back to article OS X Lion roars, coughs on appearance in App Store

Apple has stuck the Lion operating system on its Mac App Store. APPLEWHEEL The update can be yours for just £20.99 ($29.99), although we're getting reports of problems using the site. Despite being a supposedly soft launch, it is likely that fanbois are already queuing up to grab the first major operating system upgrade. …


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  1. Test Man


    So really £50-ish seeing as you need Snow Leopard on the machine first.

    How much is it to get a nice clean version that I can run on an Intel Mac that has either 10.6 or nothing on (cleaned down)?

    1. James Delaney

      RE: Pricing

      ASFAIK it needs 10.6 installed first and if you have that already, purchased separately or included with a machine, then you're looking at 20.99.

      Lion is then an upgrade from a clean, patched up-to-date, install of 10.6

    2. MacRat

      Lion os USB Stick

      Apple announced that Lion will be sold on a USB stick starting in August for $69 in the US.

      1. Dana W


        Or you could just put it on a NON APPLE BRANDED $10 usb stick yourself.

        Bur would Teh Steve approve?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It can be done

      ...hack open the installer, and pull out the .dmg. Burn to disc. Boot from disk. Proceed as you wish from there.

      Will confirm if this works, once my download is complete.

      Note to apple....a "will be ready in xx minutes" counter would be nice...

      1. William Gallafent

        “ready in xx minutes” counter?

        - you mean like the one visible in the “Purchased” tab of the App Store application while the “app” is downloading?

        As for nomenclature, an Operating System is now an App that one buys in an App Store™? Hmm.

      2. Woodgie

        It works

        Proceed forthwith.

    4. Dave 142






  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quote of the day:

    >Twitter is filling up with twats complaining about download problems

    1. skellious


      Twits would have been not only a much better pun but also a less offensive word in an unexpected place. I don't feel it was necessary to use the word twats in this instance. Swearing CAN be funny, but not in this case.

  3. Richard Boyce

    The price of being an early adopter

    I've been looking forward to his update, having been a new Mac user (who still uses Windows) for about a year. It's been downloading for quite a while at about 16kB/s. I guess I can wait a few hours.

    I made a system image as a backup just in case. Some things are bound to break.

  4. Nathan 13


    An update is available......

    Linux ... Cool, more free stuff

    Windows... Arrr not again

    Mac... Ooh only £20.99

    1. Piloti
      Thumb Down

      I was just going to say..........

      "20 quid for a patch....?"

      Seems a bit much really.

      Get Fedora with Gnome Three and blow anything Apple out of the water.....

      Or even Ubuntu with Unity and the MP3 / DVD Codecs pre-loaded.

      Apple ? You're 'avin' a laff...!!

      1. Marvin the Martian

        @ piloti: "Fedora with Gnome Three and blow anything Apple out of the water."

        AAAAhah hahahhahahahaaahahahahaa ahhah hahah hahah


        hahahahaahahhaahhaha hihihihi hahahahhahhahaha


        /ad infinitum

      2. Giles Jones Gold badge


        And what are you going to run on this mythical perfect OS?

        Photoshop? nope.

        Logic Studio? nope.

        Aperture? nope.

        Lightroom? nope.

        Final Cut? nope.

        Office? (I'm not a fan but many are) nope.

        There's a reason Linux desktop market share is so low, it doesn't run any decent commercial productivity tools.

        It's great as a general purpose computer or net box or if your needs are pretty simple.

        1. Piloti

          mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ?

          To be honest, I have not heard of most of these, except Office and Photoshop. BUt the do /sound/ like proprietary software.

          The thing about direct comparisons are that Gimp, for example, does 80% of what PhotoShop will, with things that PhotoShop won't and visa verca. So it is difficult to compare directly. However, Amazon, for example, has PhotoSHop on offerat anywhere between fifty quid and 500, yes, really 500.

          Gimp is free.

          I would imagine that, the choices are as follows :

          Buy a proprietary OS, then buy proprietary software. or get a cracking good FOSS OS and then get FOSS Software.

          And don't forget, if it were not for Linux, Apple's proprietary OS would not exist. And Safari is based on Webkit. WebKit is based on KHTML (Konqueror's web browser).

          Yep, You spend your two grand on the OS and software, I'll carry on using FOSS.....


          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
            Thumb Down


            "if it were not for Linux, Apple's proprietary OS would not exist."

            At least get your facts straight: MACH kernel, FreeBSD userland but with BASH shell by default. all based on Nextstep which is older than Linux. Quartz is based on Adobe's postscript engine, oh, and Apple owns CUPS and now has its own SMB implementation.

          2. Anonymous Coward


            "And don't forget, if it were not for Linux, Apple's proprietary OS would not exist. And Safari is based on Webkit. WebKit is based on KHTML (Konqueror's web browser)." I'm sorry, but I wasn't aware that Safari, and by extension WebKit were the OS. Still, seeing as you seem incapable of finding the £ key, I won't feed you ay further.

