The JK Buzz 8.10.2011, in this edition...
OS X 10.7 Lion: Should you upgrade to Lion?, Lion installer tricks, Lion Recovery HD replaces install disc, Lion Recovery HD critical to FileVault 2, Lion Recovery HD missing (some features not supported), New Apple utility clones the Lion Recovery HD to external volume, Fix for Lion install failures, Lion MacBook Pro black screen of death, Lion iMac video lockup, Lion automatically quitting apps, Running Microsoft Office with Lion, Running Adobe applications with Lion, Lion web browser font conflicts with third-party font management utilities, Lion's Boot Camp requires Windows 7, Trick for showing the hidden user Library folder in Lion, Trick for resetting user passwords from Lion Recovery HD, Lion removes iSync and Front Row, Lion Resume feature explained
OS X 10.7 Lion Server: MySQL missing in action with Lion Server, Other services missing from Lion Server, Active Directory and Open Directory binding broken with Lion Server
Mac OS X: Mac OS X 10.6.8 bugs finally fixed, Fake Adobe Flash Trojan
Macintosh Miscellaneous: iMac 1TB drive recall, New education only iMac model
OS X 10.7 Lion
Should you upgrade to Lion?
As the senior Mac support technician at Techcare, I strongly suggest that you do not upgrade your Macs currently running Snow Leopard to Lion at this time.
Unless there is a specific reason, Techcare recommends against being a very early adopter of any new operating system. As with previous Apple OS upgrades, Lion is experiencing major growing pains. Lion is not compatible with many older mainstream Mac applications, and Lion compatibility updates for newer Mac application are now being released daily. Fireware updates for some external devices are also being released, making them Lion compatible.
If you are a Techcare client and purchase a new Mac with Lion pre-installed, we can assist you with the transition, however this may require purchasing up-to-date software or new peripherals.
For those readers who are itching to start playing around with Lion, I would encourage you to wait until Apple releases the forthcoming Mac OS X 10.7.1 update... And even then I wouldn't recommend you upgrade any critical or production Mac workstation to Lion. Keep in mind that ALL of your applications should have all available updates applied, some older applications won't run at all (including Quicken, Adobe CS2 and older, Office 2004 and older), and many applications require the absolute latest release version for Lion compatibility (Parallels 6.x, FileMaker 11.x, Suitcase Fusion 3.x).
Lion installer tricks
When you purchase Lion through Snow Leopard's Mac App store, the installer is downloaded to your Applications folder (Install Mac OS X Lion). After upgrading to Lion, this installer is deleted.
If you make a copy of this installer prior to upgrading to Lion, you can use it to install Lion on other Macs. If you've already installed Lion and didn't copy the installer, you can re-download it from the Mac App store by holding down the option key while pressing Purchases.
The Lion installer is a package, and if you open it and navigate to /Contents/SharedSupport you will find an item named InstallESD.dmg. This is a disk image of the Lion installer, which can be restored to an external USB/FireWire volume, or burned to a DVD disc.
Although Lion requires Snow Leopard, this "requirement" is mostly based on the fact that the Mac App store is only available in Snow Leopard, and Lion currently is only available via the Mac App store. Using the above tricks will however allow you to install Lion from scratch, or on a supported Mac running Leopard. One caveat is that you cannot use Apple's Migration Assistant if upgrading directly from Leopard to Lion... this requires the Migration Assistant Update for Mac OS X Lion 1.0 released by Apple on 7/19/11, which can only be installed on Macs running 10.6.8.
Although these tricks will give you the ability to install Lion on Macs you didn't purchase Lion on through the Mac App Store, make sure you are doing this legally! If in doubt, refer to this Apple software license agreement document for Lion... http://images.apple.com/legal/sla/docs/macosx107.pdf
Lion Recovery HD replaces install disc
Lion is not available on optical media, meaning you cannot purchase a DVD disc to boot from if you need to repair or reinstall Lion. You can however burn your own bootable Lion disc using the trick mentioned above.
According to recent Apple press release, a Lion installer will be made available on a bootable USB thumb drive through the Apple Store in late August.
