Fix repeating iTunes prompt to accept incoming network connections.

Do you want the application iTunes.app to accept incoming network connectionsDo you want the application ‘iTunes.app’ to accept incoming network connections?

If you get this prompt every time you start iTunes, it’s probably an issue with the application contents vs the application’s code signature.  Users seem to be encountering this sort of problem more frequently since Apple’s introduction of additional code signing, sandboxing, and GateKeeper functions in Mountain Lion.

Normally, this terminal command:

$ codesign -vvv /Applications/iTunes.app

should result in this:

/Applications/iTunes.app: valid on disk
/Applications/iTunes.app: satisfies its Designated Requirement

If not, then the application package contents are probably mucked up.  I recently encountered this situation as the command results showed a lot of extra files in the package.  Probably leftovers from an update.

Most of the recommending fixes involve deleting iTunes and reinstalling from a fresh download.  However, Mountain Lion won’t let you delete iTunes… say’s “can’t be modified or deleted because it’s required by Mac OS X.”

Some folk have had success by simply running the installer anyway.  But in my case, the extra files weren’t removed.  Instead I found I could right click on the /Applications/iTunes.app package, and “Show Package Contents“.  Once inside the package, I could delete the contents.  I simply deleted the entire “contents” directory, and then installed iTunes using a new download from the website.  The terminal command “codesign” then generated the correct results and the Firewall prompts stopped repeating.

 

FYI. This occurred after a clean re-install of OS X 10.8.2 Mountain Lion on a 2012 MacBook Pro.  I did a re-install to clean up problems from a number of app testing sessions and restore things to clean settings.  After running available software updates from the App Store the iTunes / Firewall prompts began occurring each time I started iTunes.  Most likely there was some issue with the App Store update for iTunes not cleaning up old files correctly.

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OSX: Unable to talk to lsboxd ( and other console errors)

mdworker: Unable to talk to lsboxd

sandboxd: mdworker deny mach-lookup com.apple.ls.boxd

 

Cured by doing a safe boot and then restarting normally ?  Really ?  < cue twilight zone music > 

 

Somewhere along the way, Mountain Lion started getting oodles of these errors in the console log… usually every 4 minutes or so.  It’s been common enough that there are posts about it on quite a few sites.  Surprisingly, the fix really is a simple as a safe boot.  Apparently safe boot cleans out some cache files which were causing a problem.

 

Install OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion in VMware Fusion 4.1.3 (clean installation, not upgrade)

Previously I’ve been using older OS X virtual images and upgrading them as needed.  Looking back through some notes about various utilities, features, and command line tools, I noticed something which I wanted to test on a clean installation.

Sometimes new versions of OS X remove some features, but upgrading over an old installation (instead of doing a clean install) may leave the old feature or utility in place and available.  In order to verify whether Mountain Lion removed some utilities previously available in Snow Leapoard and Lion, it seemed like a good time to test the process of creating a clean VM installation from the App Store downloaded installation file for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

Within VMware Fusion 4.1.3 (the latest release version at this time):

  • make sure you have an available copy of the App Store download for Mountain Lion
  • create a new VM
  • select “Continue without disc
  • on the next screen “Choose a disc or disk image…” and navigate to “Install OS X Mountain Lion.app” file.  (When initially downloading this file, the App Store places it in your Applications Folder.  On most systems it gets automatically removed after the upgrade/installation is completed.  So prior to running it, it is a good idea to back up a copy to another location.  The copy can be used to upgrade other machines, or for creating VMs as we’re about to do now.)
  • select “Continue” on the next few screens to accept the defaults and start the VM.  The defaults should be adequate for most initial testing and I’d recommended them until you get more familiar or identify a specific need to customize settings further.
    • note: if you have a folder of application install files, it is helpful to configure Fusion’s “file sharing” options to present that folder within the VM when it is running.
  • At the end of the settings screens, select the “Finish” button.  Fusion will complete the configuration and start the VM.

The VM may seem to start very slowly before presenting the initial grey OS X booting screen.  And will likely take some time, perhaps several minutes unless you’re on an Ivy Bridge / SSD system (if you are on a 2012 Ivy Bridge CPU and encounter a CPU error from Fusion, this post explain how to modify your VM config to continue).

Eventually you should see the “OS X Utilities” window and have the option to select “Reinstall OS X“.  Select “Continue” a couple times, then “Agree” to the license (twice), select the hard drive “Macintosh HD” and “Install“.

The installation proceeds without an further interaction until it automatically reboots.  After the VM reboots, the “Install OS X” screen will appear and display a progress indicator.  On an older CoreDuo MacMini, it took about ten minutes to reach the reboot and then displays an estimate of about 20 minutes to complete the installation.  ActivityMonitor shows this old MacMini is CPU constrained, but I’m waiting for next refresh to include Ivy Bridge and USB 3 before getting a new one.

When the installation process completes, the VM will reboot and present the “Welcome” screen to begin the initial configuration of OS X.  If audio is enabled, you should hear a voice welcoming you to setup.

  • select a Country
  • select a Keyboard Layout
  • choose whether to Transfer Information using Migration Assistant.  If you haven’t used it before, it can move information from other Macs, Windows PCs, or TimeMachine backups and works pretty well for a wide variety of application settings and user data.   Since the goal is testing a clean installation of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, I won’t be using Migration Assistant this time.  It can also be ran later, so it’s not critical to decided right now.
  • choose whether to enable “Location Services” (I’m leaving it disabled on this VM).
  • Enter you AppleID to setup App Store, iCloud, etc.  I have separate IDs for iTunes and iCloud, and don’t need either configured on this VM right now.  So I’m selecting “Skip” on this setup screen.
  • accept the “Terms and Conditions” (twice again).
  • fill in the fields for “Create Your Computer Account” to establish your username and password.
  • Select Your Time Zone” by clicking the map and selecting a nearby city.
  • Register“.  I’ll “Skip” this screen for this VM.
  • and finally you reach the “Thank You” screen and can “Start using your Mac“.

