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  • cathy fasano Level 2 (340 points)

    Ok, I'm the one who brought up virtualization, so I should clarify some things that I managed to get confused.


    Parallels is a product that runs on macs, and allows you to run virtual machines inside of Parallels.  Those virtual machines can be various flavors of windows, linux, unix, but NOT mac os x.  Parallels version 6 was just released, and it runs atop of Lion.


    Parallels Server is also a product that runs on macs, and allows you to run virtual machines inside of Parallels.  Those virtual machines can be various flavors of windows, linux, unix, and mac os x SERVER, but NOT mac os x CLIENT.  The current version of this seems to be version 4, and it does not seem to run atop Lion.  The two versions of osx SERVER that Parallels Server runs are 10.5 and 10.6.


    I got myself hepped up thinking that this was a possible (albeit expensive) solution available to running Snow Leopard on Lion-only hardware.  It's not, although the Parallels people may have the necessary expertise to create such a solution.

  • MathGeekRob Level 1 (0 points)



    Parallels 7 was just announced and it will run Lion within Lion.  (Lion as a guest OS is mentioned halfway down:  Nowhere does it say that SL is eligiable or ineligable as a guest OS.

  • cathy fasano Level 2 (340 points)

    Being able to run Lion as a "guest OS" (in other words, a virtual machine) is listed as a new feature.  Before Lion, the ONLY way to run any version of os x legally as a virtual machine was to run os x SERVER ($500) inside of Parallels SERVER.  This was a licensing issue.  GoDaddy wanted to sell os x virtual servers, but Apple licensing prohibits it.  So Apple made a specific marketing decision to allow Parallels SERVER to run os x SERVER -- since they were getting paid $500 for EACH virtual machine operating system.


    With the release of Lion and the downgrade of Lion server to something cheap and light on functionality, all this becomes questionable...  Will Apple allow virtualization, but only of Lion?  Will they allow different things on a mini than on a mac pro?  The Lion license explicitly allows virtualization of Lion (one real copy, two virtual copies on each mac you "own or control" if I understand the legalese properly) but in previous versions virtualization is strictly limited, and unless specifically allowed by Apple those limits still hold.


    This is getting really off-topic, though -- other than to say that Parallels with current products is not going to solve the problem of running Snow Leopard on Lion-shipped hardware.  (unless I'm missing something.)

  • zirkenz Level 1 (0 points)

    IMHO, if Apple is working so hard to stop people from downgrading to SL, blocking every method that is possible for them to block, do you honestly think they will do anything about this let alone virtualization? Front Row to me is an awesome tool, especially on a mac mini or a laptop (and having composite video out for connections in a tv in a hotel room). They could have included it in lion, all they needed to do is update it so it can handle the 64 bit itunes but clearly they don't care. Heck it will run in lion as long as you stick with itunes 10.3.1 which they will force you to upgrade by denying you video purchases at some point. 


    I was going to buy a mac mini and monitor to tide me over but the whole no disc drive, lion thing and no front row made this impossible. There are people out there whose entire business have shutdown because they upgraded to lion hastily. Yet Apple is not helping them revert or even dual boot. From the weeks of SL downgrade research i have done, i have run into so many horror stories that make Lion Apple's Vista. Unlike MS, Apple is making sure they don't take a PR hit and also making it possible to say Lion is a success, see how many installs we have.


    You talk to any Apple employee about SL downgrade and you see how their attitude towards you changes and all you get is a string of curt no's. Even if there is something they can do they will not as this is a taboo topic that they are afraid to get into. I personally know a lot of apple geniuses that secretly hate Lion but would never say that publicly. With Steve Jobs being the Ghadafi of the tech world expecting anything from this dictator apart from what he wants is pure fantasy. Frankly SJ has lost his mind and has lost touch with his faithful. I don't mean those folks who line up for an Apple device who frankly have ruined the Apple i knew, I mean those who have supported Apple from its humble beginings through all the good and bad.


    The only way to make them change their minds is poor sales. If you vote with your dollars, they will make changes as they did with the shuffle. I think the new Nanos are absolutely ridiculous considering most people use them at the gym. Having actual buttons make operating it much easier when your on the eliptical and having radio support is also important if you tune into the gym TV's. Wish they had a nano classic.

  • Steve Jolly Level 1 (35 points)

    zirkenz, you are very much welcome to share your thoughts on Lion and your concerns about Apple. Again, though, please share them in one of the other threads, and, here, stick to talking directly about installing SL on the 2011Mac Mini.


    If you don't, we'll have this whole thread dissolve into a debate about Apple and opinions on Lion. That debate is alive and healthy and happening in dozens of threads devoted to exactly that, elsewhere in these Support Community discussions. I'm reading and contributing comments, there. You should, too.