The direction Apple is now taking to replace bootable Lion media involves creating a small 650MB partition on your boot drive, to store a hidden volume called Recovery HD. You can boot from this volume by holding down command-R at startup (or the option key, followed by selecting Recovery HD), and it can be used to repair or reinstall Lion. This concept is very similar to booting from a pre-Mac OS X 10.7 install disc, however the Lion Recovery HD also allows you to browse the web using Safari.
Lion Recovery HD critical to FileVault 2
Lion's Recovery HD is also a critical component of Apple's new CoreStorage technology, which requires that this hidden volume be the first partition of the boot disk in order to run FileVault 2. FileVault 2 is Lions' new whole disk encryption feature, and is disabled by default. FileVault 2 can be enabled in the Security & Privacy system preference pane.
When Lion boots with FileVault 2 enabled, it accesses the Recovery HD to load the login screen and the stored encryption keys. If you login with a valid user account, it unlocks the boot drive and continues to load the OS. The login window typically opens much quicker on systems with FileVault 2 enabled, however running with FileVault 2 will cause about a 10-15% overall performance decrease. FileVault 2 supports both local and network user accounts, as long as they have FileVault enabled for the account in the Security & Privacy system preference pane.
Also of note, if you had previously been using FileVault with Snow Leopard, you won't be able to activate FileVault 2 in Lion until you turn off "Legacy FileVault" when prompted after opening the Security & Privacy system preference pane.
Lion Recovery HD missing (some features not supported)
Lion was designed to be installed on a drive that has been partitioned into one volume (or two if Boot Camp is installed), and the target volume should not be part of a RAID.
If you attempt to upgrade from Snow Leopard to Lion, and are booted from a RAID volume or a volume on a uniquely partitioned drive, the Lion installer will give an alert stating "Some features of Mac OS X Lion are not supported for the disk". You will be able to actually install Lion and boot from it, however FileVault 2 cannot be enabled, and the Lion Recovery HD partition will not be created.
New Apple utility clones the Lion Recovery HD to external volume
Apple has released a new utility called the Lion Recovery Disk Assistant, which was developed to create a block level clone of an existing Lion Recovery HD partition to an external USB/Firewire volume with at least 1GB of free space. Although this offers no additional features when compared to a Lion Recovery HD partition, it can be used in the event the boot drive fails.
If you use Apple's Lion Recovery Disk Assistant to clone your Lion Recovery HD partition to an external device, it must be formatted first as HFS Extended with a GUID partition table. Also, if your Mac shipped with Lion pre-installed, this clone will only work with your Mac. If you upgraded from Snow Leopard to Lion, this clone will only work on other Macs upgraded form Snow Leopard to Lion.
Fix for Lion install failures
Lion may fail to install on a drive that has previously been used for Time Machine backups, or that has previously been used to install Linux or similar Unix-based OS. Typically this due to of left over invisible files and partitions on the drive, but it can also happen with drives that don't have a GUID partition table.
To address this, Apple has published Knowledgebase article TS3926, detailing what to do if you get the message "This disk cannot be used to start up your computer" when attempting to install Lion. Their fix is to either reformat the disk, or to use Disk Utility to resize the partition you want to install Lion on. http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3926
Lion MacBook Pro black screen of death
There are several growing threads on the Apple Discussion Boards detailing frequent kernel panics with 2010 MacBook Pros using i5 or i7 processors. These kernel panics commonly cause a hang at black screen, are reported to occur frequently with Lion (undetermined but possible with Snow Leopard), and typically happen when doing things like waking from sleep or activating specific functions in applications.
When these kernel panics arise, the panic log always mentions a NVRM read error. These kernel panics have also been reported with a handful of other Macs that use NVIDIA graphic chipsets with dual-GPU settings, like late model iMacs.
If you are experiencing frequent kernel panics of this nature, first run Software Update and verify you have the latest firmware and video drivers installed. Beyond that, there's not much you can do until Apple released a fix. Many people have reported these kernel panics continue after having their MacBook Pro's serviced by Apple (replacing the logic board), and it been confirmed this can occur with a clean install of Lion, ruling out software conflicts. Some have reported the kernel panics happen less frequently after installing the gfxCardStatus and setting the video mode to Intel Only.
