Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.6.1 Snow Leopard to developers

“Just six days after the release of Mac OS X Snow Leopard to the general public, Apple has begun extensive testing of the first update amongst the developer community,” Alex Brooks reports for World of Apple.

MacDailyNews Take: As expected. Apple released Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard on October 26, 2007 and quickly followed with 10.5.1 developer seed on November 6, 2007 and 10.5.1 general release on November 15, 2007. Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger was released on April 29, 2005 and 10.4.1 was released on May 16, 2005.

Brooks continues, “Build 10B503 (a significant step from the shipping 10A403) weighs in at a meagre 71.5MB and features just a handful of changes, affecting connectivity issues with 3G modems, difficulty removing items from the Dock and unresponsive copies of Motion 4.”

MacDailyNews Note: Our shipping version of Mac OS X 10.6 is Build 10A432.

Full article, with seed notes, here.


  1. Saying it’s just 6 days is a little misleading as that implies that they only finished it on the day of release. I know the final build wasn’t that long before release, but once you add that time to however long they then test 10.6.1 it won’t be that short of a time. As it is they make it sound like the thing totally wasn’t ready.

  2. 10.6 has been a disaster for my MacBook Pro, so I hope 10.6.1 fixes more than cosmetic stuff.

    Since the upgrade, Safari, Firefox, Camino and Opera browsers all crash on uploading of anything connected with acrobat or jpg files. I spent 1.5 hours with an Apple SL engineer yesterday fixing problems. As a web to print software trainer my whole day practically was screwed.

    Word of caution: watch out for start-up items [remove them ALL]; be wary of browser plugins — safaripdfviewer.plugin brought my Snow Leopard system to its knees.

    Everything would crash. From Skype, InDesign [CS4], Acrobat 6 Pro and Acrobat 9 Pro, TextEdit and all the browsers mentioned above.

    After the engineer fixed the glaring problem [ie. a $3000 doorstop], I’m still getting InDesign crashes. I feel seriously burned — and somewhat bitter — by being an early adopter of 10.6.

    Never again.

  3. ONe way of avoiding update problems is to never add any “plug ins” or “haxies” or “enhancements” that mess or change in any way your apple apps and core system functions …(menu, widgets, finder, etc .. etc..) Keep your machine lean and mean.

    a lot of problems are caused by these third party conflicts .. I’ve learned the hard way with a Safari plug in that renedered it useless for 3 months until I figured it out …

  4. So far, so good. My Nov 2007 iMac 24″ is more responsive and I have not yet run into a significant issue. I can’t even recall an insignificant issue right now. It may be a coincidence, but my Airport Extreme connectivity seems to be a lot more reliable, too. But I may have power-cycled it after installing SL.

  5. Seeding an update at this point makes perfect sense.

    Keep in mind that it took a few of weeks to press all the available copies of 10.6 Snow Leopard. The pre-order numbers were unprecedented. That means that a few weeks ago 10.6.0 was locked as ready for release. No way does a developer sit still while discs are being pressed. Apple have used those weeks to continue work on 10.6. It only ‘appears’ that they ‘rushed’ the 10.6.1 update.

  6. @HueyLong

    Similar things happened to me when I went from Tiger to Leopard. The moral of the story? I learned that I should disable and remove ANY AND ALL plugins for any application. I was a first-day adopter of Snow Leopard, and I’ve had zero problems. You don’t need to give up being an early adopter, just take some preventive measures. Remove all plugins (but keep a list of them!) and then check periodically to see if they’ve been updated for the latest release.

  7. Why doesn’t Apple provide a secure/supported path for 3rd party developers who create plug-ins (InputManagers) or haxies? Don’t understand why this is such a BFD.

  8. Secret to a smooth transition to any major (10.x) upgrade for advanced users? Do a clean install. It’s not as hard as you think it is (lot easier than trying to find out what’s wrong afterwards).

    Step 1: check that your critical apps are vendor certified compatible with the new version of Mac OS X and if not DO NOT upgrade until they are or you find suitable alternatives.

    Step 2: make sure your Time Machine (or other backup) is up to date.

