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Apple Ships Latest, Possibly Biggest Update to Mac OS X Leopard

>Apple delivered its newest argument against broadband caps yesterday -- a massive update to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard that can weigh in at 442 MB to 729 MB.

That's more than enough to push many people whose Internet connections come with bandwidth limits over their monthly quotas, so I must applaud Apple for making such a public demonstration of the potential problems with this approach. (Your actual download, however, may vary; on one Mac, the Software Update tool offered a 449-meg file; on another, it had a 286-meg download awaiting.)


What's in it for the rest of us? That's not entirely clear. Apple's release notes gloss over a fair amount of detail in such bland statements as:

Addresses a situation that may cause issues when logging into Gmail.

Includes several improvements to Directory Service and Client Management.

Includes other printing reliability and stability improvements.

OK, then. This is an issue I've complained about before: The trouble Apple sometimes has talking to its customers about what it's up to. To see what the 10.5.7 release notes could have been like, consider the separate document that explains the security fixes included in this release. It describes the possible attacks addressed by this package, the vulnerability that made each attack easier and the changes made to close that hole. It does so without drowning the user in details (though you can Google the "CVE" numbers atop each section for more info; yes, Apple should link back to that technical documentation).

Most users will, sensibly enough, take Apple at its word and let this install proceed. But some will wonder just what it does; some may find that it causes other complications on their systems and will have to guess what parts of this update could have been at fault.

If you would like to know more about this update, your best option is to watch the usual Mac-news sites -- I recommend MacInTouch and TidBits -- for the far more comprehensive reports they should soon have ready. (See, for example, TidBits editor Adam Engst's breakdown of all the improvements provided by a patch that Apple merely said "improves overall stability and addresses minor issues in a number of areas, including Faces, Places, photo sharing, and slideshows.")

In economic terms, Apple seems to have decided that it's easier to crowdsource its release notes. And here I am, endorsing the results of that strategy!

So far, I've only installed this update on one computer, without any apparent ill effects; if I don't see any other reports of trouble, I'll put it on my own Mac by this weekend. How about you? If you've put 10.5.7 on your Mac, let me know how it's worked out in the comments.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  May 13, 2009; 10:28 AM ET
Categories:  Mac  
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No problems here (late 2008 MacBook Pro).

Posted by: jimdouglas | May 13, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The update is 449MB on my Macbook Air (first generation hard drive model).

It's still downloading -- I'll let you know if I have any issues...

Posted by: Annorax | May 13, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Rob: I had no problems downloading this. One thing I have learned in the past to help make sure downloads don't cause problems is, following the download, to run a complete verify and repair permissions operations. In some cases this will fix problems and, I think, in others prevent them.

Dave Jewel

Posted by: dajewell | May 14, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I just finished installing the 10.5.7 Combo Update on 2 MBPros, 2 Mini's, and a Powerbook Ti G4. No problems on any machine. I used the Combo update (729 Mb one-time download) instead of the Software Update to see if it would correct some minor bugs that have crept into the OS, e.g. problems shutting down, loss of mouse functionality, apps crashing instead of quitting. I'll let you know if it worked.

Posted by: kamx3sj | May 14, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Installation was smooth as silk. No problems with 10.5.7 for two days, now.

Posted by: kwackes | May 14, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I installed 10.5.7 on my second-generation MacBook Air Thursday morning. As of 11:00 p.m. there have been no problems.

I may install the update to my MacBook Pro, which was behind in being updated even before this release, tomorrow.

Posted by: query0 | May 15, 2009 2:01 AM | Report abuse

Updated fine on my 2009 MB. Took almost 20 minutes to download via DSL. Make sure that you wait after the restart, because the MB puts up the original Leopard image on the screen for a couple of minutes while it is installing everything. Seems to go fine if you don't touch anything or try to hurry it - this is worth mentioning, as it is a much bigger update than normal, and it's good not to panic.

Posted by: rjrjj | May 15, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

449MB on a 24" iMac that's 2 years old. 3GB Ram. Downloaded fine, installed fine, no issues.

Ran Onyx
after updating.

Posted by: wiredog | May 15, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

I had no problems installing the upgrade on my MacPro, but the same with the MacBook pro was not as smooth--appeared to have stalled, so I quit and tried again the next day. Afterwards, had to force quit some applications, repair permissions, and now it's doing fine.

Posted by: alindeO | May 15, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I d/l the Combo Updater and all went fine on my Unibody MBP. When I restarted I had a miserable time accessing my Google services, one of the things that was supposed to be improved! Everything else was running fine, so I just kept trying different things (clearing cache, restarting, etc.) until it started working again. THEN I found out that Google itself was the culprit, not the update. Talk about bad timing!

Posted by: MrDanPA | May 15, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Updated a PowerMac G4, MacBook ver 1, Intel iMac and a PowerBook Titanium.
No problems.

Posted by: edlharris | May 17, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

No problems on the second generation Black MacBook (160GB, 2GHz processor, upgraded to 4GB RAM from 1GB).

Posted by: DCgringa | May 17, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

No problems on a 1 year old iMac, the latest MacBook, and a two-year old iMac. It does appear to have fixed the syncing issues between iCal and Google's calendar.

Posted by: KRMD | May 18, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Used the Upgrade download.

Rebooting problem with an iMac G5. During start-up the screen froze with a coloured pattern. Had to force it to switch off. It then booted OK. Might be best to use System Update with this model.

Other Macs were fine.

Posted by: mpainesyd | May 18, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

downloaded updage and INSTANTLY ran into a freeze-up generating PDF from scan on HP C4280 scanner. Now having to use Vue Scan (which bought last time Apple updated system without apparently letting HP know about changes).

Posted by: jdbooth | May 20, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

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