Apple releases Mac OS X 10.6.5

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Apple on Wednesday released Mac OS X 10.6.5, the latest version of its Snow Leopard operating system. As per usual, the update—which is recommended for all users of 10.6—is chock full of bug fixes, feature enhancements, and security patches.

Among the most prominent additions in 10.6.5 are improved reliability with Microsoft Exchange servers, better stability and performance of graphics applications and games, more robust pairing with Apple’s Magic Trackpad, and improved reliability of Ethernet connections. There’s also now SSL support for iDisk connections, a fix for an issue syncing Address Book contacts with Google, and added support for raw images from a metric ton of digital camera models.

In addition, the update brings plenty of other welcome changes, such as better performance in some iPhoto and Aperture image-processing operations, axing a delay between print jobs, a fix for a problem dragging Address Book contacts into iCal, improved performance of MainStage on certain Macs, resolution of spacing issues with OpenType fonts, better reliability with some Bluetooth braille displays, and a fix for a VoiceOver issue on some Websites when using Safari 5. You can find the full list of changes below.

Also contained in the update are a number of security patches for Snow Leopard, including vulnerabilities in AFP Server, QuickTime, the X11 windowing system, and a truly huge number of security holes in Adobe’s Flash Player plug-in—all of which are apparently fixed by updating the plug-in to version These fixes apply equally to Security Update 2010-007, which is available for users of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and later.

There’s no mention in the release notes of AirPrint, Apple’s forthcoming printing feature for iOS, adding weight to reports that Mac OS X 10.6.5 would not bring support for sharing printers with iOS devices.

Apple also released a 10.6.5 update for Mac OS X Server that includes a number of improvements and updates for the server software, including the ability to manage iChat and iCal preferences, improved reliability for Directory Services, an updated version of PHP, and the ability for the Software Update Services to allow administrators to host older software updates (i.e. 10.6.4) after a new version is released (10.6.5, for example).

Mac OS X 10.6.5 and 10.6.5 Server are available now via Software Update—their size will vary depending on your Mac (my 2008 MacBook shows a 517.3MB update for 10.6.5 client).


Mac OS X 10.6.5

  • Improves reliability with Microsoft Exchange servers.
  • Addresses performance of some image-processing operations in iPhoto and Aperture.
  • Addresses stability and performance of graphics applications and games.
  • Resolves a delay between print jobs.
  • Addresses a printing issue for some HP printers connected to an AirPort Extreme.
  • Resolves an issue when dragging contacts from Address Book to iCal.
  • Addresses an issue in which dragging an item from a stack causes the Dock to not automatically hide.
  • Resolves an issue in which Wikipedia information may not display correctly in Dictionary.
  • Improves performance of MainStage on certain Macs.
  • Resolves spacing issues with OpenType fonts.
  • Improves reliability with some Bluetooth braille displays.
  • Resolves a VoiceOver issue when browsing some websites with Safari 5.
  • Improves Bluetooth pairing with Magic Trackpad.
  • Resolves performance issues with third-party displays that use InstaPort technology.
  • Add SSL support for transferring files with iDisk.
  • Resolves an issue when opening 4-up Photo Booth pictures in Preview.
  • Addresses keyboard responsiveness issues in the Dock when Spaces is turned on.
  • Resolves an issue syncing Address Book with Google.
  • Fixes an issue when replying to a Mail message sent by a person whose name contains certain characters such as é or ü.
  • Improves performance for users bound to an Active Directory domain.
  • Improves reliability of Ethernet connections.
  • Systems with a Mac Pro RAID Card (Early 2009) installed can now be put to sleep. For more information, see Mac Pro RAID Card (Early 2009): Enabling system sleep.
  • Improves reliability of fibre channel connections, resolving a potential Xsan volume availability issue.
  • Adds RAW image compatibility for additional digital cameras.

Updated at 2:23PT with more details on 10.6.5 and information on Mac OS X Server update.

Updated at 3:31PT with details on security patches.

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At a Glance
  • Pros

    • Generally faster than Leopard
    • Most applications run in 64-bit mode
    • Rudimentary malware checking
    • Supports Exchange
    • Improvements to Exposé and Dock


    • Many features won’t truly be exploited until Mac hardware evolves
    • Lackluster QuickTime Player update
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