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Mac OS X 10.6.2 Addresses Myriad Bugs and Security Issues

Apple has released Mac OS X 10.6.2, a sizable update to Snow Leopard that touches on many areas of the operating system. The changes are too numerous to chronicle: read Apple's About the Mac OS X 10.6.2 Update page for a list of changes. Also note the page detailing the security improvements in this update.

A few important items do jump out:

  • The update fixes the Guest account deletion bug that would delete one's own user directory when you logged back in after a Guest login session was complete (see "Apple Acknowledges Guest Account Data Loss Bug, 13 October 2009).
  • You can now open multiple downloaded files via the Finder reliably, a problem we covered in "Snow Leopard Bug Prevents Opening Groups of Files," 3 November 2009.
  • Apple's discussion forums have been active recently with reports of video playback and performance issues on the latest iMacs released a few weeks ago (21.5-inch and 27-inch models), which apparently is tied to having AirPort turned on; the update addresses it.
  • The problem recognizing two-line URLs in Preview has changed somewhat, so although some two-line URLs are recognized correctly, many others are not (see "Two-Line URLs Broken in Snow Leopard's Preview," 1 September 2009). From our perspective, this bug remains outstanding.
  • Apple notes "Safari plug-in reliability," which we take to mean "handles Flash better" since the company has identified Flash items as the leading cause of crashes in Safari.

While Apple didn't note whether or not it fixed the problem with Snow Leopard screen sharing - in which remote screens appear all black until the quality setting (View menu) is toggled or reselected - we no longer have the problem when connecting from Snow Leopard systems running 10.6.2 to other computers. (See "Fix Snow Leopard's Screen Sharing Black Screen Bug," 4 November 2009.)

On the downside, Snow Leopard's bug affecting Apple Events (which Matt Neuburg identified in "Tracking Down Snow Leopard's Apple Events Bug," 13 October 2009) is still present. Also, Mac OS X 10.6.2's screen saver seems to take a very long time to build a list of files to display when pointed at a folder or folder hierarchy containing more than a few thousand images. This stands in stark contrast to numerous previous versions of Mac OS X.

Mac OS X 10.6.2 is available via Software Update or as two standalone downloads: the Mac OS X 10.6.2 Update is 473 MB and the Mac OS X 10.6.2 Update (Combo) is 479 MB. Typically, the Combo update would update Mac OS X 10.6.0 and higher, while the regular update would cover only Mac OS X 10.6.1. Presumably, the small size difference is related to the fact that Mac OS X 10.6.1 was an extremely small update.

Also, the size of the update via Software Update can vary widely, depending on your computer. My 2.33 GHz MacBook Pro, released in 2006, required a 499.9 MB download, while my Mac mini from earlier this year needed a 157.7 MB download as was a colleague's Mac Pro from early 2008.

Apple also released Security Update 2009-006 Client (143 MB) and Security Update 2009-006 Server (231 MB) for Mac OS X 10.5.8, which include the numerous security enhancements in Mac OS X 10.6.2, linked above. As ever, the issues addressed patch vulnerabilities exploited by maliciously crafted files or Web sites.

Snow Leopard Server also receives numerous fixes for problems synchronizing Portable Home Directory content, using the iCal Web interface within certain time zones, creating images with the System Image Utility, server-side filtering of incoming mail messages, preventing brute force password attacks, and more. See Apple's About the Mac OS X Server 10.6.2 Update page for more details. The delta update from Mac OS X 10.6.1 weighs in at 496 MB; the Combo update is 503 MB.

[Note: This article was updated after publication to indicate that we have found the Snow Leopard screen-sharing bug appears to have been eliminated.]


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Comments about Mac OS X 10.6.2 Addresses Myriad Bugs and Security Issues
(Comments are closed.)

Patrick  2009-11-09 14:46
I had the "video playback and performance issues on the latest iMacs" (mine was a brand-new 21.5 incher). Apple Care fixed it by changing the DNS settings. I'm pretty sure I didn't have AirPort on, but I'm not 100% sure.

Glad to see the various bugs get fixed!
Harry Erwin  2009-11-10 01:59
Has this solved the winclone problem?--where it can't be used to create or read image files in Snow Leopard.
Lisa Sieverts  2009-11-10 02:57
I'm reading between the lines and figuring I shouldn't upgrade from 10.5 yet. I use my 2007 MacBook for work and can't afford a day of troubleshooting after an upgrade. Let me know when "it just works."
Durbrow  2009-11-10 07:55
Apparently, 10.6.2 prevents GrowlMail from working. Is there a workaround? Has anyone tried the GrowlMail alternative Herald?
Kjeld Schmidt  2009-11-10 09:33
OS X 10.6.2 also seems to add a serious bug. Having upgraded this morning, I'm no longer able to open my Keynote presentations. Keynote ('09, version 5.0.3) crashes when opening an existing file. The crash report says that "Keynote quit unexpectedly while using the SFWordProcessing plugin".
I normally upgrade without hesitation. In the future I'll wait a while and let others suffer...

