Mac OS 10.8 Mountain Lion released

General

Mac OS X Mountain Lion (Mac OS 10.8) is the latest release of the Apple operating system. Released on July 25, 2012, Apple lists over 200 new features and improvements over the previous version at http://www.apple.com/osx/whats-new/. A pre-release version of Mountain Lion was tested for compatibility with typical university applications in order to verify that UVic is ready for OS X Mountain Lion's release.

The most significant problem facing UVic users who wish to use OS X 10.8 is compatibility with PGP Whole Disk Encryption.  PGP Whole Disk Encryption is not compatible with OS X 10.8.  Symantec does not plan to support OS X 10.8 until September 2012.  For further details, please see the UVic applications section below.

University Systems does not recommend upgrading to OS X 10.8 at this time due to the issues facing Mac users who require whole disk encryption.

Web browsers

Safari 6.0

The latest version of Safari does not have issue rendering and interacting with the UVic websites tested. My page, Webmail, Outlook Web Access, Moodle, FAST, and Banner all work as expected. Sign on to UVic works across uvic.ca and web.uvic.ca without issue. By default, the Java plugin is not enabled in Safari. When accessing a website that requires Java for the first time (such as Banner), you will be prompted to enable the Java plugin and reboot your browser.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox has no issues and preforms typically with Mac OS X Mountain Lion. Version 14.0.1 installs normally and exhibits no abnormal behaviour.

Productivity applications

Microsoft Office 2011

Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac does not appear to have any compatibility issues with Mac OS X Mountain Lion. Documentation for configuring Outlook 2011 for use with UVic’s Microsoft Exchange Email and Calendaring system is available here.

Mac Mail, Calendar & Address Book

Please note that the following is provided for informational purposes only. University Systems does not support the use of Mac Mail, Calendar, and Address Book with the Microsoft Exchange Email and Calendaring system at UVic.

Mac Mail, Calendar and Contacts' compatibility with Microsoft Exchange has improved over previous versions of Mac OS. When starting Mac Mail for the first time it prompts for a name, email address and password. Once one enters their NetLink id and password Mac Mail will automatically detect UVic's Exchange server. Once an exchange account is setup, Mac Contacts automatically has access to one's Exchange address books and the UVic global address list.

Although Mac Mail functions with the UVic Exchange servers, it does not implement all of the features of an Outlook client. Exchange server-side rule configuration, mail categories, and mailbox delegation are not fully supported.

Networking and printing

Wireless

Wireless connectivity with the UVic, UVicOpen and eduroam wireless networks was without issue. When connecting to UVic and eduroam a prompt opened asking for a username and password. Entering netlinkid@uvic.ca and an associated password worked as expected without requiring any certificate configuration.  Instructions to configure UVic wireless networks are available here.

Network storage

University storage resources work as expected with netdrive.uvic.ca shares setup being identical to previous versions of Mac OS.

Printing

Printing configuration has not changed over the previous release of Mac OS. One improvement has been that the 32-bit drivers provided by Kyocera now function properly in 64-bit applications, removing the need for the 32-bit compatibility workaround for printing. To use a Kyocera printer, install the drivers from Kyocera's website, add the printer in the usual manner and then select the appropriate Kyocera printer under the other print device option.

UVic applications

PGP Whole Disk Encryption

Symantec has not yet released a version of PGP Whole Disk Encryption that is compatible with 10.8 Mountain Lion. Mountain Lion will not install to a hard drive that has been previously encrypted by PGP. PGP will appear to install correctly on a new installation of OS X 10.8, but will repeatedly cause errors when a NetLink ID has been enrolled and your disk will not be encrypted.

University Systems strongly recommends that anyone who requires PGP Whole Disk Encryption as part of their data protection strategy does not upgrade to OS X 10.8 at this time.  Symantec is working on a new release of PGP Whole Disk Encryption that supports OS X 10.8, but will not support 10.8 until September 2012.

Tivoli Storage Manager

Tivoli Storage Manager is the official backup service provided by UVic. TSM can be successfully installed using the provided instructions. Unfortunately the configuration instructions require an update as TextEdit refuses to save as .sys and Finder prevents file renaming affecting filename extensions. To resolve this issue, open dsm.sys in TextEdit; once you have edited the node name line, select Save a Version.

TSM1

This will save the file as dsm.txt. Select this file in Finder, right-click on it, and choose “Get Info.”

TSM2

In the info dialog for the file, under “Name & Extension,” rename the file to dsm.sys. In the warning dialog that pops up choose “Use .sys”.

TSM3

VPN client

UVic uses a Cisco Systems virtual private network for securing remote connections to the university's network. The Cisco AnyConnect VPN client version 2.5.6005 installs without issue using the instructions available here. A test of connection stability was satisfactory.

iCloud

Mountain Lion adds additional support for Apple's iCloud service.  Before using any iCloud features, University Systems recommends that you review the internet storage section of the secure your data page.  This section outlines relevant UVic policies and provincial legislation surrounding privacy and the use of cloud services.

University Systems recommends that faculty and staff refrain from using iCloud to store any university data as the privacy of this data can not be guaranteed. 

Other application compatibility

RoaringApps has created an application compatibility wiki for Mac OS X Mountain Lion here:

http://roaringapps.com/apps:table

If you have concerns about a specific application, or a particular version of an application, you can visit RoaringApps to see if other users or the vendor have reported any issues with OS X Mountain Lion.

Questions about Mountain Lion?

If you have any questions about Mac OS X 10.8, please contact the Computer Help Desk for additional information.