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Mac OS X 10.5.8 Fixes Bugs, Plugs Security Holes

Apple has released Mac OS X 10.5.8, a bug-fix update to Leopard that addresses a number of relatively uncommon bugs in various parts of the operating system. Although Apple provides standalone downloads (most useful for the combo updates that increment any version of Mac OS X 10.5 to 10.5.8), Software Update is the easiest way to get the new version.

As always, although there's no reason to suspect any trouble with installing 10.5.8 right away, the cautious user will wait a few days to see if significant problem reports crop up online.

Changes in 10.5.8 -- Although the release notes mention the inclusion of Safari 4.0.2 as new and claim improvements in the accuracy of full history searches, Safari 4.0.2 was the current version before the release of 10.5.8. Practically speaking, if you hadn't upgraded to Safari 4.0.2 individually before this, you'll get it now. Other networking-related fixes include improved compatibility and reliability when working with MobileMe and iDisk, with AFP (AppleTalk Filing Protocol), and with Managed Client. Lastly, though the release notes also claim improvements in joining AirPort networks, there have been anecdotal reports of AirPort connection failures after updating.

On the imaging front, the update fixes a bug that could prevent importing of large photo and movie files from digital cameras, and another that invoked an iPhoto action when dragging an Aperture image into Automator. Also, raw image support has been extended to additional new cameras; see the full list.

In other fixes, the Displays pane of System Preferences now shows certain resolutions that might not have appeared previously. iCal reportedly has improved reliability when working with MobileMe Sync and CalDAV, and Sync Service bugs have been addressed. Compatibility with certain USB external drives has been improved. Finally, overall Bluetooth reliability has been enhanced when working with external devices, USB webcams (straight from the release notes - we're not sure what the relationship between Bluetooth and a USB webcam is either), and printers.

VMware is reporting that Mac OS X 10.5.8 includes new 3D drivers from ATI that fix a compatibility problem suffered by VMware Fusion 2.0.5 under Mac OS X 10.5.7.

Mac OS X 10.5.8 also addresses security vulnerabilities. A number of the fixes revolve around closing holes related to maliciously crafted images in various formats, but a few of the other issues addressed are more interesting. In particular:

  • A maliciously crafted Web site reached via a redirect could have displayed a certificate warning that used the name of the redirecting site.
  • Additional content types will generate prompts when accessed in certain ways, such as when they're downloaded from a Web page.
  • The Dock previously allowed a user with physical access to a locked system to use four-finger multi-touch gestures to manage applications or use Expose.
  • The launch service was vulnerable to a denial-of-service attack.
  • Signing out of MobileMe via the preference pane wasn't properly removing all login credentials.

The Mac OS X 10.5.8 Update weighed in at only 165 MB via Software Update on my Mac Pro and MacBook, but the standalone delta update from 10.5.7 is 274 MB from Apple's Support Downloads site. The combo update that works with any version of 10.5 is 759 MB.

Leopard Server 10.5.8 -- Along with all the changes in the desktop version of Mac OS X 10.5.8, the server version receives additional tweaks. Notably:

  • The AFP Server receives a fix that prevents unwarranted CPU use when no users are connected. Another fix prevents the AFP Client from infinitely repeating unsuccessful connection attempts after waking from sleep.
  • Several different bugs were addressed in the Managed Client, resolving login issues from PowerPC-based Macs, improving reliability of synchronized files from SMB servers, fixing launch problems for login items on a network home directory, and proper disabling of simultaneous logins.
  • Server Admin no longer freezes when propagating permissions, and it (along with the updated System Image Utility) now includes NetBoot/NetInstall filters for Macs released in June 2009. Alas, it doesn't appear to include the fix necessary to make Server Admin stop corrupting Apache httpd.conf files.

The Mac OS X Server 10.5.8 Update is 274 MB in delta form; the combo update is 978 MB.

Security Update 2009-003 -- The security fixes included in Mac OS X 10.5.8 are also available (as appropriate) for users still running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. All previous security updates have been incorporated in Security Update 2009-003, so you shouldn't need to do the multiple download dance if you're not up to date.

Four variants are available, as always, a desktop version for PowerPC-based Macs (76 MB) and another for Intel-based Macs (166 MB), and a server version for PowerPC-based Macs (130 MB) and another for PowerPC- or Intel-based Macs that Apple labels as Universal (204 MB).


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Comments about Mac OS X 10.5.8 Fixes Bugs, Plugs Security Holes
(Comments are closed.)