          3. Oninoshiko

            the gimp again?

            I think you are over-estimating what the gimp can do. Seriously, it's quasi-useful for the low-end hobbiest, but missing much for professional or even higher-end hobbiest work. Even as of 2.6 it doesn't support high bit-depth images.

            In fairness though, it is one of the most aptly named pieces of software I have seen...

            From a professional perspective, you would have been better off comparing Photoshop to a gimp derivative, CinePaint, which has seen serious professional usage.

          4. Seanie Ryan


            "And don't forget, if it were not for Linux, Apple's proprietary OS would not exist"

            What the hell?? Are you saying that BSD is based on Linux?

            Or that OS X is based on Linux?

            Either way.... You have made a fool of yourself. Pity, to that point you were not doing too bad.

          5. Ted Treen

            and so said

            the driver of the Morris Minor powered home-made kit car to the Aston Martin driver...

          6. That Awful Puppy

            Good Lord

            I'm not sure whether you're trolling or just daft.

            But allow me to illustrate: I work in a fairly specialised field with fairly specialised apps. Almost all of them are proprietary and quite expensive.

            Well, imagine my surprise when today I had to, due to client requirements, work with an open source app. After reading the bloody awful manual twice, it still took me four times as long to do the job as it would with the reasonably good proprietary app.

            To demonstrate it with maths:

            Proprietary: pay n EUR for a license that should last a few years, earn (n/20) EUR per hour.

            Open sores: pay 0 EUR (oooh, lovely), earn (n/80) per hour.

            Bottom line: In just a week of working 8 hours a day, I'm already losing money with the bloody open source "this is how you shouldn't do UI" tech demo.

            And I'm a f-cking peasant compared to what some people using Adobe pro apps earn. Seen any pro Photoshop artists or retouchers using GIMP lately?

            (No, not all open source apps are shite. Just the vast majority.)

            1. Captain Underpants

              @That Awful Puppy

              I understand your point, but to be fair, how long did that task take you with the proprietary software the very first time you used it? Because for any kind of complex task in a specialised field, I'd assume that you're going to have to invest x hours to get to grips with any new software package before you can use it in a manner worth a damn. Good documentation helps, but it's no substitute for having proper understanding of how the task you need to do relates to the tasks that the software can do for you.

              I've found it generally takes me longer to learn how to use FOSS packages properly, but that on the whole I have a better understanding of what they actually *do* than I do with commercially packaged software. Which is fine if you're only doing something simple, but not if you're working on anything in-depth.

              1. That Awful Puppy

                Well ...

                I'm generally quite good at learning how to use new software, and the time I spent learning the FOSS package was not included in the time I spent doing the project.

                The thing is, the FOSS stuff had a rubish user interfaeces, with no keyboard shortcuts (not even the standard Command+W and Command+Q to close the window or shut it down!), and that hindered my productivity to no end.

                The thing is, even knowing both apps well enough (they're really not that complicated to use, just very specialised), I was still at least four times faster with the proprietary one, and that's my biggest gripe with FOSS: The programmers think that user interface design is for pussies. At least the kind of UI design that results in something the users can actually, well, use.

                1. Captain Underpants

                  I agree to a certain extent

                  Having learned my way around Photoshop (at least for the fairly basic stuff I wanted to do) I found the most offputting aspect of Gimp at the time was the UI - not least because the version I first used had something like four different windows, each with specific and not particularly obvious purposes. The fact that the menu structure was nothing like what I was expecting, and the documentation wasn't particularly good, was enough to put me off for ages. I'm clearly not the only person to think this, as there's still some crowd who basically repackage GIMP into a more Photoshop-like UI as Gimpshop, which is to my mind much more usable.

                  But when you get right down to it...there's remarkably little that you can do in eg Photoshop Elements that you can't do or approximate in the likes of GIMP or Paint.NET. I'm not arguing that they're up to the task of replacing Photoshop CS5 for everyone who makes a living in graphic design - but on the other hand if you put the time in and learn your way around the software you can do with a combination of TeX, GIMP, InkScape and Scribus what would previously require Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign (or, worse, something like QuarkExpress). I say this on the basis that I know several freelance illustrators who've put together small print runs of their own comics work using said software packages.

                  It is interesting, though, that one of the less-appreciated aspects of commercially-provided software is the documentation and UI design. Good UI design takes a lot of time and thought, and in the context of a lot of FOSS packages which still have substantial dev input from the CLI crowd I can understand that putting a lot of effort into the less interesting (from a coder's perspective) task of UI design is not going to be a popular choice.

          7. Jean-Luc
            Thumb Down


            "And don't forget, if it were not for Linux, Apple's proprietary OS would not exist"

            OS X is BSD-based, 'tard-boy.

