Mac OS 10.11 support


(Slow Holg) #1

Since my MacBook (late 2008) cannot be upgraded to a MacOS newer than 10.11, I’m stuck there. Since a couple of months, Homebrew issues a disclaimer stating that you’re not supporting this “old” version. I don’t want to insult anybody of your great team here which brings such a richdom of Open Source software to the Mac, but isn’t that the same behaviour that Apple shows - dropping support for old OS versions just to sell new hardware? Almost all Windoze compatible software supports old Windows versions down to Windoze 7, lots of them even back to XP. Imagine how old that was!
Please rethink the support strategy for “old” OS versions (just to remind you - ElCapitan is just 3.5 years young!). I’d like to continue receiving modern brews like qt (which refuses to install, but is a dependency for many others). For people who try acting environmentally responsible by keeping their old hardware until it rots away (I’m even using an old PPC iMac G5…), this non-support by Apple is an insult, and I pledge to you that you behave differently.
For my time budget is strongly limited (fulltime job, 4 kids…), I can’t help myself with that issue, and without experience in Open Source programming, I don’t even know what a “pull request” is, which you recommend in your disclaimer. That’s why I’m opening this topic. Please help!
Thanks a lot!


(Sean Molenaar) #2

Unfortunately the drop by Apple is one of the reasons homebrew makes this cutoff. The system tools needed to keep homebrew working need to have a fairly recent version for homebrew to work properly (there is already more than enough support work to to with recent system versions).
Keep in mind that being unsupported only means that homebrew maintainers won’t spend a lot of time helping you debug issues, it doesn’t mean homebrew will suddenly stop working.


(Timur Tripp) #3

It’s a shame how Apple pretends to be a green company, yet won’t give us a simple decade of support so we can continue to be productive using our older Mac hardware, proving to us that this “care for the planet” mentality is all a distraction, or only matters when corporate profits aren’t involved…

I still use an iMac 6,1 (Late 2006) as a secondary computer, which is capable but purposefully limited by Apple (MacOS 10.8.5, yes Mountain Lion). Tried Linux but that is a no-go because the software there doesn’t support accelerated video on the old GPU, and video playback is still my primary use for the iMac.

Homebrew is another utility I foresee having more of a use for on older software-limited hardware rather than contemporary hardware, because of the need to install or update various utilities that would already be up-to-date or easy to find on contemporary Macs. Yet, I find they are now refusing to support that very hardware. It’s a disappointment to say the least.


(Caledbet) #4

So, as a total newbie, can someone tell me how to install Homebrew on El Capitan? I only need to install LIBDVDCSS. It worked fine for my High Sierra machine, but showed incompatibility with El Capitan. I can’t explain it any better, sorry, because I only mess with terminal when I have to. Thanks!

And yes, SlowHolg, I still have G4s and G5s that I regularly use! Damn tough machines!

Thanks in advance!


(Sean Molenaar) #5

El captain can just use the install script (software might not work though) and very old macOS versions could try tigerbrew which is attempting to support even the powerpc models.


(Slow Holg) #6

Thanks for the reply and contributions regarding old Macs.
OK I understand that building requires the correct environment. However, my understanding of Open Source is that it should be possible to build on a large variety of hardware and OS software configurations. When ElCapitan was new, everything could be built for it by Homebrew, and lots of “bottles” were available. So why can’t the build mechanisms still be adapted to ElCapitan’s (and possibly older) build environment?
For example: why can’t qt be built any more? An older version is there, but since newer formulae require newer versions of qt, it has to be upgraded - which fails. Does this happen e.g. on older Linux versions as well?
The error messages that are written to my terminal window when trying to build qt could just as well be written in Marsian - it’s not understandable at all. I admit that I’ve been an amateur programmer for a couple of decades, but due to limited time, I’m not active in Open Source communities, meaning that many of the build structures used there are beyond my knowledge. This is not your fault, of course, but please consider that, when someone with quite some computer skills like me doesn’t understand the build errors, nor can derive from them any hint on how to solve them, then Homebrew gets quite useless for “normal” users.
All that said, how can we solve the issue? What are the exact requirements for Homebrew to work, which are no longer fulfilled by older Mac OS versions and their build environments? Is there no way that Homebrew creates its own build environment, closing the gaps it finds on older Mac OS versions? I know that it does install actual versions of GCC and other helper software for building. Why not everything it needs? Could it be an idea to structure this approach, introducing a sort of “gap description” for every OS version (maybe back to 10.4 though that might be a VERY far reach), which in turn leads to a systematic gap-filling mechanism? If done right, this could then be used for every new OS version to come, making Homebrew really independent from Apple’s Drop-old-OS-strategy.
Thanks for your patience and consideration!
PS: I do use Tigerbrew on my PPC iMac, of course :wink: - it’s not perfect, but OK for quite some tools…


(Sean Molenaar) #7

This would be exactly the same if you have an old version of an “evergreen” Linux system like arch. There is simply too much overhead involved in supporting versions apple doesn’t support and it’d mostly just encourage using insecure software versions.