back to article Apple condemns FileVaulters to seventh circle of Safari hell

A Reg journo was bemused this morning when he rebooted his Mac and the machine decided that Safari - not Opera - should be his default web browser. Apple has a habit of forcing its second rate browser down the gullets of unsuspecting web surfers. But this seemed beyond the pale. The culprit, our journo discovered, was Apple's …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Just use Safari then you fucking twonks and not some bloated, second rate piece of open source rubbish,

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think this predates Leopard

    I am reasonably sure that Tiger had the same issue, though I had not realised it was FileVault related (it did start happening when I got my first macbook I think, which had Tiger, and was the first time I used FV - I'd assumed it was the macbook/intel machine not FV causing it but FV sounds more plausible). It seems to affect all sorts of 'what should be the default applcation things - web browser, IM client, but also iScrobbler asks me if it should be the default radio player each time I log in. It's annoying, for sure.

    (Splendidly stupid comment from the "just use safari person".)


  3. red floyd
    Jobs Horns

    @Anonymous Coward

    1. Opera is not Open Source, it's proprietary, though possibly the most Standards compliant browser around.

    2. Is that you, Steve Ballmer?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Duuh is as bad as Webster but in the other way

    Anyway, did you submit a bug report to Apple?

    The support forums are ok for self help, but I really doubt that Apple devs hover there just to find bugs.

  5. Webster Phreaky

    "second rate browser"?

    Would this "second rate browser" named Safari, be the same browser, based on Webkit, that has just become (once again) the first browser engine to fully pass the Acid3 test?

  6. Matt

    Seventh circle?

    Hmm, weird behaviour to be certain. Oddly, or perhaps not, I've not seen this in any of my Leopard machines. I'm thinking this issue is deeper system wise than a condemned application.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Also affects default RSS reader preferences

    This bug affects the default RSS reader too - both Mail and Safari will show "Safari" as the default RSS reader, despite the fact that I've set it to "Mail" more times than I can remember. Happily, it does seem to use Mail, but every time I open the preferences for either of those applications, I feel obliged to re-set it just in case.

  8. The Mighty Spang
    Thumb Down


    i got a part time job as an editor/motion graphics guy, but its on mac hardware/sofware (im adobe but they dont run that). ok, fine i'll get a mac (yeah i've a tub of vasaline going spare). then this kind of crap happens.. puts me off even more than the price of commodity pc hardware.

    will lobby the competition commission if that dongle dohicky that can boot osx without patching gets slammed.

  9. scott

    Um, no...

    I'm using 10.5.5 on a Mac Pro, and this does not happen.

    I enabled FileVault on my Mac Pro for an admin account.

    Opened Safari, set FireFox as the default browser.

    Saved a URL to the desktop.


    Double-clicked the URL on the desktop,

    FireFox opened the page.

    So, I guess I call it fixed or bull.

  10. Gordon Fecyk

    It's not a bug, it's a feature!

    s/Safari/"Internet Explorer"

    "Just use [Internet Explorer] then you [censored] [censored] and not some bloated, second rate piece of open source rubbish..."


    "A Reg journo was bemused this morning when he rebooted his [PC] and the machine decided that [IE] - not Opera - should be his default web browser.

    [Microsoft] has a habit of forcing its second rate browser down the gullets of unsuspecting web surfers. But this seemed beyond the pale."

    Sounds so familiar to my tired old ears and looks so familiar to my tired old eyes...

    s/"Steve Jobs"/"Steve Ballmer"

  11. Mike

    People still use Opera?

    There are people actually using Opera as their default browser? Really? That's the most surprising information in this article.

    Opera actually ranks lower than IE6 on our development "make it work" timeline. Do yourself a favour and grab the WebKit nightly.

  12. Daniel

    No problems here, guv

    10.4.11, and I've been using filevault for years now without running into this bug. So while something may be up, I'd say it's more complicated than it appears at first glance.


  13. Eugene Goodrich

    Why the Microsoft comparison?

    I'm lost for how a failure to remember "don't try to be the default application" preference is grounds for the Microsoftian insult. Microsoft's applications have a good track record with this particular feature.

    Maybe that's the only thing that ruffles Apple's feathers - to invoke the M-word.

    It's a shame that ruffling their feathers is not achieved by pointing out that in 5 years they can't be bothered to fix, or otherwise explain, what one would assume is a bug outside of core code.

    But, I'm clearly being a Microsoft fanboi here by pointing out which noncritical features they _can_ do right, so I'll just take my dirty annorak and go to the pub now.

  14. J

    "This question has been answered."

    Well, was the answer by any chance "fuck off"? Maybe it was, in which case the tag is technically correct.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down




    Over there with the rest of the crap!

