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Mac OS X 10.7.3 Fixes Bugs, Improves Lion Server

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Articles about updates to Mac OS X updates are starting to become repetitive to write. The 10.X.1 update is a quick fix for the most egregious bugs, and was probably in progress before 10.X.0 was released (see “Mac OS X 10.7.1 Fixes Just a Few Bugs,” 16 August 2011). The 10.X.2 update actually makes some substantive changes in behavior and fixes additional serious bugs (see “Meanwhile, Back at the Lion Ranch…,” 15 October 2011). And then we come to 10.X.3, which is where Apple starts knocking off obscure bugs that relatively few people have encountered — all subsequent 10.X.Y updates will continue in this pattern.

(As always seems to happen after Mac OS X updates, we’re seeing quite a number of reports of problems after installing 10.7.3. The solution, either preventative or after the fact, seems to be to use the combo updater. If any common problems start to bubble to the top, we’ll call those out. As of 6 February 2012, the most serious is the “CUI bug” and associated crashes, which seems to have caused Apple to pull the delta update in favor of the larger combo update; Software Update is providing only the combo update now. Lex Friedman explains the bug at Macworld.)

Mac OS X 10.7.3 Client -- You know you’ve started down the 10.X.3 path when the first bullet item in the release notes for Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3 Update is “Adds Catalan, Croatian, Greek, Hebrew, Romanian, Slovak, Thai, and Ukrainian language support.” Don’t get me wrong, support for these languages is extremely welcome (and if you’re in one of the associated countries, undoubtedly long overdue), but it doesn’t change the behavior of Lion for most — or hardly any — existing users. Slightly more relevant to existing users is the usual addition of raw image compatibility for newly released cameras. There are no new features that I’m aware of yet.

All other changes appear to be bug fixes, addressing problems related to using smart cards to log in, compatibility issues with Microsoft Windows file sharing, a problem printing Microsoft Word documents that use markup, a graphics performance problem after sleep on some earlier iMacs with ATI graphics cards, a Wi-Fi connection problem after waking from sleep, an issue that could prevent Safari from opening before joining a wireless network, a number of fixes related to Active Directory, and a possible issue authenticating to an SMB DFS share (I had to look it up too).

As always, there are oodles of security-related fixes in 10.7.3, relating to vulnerabilities in (deep breath): Address Book, Apache, ATS CFNetwork, CoreMedia, CoreText, CoreUI, curl, dovecot, filecmds, ImageIO, Internet Sharing, Libinfo, libresolv, libsecurity, OpenGL, PHP, QuickTime, Subversion, Time Machine, WebDAV Sharing, Webmail, and X11. Plus, Mac OS X will no longer trust SSL/TLS certificates issued by DigiCert Malaysia, which has issued certificates with weak keys that it cannot revoke.

For those who haven’t already pored through the list of security fixes, you can get a sense of what Apple has done by the names. There are fixes to well-known applications or technologies you recognize, like Address Book, QuickTime and Time Machine. Then there are fixes to popular open-source software that’s built into Mac OS X, like Apache, curl, PHP, and Subversion. And finally, there are fixes to code libraries or frameworks used by all sorts of Mac applications — these are the things you’re least likely to recognize, such as CoreMedia, ImageIO, libresolv, and libsecurity. Knowing what components have been updated isn’t helpful to most people, and while it can be distressing to see so many components needing help, it’s good that the vulnerabilities are being fixed.

The easiest (and fastest — it’s only 730 MB on my MacBook) way to get Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3 Update is via Software Update, but you can also download the delta (997 MB) and combo (1.2 GB) updaters. (Right now, the delta update link is redirecting to the combo update page.)

Mac OS X 10.7.3 Server -- The 10.7.3 update would seem to be a much bigger deal for those using Lion Server, to judge from the release notes for Mac OS X Lion Server 10.7.3 Update.

To start, the Server app has received numerous interface improvements, which reveal added functionality. The File Sharing pane now displays the number of users connected via AFP and SMB and has a new Connected Users tab that displays details about those connections (user name and idle time for AFP, and client IP and connection type for both AFP and SMB). That tab also enables admins to send messages to AFP-connected users and to disconnect them, with or without a message. Lastly, admins can create a greeting that will be displayed to users who connect via AFP.

In other file sharing changes, Lion Server 10.7.3 fixes a number of issues for Windows users accessing files on a Lion Server SMB share, including problems with copying files with certain extended attributes, saving files in Windows 7, opening files with Microsoft Office 2003, and creating new folders in Windows Vista.

The VPN pane of the Server app now provides the option to enable the VPN over PPTP and to save a PPTP configuration profile for distribution to users. When PPTP is enabled, PPTP clients share the same address range as L2TP clients. Apple has additional useful information about Lion Server’s PPTP support. Finally, admins can now set DNS server addresses and search domain names for VPN clients.

The Server app’s Web pane now enables admins to edit a site’s domain name after creation, choose a different SSL certificate for each site, map multiple domain names to a single site, configure redirects and aliases, specify custom index files, and use .htaccess files by selecting the Allow All Overrides checkbox. All good stuff for those running Web servers in Lion Server.

There are also notable improvements in iCal Service, Mail Service, Open Directory, Podcast Publisher, Profile Manager, Server Admin, Wiki Service, and Xsan. The previously linked release notes have full details, plus links to some additional support articles.

Software Update will give you a custom version of Mac OS X Lion Server 10.7.3 Update, of course, but you can also download the delta (1 GB) and combo (1.34 GB) updaters. (As with the desktop version of 10.7.3, the delta update link is currently redirecting to the combo update page.)

