[FoRK] apple build numbers

Kynan Shook kshook at cae.wisc.edu
Tue Nov 2 13:29:31 PST 2004


You are correct with the first number. The number after the letter is 
just a build number; in your example, it's the 294th build of the 8A 
series.  Not all builds are public, in fact the vast majority are only 
seen by a few people at Apple.  However, when getting beta releases, it 
isn't uncommon for there to be only a few builds in between the betas.  
This number gets reset each time the letter in front of it is 

The letter provides a bit more resolution than the first number; it's 
incremented when going from, say, 10.3.4 to 10.3.5.  However, it may 
increment by more than one when doing so, depending on how many 
semi-major revisions occurred in the interim.  Also, it gets reset each 
time the first number is incremented.

Sorry I can't really be more specific than that - that's all I know.  
Now if you had wanted a decoding of Apple serial numbers, *THAT* I know 
like the back of my hand (after working as an Apple Certified tech for 
several years to help pay for college...)


Kynan Shook

"James Tauber" <jtauber at jtauber.com> writes:
> Does anyone know how to parse Apple OS X build numbers? The developer
> preview of 10.4 that just got released is build 8A294. The build of
> 10.3.5 I'm currently running is 7M34.
> I've never come across build numbers of that format before and it's got
> me intrigued.
> The first number is related to the major release. Since the launch of
> Mac OS X, the first number of 10.m is m+4
> But after that, I can't work out when the following letter increments.
> (Or when the final number increments for that matter)

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