  16. Kanhef
    Paris Hilton

    Bug reporting

    Maybe the bug has been around for a while, but has anyone actually reported it to Apple? They can't magically fix bugs that they don't know exist.

  17. Randalf
    Jobs Horns

    Apple Support Forum neglect their duty this time!!

    On their forums, posts pointing out shortcomings of Apples are deleted as a rule

  18. janimal

    @people still use Opera

    Opera is also last on my "make it work" timeline, but that's because I never, ever have to jump through any hoops to make standards compliant code work on it.

    Its low market share is no reflection on how good it is. Just look at IE

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Feels like having a Windows machine?

    Honestly, say what you like but even Microsoft do not ignore comments and bugs for over 1 year. Apple are notorious for ignoring their sheep-like followers.

    I could point to 100 forums where someone has found a bug, has contacted Apple about the problem and Apple have not even acknowledged their pathetic existence (I'm taking about the Apple customer's pathetic existence, and the bug's).

    I just recently bought an Apple, and I am fed up with Apple's attitude. They treat customers like total shit. I have been documenting problems such as those mentioned in this article and will start a website soon warning others about how they will be treated by Apple once they've parted with their cash.

    Have a great day!

  20. arran
    Gates Halo

    just be careful

    what you are cleaning so as to speak and when,

    I'm willing to bet a lot of these are because of people emptying their user cache and system caches - and it happens on my machine when I do that, but not when I have not gone an insane cleaning spree using main menu or cocktail....

    Get to know how the O/S works and the back bone behind it before poking it with software designed to reset the machines to as close to factory as possible and then bitching about it not being how it was before....


  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Webster Phreaky may be an Apple fanboi, but he's correct in his assertion that Webkit-based Safari is one of the few browsers out there that passes the Acid3 test.

    (but real men use Lynx, of course)

  22. Lee T.

    @People still use Opera?


    lower on the "make it work" timeline possibly because it just does, especially if you've coded to standards or if firefox is working.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    That what you get

    When you use Apple crap.

    Use a PC FFS and stop paying to be a fashion victem.

  24. Bronek Kozicki

    FileVault should be banned in Norway!

    for obvious reasons.

  25. Marvin the Martian

    @Webster Phreaky

    << Would this "second rate browser" named Safari, be the same browser, based on Webkit, that has just become (once again) the first browser engine to fully pass the Acid3 test?>>

    Yes, because Steve Jobs and mac's interface rules took a holiday and for now Acid3 is the usability standard. Freaking weirdo.

    Come to think of it: Safari (with MobileMe) is about the only inferior piece of Appleware around --- most appleusers replace it* --- and the Webster freak is defending it? Let me check the thermometer, is hell chilly? Is the end near?

    (* Yes, Appleworks loses out against Office in usage but that's more with being "the standard" than quality I guess: expect Open versions to replace Office at least as often, and they're not really better.)

  26. sandiskboy

    Apple bugs

    Apple don't have bugs on their system. Everything works as designed. Don't bother filing bug reports as they don't read them.

    On the other hand my Vista and my Ubuntu installs have no bugs as they are more open systems. Thank God for open systems. Unfortunately they look like shit and are a nightmare to use. As one of the Android devs said, 'I don't use an iPhone because it is the best phone. I use it because I love using it.' Until Linux and Microsoft inject some love into their systems I will continue my affair with the Mac.

    Without love we are nothing. That is what Apple gets.

  27. TeeCee Gold badge
    Jobs Horns


    Too true!

    If MS had done this they'd have had the living shit sued out them for anti-competitive behaviour by now.

    Funnily enough, with Opera being mentioned, if this sort of behaviour were seen from an MS product I'd have expected Hakan Rentaquote to have had a two-page hissy fit on the subject on this very site. Maybe he doesn't really give a stuff about standards and an open marketplace but just likes to mouth off at MS whenever the opportunity arises?

  28. Nathanael Bastone

    I never had this problem on 10.4

    I have not had this problem on 10.4.11, I think it must be leopard only.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Can we have modding up and down of comments

    "Just use Safari then you fucking twonks and not some bloated, second rate piece of open source rubbish,"

    I wouldn't have had to waste two seconds reading this comment then. It only makes two assertions and both are totally wrong.

  30. Seán
    Jobs Horns

    Who gives a shit

    Anyone who feeds the apple monster deserves everything they get. Even Bill didn't have the balls to charge for service packs which is all this 10.4 to 10.5 is. Only the dull and gullible have macs in my experience and if you have ever owned a pair of glasses with a black plastic frame then you know who you are.

