Snow Leopard: Bring on the pain!

MacOS X 10.6.0 Snow Leopard was released over a month ago on August 28, 2009. While everyone jumped at the opportunity to be Apple’s outsourced QA, I followed my rule of “never use a dot-zero (.0) release.” Now, a month and a half later — and after the 10.6.1 update has been released — I’ve decided to install the upgrade.

Many people have suggested the upgrade was smooth and painless for them, and I totally believe this to be the case for probably 98% of Mac users, but I’m a developer and have installed lots of third-party (non-Apple) applications. I was completely expecting a bit of work to get my system running normally again, but my first symptom that something was wrong totally puzzled me: the system would stop performing I/O to disk, causing every process to spin the shiny hypnodisk at me. Basically, I could boot the system, and after about 3 minutes, everything would hang. So, keep this in mind as I describe all the things I fixed, because getting through each step involved several reboots just to make the necessary changes.

Here’s the list of problems I encountered and fixed:

Checkpoint SecureClient VPN

This complained at boot-up that the SecureClient service wasn’t started. A known work-around is to binary edit two files, StartupItemsMgr and SecureClientStarter and replace the string “kextload -s” with “kextload -r“. This worked for me.


The old MacPorts compiled against dependencies that are no longer available on Snow Leopard, including MacPorts.dylib itself. Luckily, I just grabbed the latest MacPorts installer .dmg for Snow Leopard which enabled me to selfupdate and upgrade outdated and get things working again.


Periodically, a dialog box complaining about Soundflower.kext popped up:


I had Soundflower 1.4.3 installed, which was the most recent release before Snow Leopard was released. Now, Soundflower 1.5.1 is available, so I upgraded to it. This appears to be sufficient to get it working again, too.

Oh, the agony …

At this point, my system appeared to be stable enough to use — no spurious errors being logged to /var/log/system.log and no more annoying hangs. I’m sure I’ll discover a few more annoyances next week when I start dealing with work stuff again, but for now I can at least use the machine again.

Was the upgrade worth it? I guess I’ll find out.

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