Tips‎ > ‎

Install Leopard on AppleTV

posted 10 Mar 2012, 03:31 by 杨阳
[原帖] Mac OSX Leopard on your ATV1 

There are two methods of going about this:
  1. Copy a pre-built image to the internal HDD and use immediately (simplest option, by far)
  2. Install Leopard yourself (using a Hackintosh build, e.g. iDeneb) and conduct post-install configuration

Using a pre-built image is highly recommended, as this method is quicker and easier than installing Leopard yourself. Since all ATV1s are identical, there is no real benefit in installing Leopard yourself and optimising, since a pre-built image optimised for one ATV1 will be optimised for all.

This thread deals with Option 1 - using a pre-built image. For information on how to install Leopard yourself, view the other 'Leopard on ATV1' guide, located HERE.


Basic Overview:
  1. Decide which image to download (there are three to choose from). 
    > 10.5.5 images are available by downloading the DLC file available under each image's listing
    and opening this in JDownloader to begin downloading the image.
    > 10.5.8 images are available as torrents.

  2. Open up ATV1 and remove internal HDD
  3. Copy pre-built image to internal HDD (Mac: I recommend Carbon Copy ClonerWindows: Not so sure (these are DMG files. Try googling for a way to copy DMG files to a HDD - and please leave a reply for others to read))
  4. Replace internal HDD and boot up
  5. N.B. It is possible to boot Leopard from a USB stick, but: 1) This is messy; and 2) You leave the USB port unable to be used for anything else (e.g. mouse/keyboard, leaving Screen Sharing/VNC the only way of controlling the ATV1). If you decide to do this, instructions may be found at the bottom of this post.

Things to Note:
  1. A guide to opening the ATV1 can be found HERE. You will need Torx 8 and 10 screwdrivers.
  2. To copy files to the internal HDD, you will need a USB to 2.5 inch IDE adaptor to be able to connect the internal HDD to your computer via USB. A super cheap method is to buy a 2.5 inch IDE HDD enclosure/case from your local computer store. Note that if you buy a enclosure case, that it: 1) Is made for 2.5 inch drives, and not 3.5 inch; and 2) the interface is IDE, not SATA.


There are two versions of Leopard that have been compiled into pre-built images: 10.5.5 and 10.5.8.

You will need to decide which version will suit you best, answered by asking yourself whether you require your ATV1 to output audio. If you do, 10.5.5 is the version you want, since 10.5.8 seems to have no/inaudible audio output. If you don't require audio output, then it might be better to opt for 10.5.8 (since this version of Leopard likely contains bug fixes and optimisations) - of course, you could try both and see which you like best.

EDIT: Optical audio on 10.5.8 has now been reported to be functional, courtesy of czern. The question in deciding between 10.5.5 and 10.5.8 now comes down to whether you need analogue audio (e.g. if you plan to use your aTV as an iTunes head unit and wish to control volume using the aTV itself or an iPod/iPad remote).

10.5.5 (2 variants - features in bold are common to both): 

1. Lite (link to DLC) (joncgde2's image)
  • User/pass: frontrow/frontrow
  • (Almost) Everything works (e.g. wireless, ethernet, etc.)
  • Audio works at normal volume levels
  • Compatible with Apple Remote
  • Audio over HDMI does not work
  • Optical audio works, by selecting "Digital Out" from System Preferences > Sound > Output
  • Component video reported to be working
  • Around 110-120MB free on cold boot (with this image however, I set iTunes to start at login (since I use my ATV1 as an iTunes head unit), so this figure will actually be lower in practice - before I did this, I was achieving 110-120MB free. You can disable iTunes opening at login via System Preferences)
  • iTunes updated to 10.1.2
  • English is the only available language and input method - all others have been stripped out
  • All apps have been slimmed (PPC and x64 binaries removed)
  • Various tweaks to minimise RAM consumption (spotlight disabled; non-core fonts disabled (can be re-enabled); visual effects disabled)
  • Blinking LED issue resolved (steady white glow)

2. Vanilla (link to DLC) (Ash's image)
  • User/pass: frontrow/frontrow
  • (Almost) Everything works (e.g. wireless, ethernet, etc.)
  • Audio works at normal volume levels
  • Compatible with Apple Remote
  • Audio over HDMI does not work
  • Optical audio works, by selecting "Digital Out" from System Preferences > Sound > Output
  • Component video reported to be working
  • Seems to be a vanilla install of 10.5.5 with nothing else changed
  • Has the blinking LED problem (LED continually blinks amber whilst ATV1 is on)

Potential issues common to both 10.5.5 versions:
  • Quicktime, iChat and iCal have been reported to be unstable/crash

10.5.8 (2 variants): 

1. Vanilla (link to torrent file) (JonMS's image)
  • User/pass: AppleTV/appletv
  • Seems to be a vanilla install of 10.5.8 with nothing else changed

2. Optimised (torrent available via Demonoid HERE) (JonMS's image)
  • User/pass: AppleTV/appletv
  • Optimised for speed
  • Stock Boot (Apple Logo)
  • PPC code stripped from all applications
  • Free space increased
  • All updates installed as of 13/10/2010
  • Blinking LED issue resolved (steady white glow) (seems to only work when ATV1 booted with no devices connected via USB)

Enabling Optical Audio under 10.5.8:

Quote Originally Posted by czern
I opened Audio MIDI Setup under Applications > Utilities. Under the Audio Devices tab, set the following:
• Default Output: Digital PCM #1
• System Output: Digital PCM #1
• Properties For: Digital PCM #1
• Audio Output > Format: 48000.0 Hz 2ch-16bit

Optical audio should now work. 

I briefly tried adjusting similar settings for Analog PCM #0 (the only analog output to show up on my system), but was unable to get similar results from the RCA jacks.

Potential issues common to both 10.5.8 versions:
  • If you can't open the Sound Preference pane, install THIS into /System/Library/PreferencePanes/
  • If ATV1 does not reboot without pressing a button on the apple remote, use THIS
  • If your UI language is not English, you can change it by following these steps:
    > Click the Apple logo (top left corner) and click Systemeinstellungen...
    > Select Sprache & Text (top right corner of System Preferences window)
    > Drag the list entry titled English to the top of the list
    > Close the window and log out (Apple logo/Frontrow abmelden...
    > Log back in


Moved, since this post was too long to include other important information. Instructions can now be found HERE