Mountain Lion OS Q & A

UW Purchasing information:

For personal purchase Mountain Lion is available from the Mac App Store (ideal when purchasing for individually owned computers). You will need to pay by credit card and WI state sales tax will be assessed. Price is $19.99.

For departments, Mountain Lion is available thru the Tech Store department site for the Volume License price of $9.99. No minimum quantity. You can pay either by pcard or DoIT#.

Note that maintenance is available for Mountain Lion, it is a special order and only for quantities of 20 or more. Buying maintenance along with Mountain Lion enables you to receive all OS X paid upgrades for three years from the date of purchase. Maintenance is $12.99/license, 20+ minimum. Contact for more details.

Also available for departments only is Mountain Lion Server for the Volume License price of $9.99:

Maintenance is also available for this when you buy 20+ copies, it is $12.99/license. 

Apple is currently shipping Mountain Lion on all Macs. Some stock at the DoIT Tech Store still has the prior version Lion 10.7 on it but you are eligible to upgrade for free through Apple's Up To Date program. Certain time restrictions apply.


How can I buy Mountain Lion for my computer(s)?  (See UW Purchasing info above)

If you need 10 or more licenses, you should purchase part number D6358Z/A ($9.99/each) in the quantity of the licenses you need.  Note that this requires you to buy at least 20 copies, but since you're getting Mountain Lion at a 50% discount, this method makes sense for any purchases of 10 or more.  You would make this purchase the same way you buy any other Apple products (, an Apple punch-out through your purchasing website, purchase order, or by calling 800-800-2775 and speaking to an education sales representative).

If you need fewer than 10 licenses
, you have two choices for purchase. The first option is to purchase Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store using a credit or gift card.  Note that you will pay sales tax on a purchase from the Mac App Store, and it does not qualify for an education discount.  The second option is to purchase part number D6377Z/A ($19.99/each) in the quantity of the licenses you need. You would make this purchase the same way you buy any other Apple products (, an Apple punch-out through your purchasing website, purchase order, or by calling 800-800-2775 and speaking to an education sales representative).

What discounts are available on large volume purchases?

A discount of 50% is available on purchases of 20+ seats.  Other options are available when combining iLife and iWork licenses through the Apple Education Licensing Program (AELP) -

If I bought a new computer and it came with Lion, can I get Mountain Lion for free?

Yes, customers who purchase a qualifying new Mac computer from the Apple Online Store, an Apple Retail Store, or an Apple Authorized Reseller — or an Apple Certified Refurbished computer from the Apple Online Store — after June 11, 2012 that does not include OS X Mountain Lion can upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion for free. 

Go to to participate in the program. You must submit your request within 30 days of purchase or August 24, 2012, whichever is later.  Subject to terms and conditions. 

Can I downgrade a new computer to a previous version of OS X?

No.  Computers that come with Mountain Lion are not licensed to run previous versions of OS X.

Is Lion (10.7) still available?

No.  We encourage everyone to run the most modern version of OS X which includes the most functionality and security updates.

Will Mountain Lion be available on DVD or USB thumb drive?

No. Mountain Lion will be available exclusively through the Mac App Store. The Mac App Store makes it easier than ever to browse and download applications for the Mac and distribute them to your organization. No more buying multiple discs and waiting for them to arrive. With the Mac App Store, you get the software you need fast.

Are other licensing options available for Mountain Lion?

Yes.  The Apple Education Licensing Program (AELP) combines licensing for OS X, iLife, and iWork into a low annual price.  More information can be found here:

I read that if I buy Mountain Lion that I can install it on all of my computers.  Can you clarify?

That statement only holds true for personally owned computers.  You must buy a license for every institution/district owned computer.


I have computers still running Snow Leopard. Can I upgrade them to Mountain Lion directly, or must I first upgrade them to Lion?

Customers running the latest version of Snow Leopard can purchase and upgrade directly to Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store.


I already participate in the Volume Purchase Program.  Can I purchase Mountain Lion using that program?

No.  The App Store Volume Purchase Program (VPP) is for iOS apps.  It cannot be used to make purchases from the Mac App Store.


What will I get when I buy a Mountain Lion volume license?

You will get one redemption code that you can type in on the Mac App Store.  When you type it in on the "Redeem" screen, the Mountain Lion installer will immediately begin downloading.  The Mountain Lion installer is about 4GB in size, so be sure you're on a fast network.


Do I need an iTunes account to get Mountain Lion?  What's a "corporate Apple ID" that I've read about?

Every Mac App Store / iTunes Store account is tied to an Apple ID.  To download Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store, you have to have an Apple ID.  The Apple ID you use should be one whose email address matches that of your domain.  You should only use an Apple ID that is a generic Apple ID used by your department/school/college/institution for software purchases.  You should NOT use an Apple ID that is tied to an individual.  There is no technical difference between a "personal Apple ID" and a "corporate Apple ID" - it's all in retaining ownership of a license, keeping in mind that employees come and go from an institution. If you don't already have an iTunes account that would be appropriate for this, you can follow the instructions at to create an iTunes App Store account without a credit card.  Remember that you can create email aliases (or groups with one member) that would be appropriate for such an account.  Some examples might be or  Apple does not create or distribute Apple IDs or iTunes accounts.  This is something that you have to create for your organization.  You and your end-users will not need to use this Apple ID for any Mountain Lion software updates.


Can I create a Mac App Store account without a credit card?

Yes!  Follow the instructions at to create an iTunes App Store account without a credit card.


