End of life plan for Tor Browser on 32 bit Macs

Updated on March 31, 2015: Clarify 4.5 release timeframe and manual update section

We are planning to discontinue support for 32 bit Macs for Tor Browser.

We're doing this for two main reasons. First, Apple itself no longer supports 32 bit Macs. The only remaining 32 bit Mac users are on OSX 10.6, which Apple ended support for in February 2014. Second, 64 bit software has improved security properties by way of improved address space layout randomization (ASLR), which makes exploitation more difficult.

This transition will happen in phases: First, the upcoming 4.5-alpha series will only be available as 64 bit builds. We will continue releasing 32 bit versions of the 4.0 series until the 4.5 series is declared stable. When the 4.5 release stabilizes, all support for 32 bit Macs will end. The 4.5 release series will become stable in mid-April of 2015. This means that 32 bit Mac users should begin investigating their options now.

Not all 10.6 Mac OS users are on 32 bit systems. According to Apple's support website, only two CPU models (the Intel Core Solo and the Intel Core Duo) were released that can not run 64 bit code. As long as you do not have those processors, your Mac should be able to run the 64 bit Tor Browser 4.5 just fine. However, we strongly encourage you to upgrade to a newer version of Mac OS even so, as you are not receiving security updates.

If your hardware is not 64 bit capable or your system won't run Tor Browser 4.5, you should still be able to use Tails, which contains the Tor Browser. You can run Tails in a virtual machine such as VirtualBox, or you can manually install it to a USB disk from the Mac OS Terminal. If you install Tails to a USB stick, you will need to reboot your Mac in order to use it.


10.6 and 10.7 Mac Users: Manual Update Required

Most Mac users should should be updated to the new 4.5 series automatically by the in-browser updater in mid-May 2015. However, due to technical limitations with determining the ability of early Mac systems to properly run 64 bit programs, we are unable to safely and reliably determine if Snow Leopard (10.6) or Lion (10.7) Mac users will successfully be able to run a 64 bit Tor Browser update, and so we have disabled the in-browser updater for those versions.

This means that you must perform this update manually, as you had to do prior to the 4.0 series. To do this, download the 4.5 DMG and drag the new 64 bit Tor Browser 4.5 over your old Tor Browser 4.0, and replace the application. Again, if the new 64 bit Tor Browser does not function on your system, we recommend using Tails, as described above.

Once you are running the 64 bit version, updates should function correctly again.

Anonymous

November 17, 2014

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Do you have any plans to end support for Windows XP?
(I'm just asking, I use GNU/Linux of course)

Anonymous

November 17, 2014

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Hello,I'm Chinese Tor user,meek-amazon and meek-azure can working in China.

Anonymous

November 17, 2014

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"Second, 64 bit software has improved security properties by way of improved address space layout randomization (ASLR), which makes exploitation more difficult."

So is it advisable to install 64 bit OS even on older machines currently running a 32 bit OS?

(Not directly related to Macs but I found this point important and would like a clarification)

Anonymous

November 19, 2014

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Finally!!
But when did mozilla start releasing 64bit firefoxes?

Anonymous

November 21, 2014

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Saw the cropped title in Tor's homepage and almost had an heart attack.
Text read: "End of life plan for Tor Browser"

Anonymous

November 21, 2014

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“Current 32 bit Mac users have a few options. If your actual Mac hardware is 64 bit capable, you can upgrade to either the 64 bit edition of OSX 10.6 (which we will continue to support for a bit longer), or use the app store to upgrade to 10.9 or 10.10.”

There are a few 64-bit Macs that cannot upgrade past OS X 10.7:
• Any Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook from late 2007 – late 2008 (Model Numbers: MB061*/B, MB062*/B, MB063*/B, MB402*/A MB403*/A MB404*/A, MB402*/B)
• The Mid-2007 Mac mini (Model Numbers: MB138*/A, MB139*/A)
• Late 2006 polycarbonate iMac (Model Number: MA710xx/A)
• The original early 2008 MacBook Air (Model Number: MB003LL/A)

Will these Macs be supported in future versions of the Tor Browser, or will the OS version be the criterion?

Anonymous

November 24, 2014

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Just downloaded TOR browser and have Mac 10.7 not sure if 32 bit or 64 bit.. not very tech savvy... i hope we can continue to use TOR on my macbook pro

Anonymous

December 10, 2014

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This. May not come as a news to to those who used Tor before, the suggustion...make the "highlights" in bold lettering.…