The "Universal" version of Mac OS X Server 10.4.x actually runs on PowerPC machines also. After the first Mac Pro came out, the Mac OS X Server box was updated to this "Universal" version. It is different than the PowerPC only version of Mac OS X Server 10.4.x that shipped initially. This was the first OS release which supported both PowerPC and Intel.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2009-08-06 12:04
Ah, so "PowerPC-only" is just what it says, and "Universal" means either PowerPC or Intel. And that in turn means that if you have an Intel-based Mac running Tiger Server, you need the Universal version. I wonder why Apple chose to do a Universal version rather than just an Intel-only version, since it comes down to much the same thing (except perhaps you can upgrade the hardware underneath a Universal install). I'll update the article to remove that comment.
Kris Sundberg  2009-08-09 15:45
This update can adversely affect AirPort users. There are a number of reports of failures to connect to AirPort network/Internet after running the update.
David Travis  2009-08-11 00:45
This is exactly the difficulty I've had since upgrading to 10.5.8. I can connect to my home 2.4GHz Airport network OK but the connection to my 5GHz Time Capsule Airport network is intermittent.
Kurt Hofmann  2009-08-11 06:43
I'm having trouble installing the 10.5.8 update. I've tried all three versions (update through the software update, through the apple website and the combo update) and it won't let me install because of a codec error. I never had any problems with previous updates and my computer is working fine. Anyone else having this problem?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2009-08-11 06:42
That's definitely concerning, and I'd strongly recommend running Disk Utility on it to verify the disk as a first step in troubleshooting.
Dave Crockett  2009-08-11 04:42
I build model images on an external FW drive connected to my MacBookPro. Three different perfectly functional 10.5.7 images updated to 10.5.8 now hang at the 'gear' and will not boot. Oddly, machines using on those images on internal drives updated without incident and boot fine. Have tried Disk Warrior, permissions and disk repair on the models but they are still dead. Thoughts?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2009-08-11 06:45
Weird. You might try the FireWire drive on a different Mac or with different cables, since it could be an unrelated problem that was merely coincident in time. Otherwise, it sounds like you've tried the things I'd recommend.
Dave Crockett  2009-08-12 05:15
On at least one image yesterday, I was able to safe boot and it came up...then rebooted normally and it came up again. A bootcache issue, maybe? I'll try the others as time permits today.
paul vail  2009-08-11 10:23
Adam, can you offer documentation regarding the Apache corruption issue you note? And have any users noted increased CPU use, temps and fan speed on Xserves used for webhosting after 10.5.8? We've seen a tremendous variance in all three (increases across the board) on a PowerPC Xserve.
Glenn Fleishman  2009-08-11 10:39
The apache issue isn't corruption, per se, but Server Admin rewriting the httpd.conf file and subsidiary conf files even though the file itself says that Server Admin won't touch lines past a certain point, as does Mac OS X Server documentation. It appears to be a problem with how the parser deals with single and double quotes, including some escaped ones, in CustomLog declarations.
Patricia Anderson  2009-08-12 07:34
I have downloaded 10.5.8 from the software update facility on my MacBook Air. Nearly three hours later the little blue bar on the 'configuring installation' window has barely moved a centimetre. Is this installation working?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2009-08-12 07:35
No, Software Update shouldn't take three hours. Anything more than 5-10 minutes would cause me to restart my Mac and try again, probably from the combo update. As always, it's good to make sure you have a backup before attempting anything as major as an operating system update.
Ricka Gerstmann  2009-08-26 07:31
I've had one strange behavior since I upgraded to 10.5.8 (via the stand alone combo updater). If I print multiple copies of a document, the next time I print the previous number of copies is the new default, instead of "1". This happens even when I'm using a different application to print an entirely different document.
Margot  2009-09-03 08:36
PROBLEM: MAC users who cannot consistently download PDFs or PPTs to MAC BOOK PRO running version 10.5.8. It doesn't matter if the computer is connected via wireless or LAN (T1), battery or ac power cord. Tried both Safari 4.0.3 (5531.9) or FireFox 3.5.2
Is this a software bug, firmware hardware bug or what? Thus far I've googled, I've networked - your expertise is needed.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2009-09-03 11:27
I fear that we'd need a lot more information about what's wrong (did it start only in 10.5.8, does it happen with all file types, can you load Web pages normally, are you running any odd download software like Speed Download, are you testing different sites, and so on) before anyone could start to isolate the problem.

I'd recommend making a new admin-level user account and testing while logged into that account, since it might reduce the variables enough to see what's going on.
Margot  2009-09-04 13:00
Thanks will do.
pl cheah  2009-09-03 17:50
Hi there, I've had a couple of other strange things happen since installing the update on my imac...
1 - The computer now takes twice as long to start up (going on a good few minutes now)
2 - When it does start up, the screen is always on full brightness
3 - Occasionally when trying to change file names in finder, there will be no response to anything typed on the keyboard...
They're not the most debilitating of problems... but they are rather annoying! Heard of anything similar? Or any advice on a fix?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2009-09-04 06:01
Sounds like you'd need to try basic troubleshooting - start up with a different account, from a different hard disk, reset PRAM, run Apple Hardware Test, run Disk Utility, etc...