    Here, on this thread, we have gained almost 12,000 views, now, by staying focused "on topic." Believe it or not, like them or not, there are likely to be answers emerging. This thread will lose its identinty and its following and fade if we let it turn into a running grump or flame, deserved or not. Please honor what we're asking -- stay on topic. It will help us all, including you, as the fog lifts and some light falls on Snow Leopard and the answers. It really is a fair request! Thanks!

  • Steve Jolly Level 1 (35 points)

    Now, I do (again) need to make one brief comment to bring us back to "the point" of this thread and maybe cool the anger down a little bit about all of this. It doesn't really matter, so long as we find a solution, but it kinda clouds up things a bit so please endure me for a moment.


    Zirkens, I want to assure you -- I PROMISE -- and I have talked to enough people at Apple in the past 96 hours that I know -- that there has not been a single step intentionally taken by Apple with the explicit goal of "blocking" Snow Leopard from running on the newest hardware. None. No secret instructions, no hidden bombs in the software or hardware.


    Did they take steps to try to support it? In the end, no. My sources tell me what Cathy surmised, earlier: they considered trying to get it running on these really new, revised machines (Mini, Air and iMac) and they experimented with it, but, in the rush to get Lion to market, with the focus being on having Lion "work" and run at the fastest possible speeds, they chose to not include the slow-downs and code crutches that it would have taken to support Snow Leopard in an environment that it wasn't designed for. They felt that it would have slowed down Lion a bit and would have led to other problems. And, it's contrary to a long-held Apple policy about new hardware not supporting old OS software.


    Was that a mistake? Yes, I sure think so, but then I'm one of the folks who is whining because it's causing me some problems. Is orphaning some old software with a newly-released generation of machines often the "policy" in the computer world, from IBM to Microsoft and Apple. for most of computer history? Yes. Sometimes it's clearly the right decision, sometimes it's a big problem. And, there's always a howl. That's why Apple sometimes doesn't do it that way. Think about Rosetta or "The Classic Environment," etc. etc.


    I appreciate the colorfulness of your calling Steve Jobs the "Gadhafi of the tech world." However, in this case, all that has happened is that the new Macs utilize a different CPU / chipset / code combination that is not so friendly for Snow Leopard. Lion is very, very different in the processes and views that it brings to OS X -- it's a huge re-thinking of what the OS needs to be and what it needs to handle in the future, and has quite different coding goals and paths. So far, I don't agree with it, but there is not a single employee of Apple who has said that they're heard or been told to "block every method" of running Snow Leopard. SL support is just not workable at this point on that new hardware; I promise you that if they had intended to block it, the halfway-running of SL that we've achieved so far would be absolutely impossible.


    It would have taken a lot of re-writing of legacy code to support SL, and they didn't think it was worth it. Bad decision, maybe, but not an intentionally evil one, and I believe that it's being revisited in two ways.


    As you point out, there are plenty of Apple employees who don't like -- even hate -- Lion. There are plenty of users who think it's a disaster. We'll know a lot more about that in a couple of months, after some fixes and modifications. I'm not going to defend Lion.


    The reason Apple employees clam up when you ask them to solve the problem is not that they are "afraid" -- there is just, simply, totally, right now, absolutely nothing they can do to help you run Snow Leopard on some of the new hardware, and they're perhaps occasionally a bit embarrassed. The support chips and ancillary code just ain't there. It's like trying to fly an airplane when there's no air. Not gonna fly.


    I do believe, and have reason to believe, that Apple is encouraging a couple of products like Parallels to make some "bridges" -- some air -- available that will allow SL to run quite well on these machines. It's contrary to Apple's usual practices, but, hey, they just revived sale of Final Cut Studio 3 because Lion / Final Cut X is causing problems and is leaving too many Mac users without a viable tool set. This will not be a highly expensive, complex "fix" (if you want to call it that) just a bridge to allow some new machines to do some things that they were not expected or designed to have to do. Apple is allowed some screwups in my world, whether I like it or not, and on balance I like where we wind up after Apple's humans make human decisions and then, sometimes, have to try to tweak and bend the things that they've just crafted, things that aren't perfect, so that they fit users' needs better in a situation that the Apple folks either didn't clearly forsee or that they had decided wasn't that important.


    That's like the growling that I heard yesterday from a major politician who griped that the national weather forecasts hadn't gotten the path of the latest hurricane exactly right, and so money was spent in places where it wasn't essential and there weren't enough warnings in some places where it unexpectedly caused problems. I can guess that he's never written a big computer program, tried to raise a kid to be "exactly" like he wanted, married someone who wasn't perfect, or tried to guess a couple of days in advance where a hurricane would go and how strong it would be. That's what the Serenity Prayer is for. And why there probably needs to be a 12-step program for software coders / computer designers who against all history believe that they can somehow always get it right. Talk to the folks at H-P or RIM or Atari or Microsoft or, now, Google, or Apple....or....


