However, it would appear that there were either no available drivers or kernel extensions for some of the hardware components or they were not stable enough in bit mode. This seems to be the reason some Macs will only boot to bit kernel. Some Macs boot by default to bit kernel but can be made to boot to bit kernel.
Mac OS X Lion
Okay, so they can be forgiven for not including it on launch, but subsequent updates could have rectified this. This is good news for the likes of me. I have yet to verify it personally, but I have seen screen shots confirming my Mac running a bit kernel in Lion. With this being one of the requirements of the Developer Preview 2 of Mountain Lion, it has put me a little more at ease that my Mac should be able to run it. At some point I shall install Lion on my MacBook — probably on an external drive to begin with, so as not to interfere with my current Snow Leopard setup.
Mac OS X Lion - Wikipedia
Then I will be able to see firsthand. Low End Mac is funded primarily through donations. All of our advertising is handled by BackBeat Media. For price quotes and advertising information, please contact BackBeat Media at This number is for advertising only.
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OS X, on the other hand, has made a more gradual transition between bit and bit, with support added slowly over the course of multiple releases. OS X The same technology that allowed developers to offer Intel and PowerPC programs as a single Universal Binary also allows developers to release single packages that support both the x86 and x64 architectures. While Leopard brought support for bit apps that can address more than 4GB of memory, Snow Leopard actually introduced an OS kernel along with bit kernel extensions and drivers that was bit, though a bit kernel was used by default on almost all Macs whether they supported the bit kernel or not.
Lion pushes this a bit further by booting a bit kernel on basically any Mac that supports it — the aluminum iMac, the unibody MacBook Pro, and the MacBook Air I used booted Snow Leopard with the bit kernel by default, but booted with the bit kernel for Lion and the iMac and the Air didn't even support the bit kernel in Snow Leopard. Yes means a bit kernel, No means bit. Support for the bit kernel requires four things to be true: You need obviously a bit Intel processor, a Mac that supports bit EFI, hardware for which OS X has bit drivers graphics cards are usually the problematic area here , and a Mac that has not been specifically disallowed from booting the bit kernel — most new Macs support the bit kernel, but white MacBooks are still artificially limited by Apple from booting the bit kernel in Snow Leopard despite hardware that fully supports it.
Most if not all of these artificial limitations have been removed in Lion for machines that meet the other bit criteria.
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Apple began really pushing bit with its marketing for Snow Leopard, and has been dropping support for bit APIs like Carbon for years — giving developers aiming for Lion guaranteed bit capability both enables them to better take advantage of the architecture improvements and saves them the effort and file size of also supporting a bit version.
That said, bit programs will continue to run fine in Lion, just as they ran fine in Snow Leopard and Leopard before it.
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The disappearance of bit programs will be gradual, but it is something to be wary of if you continue to use a Core Solo or Core Duo Mac going forward. The continued push for bit makes me think that we could see machines incapable of running the bit kernel dropped, though that line in the sand could be too faint for most consumers to see, especially given the scarce and not-always-clear documentation on what Macs support it in the first place.
The more likely cutoff point for If Apple continues its trend of dropping products that hold back the platform in one way or another, pre-OpenCL machines seem to be the most likely candidates on the chopping block. Back to the Mac: