Mac OS X Lion is around the corner, and mixed in with the excitement is some frustration based on a misunderstanding of the system requirements. The latest bout of frustration comes from a post on MacRumors
titled "Lion Clean Install Requires Snow Leopard Disc?" that apparently quotes Steve Jobs responding to a users question regarding a clean install:
The sender has a good question, and Steve Jobs answers correctly in that Lion requires Snow Leopard to install. This seems to have been improperly interpreted by some as that Mac OS X Lion can not be used to perform any “clean install” (for clarification: a clean installation of Lion would be a fresh install of Lion as the only operating system on a hard drive or partition, not an upgrade over a previously installed OS).
I am writing this to clarify that you can perform a clean install of Lion
, to show you I did so, and also to explain some of the potential confusion which has led to the misunderstanding and flame-war around the web. Proof of the Lion Clean Install
We’ll start off with the good stuff since this is what everyone seems concerned about. Yes you can create a fresh clean install of Lion. In fact, many of us who are running Lion Developer Preview have performed clean installs.
The only requirement for where a clean Lion installation is allowed is the existence of a target blank partition or hard drive that is properly formatted HFS+, this is the same requirement for past clean Mac OS X installs. I did precisely this in my post explaining how to dual boot Mac OS X Lion and Snow Leopard. I won’t walk through that entire post again, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that I created a separate partition for Lion, and performed a clean install of Lion on that partition, it was not an upgrade of Snow Leopard.