    Okay, I'll shut up, now. This decision of "no Snow Leopard on the newest Macs" was a mistake, unless there's something really big that we don't know. The situation is irritating. However, let's get back to finding a solution, please, and then accept and publicize and implement one when it's found. There are 12,000 friends dropping by who'll help us.


    Cathy, with your wonderfully clear writing, now please tersely re-explain all the things that I just completely messed up.

  • zirkenz Level 1 (0 points)



    Thanks for the post and i understand and apologise if that post potentially may cause topic derailment. I love the mac mini and was going to buy it along with a 2011 macbook air and TB monitor. My comments were not based on the 2011 mac mini nor macbook air as i see those being on lion as fair considering that it has hardware that is not support by SL like BT 4.0. Even though i had hoped to run snow leopard on it which is why at the advice of an apple genius bought the mac box set. He told me i could roll back any machine even lion and he confirmed it with another apple genius. Later after lion's release i went in to buy the mac mini and macbook air when i found about not being able to downgrade especially the new macs. This is where my nightmare began and i tried finding an i7 system that already had SL on it. i got lot of bad advice from Apple staff at every turn and now find my self in this situation and they don't want to do anything to fix it.


    Had i known back then i would have bought my system before lion came out.  Anyway, i watched many YouTube videos of downgrading systems with preinstalled lion, the beeping whie trying to boot of the mac box set disc thing never occured with any of them, so this is new. Also new is it would not let me create a partition or erase a partition also did not occur in the videos. So the cto system i just got had to have been tinkered with to prevent that. Anyway i'll stop now and leave this thread. However remeber that the low geekbench scores is not confined to the 2011 mac mini

  • dgfoster Level 1 (0 points)

    So... is anyone running Leopard or Snow Leopard through Parallel's 7 and Lion on the new Mac Mini please?

  • khorning Level 1 (0 points) can partition the new Mini and have SL running on one partition and Lion on another. I did it. Each partition performed as noted previously here (regrettably slow in the case of SL) with regard to Geekbench measurements. The trick is a multi-step process. You have to downgrade to SL on the whole Mini in one partition and then clone that to an external drive. Then wipe and reinstall Lion and clone that to the external drive. Then wipe the Lion drive and partition it and bring back the SL clone to one partition and the Lion clone to the other. The only thing I found was that things like the usr/local/lib takes on the SL preferences for both partitions and may need to be modified to run certain Lion apps. I was able to get iTunes downgraded and get full Front Row (Including EyeTV) functionality running under Lion.

  • Steve Jolly Level 1 (35 points)

    zirkenz, you are more than welcome on this thread -- (as if my opinion makes any difference; I'm just another member of the Community, not a moderator!)


    With some luck, we can provide you with some solutions and maybe even some inspiration, soon, as the SL-on-Mini issue evolves -- so long as we all keep relatively close to the topic. With the hope, of course, of -- relatively soon! -- being able to give everyone a "roadmap" (yet to be developed) that will allow successful and high-speed running of SL on the 2011 Mini et al.


    There are some folks who are getting better results than the rest of us, and they're going to post here as soon as they can research and document a replicatable path to "success."


    Again, I request that we all keep this thread approximately on-topic:

    the attempts, successes, failures, challenges, processes and results of installing Snow Leopard on the 2011 Mac Mini (and some closely related challenges on other machines).  It's inevitable that the thread will occasionally drift off into discussions of how we got here and where the problem (and Apple) might go from here. I'm just suggesting that we avoid the serious "general Apple-bashing" for now, especially ad hominem rants, because it generates distracting controversy and doesn't do anything to help the situation.


    I assure everyone, from my multiple talks with Apple programmers over the last few days, that Apple has no intent of killing SL on any machine that can be made to run it, and certainly does not plan to sabotage it with evil code changes in the future. Really! They make some mistakes, but most of us are here (and posting on Apple machines) precisely because Apple often gets it surprisingly right, in the end.

  • Steve Jolly Level 1 (35 points)

    We have 12,200+ views on this thread as of mid-day on Sunday.


    Thanks to each of you for your continued help in finding information and asking questions so that we can keep this inquiry alive for everyone who needs to run Snow Leopard on the 2011 Mac Mini and on related hardware. Great work!


    We hope to post  -- in the next 36-48 hours -- much more specific info on "steps to follow" to install SnoLep on the 2011 Mini and some work-arounds to help deal with the slow-down that currently comes with installing it on new Lion Minis / Airs / iMacs.


