Snow Leopard Installation Tips

So by random chance, I’ve installed Snow Leopard twice in the past two days and learnt a little in the process. Thought it’d be nice to share:

First off, Snow Leopard (as of today, 26th August) has not been officially released yet. It’s easy enough to download it off a torrent tho. The magic letters are “10A432”. That’s all I’m going to say on that subject.

Installation

  • First off, backup everything important. Not doing this is stupid and besides, this guide is oriented towards a fresh installation and not an upgrade.
  • There’s a better way to get it installed than from the Install DVD (or burning one). If you’ve got a portable HD lying around, partition the drive (using Disk Utility) into 2, a small 8G Snow Leopard Installation partition and a bigger Data partition. Make sure that under Options, you select a GUID partition table, otherwise you won’t be able to boot from the drive.
  • Once you’ve done that, click the Snow Leopard partition, click Restore and drag your downloaded .dmg into Source, and the partition into Destination. Make sure Erase is checked and click Restore.
  • If you’ve got that running (after the restore is complete, the “Snow Leopard Install DVD” will be mounted but don’t do anything yet) go to System Preferences -> Startup Disk, select the new partition as the Startup Disk and then Restart.
  • Install Snow Leopard as you will once the computer restarts, but if it’s a downloaded build, you’ll have to start from scratch with a Fresh Install. If the installation program doesn’t recognize your drive (or has an exclamation mark next to it) it’s because you didn’t format it properly. Just select Utilities->Disk Utility and reformat any partitions as Mac OSX Extended (Journalled).
  • As far as I can see, there’s no Upgrade from Leopard option. This is a good thing in my books though since things work much better with a Fresh Install.

Post-Installation Steps

  • Install iWork and iLife if you have and need them.
  • Start up Software Update and let it do its thing. It’ll take a while so you can do other useful things in between!
  • Restore your data from your backups.

Optional Post-Installation Steps

These are oriented mostly towards coders. If you aren’t one, feel free to skip.

  • First off, install Xcode. It’s a must for a lot of things. Note: you’ll have to use the build that comes with Snow Leopard under the Optional Installs folder. Xcode downloaded off Apple’s websites won’t work with Snow Leopard.
  • Install MacPorts. You’ll have to do this from source since the available installation package doesn’t work with Snow Leopard. It’s easy though. Follow these steps in a Terminal:

    $ cd
    $ mkdir Applications
    $ cd Applications
    $ svn co http://svn.macports.org/repository/macports/branches/release_1_8/base ./MacPorts
    $ cd MacPorts
    $ ./configure --enable-readline
    $ make
    $ sudo make install
    
  • Create a file named .profile in your home directory (~) and add these two lines to it and save:

    export PATH=/opt/local/bin:/opt/local/sbin:$PATH
    export MANPATH=/opt/local/share/man:$MANPATH
    
  • Now close the Terminal you have and open a new one.
  • To test our MacPorts, we’re going to install a pretty useful utility—wget. You can choose to install something else.

    $ sudo port -vd sync
    $ sudo port -v install wget
    

    This’ll take some time, so you’re free to do something else.

  • Install TextMate and register it.

Well that’s pretty much it!