2 Replies Latest reply: Sep 29, 2011 10:43 AM by Ronda Wilson
jacquesfromtempe Level 1 Level 1

I have an iBook G4 with OS 10.4.11. I tried to install an HP printer, received error message that I needed to have Mac OS X v 10.5 or v. 10.6 on the iBook in order to install the printer. How do I upgrade to v 10.5 or 6 ? I am a new user to Mac, my knowledge is very limited. I find these operating systems names and versions very confusing. I inherited the iBook and I would like to use it. Thank you.

PowerBook, Mac OS X (10.4.1)
  • d6d24r94 Level 3 Level 3

    Here's a basic summary of the Mac OS X versions:

    10.0 - Cheetah

    10.1 - Puma

    10.2 - Jaguar

    10.3 - Panther

    10.4 - Tiger

    10.5 - Leopard

    10.6 - Snow Leopard

    10.7 - Lion


    These versions come in numbers 10.x.y. Any updates where the y number changes are free, and any updates where the x number changes cost money.


    Basically, if you have 10.4.11 that means you have Tiger, and the printer drivers are not compatible with an older operating system like Tiger. You can upgrade to Leopard, but Leopard costs a lot of money now because it is not made anymore, therefore it is in higher demand. It's almost not worth buying because it's almost $300 for a new Leopard DVD.


    If you have an iBook the latest you'll be able to run is Leopard because it's very likely that you have a PowerPC processor (the old processors Apple used to make themselves before they switched to Intel in 2006). Leopard is the last known version of Mac OS X to be compatible with a PPC processor and even then sometimes it lags a good amount and it's occasionally buggy.


    HOWEVER, if you go up to the menu bar and click  > About This Mac and you have an Intel processor, chances are Snow Leopard can work on your machine. You can buy this also at Amazon for just under $100.


    If you have to upgrade the OS to use the printer and you have a PPC, you can buy Leopard for $200-300 on Amazon, or you can buy a new Mac. Expensive, but you get more than what you pay for really.

  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8

    Hi, and welcome to Apple Support Communities.


    Which exact iBook G4 model do you have?


    You can choose from this list:




    No iBook can run anything newer than Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard).


    See if your iBook meets the system requirements for Leopard here:


    Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) Requirements


    Even if the iBook meets the requirements for Leopard, it may be cheaper to buy a compatible printer than it is to buy the full retail version of Mac OS X 10.5 you would need in order to upgrade.


    For a history of Mac OS X, you can check out the Wikipedia article on it:




    That should alleviate your confusion.


    Welcome aboard!