  31. David Hayes
    Gates Horns

    M$ are just as good

    I've got Outlook 2003 on my home XP Pro PC, but now use Thunderbird as my Default because of it's infinitely better Junk capabilities. I don't uninstall Outlook because I keep it there incase I need to talk my family through setting up outlook on their PC's (always useful to see what you're doing when talking people through).

    All is fine until an Automatic Update from M$ comes along, and when next I start my PC, my Email client is defaulted back to Outlook, not Thunderbird.

    Tis a small twiddle to switch back, but it's always annoying.

  32. Miladin Miladinoski
    Thumb Down

    @People still use Opera

    This is what you get from stupid IE and FF fanboys. Just look at how IE6 renders Acid 2, Opera 6 has a similar rendering and it came out 4-5 years ago!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A fashion 'victem' writes

    Oddly enough 'FFS' is something I shout frequently when forced to use a PC.

  34. Ivan Headache

    @ A fashion 'victem' writes

    Too True. I'd much rather get on with my work AND look good than get all sweaty fighting a hideous looking PC.

    Once again it's interesting reading the comments on this type of thread - Most of the Mac users (in fact in this instance all of them) are not complaining about the issue - they just get on with life. Whereas the MS crowd start crowing and hurling abuse - really irrational. No not really, they are furious with themselves for having made the wrong decision and feel that this way they can justify themselves.

    For those irrationalistas, I've been using macs since time, and I don't have this issue (or all the other issues that allegedly make macs so abysmally awful).

  35. Macka

    Timing or function issue?

    I've not seen this personally because I don't use FileVault. But I would guess that because Adium users have reported this too, then there's a function call somewhere in the guts of OSX that app invocations use to check which app is the default for specific operations, and it's not FileVault safe. It could be a timing issue, or a function that uses a non-standard / esoteric way of looking up the data.

    Assuming you've already tried the traditional way of logging a fault with Apple (you know, on the phone to a human being) then I think you need to approach this by enlisting the help of a friendly Beta tester: one of the people Apple gives beta versions of their next point releases to. They look for feedback from these people before deciding if an update is ready for release. Perhaps you can get it on Apple's radar that way. Though where you find these mythical beasts I don't know.

  36. oliver Stieber

    people wonder

    And people wonder why I would never buy apple and would advise everyone to steer clear.

  37. Dave
    IT Angle


    What a shame that the author could find nothing worse to complain about than the fact that one program is the default rather than another.

    So, when you want to connect to the Intertubes, you click on your choice of browser in the dock, or possibly in 'Recent Applications' and it launches, and works as advertised? Where's the problem?


    Where's the IT angle on this story, 'cos it sure ain't much of a technical problem.

  38. Mo
    Paris Hilton

    First thing's first

    Tell us what the Apple Bug Reporter problem ID is so that anybody who also suffers from it can dup it in Radar.

    Second, have you checked the permissions on ~/Library/Preferences/ and checked that it contains what it's supposed to?

    Something LaunchServices-related is evidently kicking off before FileVault has decrypted the home directory, and so it's hanging on to the default values instead of the customisations. It might well be an interaction between FileVault and a third-party app.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    AC: "Webster Phreaky may be an Apple fanboi..."

    have i fallen through a wormhole into a parrallel universe here?

    "...the lengthy support thread carries a tag that reads "This question has been answered...."

    anyone who's ever had the misfortune to visit apple's support forums knows that they consist entirely of apple customers sorting out their own problems by themselves, completely ignored by anyone from apple, with the exception of the occasional "it's all your fault for installing other software" or "this thread is closed" remark.

    if you want real help try somewhere like or

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just Safari

    I've seen this issue on Tiger and Leopard, and not just with Safari. The last time it happened to me - this was on 10.4.11 - Safari, iChat, and iTunes all "lost" their preferences. And no, it wasn't a permissions problem. I like the idea of FileVault, but Apple needs to sort this out.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slow news day at El Reg?

    So the author is complaining that turning HD encryption on is resetting his default browser preference.

    And this is newsworthy because?

  42. David Kelly

    Irresponsible journalism

    Since when does a journo's inability to fix a problem equate to a software company "shoving their software down your throat" ? Clearly this isn't a universal bug or there would be literally tens of thousands of people (not just a few in the Apple discussions forum) complaining about this supposed issue.

    Pretty irresponsible journalism Reg, shame on you!

    PS. the all-Mac IT consultancy firm where I am contracting has almost everyone using FileVault and Firefox without this issue you've described. (FYI they're a Cisco Gold Partner so have a fairly large number of staff) Obviously you need to dig a bit further to find the root of the problem before you bleat about this as "news".

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