Retail CD/DVD

What's on the retail CD? Will it work on a Macintosh?

Several different X-Plane packages have been sold through various retail stores and online retailers:

9.x DVD

The V9 retail kit is also packaged by Graphsim and consists of 6 DVDs. (Yes, that's 2 fewer DVDs than the V8 kit, but it's been more tightly packed and contains even more scenery than the V8 kit.) It is available through a variety of retail channels, including Amazon and numerous retail stores.

Caution: Unlike the kits sold by Laminar and, the retail kit is platform-specific, i.e., separately packaged for Macintosh and Windows. Each version includes only the installers and apps for its platform. While it is possible to install and use a retail kit for a platform other than the intended one, it involves a certain amount of downloading and custom fitting. Buying the right kit will save you a lot of trouble.

8.x DVD

Version 8 is packaged on DVD. (Note: DVD. Your system must have a DVD reader to run X-Plane 8.) This package, created by Graphsim, is sold directly by Graphsim and is available through Amazon and various retailers such as Gamestop and EB Games. Two versions, each in two different packages, labeled for PC and for Macintosh, are available. The first version, labeled "X-Plane 8", contains V8.0 of the sim, Zip archives of the initial generation 8 US scenery, the generation 7 worldwide scenery, and the high altitude earth textures. The second version, labeled "X-Plane 8 Deluxe", contains 7 DVDs with V8.21 of the sim and the generation 8 global scenery.

The PC package contains an installer for the PC version only. However, it works as a full version key on all platforms and the scenery files can be installed on any platform. (The DVD sold directly by Laminar and contains installers for both Mac and PC.)

Please note! I've been told by the X-Plane developers that while at present all X-Plane DVDs work as a full version key cross-platform, this may not always be true in the future. To be sure, always buy an X-Plane package that's labeled for use on the platform you plan to run it on.

7.x CD

The 7.x retail CD looks like this. It was packaged by Tri Synergy and has been available in computer stores and mail order retailers such as Club Mac and Amazon. It has also been sold by Sniper Software in the UK and Europe. It contains a 7.x version CD only. Global scenery is not included, and documentation is online. I haven't had a chance to look at the contents, so I can't say a lot more about it. It does support both Mac and PC.

6.x UK CD

This 6.x package was created by Sniper Software and has been sold through retail stores in the UK and Europe. It supports both PC and Mac.

5.52/5.54 CD

The 5.52/5.54 retail CD looks like this. It was packaged by Xicat for sale in stores such as CompUSA and Electronics Boutique, and various mail order outlets. Copies are still available through Amazon and eBay. It's a 5 year old product, so don't pay more than a couple bucks for it. That said, it's a good deal if you want to run X-Plane on older hardware, like a 200-300 MHz machine with a Rage 128.)

I've seen two versions of the retail CD. One of them has version 5.52 on it; the other has 5.54. There is no difference in the labeling on the box. Both include:

Both boxes are labeled Windows only, but both versions work fine as a full version key on the Macintosh. The 5.52 retail CD requires the Joliet support extension (see next item).

I bought the 5.52 retail version of X-Plane and can't get it to recognize the CD on my Macintosh

The problem is the earlier version retail CD is pure ISO-9660 and has no Macintosh file system on it. The MacOS ISO-9660 support reports incorrect file names for some of the files because the CD uses the Joliet file name extensions. To fix this, install the freeware Joliet support extension, available from

The version 5.54 CD is dual format (Mac and ISO) and does not require Joliet support. Later retail X-Plane versions require OS-9 or OSX where the CD format is no longer an issue.

How do I install the retail CD?

The retail package should include installation instructions; most packages have a real installer, at least for Windows. On the other hand, the version of X-Plane on the CD or DVD is usually obsolete, so you're better off getting the latest download for the major version that you bought. Expand that download, then see the installation FAQ for the appropriate version. The following are the last versions of recent major versions:
Note version 8.x is no longer available as a full download, but is instead distrbuted via an online install/upgrade progam. If you've bought the version 8 DVD, install it first. Then go to the X-Plane download page, download, expand, and run the installer to install the current version. Many files have not changed from what's on the DVD, so this will save you a lot of time.

I bought the Window CD/DVD but I want to run on a Macintosh!

(Or vice versa)

For versions prior to V8, find the Macintosh download on a mirror site. (See the Install/Ugrade page for links.) Your CD will work as a full version key. For V8.17 and later, download and run the installer as if you didn't have the DVD - see the Install/Ugrade page for details. Then follow the Installing Scenery link for directions on how to install the additional scenery from the DVD.

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