Finally, in conjunction with Lion Server 10.7.3, Apple has released Server Admin Tools 10.7.3, which provides compatibility updates and bug fixes to Podcast Composer, Server Admin, Server Monitor, System Image Utility, Workgroup Manager, and Xgrid Admin.

 

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Comments about Mac OS X 10.7.3 Fixes Bugs, Improves Lion Server

John Wilkins  2012-02-01 20:54
If you check on the Apple Forums, you'll see many people are having serious problems with this update, and it killed my MacBookPro - no apps will run and the dialogues have been corrupted. I'm having to downgrade to 10.7.2 from TimeCapsule (losing a day's work in the process). I advise not to touch it.
Mirsky  2012-02-02 00:05
I'm having permission errors after the update. I can't save in a few applications because they say I don't have permission. And Disk Utility didn't make a difference. Very frustrating!
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-02-02 07:38
In my quick look at the Apple Support Communities site, the problems being reported are pretty random - no significant commonalities. A lot of people are saying that they solved the problems by installing the combo update, so I'd recommend that as the first step (and if you're worried, you can just do that instead of relying on Software Update).
Rod Decker  2012-02-02 11:45
I'm in the middle of the same problem now: corrupted dialog boxes, nothing will run. This a MBP with new Apple-installed HD and fresh OS install of latest OS just last week under AppleCare. I used Software Update and it indicated 1.2 GB. I have the combo updated downloading on another Mac at the moment.
Rod Decker  2012-02-02 13:46
After re-installing Lion 10.7.0 from the usb install disk I originally created, and then running the combo updater, I'm back in business. I don't know what the differences are; I did an iMac using Software Update and a colleague did two Macs today (including one MBP almost identical to mine) with no problem. I recommend the combo approach as good insurance this time. I've never had an installation hosed while doing an update since 1985, but this one cost me an afternoon's work.
I wonder if the local snapshots in the TM are operated by the user, and can turned on and off.
10.7.3 client and server installed, all apps running fine, no issues at all. 27" iMac, MacBook, and new Mac mini server
Jarrod  2012-02-02 04:38
Update worked fine for me an FINALLY fixed the stupid wifi problems I was having everytime it woke up.
Just installed this bomb-slowed my macbook to a crawl
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-02-02 07:49
Look in Activity Monitor to see if something is taking over the CPU column. I recently saw some problems related to syncing Safari bookmarks via iCloud, for instance, and another issue with Firefox.
No, that seems fine. I am so sick of watching the "thinking" ball spin!
I had similar symptoms. When I ran Disk Utility I found Inode problems and in the end, after running from the Recovery partition, it still couldn't fix them and I am in the process of reinstalling the system and restoring files from backup.
Quarantus  2012-02-04 07:11
I just updated mine for my MBA, I have some better performance experiences & especially in ram consuming...
Patrick  2012-02-06 14:36
10.7.3 killed my dual monitors! I installed the combo update last night and woke up to only being able to use the 24" iMac display. The iMac detects the other monitor and the other monitor begins to process the signal, then turns to a blue screen with the words, "Not Support!". Under system preferences, both monitors are found, so I know it's not a connection problem (although I've tried disconnecting/reconnecting several times). Have not found a fix yet. Very frustrated!
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-02-06 16:43
That's very odd - I'm having no trouble with an old Apple 17" on my MacBook with 10.7.3, so it's not a general problem. But your systems are much newer.
Seany Fierce  2012-02-07 06:47
After updating my macbook air 2010 (late) model to the 10.7.3, I was unable to use my Wifi or get on the internet whatsoever, by wifi or ethernet, I had to use time machine to restore prior to the update. It was very frustrating
I have same problem :( macbook pro 15 2008
Rick Binger  2012-02-08 16:57
A new "feature" I noticed is in Mail. If you mouse over the address portion (top section) of an email, you'll notice that the previously plain-looking hand is now a bolder Mickey Mouse-style hand. When you click and drag, Mickey grabs a little envelope icon. It's cute but I cannot figure out if there is any purpose. Maybe a Disney-Pixar-Apple connection?!
Jeff Carlson  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-02-08 17:20
The new hand is an OS-level change, basically an icon that looks a bit spiffier. It's showing a little envelope in Mail because you can drag that message elsewhere; to save it as a file in the Finder.
10.7.3 deleted my HP bluetooth mouse from paired devices list and there is no way to connect it again. So I went back to 10.7.2
For those of you have problems with the update. Forget the update with the SoftwareUpdate. Go to the apple web site and get the 10.7.3 combo client update (unless you know you have server). That update works. My software update offered me a combo update, but judging by the update size it was for server not client.
Harry Dennis  2012-02-12 13:29
I had the exact same experience. I had to erase and restore my mac via Time Machine. The install hung just before completion, and I had to abort. Then the mac would not boot properly (spinning beach ball as soon as I tried to do anything). I would stay away from this update.
Lindsey Thomas Martin  2012-02-13 20:42
10.7.3 broke Quark XPress 9.2 badly: missing icons all over the place. There's a partial fix: Preferences > Extensions Manager > Always.
David Bunker  2012-03-23 05:08
Not to rub it in anyone's face, but It worked great for me . . .
Philippe  2012-03-28 06:06
Similar problem as reported above with wi-fi
I have a macbook from 2008, an iMac from 2011 and a local network via a Sagem 3302 (IP Phone+web)

My Macs used to communicate through AFP but now only the more recent iMac is able to connect to its partner, the Macbook can see the iMac on my local network but connection fails. I tried retyping the address manually after rechecking the IP but it doesn't help.