Lion iMac video lockup
Many users are reporting a similar problem after upgrading to Lion, where their late model iMacs will lock up after playing video. When this occurs the mouse pointer will still move, but nothing responses, and a forced reboot is required. After rebooting, there doesn't seem to be anything pertinent written to a log indicating what happened.
This problem has been reported with playing different kinds of video, including Flash, YouTube, and media purchased in iTunes. Rumor has it this is one of the fixes the forthcoming Mac OS X 10.7.1 update will address.
Lion automatically quitting apps
Lion has a new Automatic Termination feature, that is designed to quit applications that aren't active and don't have any visible windows open. This feature can not be disabled, and is only supported by applications that choose to use this feature (most Apple apps at this point).
So if your idle applications mysteriously quit themselves in Lion, it's not a bug, it's a feature!
Running Microsoft Office with Lion
Microsoft has published a new knowledgebase article outlining the known issues with Office for Mac running under Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2586538
Highlights: Office 2004 and older won't run because they require Rosetta, and some Office 2008/2011 applications may crash when doing things like moving spreadsheets between workbooks in Excel, or pressing command-tab in PowerPoint to switch to presentation mode. Also noteworthy is "you may not be able to import message from Lion Mail" into either Outlook or Entourage.
If you plan on running Office 2008 or 2011 in Lion, reading through this Microsoft knowledgebase article should be considered required reading. It should also be noted that although Office 2011 doesn't support Lion's Auto Save, Versions, and full-screen mode features... Microsoft is working on a major update that will add these features in a "few months".
Running Adobe applications with Lion
Adobe has published a new knowledgebase article outlining the known issue with Adobe products running under Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/905/cpsid_90508.html
Highlights: CS2 and older won't run because they require Rosetta, some Adobe applications may hang or quit if the Java Runtime isn't installed, and Illustrator CS5/CS5.1 can't save or export if the save location is set to the Desktop. Also noteworthy is scrolling behavior may be opposite as expected, and droplets don't work in Photoshop CS3/CS4/CS5.
If you plan on running Adobe applications in Lion, reading through this Adobe knowledgebase article should be considered required reading.
Lion web browser font conflicts with third-party font management utilities
Lion's new Sandbox feature, which is incorporated into the WebKit framework and prevents malicious or faulty code from interfering with other running processes, has a confirmed bug where text may appears as block-A (a square with a capitalize A in it) when viewing web pages in Safari or Chrome. This bug seems to only occur if you are using a third-party font management utility like Suitcase Fusion 3 or FontExplorer X, due to the way they activate fonts outside of the primary three font locations.
This ultimately will need to be fixed by the third-party font management developer, so if you're experiencing this bug make sure your font management utility is up to date and deemed Lion compatible. The only workarounds are to use a web browser that doesn't use the WebKit framework, like Firefox, or temporarily disable your font management utility.
Lion's Boot Camp requires Windows 7
Lion comes with Boot Camp 4, which requires Windows 7 for new installations. If you are running Snow Leopard with Boot Camp 3 and Windows XP/Vista, and upgrade to Lion, your Boot Camp will likely continue working... however you should not run the Boot Camp 4 utility or Windows XP/Vista will stop working. Also of note is that some people have reported that their Boot Camp has stopped working after upgrading to Lion. This is likely due to the boot drive getting repartitioned for the Lion Recovery HD, and the Boot Camp partition getting messed up.
Trick for showing the hidden user Library folder in Lion
The logged in user's Library folder is hidden in Lion. One option for opening it is to option-click on the Finder's Go menu, then select Library. Another option is from the Finder select Go->Go to Folder..., then enter ~/Library. The hidden user Library folder can alternatively be made permanently visible by entering this into the Terminal: chflags nohidden ~/Library.
Trick for resetting user passwords from Lion Recovery HD
Apple has removed Reset Password from the Utilities list, when booted from a Lion Recovery HD. It can still be accessed however if you open Terminal from the Utilities list, then enter this command: resetpassword
This will launch the Reset Password utility. Don't try to close the Terminal window before resetting the password, as it will also quit the utility.
