Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Snow Leopard Installer.app Issues

Even though I promised myself I would not be the type of overeager moron to adopt an operating system right after it was released, my faith in the reliability of Apple's software somehow led me to actually buy and install Snow Leopard in the hopes that it would be a smooth experience. At first, indeed, the upgrade process was relatively smooth, with only a couple of applications being removed due to their incompatibility with the new operating system. It was also cool to have about 5 Gigabytes freed up from printer drivers that were not really used.

Moreover, the claims about speed improvements for Snow Leopard are totally bogus, as far as I can tell, and counterclaims about the need for more hardware are equally worthless to me, especially since I have a 2.6 Gigahertz MacBook Pro and 4 Gigabytes of RAM (effectively a maxed out version of this laptop).

Now, what worried me more was the fact that pkg (and mpkg) installers from the Mac simply did not work anymore. The installation wizard would run up to when you had to click the install button, at which point the button simply did not work. When Mac OS X did not even ask for the Administrator password, I knew something was very wrong. To top it off, I managed to somehow delete my MacTex installation, and without it, I could do nothing paper related. Apple's own forums were as good as worthless to sort out my issue, which I doubt is unique to me.

After wasting practically the entire day trying to figure out what the hell happened to my beloved mac, I discovered that pkgs are installer by an application called Installer.app, which did not help a lot in sorting out my installation problem. Finally, I found out that the installer software also exists as a command line application in /usr/sbin/installer, which can be forced to run as an Administrator, and finally managed to install MacTex using this command sudo /usr/sbin/installer -pkg MacTeX-2008.mpkg -tgt / -verbose, which should work for installing other stuff under Snow Leopard.

This is far from a good solution, but at least is solves the problem until Apple decides to update this piece of beta software that they released. It seems that they have been learning with Bill's company on how to have unpaid beta testers.

Finally, thanks to Kristen for allowing me to use her picture of a sleeping Snow Leopard to poke fun at Apple.


Raveem said...

The greyed out "install" button is especially infuriating.

Marek said...

Had the same trouble, reading /var/log/system.log was enlightening.
The problem is that SIMBL.osax was located in two places in my system.
I just moved /Library/ScriptingAdditions/SIMBL.osax to a safe place (did not delete as was afraid to), and everything works ok now. Hope that helps.

Felipe said...

Thanks for the tip Marek! Now at least, it seems that MacTex works fine, thankfully.