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10.6: Disable and enable Rosetta via Terminal System 10.6
Snow Leopard only hintIf you have already installed Rosetta on your Intel Mac in Snow Leopard, you may want to disable it, so as to prevent the system from running PowerPC apps without informing you that they are non-native to your system's architecture. The reason for disabling Rosetta is not so much to save space (as it's only 2.1MB), but more about keeping your system running native apps for higher performance.

To disable Rosetta, simply run the following command in Terminal:
sudo sysctl -w kern.exec.archhandler.powerpc=/usr/libexec/oah/RosettaNonGrata
To re-enable Rosetta after it's been disabled, just run the following command in Terminal:
sudo sysctl -w kern.exec.archhandler.powerpc=/usr/libexec/oah/translate
These commands set a system environment variable that tells the system which program to run when you try to launch a non-native app: to ask you to install Rosetta, or to run it using Rosetta.

[robg adds: I tested these commands, and they work as described.]
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10.6: Disable and enable Rosetta via Terminal | 8 comments | Create New Account
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10.6: Disable and enable Rosetta via Terminal
Authored by: chabig on Oct 30, '09 08:29:03AM

The beauty of Rosetta is that it just works. It's easy to tell if an app is Intel native or PPC. I don't need the the system to throw up a roadblock to find out.



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10.6: Disable and enable Rosetta via Terminal
Authored by: tedw on Oct 30, '09 09:26:07AM

RosettaNonGrata? gotta respect techie humor... ☺



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Why?
Authored by: MtnBiker on Oct 30, '09 09:42:44AM

Is this to remind yourself that you're running Rosetta? Or is there a performance advantage?

---
Hermosa Beach, CA USA



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Why?
Authored by: jiclark on Oct 30, '09 11:15:33AM

I, too, would love to hear if there is an actual performance advantage to this tip. Otherwise, it's just an exercise in OCD behavior!



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Why?
Authored by: boredzo on Oct 30, '09 05:45:48PM

There's no performance advantage. The only way there could be is if an application is a universal binary and is set to prefer PowerPC over Intel architectures, and there's no reason to do that. Any PowerPC-only apps wouldn't work, and any universal apps should always run as Intel anyway.

If you do have a universal app that runs as PowerPC on your Intel Mac, you should complain to the app's developers.



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Why?
Authored by: asmeurer on Oct 31, '09 10:41:22AM

I think that the performance advantage comes from never running Rosetta. An application that can be run in both Rosetta and regular mode will run slower in Rosetta (you can test this yourself by choosing "Open using Rosetta" in a supported Application's Get Info window. I am not sure how Rosetta works, but it may create an overhead on the system in general if any application is using it. Although it doesn't seem to run as it's own process. I think it might be a low level thing that dynamically translates PPC machine code into Intel machine code.



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Rosetta process is the "translate daemon"
Authored by: leamanc on Nov 01, '09 08:40:48AM
It is its own process. Look for translated in your ps -aux listing, or in Activity Monitor.

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10.6: Disable and enable Rosetta via Terminal
Authored by: blehfu on Oct 30, '09 11:25:19AM

Users of Tor, Vidalia, or Privoxy should not do this. :) Took me a while to figure this out...



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