Install SharePoint 2010 on a MacBook Pro!

I’ve been hesitant to install SharePoint 2010 on my computers, virtualized or otherwise, due to what I think to be steep hardware requirements to run SharePoint 2010. My impression was I needed a beast to run SharePoint 2010. I’ve seen demos where the hardware is a LOT better than what I have and demo choked—super slow response, take forever to reset IIS, etc. So I kept procrastinating to install SharePoint 2010. I’m still shopping around for a super laptop  but the one that I’m eyeing, the HP Envy 14 won’t be out for another couple of weeks. My best hardware is my “production computer” and it has Intel Core i7 with 6GB of RAM but I really don’t want to put a development SharePoint there. But I need to install SharePoint 2010 now! So, I said, what the hell– I might as well put the MacBook Pro 13 to the test! My MacBook is configured for dual boot and runs Windows 7 Ultimate on the “Bootcamp” side.

My MacBook Pro 13 Windows (Ultimate) Experience Index looks like the following:

MacBook Pro Windows 7 Experience Index


Not too shabby. Lowest score is the graphics (NVidia 930M) but shouldn’t be an issue with regards to SharePoint and development work in general. See that Memory and Primary hard disk scoring 5.9? That worried me. The hard drive speed is only 5400 RPM and that could be a bottleneck for database read/writes. I went ahead and installed SharePoint 2010 on the MacBook Pro/Windows 7 anyway.

Instead of rewriting the steps needed to install SharePoint 2010 on Windows 7 for a development rig, I will point you to existing resources out there. Too many write-ups regarding this topic already. So here they are, the ones that I’ve tried and tested:

  • If you are going to read anything about installing SharePoint 2010 on Windows 7, this is the resource you want –
  • Execute EVERY step outlined in that walkthrough. Don’t even try to shortcut or think that you can do it without reading any documentation. You may get past the installation but you will pull hair out when it’s time to configure your farm. So just do it, every step in that walkthrough! I will show some of the errors I encountered when I tried to “fast-track” the SharePoint installation.
  • Here’s another good one – This one talks about how to configure the scalable farm (not the Stand-Alone setup that uses SQL Express) for development purposes while using local accounts (instead of domain accounts). SharePoint 2010 needs domain accounts to configure. If you are building a “SharePoint workstation”, it’s very common to use local accounts instead of domain accounts (maybe because getting in touch with the AD admins is not easy—just create local accounts yourself). See, my MacBook Pro is not joined to a domain. I have to use non-domain accounts. I wouldn’t have been able to configure my “SharePoint farm” to use a true SQL Server 2008 if not for this walkthrough. Remember, if you do a stand-alone install, the Web apps use the SQL Express for the databases—not really  my ideal configuration!!

Here’s the first error message I encountered:

Windows 2008 Server R2 Support Only

I was so excited to install SharePoint 2010 after I got my MAPS subscription that I just double-clicked the setup.exe. The above message is what I got! You have to edit the \Files\Setup\config,xml of the SharePoint 2010 install directory and add the following:

<Setting Id="AllowWindowsClientInstall" Value="True"/>

This was mentioned in Step 2: Install the Prerequisites for SharePoint 2010 of the MSDN walkthrough. Fast-forward to the end of the SharePoint 2010 installation/configuration. In Central Admin, you should see this:

1st Time in Central Admin 2010

Again, don’t skip any steps—follow each and every one!

In follow-up blog-posts, I’ll show the other errors I received while attempting to install/configure the SharePoint farm and how to address them.

Update 6/11/2010:  Here’s the screenshot of the Windows Task Manager of the Macbook Pro when running SharePoint 2010, SQL Server 2008, IIS Management Console, Internet Explorer, and Visual Studio 2010 (debugging/attaching to processes).

Windows 7 Task Manager in Macbook Pro
Windows 7 Task Manager in Macbook Pro


  1. So what are the MBP 13 specs? How is SharePoint 2010 running? Sluggish, fast? I was thinking of doing this with a i5 MBP and 8GB RAM.

  2. Rick, It’s the “entry-level” Macbook Pro 13. Intel Core 2 duo 2.4Ghz processor, 4GB RAM, 5400 RPM 250GB hard-drive. The first-time you request something from the Central Admin or any of your SharePoint Web app, it takes anywhere from 30 sec to 1 min to do the initial load. Then the response is fast after that. I tested deploying VS 2010 Visual Web Parts to the SharePoint Web apps and they deploy pretty fast. Even with the IIS reset, I can press F5 in Visual Studio 2010 and be up and running with my SharePoint site in Internet Explorer and testing and debugging my Web part in less than 10 seconds.

    The RAM is not tapped out too. With VS 2010, SQL Server, IE, and SharePoint 2010 all running, my RAM is about 2.73 GB out of 4GB. I’m updating the post so that you can see the Windows Task Manager performance.

    Rick, if you get i5 MBP with 8GB of RAM, you should run a lot faster. I think those come with 7200RPM drives too so that should be additional help. Upgrade to SSD drives if you can afford it for the ultimate drive performance.

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