    Step 3: verify/repair then make a read only disk image of your boot drive to a second drive using Disk Utility (booted from the OS install disc). Test to make sure the disk image verifies and mounts. You can use this to restore back to your previous OS state if needed.

    Step 4: format your boot partition and do a clean install of the new OS followed by all your critical apps. DO NOT install any system-wide or app modification hacks yet.

    Step 5: copy your data from your Time Machine backup and/or disk image backup. Only copy prefs for applications that REALLY nead it. It won’t take you long to respecify preferences on first launch of most apps and it’s a great way to learn about new features in Mac OS X. This prevents carrying over old baggage from older versions of applications and avoids preference corruption problems.

    Step 6: make sure everyhing is working great and you can get all your workflows done. Restore to your previous OS if you find any show-stopping issues with little time lost.

    Step 7: start Time Machine and/or other backup solution. Optionally if you have the storage, do another disk image backup (don’t delete your old disk image backup yet, hold onto that for at least a month or two I you can).

    Step 8: review what system/app modification hacks you’d like to install and think really hard about whether you still need them. Do you really still use that feature or do you apply the hack out of habit? Maybe a new feature of OS X renders the hack unnecessary? A good example is I used to always hack my system to put the double scroll arrows at both ends of the scroll bar. One day I realized I almost never use the scroll arrows because two-finger trackpad or mouse wheel scrolling was much more convenient. One less hack to install.

    Step 9: start installing your needed system/app modification hacks one at a time and try to avoid doing more than one or two a day. Preferably, only install ones that have been updated or certified as compatible with your new version of OS X. Test your apps and workflow thoroughly as often as possible if your work is highly critical. If you do this step slowly and thoroughly, you will be able to more easily pinpoint which hack is causing any problems and remove/disable it.

    Step 10: Enjoy your faster newer Mac OS X!

  9. @madgunde,

    Those are valid points and thanks for writing it up. However, it does take more time and is a pain.

    In any case, checking that your applications will run is key. Your Step1 above. But in that, don’t forget to check your printer! If you have an all in one, such as the Canon MX700 on your network, you may find that scanning works but printing doesn’t. Or some other similar issue.

    Create a bootable image with Super Duper! or the like on an external drive. Install, if things work, great. If not, recover the old OS and wait for the updates. Much less work and less time consuming. You could even choose to boot the external and use both if you’re so inclined.

    As I see it, a clean install is kinda like a Windoze thing. I don’t want to go back to that. I shouldn’t have to do that. I don’t even like having to reboot after using Software Update. There’s room for improvement in OS X but it is by far the best choice. You stand a pretty good chance of things just working. I had some trouble when I first installed SL but now the only issue is the printer and I have a work around for that. It’s not worth the trouble of going back a level. My choice.

    If the easy (easier) way doesn’t work for you, you can always do a clean install later.

    Just my opinion.

  10. From every reviewer’s point of view, the new approach Apple is taking is to lead users to install ON TOP OF their current OS installation. For ordinary users, there isn’t a clear method for making a clean installation on the DVD (not that I can verify this. Mine is in the mail).

    Clearly there are a couple problems with this approach:

    A) What if the current OS installation is corrupt, or that volume is damaged? It most likely means problems after the new OS installation.

    B) What if Apple’s list of NOT-compatible applications and extensions is incorrect? Well, it IS incorrect! The result has been that some good applications are sequestered by the installer and some bad applications are left in place. The worst example are bad .KEXT files left in the system that are causing the Sit-And-Spin problem for some users after the installation has rebooted.

    How is Apple supposed to solve both these problems?

    A) Test and repair both installation volume. The repairs provided by fsck/Disk Utility are NOT adequate for this task.

    B) Apple has to have tested EVERY application and .KEXT file that runs in Leopard. (They are not supporting installation over Tiger, although it has been found to usually work). Good luck with that one. There is no registry at Apple for applications. Apple literally has no way of knowing all the software available for Mac. It’s not going to happen.

    Therefore, this new approach is going to have problems now and in the future.

    Meanwhile, I can verify that a CLEAN INSTALL is the very very best way to go in all cases. It has solved major problems for me many times. Sorry Apple. Nice idea! But not practical or supportable.

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