Monolingual – put Tiger on diet

Before getting into today’s topic I’d like to thank all of you commenters. Honestly, I would have been surprised getting a single answer at all but seeing so many people still replying after all those years is amazing. Big thumbs up to all of you!


Back to today’s topic, which is hard disk space. Or more precise – the lack of hard disk space. “What?” you’ll ask in astonishment, with hard disk prices being as low as today. That’s true, but I’m running Tiger on a Mac Mini G4 with only 60 GB of hard disk space. That wasn’t much when the Mini came out more than ten years ago – and it is much less today. I’ll have to think about my upgrading options, which will probably be the topic of my next post. But until then, I need to find ways of squeezing all my data on the aging hard disk.

Monolingual – put Tiger on a diet

Β One tool that came in particularly handy is Monolingual. Monolingual was developed by Ingmar Stein with version 1.3.9 being the last one compatible with 10.4 Tiger. And the best news is that it is free.

What Monolingual does is that it’ll search your Tiger installation for unused language packages and site architectures (think universal binaries!) and allows you to delete them. After all, why have the localization files for the operating system sitting around unused and seizing disk space? Sure, you can go file hunting by yourself and delete the packages manually as well, but then why the hassle if Monolingual does that for you?
MC Hammer: "Can't use this!"

Getting rid of Universal Binary stuff

113 MB saved by killing unused languages

132 MB saved by deleting unused languages

By using monolingual I was able to free up almost 1 GB of hard disk space within roughly two minutes. Not a bad deal and without sacrificing any data I might actually need. Why don’t you try it yourself?

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9 Responses to Monolingual – put Tiger on diet

  1. HFC says:

    Thanks for the link! I got an extra 3.0 GB out of using it — not bad πŸ˜‰ I have a similar problem with the disk space — I try and mirror my dropbox (now 1.0 TB in potential capacity, though I’m only using about 25% of that) on my machines. For my iBook G4, I went to iFixIt and they have a replacement / upgrade hard drives for each model that they seem to have tested. I bought a 320 GB hard drive from them a few years ago — and put it in and its been smooth sailing. Here might be an interesting option for you a https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Mac/12-7-mm-PATA-Optical-Bay-PATA-Hard-Drive-Enclosure/IF107-077-1 if you want to sacrifice your optical drive — you could always reinstall it later if you need to say reformat and install the OS. Good Luck!

  2. Ataru Barreau says:

    J’adore ! This is really helpfull since I use my old mac as a computer to work on as a student and as a movie computer !

  3. Normen Wohner says:

    Hey this actually helped my g3 iMac at 400 Mhz regain some speed. Apparently it looks through the files for the right binary. Deleting anything but the g3 ones sped opening apps up quite a bit.

    Greetings from Frankfurt πŸ˜‰

  4. dronecatcher says:

    I’d recommend after using Monolingual to back up your hard drive to a disk image (using Carbon Copy Cloner or Superduper), then re-install it, why?
    After removing thousands of files saved all over your drive, I’d imagine it will be pretty fragmented – copying the install and putting it back would write all the data back into one sequential region.
    Of course, most people say Mac OSX isn’t affected by fragmentation but I’m not so sure.

  5. Henry says:

    Hey,
    Sorry to be this blog go. I love OS X Tiger and I use it on a regular basis on my iMac G4. Still, thanks so much for making this blog!

  6. Henry says:

    Thanks, I freed up a lot of disk space! Thanks for all of the time you did this blog, and I hope to see future posts!

  7. Henry says:

    Thanks! I got an extra few gigabytes. Now, it seems you are done with his blog, so I’d like to say thank you. Thanks for your time and effort. I’m sad to see it go, But I understand that you might not have he time to do it. Or maybe other reasons.

  8. latefuthark says:

    Regarding Dropbox: Anybody found a solution to Dropbox dropping support for old versions of their software?

  9. timetardis says:

    Aside from installing an SSD, another neat way to speed up your old mac G4 in OS X Tiger is to use ShadowKiller. I swear I noticed a 25% increase in responsiveness on my Powerbook G4 OS X Tiger. I assign it to function at login. Or someone suggested open Terminal and run the following two commands

    defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true
    killall SystemUIServer
    Don’t know if you type it on each restart coz I use ShadowKiller app.

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