At this point you get the new OS X Mountain Lion (fortunately it does not inflict another reboot on you here) and you are ready to go.

Since my goal was to configure a cleanly installed VM for some testing, I’m going to stop here, shut down the VM, and make a Zip Archive of the VM’s file image for later re-use.  Once that housekeeping task is complete, then I’ll review my notes on previous versions and retest various utilities to see what still works.  Results will be documented in a follow up post.

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Summary:  Using the “Install OS X Mountain Lion.app” file to create a new virtual machine in VMware Fusion 4.1.3 is quick and easy.

Testing “Xcode 4.5 and iOS 6 SDK beta 3” using a virtual machine instance of OS X Lion

For a couple weeks now, I’ve been using Xcode 4.3.3 and the iOS 5.1 SDK on a mid 2012 MacBook Air 13″ with 8GB Ram.  It’s very nice.

With the July 16th update to the iOS 6 development betas, it was time test running the new Xcode environment under a VM on the MacBook Air.  The first step in the process was to get a virtual instance of OS X Lion 10.7 running under VMware Fusion.

I’ve done this before, but the new 2012 MacBook CPU (Intel Ivy Bridge) caused a “CPU disabled by guest operating system… ” error under Fusion.  The solution was to add this line to the *.vmx config file of the target VM.

      cpuid.1.eax = “—-:—-:—-:0010:—-:—-:1010:0111”

VMware should have a 2012 update to Fusion for OS X Mountain Lion 10.8, they are currently testing it as a “technical preview”.  This post provides more information on the error and it’s solution.

With that problem solved, it was time to get Xcode 4.5 beta 3 up and running.  Right after installing VMware Tools and configuration some OS X settings to my preferences (I didn’t use Migration Assistant for this VM as I wanted a fresh environment).

The next issue was with the Xcode 4.5 app.  It would not run.  I used Lion 10.7.3 to create the VM the new beta requires a minimum of 10.7.4.  Using software updates to get 10.7.4, iTunes, and Safari updates downloaded about 1GB.  After the updates, the Xcode 4.5 beta is now able to run.  This is a good place to make a backup of the VMDK and save for future use.

VMware snapshots or Fusion Time Machine integration are both good features, but I prefer to locate the *.vmwarevm file (package) in Finder and copy to a compressed zip file.  I’ll use this zip as a clean start for additional beta releases as well as some OSX Server testing.  Will also use it to testing the Mountain Lion upgrade.

After installing Xcode, you’ll most likely want the ability to do something with it.  This entails installing some “core libraries”.  From within Xcode Preferences, the Downloads tab provides access to additional Components and Documentation. Plan for another GB or more of downloads.

If you’re setting up your virtual dev/test environment for first time, plan on 4 or 5 hours and several GB of downloads/updates during the process.  After that you’ll be able to test beta releases or do other experimental work in a VM (with USB access to physical devices if desired) without affecting any of the apps of your host Mac.

Installing OSX Lion into VMware Fusion on Macbook 2012 gets “cpu disabled by guest operating system” error.

In order to install OS X Lion into a virtual machine running under VMware Fusion, you need the install file from the Mac App store.  In this case, I started with:

  • the Mac App store file “Install Max OS X Lion_10.7.3.app”
  • VMware Fusion 4.1.1
  • Macbook Air 13″ mid-2012

I’ve run OS X Lion under VMs previously, so expected this should work without any difficulties.  I expected wrong.

Attempting to start a new VM resulted in a Fusion error message stating, “The CPU has been disabled by the guest operating system…”

To troubleshoot I:

  1.  started by checking for Fusion updates; the in app update check didn’t show any available updates.
  2. Next I decided to try a reinstall of Fusion.  Deleted the app, rebooted, and went to vmware.com to download a fresh copy.  Found a newer version 4.1.3  Trying this version resulted in same CPU error.
  3. Did some additional searching and found a vmware forum thread which referred to a work around listed in another vmware forum thread.

Here’s a summary of the solution to save the time of going through all of the forum thread references.

The physical Intel CPU in the mid-2012 MacBooks is new.  As a result, if you are using a Mac App store installation file for OS X obtained prior to the 2012 MacBooks, that version won’t understand the new processor.

The solution is to edit the configuration file of the OS X Lion virtual machine to add this entry

cpuid.1.eax = “—-:—-:—-:0010:—-:—-:1010:0111”

The configuration file will be located within the actual VM storage file.  You can use Finder to location the *.vmwarevm file, then right click to “Show Package Contents”.  The config file will be the *.vmx

Any easier way to open the VM’s configuration file is using the VMware Fusion Virtual Machine Library window.  Use the OPTION key + Right Click on the target VM.  An option to “Open Config File in Editor” will be available.

This solution should work on the following combinations of hardware software:

  • All mid-2012 MacBooks
  • VMware Fusion 4.1.3
  • OS X host operating system version Lion 10.7.4
  • OS X guest operating system versions Lion 10.7.3 or 10.7.4

VMware is working on a “Technology Preview 2012″ for OS X Mountain Lion 10.8  As of this writing the workaround for that version is different.    Hopefully VMware will clean this up prior to release the 2012 version.

If Apple releases a Mac App store installation package of Lion 10.7.5, that may also solve the VM CPU configuration issue.

Running OS X Lion in virtual machines is my preferred method of testing new versions of the iOS SDK and Apple’s iOS Device Management tools.  With a recent move to a 2012 MacBook Air 13” and the developer release of iOS v6, apparently it was time to encounter a new collection of configuration issues.