How to find out what Mac OS X system is installed on a random disk

Ok, so you have a random disk lying around and you plug it in and it looks like it has Mac OS X installed on it. How do you tell what version it is without booting into it?

First, launch terminal and cd into the root of the disk (“/Volumes/whatever“). Then run this command:

sed -e 's/.*\(10\.[[:digit:]]*\.[[:digit:]]*\).*/\1/' \
    -e '/^10/q' -e d System/Library/CoreServices/SystemVersion.plist

Magic! :-)

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