Saturday, February 2, 2008

Mac OS 10.5.1 Leopard Not Ready For Professional Use

A few weeks ago I bought the new Mac OS 10.5 Leopard. Since I use my MacBook Pro for work I wanted to wait until I have another hard drive to backup my old system. I'm glad I did - after approximately four hours I made the decision to roll back to OS 10.4.11 (Tiger).

The installation itself was smooth and as far as I could tell all the "fun" applications functioned properly after the upgrade. However after a few hours of poking around I discovered a laundry list of problems that added up to an extremely disappointing experience. Judging by my experience with Tiger, I am confident that Leopard will reach the same level of quality eventually. However, I have no interest in wasting my time on software with this number of defects. I will conclude with a short summary of my findings:

  • Firewall - believe it or not Apple has created their own firewall in 10.5 and no longer uses ipfw by default. The new firewall works more like Zone Alarm where individual applications are granted permission to access the network. Allowing specific ports is no longer an option unless you write your own ipfw configuration.
  • Case InSeNsItIvE file system - Why?? Not a show stopper but caused MySQL warnings after the update. Possibly other issues as well depending on how MyISAM tables were named.
  • X11 - cannot drag an xterm over to my second display.
  • X11 - no longer reads /etc/bashrc
  • Strange "/dev/tty??: not found" errors when running "w" and "uptime" commands. I don't know the cause of this and didn't have Leopard installed long enough to find out the impact.
  • "ps -x" throws an error, had to change to "ps x" in several of my shell scripts.
  • Apache2 installed from MacPorts is outputting warning messages on startup and shutdown. As far as I can tell this did not impact functionality.
  • Numerous MacPorts (I have version 1.6) did not build when I attempted to upgrade.
  • MacPorts doesn't work with previous version of Xcode (by this I mean compiler, dev tools, etc.). I spent about 30 minutes figuring out that I needed to update to Xcode 3.
  • /var/folders is not writable. This is where PHP sessions and MySQL temporary data is stored on my system. I needed to point everything over to /tmp to get things working again.
  • MySQL System Preferences plugin broken. No big deal because I can start MySQL from a terminal, it is just another annoyance.
  • I have a saved search called "Candidates for Deletion" that finds large files in my home folder that have not been accessed for a period of time. After the Leopard upgrade, the search was broadened to include everything under / (root!).
  • When connecting to the Internet via my Blackberry (Bluetooth), my Bluetooth mouse stopped responding when the Blackberry was taken a distance away from my MacBook Pro. This same scenario under OS 10.4.11 (Tiger) simply disconnects the Blackberry when it goes out of range.
  • VPN passwords were not saved in my keychain, again not a show-stopper but another annoyance.

1 comment:

Jesse said...

You're disappointed with Leopard and both Randy and I are excited about Vista. Strange ;)