Lion build number Bingo: 11A511 vs. 11A2061 vs. 11A2063

Lion build number Bingo: 11A511 vs. 11A2061 vs. 11A2063

Summary: On July 1 Apple seeded the GM version of Lion GM to developers -- labeled as build 11A511. The problem is that the Apple's newest Macs have been imaged with a different version of Lion.


On July 1 Apple seeded the "Golden Master" (GM) version of Mac OS 10.7 Lion to developers -- labeled as build 11A511. Huzzah.

The problem is that the Apple's newest Macs, released on July 20, have been imaged with a different, presumably later vintage, version of Lion. The new Mid 2011 MacBook Airs arrived with Lion build 11A2063 and the Mid 2011 Mac mini ships with Lion build 11A2061 pre-installed, for a total of three different Lion build -- that we know of.

Lets recap the Lion build numbers:

  • 11A511 - GM
  • 11A2061 - Mac mini (Mid 2011)
  • 11A2063 - MacBook Air (Mid 2011)

Nick Palance adds:

Maybe the GM build is for the upgrade in the App Store (TM) while the other builds are for the new machines and address unique things in their hardware that isn't accounted for in the general release. Remember "enablers"? The OS that shipped on hardware was never the same as the version off the shelf, even if the version #s matched. Yeah, they all came out on the same day, but...

I'd be interested in knowing about the differences between the builds and the implications of using them to restore the new Macs. I want to create a Lion universal boot flash drive but the Lion GM won't boot the new Macs. (I tested it and the Lion GM does not boot my mid-2011 MBA13 which came with 11A2063).

Will the highest number build (2063) boot all Macs with lower-number builds?

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Topics: Apple, Hardware, Operating Systems

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  • Errrr

    Typical Apple. Probably found more bugs but told no one.
    • RE: Lion build number Bingo: 11A511 vs. 11A2061 vs. 11A2063

      @Gisabun - what is that supposed to mean? all software has bugs, but Apple has the least, so why are you so bitter about quality software & hardware?
      • RE: Lion build number Bingo: 11A511 vs. 11A2061 vs. 11A2063

        @Pederson Yes, Apple built on BSD (which someone else wrote). That's why Mac OS X is stable.
      • RE: Lion build number Bingo: 11A511 vs. 11A2061 vs. 11A2063

        @skippe93 - Your ignorance is showing. Avie Tevanian wrote OS X's kernel when he was at Carnegie-Mellon and worked on it throughout the history of NeXT. He and many other Apple engineers have contributed to the BSD project. Apple is pretty good at writing software. Not perfect, but then nobody is.
  • My guess would be specific builds for the machines

    due to specific driver sets. I have seen OSX media not work from one hardware spec to the next, because the disc didn't go to that particular hardware build. In fact one of your cohorts just learned that trying to put Snow Leopard on a Mac that shipped with Lion... Not going to work.
  • Model specific

    Apple has always shipped model specific builds of the OS with new hardware. <i>Sometimes</i> they boot other models, but not always. Experience tells me that the GM likely has the broadest set of drivers, etc... and the others are more tailored to the hardware they ship with. The minis and the airs are so close in spec that the builds they ship with may be interchangeable.

    This is all speculation, but it's based on the training I got in Cupertino when I was a Genius, so unless things have radically changed, I am pretty sure it's close to the mark.
  • Why is it a problem for machines to have OSes that actually work?

    When new machines incorporate hardware or other changes, the OS probably has to change. Going backwards can be a little tricky (or not work at all). Found this out a few years ago when I needed to run Tiger on a 2008 iMac that shipped with Leopard. Got it to work, but no Ethernet connectivity [never did find the proper driver -- and I know there was one, but for the few occasions I needed Tiger, I simply used Airport].
  • It's pure strategic

    I really don't think that it's a matter of hardware compatibility or a technical issue addressing. The mid 2011 Mac minis can be booted with SL 10.6.8! It's only a matter of strategic. I don't know what Apple tries to achieve with this stupid policy but they did release a special Lion build for mid-2011 Mac mini on purpose.