Macintosh Operation System Information and Support

On July 20, 2011, Apple released their latest and most advanced operating system, Mac OS X 10.7, aka Lion.

HMS Information Technology will support Mac OS X 10.7 on all computers that support Lion, provided the computers have been update to the latest Mac OS X Updates.
As of February 2012, Mac OS X 10.7.3 is the minimum update required for full compatibility with the HMS applications and systems.

For more information, see the Questions and Answer shown below, or contact the HMS IT Service Desk or your department's Client Services Representative.

Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) Frequently Asked Questions

What is Lion, and how do I get it?

What is the benefit to Lion? Why should I get it?

Every new operating system seems to bring some issues. Is this true of Lion as well?

What is required to upgrade to Lion?

Should I use FileVault 2 to encrypt my laptop?

Are there any concerns with using FileVault 2?

Can Lion run Java applications?

What is Lion, and how do I get it?

Lion is Apple's most recent release of the Macintosh operating system: Mac OS X 10.7, released in July of 2011.

The most recent update 10.7.3 was released in February 2012 and is required for full compatibility with the HMS systems.
Due to a new distribution strategy adopted by Apple called the Mac App Store, distribution of Lion has changed compared to previous version of Mac OS X. You can purchase licenses for Lion at Harvard University Technology Products Center using a 33 digit billing code. TPC will provide a special code for the download of Lion. Due to issues discovered since the release of Lion installed as an upgrade to Snow Leopard, it is strongly recommended that you contact your Departmental Client Services Representative or the HMS IT Service Desk for installation assistance prior to installation, or if you have questions or problems. We will be happy to schedule a time to upgrade your computer to Lion, and perform all necessary updates.

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What is the benefit to Lion? Why should I get it?

Lion adds many new features, as well as enhanced security, to Apple's operating system software. New features include:

AutoSave and Versions

AutoSave will automatically save your documents; Versions will allow you to save multiple versions of your documents. On applications that support them, these two technologies together can greatly improve your workflow and document security by doing some tasks for you automatically, and keeping previous versions of your documents in case you need to revert to a prior version.

FileVault 2

FileVault 2 is a Whole Disk Encryption (WDE) technology, similar to PGP, that can be used to secure your laptopís data. FileVault 2 is recommended to be used in place of PGP, due to compatibility issues with the current version of PGP.

Other features of Lion can be found here:
http://www.apple.com/macosx/whats-new/features.html

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Every new operating system seems to bring some issues. Is this true of Lion as well?

Yes. Every new operating system does bring issues, and Lion is no different. The primary issues for Lion are due to incompatibility with older applications. Lion no longer supports Rosetta, the conversion application used in Snow Leopard, for older applications. Some examples of those older applications would be Eudora, FileMaker Pro 6 and earlier, or Office 2004 and earlier. These applications, among others, will not work with Lion.

Also, there may be some applications that will have issues simply as a result of a new operating system. This is a normal occurrence, and will require updates on the part of the applications developer.

Outstanding compatibility issues with Lion include compatibility issues with PGP, Harvard University's recommended Whole Disk Encryption solution for laptops . For this reason we recommend using Apple's updated FileVault 2 Whole Disk Encryption Technology. FileVault 2 is fully compliant with the University standards for data security.

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What is required to upgrade to Lion?

In order to upgrade, your computer must meet minimum system requirements:

  • Core 2 Duo or later;
  • At least 2 GB of RAM;
  • At least 9 GB of available drive space;
  • In order to upgrade from Snow Leopard, you must have Mac OS X 10.6.7 or later.

If you have questions or concerns about upgrading to Lion, please contact the HMS IT Service Desk or your Departmental Client Services Representative.

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Should I use FileVault 2 to encrypt my laptop?

Yes. FileVault 2 meets all of the requirements of Harvard University's data security policy.

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Are there any concerns with using FileVault 2?

Yes. FileVault 2 is not centrally managed. If you use FileVault 2, you will have the option to store your recovery token yourself or have Apple store it. We strongly recommend you have Apple store the recovery token, in the event you lose your password. Be aware that HMS IT will be UNABLE to provide you with a recovery token for FileVault 2 if one is needed. If you are unable to login with your password and do not have the recovery token, you may lose all of your data.

FileVault 2 can encrypt external drives. However, they must first be completely erased with Disk Utility. For example, if you use an external drive for Time Machine backup and want to encrypt it, you will lose any data on the external drive. Subsequent Time Machine data stored on the external drive will be encrypted.

Additionally, any hard drive data encrypted with FileVault 2 will only be visible on another Macintosh computer running Lion. You will not be able to connect an external hard drive encrypted with FileVault 2 to a computer running an earlier version of Mac OS X.

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Can Lion run Java applications?

Yes, however Java is no longer distributed with Lion.† The first time you run a Java application, you may be prompted to install Java using Apple Software Update. If this happens, allow Software Update to install Java, then run the application again. This may occur if you use the Juniper Network Connect VPN application.

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Last Updated October 23, 2013




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