I need to update to the latest Mac OSX Mavericks for some iOS development work. However the Macbook is so old that the latest OS is not compatible with it. I can't afford to shell out the money for a Macbook Pro or a Macbook Air at the moment so have been toying with the idea of getting the Mac Mini which is considerably cheaper, even for a brand new one.

Ideally I want to hook up the mini with the macbook using firewire or similar and use the keyboard and display from the macbook.

Is this possible with such an old model?

I've read here on SuperUser that it can be done using a Macbook Pro but wondered if my old machine will have the capability also.


The link you provide is just an example of booting from another hard drive but using the power of MacBook and this is not what you want.

And no what you ask isn't really possible even with recent MacBook Pros since target display mode is only available on Thunderbolt iMacs (using the iMacs as screens).

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What you want is not, of course, target display mode. What you want is Screen Sharing. Generally done over ethernet (or WiFi if you are one of those cable-avoiding people - ethernet is better.)

Generally, that should work. Specifically, I don't know how far different the systems can be and still have it work, other than I have used it between 10.6 and 10.7 successfully.

I'll be avoiding 10.9 for some time yet, based on the continuing reports of issues, but if you post what OS you have and/or can get to on the MacBook (10.6, perhaps?) maybe a Mavericks early adopter can tell you if 10.6 can screen-share successfully to 10.9.

You will need a display, keyboard and mouse to set up the 10.9 Mini for screen sharing.

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  • Screen sharing for developing ? I find that frustrating on so many levels. – Matthieu Riegler Dec 15 '13 at 23:33
  • I wouldn't go there, but that's the setup Mark is describing - operate the Mini from the MacBook. I'd hang a cheap/free monitor and keyboard/mouse off the thing (given the expression of fiscal constraint in the question) rather than do that, but I'm not Mark. – Ecnerwal Dec 16 '13 at 0:34

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