OSX Mavericks – things to think about before upgrading

OSX Mavericks – things to think about before upgrading

We decided to upgrade our Macs to Apple’s latest incarnation of OSX.

For Designers

Adobe CS6 is not supported by OSX Mavericks

If, like me, you hadn’t got round to upgrading from CS6 to the Creative Cloud, then now you will have no option. If you have installed CS6 then you should be able to install CC in a similar way. For SugarSync users you should make sure you quit this application first, otherwise you will keep getting an error about quitting SHELLEXTLOADER (even if you quit it via the activity monitor). This a known bug that hopefully SugarSync will get round to fixing soon.

Suitcase Fusion3 is not supported by OSX Mavericks

For a while now we've been using Suitcase Fusion 3 for our font management, and although font auto-activation is not supported in this version when used with Adobe CS6, we were able to continue using the app by activating the fonts manually. Unfortunately Mavericks does’t support Suitcase Fusion at all, so be prepared to pay for the upgrade to version 5 to get this working again.

For Developers

Apache may need reconfiguring

If you use OSX's built-in Apache server for local development, you may find that it no longer works as expected after the upgrade.  This is because the httpd.conf file gets replaced with a default version, so any changes you'd made (such as enabling PHP support etc.) will no longer be present.  Fortunately, the system makes a copy of your pre-upgrade httpd.conf file, so you can easily replace the default with your original modified file, or copy your modifications across to the new file.  You can find the files under:/private/etc/apache2/The pre-upgrade version will be called httpd.conf~previous or httpd.conf-pre-update.Once you've made any changes, you'll need to restart Apace for them to take effect.  This is when you might notice that you can no longer start/stop the built-in web server using the Sharing panel of System Preferences.  Don't worry, it can still be controlled the old fashioned way by using the Terminal to issue one of the following commands:sudo apachectl start

sudo apachectl stop

sudo apachectl restart

PHP may need reconfiguring

Just like with the httpd.conf file, the php.ini file also gets replaced with a default version.  Fortunately, this also gets backed up during the upgrade, so look for a file called php.ini-5.3-previous or similar at the following location:/etc/Copying across any modifications from your old ini file should resolve any issues you might be having with MySQL etc.  It's also worth noting that Mavericks ships with PHP v5.4, so if you have any projects that are not compatible with this version of PHP then you'll need to upgrade your code.

Allow plenty of time

The install of Mavericks itself took a good hour and a half on our i7 iMacs, so I would advise not doing this until you can afford to have your machine out-of-action for a while.

Initial impressions

There are a few useful additions such as file tagging and tabbed finder windows, but overall there don’t appear to be any drastic changes. Hopefully they’ve streamlined things under the hood and made it more efficient and faster.Feel free to leave a comment with your upgrade experiences, and we'll update the post for reference.  Now let's get back to work...

- UPDATE 24th October 2013 -


It appears that Mavericks also blocks applications from watching your keystrokes, so TextExpander no longer works.  Fortunately it's an easy fix:

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Choose Security & Privacy
  3. Select Accessibility
  4. Check the box to allow TextExpander to control your computer (you may have to click the padlock icon and enter your account password to enable this)

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Matt Sims

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