Lion removes iSync and Front Row
When upgrading from Snow Leopard to Lion, the Lion installer will remove the following two Apple applications: iSync and Front Row. Both of these apps however actually work in Lion. If you are using iSync to sync data to your older phone, or use Front Row, make sure to back them up prior to upgrading... or use Time Machine (or another backup) to restore them after upgrading.
Lion Resume feature explained
Lion has a new Resume feature, that will automatically re-open documents and windows in applications as they were when the application was last quit.
Although this feature works for the most part with newer applications like InDesign 5.5 and Word 2011, your mileage may vary with older applications. This feature may also be undesirable if you quit an application with a lot of files open, as those files will be re-opened when the application is next launched.
The Resume feature can bypassed if you press the option key down when you quit the application (this will discard remembering what was open), or if you hold the shift key down while opening the application (this will ignore re-opening things). It can also be disabled all together by unchecking "Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps" in the General system preference pane. Note: If disabled, holding the option key down when quitting will activate the Resume feature once.
OS X 10.7 Lion Server
MySQL missing in action with Lion Server
Lion Server no longer includes MySQL, and instead is bundled with PostgreSQL. This is a major change, which personally frustrates me to no end since I have developed dozens of websites for Mac servers that rely on MySQL databases.
According to Apple Knowledgebase article HT4828, if you upgrade/migrate a server that was running to MySQL to Lion Server, the MySQL binaries and database will be copied and preserved, but you then have to manually upgrade the MySQL to 5.1, then to 5.5... and currently Oracle doesn't have complied Mac OS 10.7 binaries for either version.
If you have a Mac server that relies on a MySQL, for the time being don't even consider upgrading to Lion Server.
Other services missing from Lion Server
In addition to MySQL being missing from Lion Server, the following services are also missing in action (i.e. remove by Apple): Tomcat, Axis, Mobile Access, and QuickTime Streaming Server.
Active Directory and Open Directory binding broken with Lion Server
According to dozens of threads on different discussion boards, both Active Directory and Open Directory integration are unstable with Lion. With Active Directory binding is unreliable, and can take up to two minutes if you get it working. With Open Directory the bind is commonly lost at reboot.
Mac OS X
Mac OS X 10.6.8 bugs finally fixed
It took Apple over a month, but they finally released fixes for the major Mac OS X 10.6.8 bugs mentioned in the July 12th JK Buzz. These include printing and audio output issues on the client side, and hwmond problems with Xserves on the server side.
If you previously updated to 10.6.8, you will find a supplemental update in Software Update. If you haven't updated to 10.6.8 yet, these fixes are included in Apple's revised Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update v1.1.
Fake Adobe Flash Trojan
There is a new Mac Trojan rumored to be making the rounds named BASH/QHost.WB, disguised as a fake Adobe Flash installer.
This Trojan is of the DNS changer variety, and once infected modifies the /private/etc/hosts file to redirect google traffic to a server in the Netherlands. It looks like you are visiting legitimate a google page, however the hijacked site is ripe with phishing potential.
It is unclear where this fake Adobe Flash installer is being downloaded from, or even if it's been released in the wild. As with all Mac Trojans, in order to be infected the user must manually authenticate using an administrator user account to complete the install. Because Lion doesn't include Adobe Flash, its possible some people are searching for the installer and find this Trojan instead.
iMac 1TB drive recall
Apple is recalling a batch of 1TB Seagate drives shipped with 21.5"/27" iMacs manufactured between May 2011 and July 2011. The recalled drives "may fail under certain conditions".
If you purchased one of these affected iMacs, and registered it with a valid email address, Apple will be contacting you regarding the drive replacement. Alternatively you can visit this site, enter your serial number, and see if your iMac needs to be serviced: http://www.apple.com/support/imac-harddrive/
New education only iMac model
Apple has quietly introduced an education only iMac model that retails for $999. It is similar to the current 21.5" iMac, but has half the memory (2GB) and drive space (250GB), comes with a dual-core i3 processor instead of a quad-core i5, and is missing Thunderbolt.
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