OS X Mountain Lion Tips

This brief blog post is a summary of the various things we have found on the upgrades of our Apple Mac infrastructure. It is primarily intended for internal use however it may prove useful to others. Some of this information is widely available and was prior to the release of Mountain Lion.

MacBooks from 2007 won’t upgrade

All the black Macbooks from 2007 and before won’t upgrade as they are only 32-bit and Mountain Lion requires 64-bit. You will need a newer machine to run Mountain Lion

Check your disk before you start

Use Disk Utility to Repair Disk Permissions and Repair Disk before you start

Some MacBook Pros have problems with upgrades

This article and this article discuss the fact that some MacBook Pros seem to have a hard disk crash during the upgrade process. It is not really a hard disk crash but a problem with the type of partition table on the disk. You need to have a GUID partition table and some models don’t have one. Firstly make sure you have a backup. Secondly if you have a large enough external drive take a second disk image using Disk Utility just to make sure. If your machine upgrade fails then reformat the disk using a GUID partition – this has to be done in recovery mode. Recover the disk, restart and re-run the upgrade and you should be on your way.

SVN (Subversion) is not installed in /usr/bin as before

You now need to have XCode installed to get SVN. Once you installed XCode via the AppStore you can open a terminal session and then do this:

sudo su –

ln -s /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer/usr/bin/svn /usr/bin/svn

This creates a symbolic link and now command line SVN will work again as expected – thanks to this post

Messages can be used with Facebook Chat

Basically add a Jabber account with your username and password from Facebook and the server set to chat.facebook.com on port 5222 – thanks to this post

Gatekeeper and downloaded software

A new option exists to protect against malicious software downloads. If you download something from somewhere other than the App Store you might get a warning message that prohibits the downloaded program from running. This can be circumvented by going to System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> General where you can set the default level. If you just want to run any other downloaded app or utility, you can control-click the app, choose Open from the pop-up menu, and confirm that you want to approve the app for your system; you only have to give this approval once. More here

Software that doesn’t work

  • DisplayPad – an iPad utility
  • Plaxo Assistant – used to sync to Plaxo contact manager

Development Tools

I needed to get Ruby-on-Rails up to date and also had wanted to switch to Brew as a package manager so I used these instructions on get XCode etc. up to date and followed the Brew Instructions. It is really important to clean up the system with the ‘brew doctor‘ command


The upgrade has been fairly clean, a few pieces of software don’t run because they are not 64-bit compatible but nothing critical. If we find anything else we will upgrade this post

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