Getting a Macbook for building Loop

I no longer have the Mac that I was using to build Loop, so I am getting another one.

I found a used one on eBay that was pretty cheap. Anything special I need to know?

I assume I can just download Xcode and then put my Loop folder on the Mac, and then sign it and build it? Does that sound right? Anything else?


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Make sure it has enough memory! That is the biggest challenge I experienced with our old Macbook! The OS and Xcode both require enough memory to get up to the correct versions, and a lot of the older used ones don’t have a lot!

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Is 16GB RAM and a 500GB drive okay?

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I still have our old one if you want it? It wasn’t broken, I just got sick of fighting with the memory issues. Maybe you have more patience to get the memory cleared up. It’s yours if you want it!

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You’ll need to consider the version of Mac, version of MacOS it can handle, the version of Xcode compatible with both. Realizing you probably know all this and took it into account…but just in case…


Should be fine…

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I might! Thanks, that’s super nice of you. It just depends on if the one I bought is okay.

It was pretty cheap, less than $400. 16GB RAM and a 500GB drive should be okay, right? How big was yours?

The one I was using had MacOS 12 Monterey, I think.

So I would assume I would just try to upgrade to that same version on this recently purchased one and see if it all runs. Does that sound reasonable?

I just checked, and the one I am getting does support Monterey. And Monterey runs with the Xcode version I was using before, which was Xcode version 14.2.

I know it is not the latest and greatest versions of everything, but I don’t care. I just want it to build what I built before.

My Loop version has about 5 months left, so I am not cutting it too close. But I just want to get a new build, and have another year of Loop use available, before I start worrying about doing any upgrades of anything.


My new one is top of the line with a crap ton of RAM/Storage capacity. The old one only has 4GB DDR3 RAM. 121 GB storage. The one you are citing should be plenty for any current and future upgrade of the Mac OS and XCode.

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So on the one I am getting, I think I would want to try to upgrade to Monterey, and then do an erase and factory reset, to just get rid of whatever crap might be on there before I start using it. Is that right?

Bloatware is a thing and I had to spend a considerable amount of time getting rid of all the crap, to free to memory. I don’t think you will have that issue though, at least not initially, and maybe not ever if you just use the MacBook for Loop updates.

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If I am lucky, I will only need to turn the thing on once-a-year. :joy:

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I spent between $1,500 - $2,000 on our new one because I didn’t want to ever have RAM or storage issues ever again. Lol. And we’re only use it once a year, too.

It was so frustrating to never have enough memory no matter the hours spent freeing up as much space as possible. It was a rage purchase. When you NEED to re-install, it usually means you aren’t currently looping (at least that was our case)…and it was very painful. Never again…


I thought about getting a new one too, but I saw the eBay one, and it has a 30 day return, so I thought I would gamble on it.



@Eric I always look it up as my pea brain doesn’t hold on to what it used to. I’m pretty sure one of the below links will cover your system/version requirements. Take a look at:
Requirements - LoopDocs and
Version Updates | Loop and Learn

You will probably have to scroll down to the appropriate sections.

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Your quote above makes me recall when I “expanded” my TRS 80 Model III ram from 16k to a whopping 48k (yes, that’s a “k”. I told my wife, “We’ll never need more than that!” (Hey! It was 1981! I was hot stuff!)

Then when I got my Apple II+ with a single 5.25" disk drive. I put the Apple Writer II disk in, started the machine, it stopped 22 seconds later… My comment, “Great! The things already busted!” No, dummy, I was just used to Scriptsit taking 3 minutes 27 seconds to load off a cassette tape…the disk drive was done, the program was waiting on me to start typing! The blinking cursor in the upper left corner should have been a clue…

On the funny side, I think I used the exact same quote ref the TRS 80 ref my first hard drive in an IBM compatible. I was so proud of all 5 MB of the real estate! “Honey, we’ll never need more storage than this!” I ran my own BBS back then…most folks don’t know what a BBS is, er, was! My Board was The State Penn and I was The Warden!

I was ahead of the pack, but a slow learner…my how things have changed…


The macbooks that have intel chips are obsolescent. If I recall, all from before 2019 are ineligible for the newest OS version, which means in another half year when the newest iPhone OS comes out those old macs won’t be able to run a new enough version of xcode to build for those iPhones.

But you actually don’t need a mac to build loop anymore. Now they have a second method, the “browser build” method, which runs a front-end on any computer and operating system, and actually does the compilation on Apple servers for download to your iPhone via the iPhone TestFlight app. It’s explained in Loopdocs.

If you get a mac, I’d say get one that has an M1 or M2 chip, not an intel chip. That way your mac will have a better lifespan.

That’s what I’m using now, but my old obsolescent intel mac is making me think that next spring I should start to look for an M3 mac, and if I do I’d probably go for 32G and 1T just for longevity sake.


My new one is an M1 chip. Good suggestions!

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Yes, I agree, this is definitely the easiest method for building and installing loop. I’ve used it for the last few builds. I’m not sure if freeAPS supports the guthub build though.

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I build my own version though, so I don’t think I can use the browser build.

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