? I miss them, and whatever technical improvement Big Sur has brought, I absolutely detest the new wallpapers.
    watto_cobrahammeroftruth
  • Reply 9 of 20
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,828member
    Beats said:
    Cheapskates rejoice!
    That, I am! 
  • Reply 10 of 20
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,252member
    Beats said:
    Cheapskates rejoice!
    NEWSFLASH: In a binary poll, 100% of respondents said they'd rather pay nothing than pay $20 for the same thing.

    muthuk_vanalingamFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 11 of 20
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,441member
    crowley said:
    Beats said:
    Cheapskates rejoice!
    NEWSFLASH: In a binary poll, 100% of respondents said they'd rather pay nothing than pay $20 for the same thing.



    But how many of them would wait a decade for it?

    Not many according to Mac sales.
    edited July 1
  • Reply 12 of 20
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,286member
    seanj said:
    Beats said:
    Cheapskates rejoice!
    I still use my fully functional 2006 Black MacBook for ripping CDs and DVDs… my newer Macs don’t have optical drives.

    Just because something is old it doesn’t mean you throw it away for something newer… 
    I'm using my old '06 iMac for a jukebox.

    Not only does it have an optical drive, it also has an IR remote to control level, pause and skip!
    I'm using one of my Power Mac Cube (on Tiger) as a CD player/jukebox on my stereo system. Since a "Cube" has no regular audio output jacks (to speak of), I connected it to my stereo system by way of a first generation Airport Express and using the optical output in that. Plus I'm using the iTunes Remote App on a first generation iPad (along with a second generation iPod Touch), to select the song/album I want to listen to (either from the iTunes library or on the CD). This is for when I'm too lazy to play my vinyls. 

    The only drawback is the 128GB limit on the internal HD. Since all the songs on its iTune library are lossless, to retain original CD quality, i have to use an external Firewire HD to hold all the songs/albums I want. Except for the occasional WiFi connection static hiccup between the "Cube" and Express, the set up works just fine.  

    Of all the Hi End gear i have on my stereo system, the "Cube" is what most  my friends notice the most, when they come over. 
    edited July 1 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 20
    It is very important that these remain available to download. So much of our data is becoming inaccessible because the hardware and applications used to make them are not available. To borrow a term from the fbi, our history is going dark. 
    kingofsomewherehotOctoMonkeywatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 14 of 20
    Fidonet127Fidonet127 Posts: 257member
    Another version of planned obsolescence bites the dust. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 20
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,699member
    There's a part of me that would like Apple to release the source code for these older operating systems. I wonder what kind of IoT, HomeKit, and open source products and appliances we'd see if they were based on OS X rather than Linux and other less-refined operating systems. Perhaps that ship has already sailed, but it's an interesting thing to think about.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 20
    OctoMonkeyOctoMonkey Posts: 181member
    dewme said:
    There's a part of me that would like Apple to release the source code for these older operating systems. I wonder what kind of IoT, HomeKit, and open source products and appliances we'd see if they were based on OS X rather than Linux and other less-refined operating systems. Perhaps that ship has already sailed, but it's an interesting thing to think about.
    It would indeed be nice to see, but not likely.  If given a choice, I would rather see them release the source code for the various Classic Mac OS versions...  Perhaps 6.0.8, 7.1, 7.6.1 and 8.1.  Come on Apple, 3 decade old code written for 68K CPUs...  are you really concerned about IP theft?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 20
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,562member
    I'm going to confirm this statement from Apple's website:

    Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is available for older systems that are not compatible with the latest version of macOS and requires the following:  

    • OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8, Lion 10.7, or Mountain Lion 10.8 already installed ********
    The last part could make it difficult to do a fresh install.

    Update 1: These are standard pkg installers not ISO files, which is why an existing OS has to be on the Mac.
    Update 2: The latest Fusion forces you to have an ISO file. Checking Parallels next

    edited July 7
  • Reply 18 of 20
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,339member
    Nice of Apple, many of us have software products from earlier eras that are fun to fire up once in a while. I have both those OSs already in VMs from my own installations from back in the day.  I also have Leopard and Snow Leopard.  All run well in VMWare.


    edited July 9
  • Reply 19 of 20
    EberhartEberhart Posts: 3unconfirmed, member
    I remember reading a long time ago (probably here), that Apple was forced to charge a nominal amount for the upgrades because of a licensing agreement with some of the code the older OSes were using. Maybe that code is no longer encumbered.

    Remember when iPod touch updates had a charge? That sucked. Lol.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    MacPro said:
    Nice of Apple, many of us have software products from earlier eras that are fun to fire up once in a while. I have both those OSs already in VMs from my own installations from back in the day.  I also have Leopard and Snow Leopard.  All run well in VMWare.


    I had wondered if VMs might work with newer macOS in unsupported 'legacy' (if otherwise metal and highly capable) macs to run apps that may require a newer macOS, assuming Apple wouldn't object, and presumably as long as support isn't required...? 
    edited July 12
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