    Also, some feedback and leads on finding ways to run SnoLep in a "virtual machine" under Lion. We're talking about alternatives to Parallels, and there are a bunch, most of 'em inexpensive! Parallels isn't quite ready to support Snow Leopard as a second system on Lion machines, but Parallels can get there quickly when they're convinced that there's a market for it! For many folks, P may still prove to be the cheapest, best, fastest route; and it preserves some of the strengths of having Lion instantly available for functions and software that need it. More, soon!


    Yes we can can!       FREE THE SNOW LEOPARD 12,000 !  etc etc etc

  • mcraig55 Level 1 (20 points)

    I don't know if any of you are aware of this, as a virtualization option Oralce VirtualBox does allow you to install Snow Leopard Client. There is only a choice to install "Mac OS X Server" or "Mac OS X Server 64 bit", but I chose Mac OS X Server 64 bit as a client machine option in the wizard pull down menu for the client type but used my Snow Leopard client disk 10.6 and it installed fine.


    I have not tried this on the 2011 Mac Mini running Lion because I don't have one but it does work on a 2010 Mac Mini Server with Snow Leopard Server as the host Machine.


    Maybe this will help you in the interim. By the way VirtualBox is a free download.

  • Steve Jolly Level 1 (35 points)

    Thanks,mcraig55! ...and Oracle's VirtualBox is a very capable product. The problem, if there is one, is that the 2011 Mini and some similar new Macs (that is, they share some similar electronic components and code environment) were designed to run Lion, and they appear to not have the built-in code and chips needed to run Snow Leopard (or, more precisely, they don't have the chip and code support that Snow Leopard is expecting to find when it launches, so it runs slowly if at all, and the combination has some other problems, including not interacting well with some types of peripherals). That pretty much summarizes our basic challenge!


    All of that "missing" stuff can be provided by any virtualization solution that's aimed at doing it (hey, that's one of the main things that "virtualization" is all about!). It really shouldn't be a huge project for VirtualBox coders or for Parallels, or, for that matter, for any robust "virtual machine" whose coders want to create a capability to run Snow Leopard under Lion on "Lion Macs."


    What VirtualBox does now is to run an extra instance (copy) of Snow Leopard on a machine that's already running one flavor of Snow Leopard, and whose innards are supportive of Snow Leopard. That's quite a bit different from what we're trying to accomplish.


    Let's keep our fingers crossed (and messages and postings to other forums going up!). A couple of the virtualization masters may decide to take on this project. If they do, it's one road opening up that will allow running SnoLep on Macs that are designed for Lion.  There may be other paths using patches and various other snippets or end-runs that will take us to the same goal.


    This ball is someone else's court, and I fell confident that getting that ball into play can produce some significant income -- for somebody.


    I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd pay a bit of extra money -- and virtualization solutions of the type we're discussing aren't usually very expensive -- right now to be able to solve this problem neatly, quickly, and transparently (in other words, to have SnowLep running fast and with no significant problems or unusual behavior on my Lion Macs -- now!).

  • Steve Jolly Level 1 (35 points)

    Almost 13,000 views of this thread as of early Tuesday evening! 


    And, yes, I know that it doesn't represent 13,000 different individuals who've checked into this thread; a sizeable portion of that 13,000 "views" (or visits) are likely to be by folks checking here repeatedly, who have (or want to have) "Lion Macs," including the 2011 Mini, and who hope that we'll uncover and publicize a solution to the Snow Leopard-won't-run-well-on-2011 Minis dilemma.


    That's our goal! There's no satisfactory answer, yet -- 'tho a virtualization solution is probably close at hand.


    You CAN install Snow Leopard on a 2011 Mini (following procedures that have been described in previous posts here), but it will run at around 40% of the expected speed and there will be other problems. We're trying to explore various ways out of that dead-end, and we'll almost certainly have some positive news, here, soon.


    Thanks for looking in on this thread and -- if you've posted, here -- for contributing your part to our discussions and to our growing knowledge base.



         Yes we can can!       FREE THE SNOW LEOPARD 13,000 !  etc etc etc

  • Steve Jolly Level 1 (35 points)

    Closing in on 14,000 views from people stopping by to see what answers we might offer on this Discussion thread. That's proof that there's plenty of interest in running Snow Leopard successfully (that means at full speed, with no special problems) on the "Lion" 2011 Mac Mini.


    We're expecting some information in the next few days from Parallels, on whether or not they can and WILL modify the current version so that it can run SnoLep on the recent Lion-only machines including the various 2011 Mac Mini models (and also including, potentially, the MacBook Air and the newest iMacs as well).


    Stay tuned!



      Yes we can can!       FREE THE SNOW LEOPARD 14,000 !  etc etc

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