If you can’t wait for the OS X Mavericks release date later this year, you can dive into the Mavericks beta, which is better known as a developer preview.
OS X Mavericks should run on any computer that is running OS X Mountain Lion, so there are many machines that users can try out the Mavericks Developer Preview on.
Apple only offers the OS X Mavericks beta to registered developers, but unlike the iOS 7 beta there is no requirement to register a UDID or other device ID with Apple to make it work.
Where to Get OS X Mavericks Beta Access
Officially the only way to try the OS X Mavericks beta is to be a registered Apple developer. By registering as a OS X developer users gain access to the OS X Mavericks beta and other developer resources. Users must pay a separate fee to join the OS X Developer Program, it is not included in the IOS Developer Program.
Once registered in the OS X Developer program, users can download a code which allows them to download OS X Mavericks from the Mac App Store.
There are other sources to download the OS X Mavericks beta, but these unofficial sources don’t hold up the software agreement with Apple. If this is not something you care about, they are easy enough to find, and don’t require a $8 registration or a payment at this time.
How to Install OS X Mavericks Beta
Installing the OS X Mavericks Beta is fairly straightforward, and is just like installing any major Apple OS X update. If any of these directions seem difficult or sound out of your grasp, you may want to avoid running beta software at this time.
1. Register with the Apple Developer program.
2. Go to the Mac Developer Center, Click on OS X Mavericks and scroll down until you can get a code.
3. Click Redeem Code and the Mac App Store will open. Download the OS X Mavericks Beta installation file. This will take a while as it clocks in at 4.97GB.
4. When the file is downloaded go to the LaunchPad and click on the Install OS X Mavericks icon.
5. Follow the system prompts which will install the update on top of your existing OS X installation preserving files.
6. When prompted allow the computer to restart to finish installing OS X Mavericks.
7. When the Mac restarts with OS X Mavericks, it will even open up the windows and apps which were running when the installation began. The process takes about an hour or and hour and a half after the files is downloaded.
Users wishing to perform a fresh or clean install of OS X Mavericks can follow the steps in this video to make a OS X Mavericks USB Flash drive.
What to Know Before Installing the OS X Mavericks Beta
Users with only one computer, and no time for any downtime or bugs, should avoid installing the OS X Mavericks beta. The same goes for users with a work computer that is not owned by them, or users who run mission critical software.
Some apps may not work correctly due to changes in the API. The purpose of this preview is to give developers the time to get ready before the OS X Mavericks release later this year.
The average user can hold off for a few months and purchase OS X Mavericks for much less, probably around $20 when it hits the Mac App Store this fall.