Is the Mountain Lion installer tied to the Apple ID I used when I redeemed the code?

Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions are not applied to Apple software downloaded from the Mac App Store.  You should protect the installer as you would any other software installer to maintain license compliance.


Where is the installer?

The installer (Install OS X Mountain will be placed in your /Applications folder.  Note that the installer deletes itself after installing, so you should make a copy of the installer before proceeding.


I bought many copies of Mountain Lion, but only received one redemption code.  What happened?

Regardless of how many seats you purchase, you will only receive one Mountain Lion redemption code per order.  After the Mountain Lion installer downloads, you should make a copy of the installer on a server or external hard drive prior to proceeding with the Mountain Lion installation.  You can then copy that installer onto any additional computers that you've purchased a license for.


What are the system requirements for Mountain Lion?

Your Mac must be one of the following models running 10.6.8 or later and have 2GB of memory with 8GB of available space.


  • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)


How can I deploy Mountain Lion to many machines?

You can deploy OS X Mountain Lion using the same mass installation techniques you use today. To install Mountain Lion on multiple systems on a network, simply copy the Install OS X Mountain Lion application to the target system, then run the installer. Mountain Lion will install in place, so there’s no need to start up from an external disk. Administrators can also use the System Image Utility included in OS X Mountain Lion Server to create a NetInstall or NetRestore image.


I read that all updates have to come from the Mac App Store.  Can you clarify?

In Mountain Lion, OS X software updates are available through the Mac App Store. It’s a central location for updating OS X and your Mac App Store apps.  If you run a local Software Update Server, your updates will still come through that, but will be displayed in the Mac App Store on the end user’s computer.


How can I re-download the Mountain Lion installer?

It may make more sense to re-install Mountain Lion using the Recovery Partition (see below).  If you really want to re-download the Mountain Lion installer, open the Mac App Store application, sign in using the iTunes account you originally used to download Mountain Lion (if you aren't already signed in with it), then hold down the option key while clicking the "Purchased" tab in the toolbar.  Holding down the option key while clicking the "Purchased" tab changes the disabled "INSTALLED" button to a "INSTALL" button next to OS X Mountain Lion that you can click to re-download the installer.


Does Apple still use hardware-specific installers, or will the Mountain Lion installer downloaded from the Mac App Store work on all Apple computers?

As has always been the case, new Apple computers often come with a special build of the operating system specific to that computer (  When a new version of Mountain Lion becomes available (a "dot-release") this usually includes support for all models manufactured prior to its release.  One advantage of the Mac App Store distribution model is that these dot-releases will generally be made available on the Mac App Store immediately without the need to wait for a "reference release" as was the case in the past (  Information on what specific build(s) of OS X came with a given model of computer, see this article:


Can I NetInstall Mountain Lion?

You can use the System Image Utility to create NetInstall and NetRestore images of the Mountain Lion installer.  In fact, if you have the Mountain Lion installer on your computer, System Image Utility will find it as a valid image source when creating your new NetInstall image.


Can I virtualize Mountain Lion?

The end user license agreement for OS X Mountain Lion allows users to install and run 2 virtual instances of OS X Mountain Lion on supported Apple hardware. Users wishing to utilize this new functionality must use virtualization software that has been updated to run on OS X Mountain Lion and has added the functionality to install OS X Mountain Lion in to a virtual machine.  Note that the license prohibits virtualization for the purpose of offering what is commonly referred to as terminal services.


What is a Recovery Partition?

The Mountain Lion installation process creates a "Recovery Partition" that can be used re-install Mountain Lion on that computer should the existing installation become corrupted.  Mountain Lion will be re-downloaded over the internet if this process is used.  Computers that came factory installed with Mountain Lion will be automatically authorized for Mountain Lion using the computer's serial number, while other computers will prompt for an Apple ID and password that has purchased (redeemed) Mountain Lion.   You can boot into the Recovery Partition by holding down Command-R or Option during boot.  See this page for more information:


What if I don't have a Recovery Partition?

If you need to boot to a Recovery Partition on a computer that doesn't have one, you can use a Recovery Partition on a USB thumb drive.  Download the Mountain Lion Recovery Disk Assistant ( to create a USB Recovery Disk.  See this page for more information:  If the computer shipped Mountain Lion but had its recovery partition erased or damaged, you can force a recovery partition to be downloaded and reinstalled from the internet by holding down Command-Option-R during boot.  As with the OS, you may need to use a hardware-specific version of the Recovery Partition, so you may wish to create a USB recovery partition for each model of Mac you have.


What else can I get from the Mac app store?

You can get many Apple applications from the Mac app store using the exact same procedures mentioned above.  Some notable differences include:

- updates for other applications will ONLY be delivered through the Mac App Store, and only to the computers that originally downloaded the applications.

- when purchasing Mountain Lion, you will only get one redemption code per order, regardless of how many seats you purchase.  For other Apple apps, you will get a unique redemption code for each seat of each application you purchase.  This gives you flexibility on how you chose to deploy these apps.  This article provides more information:


Does Apple still offer server software?

Yes!  OS X Server is available for $19.99 (or $9.99 when purchasing 20+ licenses) with many great features.  Please speak with your Apple Systems Engineer for more information about OS X Server.


Where can I get more information?

OS X Mountain Lion - 200+ New Features Detailed -

OS X Mountain Lion - Technical Specifications -

Apple Software Volume Licensing -

Creating an iTunes App Store account without a credit card -

OS X Recovery - 

OS X: About OS X Recovery -

OS X: About Recovery Disk Assistant -