PS. Deleting and reinstalling iWork'09 (without upgrading to 5.0.3) solved the problem for now, so that I can get back to preparing my lectures...
I've opened a couple of keynote files and some .ppt files in 10.6.2
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2009-11-10 11:21
Glad you figured it out - I didn't have the problem here either, so it sounds like something was munged in the 10.6.2 upgrade and fixed by reinstalling iWork.
Kjeld Schmidt  2009-11-11 08:58
Alas, my troubles weren't that easily resolved. The problems recurred after a while (messed-up typography in existing files and ultimately crashes again). But a complete delete of iWork and associated files, rebooting in "safe mode" (thus flushing font cashes and the like), and finally reinstalling iWork seem to have settled it.
Martin Chamberlain  2009-11-10 09:36
I updated my iMac and my MacBook Pro yesterday with 10.6.2, and tested whether I could open multiple jpg files from within Finder. The bug is BETTER, i.e. in MORE cases they all open with Preview, but the bug is NOT FIXED. I am still seeing the same problem. When I try to open about 40 jpg files (mostly small, in the 40-50 kB range), two Preview windows open, with the majority of the files displayed in one, and a few in the other.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2009-11-10 11:31
I can now confirm this - I dropped a few folders containing downloaded images on Preview and found that they opened in two windows. I believe (though I couldn't easily confirm) that all the images were opened, just not in the same window, which may indicate this is now a Preview bug instead of a Finder/Snow Leopard bug.
Has anyone had any issue with their icons disappearing in 10.6.2? After rebooting I have a lot of apps that are missing their icons in the dock and the task-switcher.

Instead of the icon, there's just a blank space. shows the effect in the taskswitcher.

Other than that little annoyance, no problems at all in 10.6.2 other than the few unfixed from 10.6.1.
Yes, I have the same problem since I updated!!! Has anyone found a solution for this problem???
I rebooted again and everything was back to normal. YMMV.
10.62 FIXES the Novel incompatibility with Snow Leopard!
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2009-11-10 13:04
You mean there was a bug in 10.6.1 that prevented you from writing a novel? Who knew? :-)
Berend Hasselman  2009-11-10 12:56
This update also fixes a bug that happens when you customize the thousands separator to None in System Preferences, Language&Text,Formats.

The bug made several programs (Dashboard and others) hang (unresponsive) in response to numbers > 1000. At last,
Al Woodcock  2009-11-10 15:05
It still takes lots of time for Image Capture to recognize SD card with many pictures on it.
Jim Gagne  2009-11-12 10:16
A potentially annoying 10.6.2 problem (updated 11/12/09):

One of the benefits of 10.6.2 is it "fixes" the problem with Postscript Type 1 fonts. I'm not sure what the problem was, but initially NONE of my Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, etc.) can find any Type 1 fonts. They completely disappeared.
I found the same problem in Adobe Creative Suite 3: InDesign and Photoshop. No Type 1 fonts at all. Gone.

A helpful source at MacIntouch suggested purging the font caches. Worked great, and all my fonts are back. I used FontDoctor, but there are many other ways to do this.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2009-11-11 09:15
Others have confirmed the screen saver bug now, and I just wrote an article with a workaround. See
Wagner  2009-11-13 09:17
One bug that's driving me insane and which I'd like to be fixed ASAP is that every so often the Finder preferences forgets my choice of *not* showing the iDisk icon on its sidebar. It's been happening since 10.5, at least. I wonder if other people have noticed it too.
David Phillips  2009-11-17 14:43
I have a problem where I can copy some folders and other times i cannot.
It will start to copy and then say there is already a file by that name chose another name.
It can be a clean reformated drive -- same problem.
anyone else having this problem.

I have a new 27" with 10.6.2 purchased Sunday...
It occurs with Pen Drives only ///
I am having to burn to CD to transfer stuff
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2009-11-17 15:01
Have you tried reformatting the pen drives? I could imagine there being formatting issues that would cause problems.
Jean-Pierre Queille  2009-12-09 01:06
A bug that appeared with this version I think is that when I copy a folder from one USB FAT32 formatted disk to another USB FAT32 formatted disk only the first file is copied after the folder is created, then an error message is displayed saying that a file with the same name as the folder already exists. Seems it wants to create the folder for each file to copy. Workaround is to to copy the missing files in a second move, but it drives me crazy!
PS: probably the same bug than the one mentioned in the previous message, but in a different context.