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Installing OS X Tiger (10.4) on an eMac

Blog 2020/4/29

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Installing OS X Tiger (10.4) on an eMac

Here are some notes on installing OS X Tiger on an eMac (700MHz).


Grab a .iso image of the Tiger install DVD from, burn it to a DVD.

My eMac came with a CD-ROM drive, so I had to use a USB DVD-ROM drive to boot the installer. Hold the option key when you boot up the machine to access the boot menu.

Unfortunately, the USB ports on this machine are USB 1.1, (which is limited to 12Mbps, or about 1.5MB/s), which means the install will take a while (about 1.5 hours).

Software Update

After installing, Software Update should run automatically. This will bring you up to Tiger 10.4.11.

Xcode Tools

While you still have the Tiger install DVD inserted, install XcodeTools.mpkg.


TenFourFox is a fork of Firefox built for PowerPC and OS X Tiger.


Xcode 2.5

(brew will complain that Xcode 2.0 is out of date and should be updated to 2.5)

Download Xcode 2.5 from

(search for "xcode 2.5" at )


Install tigerbrew.

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSkL"

Modify your ~/.profile:

export PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:$PATH

You will likely want to export HOMEBREW_VERBOSE=1 because compile times are very long on these old machines :).

Don't forget to change the terminal to be a login shell (Terminal -> Preferences -> Execute thie command /bin/bash -l).

Run brew doctor (this will take a while).

Brew will spit out a couple of warnings about needing curl and git.

brew install curl
brew link --force curl
brew install git

Install the Tiger-specific formulas.

See also my log of tigerbrew build errors.

Additional links

See also my log of build failures.

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cellularmitosis commented Apr 30, 2020

It looks like 10.5 (Leopard) might also be an option for this machine, with some work-arounds:

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cellularmitosis commented Apr 30, 2020

FreeBSD is also an option:

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