            Though I like being able to use macports to pull in useful Linux stuff.

            Asides from both being for people who don't want to be on Windows, OS X and Linux are not really geared towards the same user base though there is some overlap. I was surprised that a fair bit of FOSS web developers use Macs, which was one reason I decided to take the plunge some years back. I am much too lazy to want to spend lots of time tweaking my OS and well willing to pay a premium for not having to and still getting 'Nix goodness.

            That's an attitude that just doesn't make sense to some people, but it doesn't mean I dislike Linux. Just some of its fanbois.

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge


      OS X Snow Leopard -> OS X Lion is analogous to Windows Vista -> Windows 7, which cost me a damn sight more than £21.

      Security updates on both Windows and OS X are free of charge, it is the major/minor revision bumps you pay for, on both OS. IE 10.6 -> 10.7 costs, 10.6.1 -> 10.6.8 does not.

  5. KroSha
    Thumb Up


    Yes, you need to be running 10.6, as that's the only way to get access to the Store.

    Once you have downloaded it, it's easy enough to back up to DVD or a USB, either of which will boot a compatible Mac. So if you want a clean install, boot off the 10.6 DVD, wipe your mac & install, then use the 10.7 install.

    My 3.74GB download took an hour.

  6. Mark Pitchless

    iTunes is needed

    Why the hell do I need iTunes to install an OS update ffs?

    Had to disable it after a previous update caused iTunes to open every time I pressed a media key (trying to control another app) with no option to turn it off. Some of us, shock horror, do actually use other media players.

    1. MacRat

      No iTunes Needed

      Don't know what the author is smoking.

      iTunes has nothing to do with downloading Lion through the Mac App store application.

      1. Gulfie


        You need an iTunes account and without iTunes installed the registration process in the AP store application doesn't work...

  7. envmod


    i lolled

  8. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Up

    Fast for me

    It's downloading at the moment, at 50%, 25 minutes remaining (3.74gb total). Considering my cheapo broadband I'd say that's a fairly reasonable speed.

    It's not £20 for a patch, I download free patches all the time. If you're comparing it to Windows, it's like paying for a service pack. £20ish once a year for the latest version of OSX as opposed to £80 once every few years for the latest version of Windows. Not necessarily cheaper or more expensive, just different.

    If you're comparing it to Linux... you're missing the point. It's more like comparing an iPod to an unbranded Chinese MP3 player from a car boot sale. They both work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Best linux analogy evAr!

      I wouldn't say that it's the equivalent of paying for an MS service pack...service packs from them tend to just contain all the security fixes needed so far, plus a couple more they don't want to admit to. SP1 of any MS OS is like the Public Beta with SP2 being the final RC.

      It looks like this upgrade gives quite a few extra features and apps, well above the value of buying 20 similar £1 apps from the app store.

    2. Chris 244

      "They both work"

      Owned 2 iPods, both failed in well under a year. Have several other older cheaper but still functioning MP3 players, none of which have failed on me despite abuse.

      What was your point again?

      1. Anonymous Coward


        So they were both replaced/repaired under warranty, right?

        "No" you say? Oh, you mean that they "failed" and the "failure" was not warrantied?

        Just suggesting, like, that people who make such statements open themselves to this sort of response.

        I had a $50,000, hand made luxury item fail the other day. Repaired under warranty, no questions asked. The point being that "failure" is warranted.

        So, inquiring minds want to know.

  9. technome

    No worries here...

    It came in to our Uni network smooth as you like at around 3.5 MB/s.

    1. Frank Bough

      or here

      It came down the pipe at work at a trifle over 20MB/sec.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Not Twitter...

    ... rather El Reg is filling-up with twat authors writing about OS X download problems.

    I know certain parts of the Register get their kicks from Apple bashing, and some readers are rubbing their crotches in glee that things aren't going perfectly for those downloading the upgrade but just get over yourself John. If these people really are that bad, then fine. But I suspect the majority have attracted that label from you simply for not using your OS of choice.

    For my part, I downloaded the update without trouble, and it's installing at the moment.

    As for pricing, this is the second OS upgrade that is significantly cheaper than those for Windows. And yes, Linux is free. Whee.

  11. Station Grey

    Any real point?

    Bit of an odd article. How is it "the first major operating system upgrade"? The clue's in the name, it's called 10.7. It's the seventh major OS upgrade according to my maths book.

    And why are they fanbois for downloading an OS upgrade? Isn't that what people normally do? Is everyone that uses W7 a fanboi then? Very odd.

    And on what level is it a 'soft upgrade'? According to who? Not Apple certainly.

    Seems like mild mac-bashing with no real meat to it. Though it's quite amusing to see people gurgling with joy while missing the author's point when he used 'twat' as the the singular of 'tweets' :) Doesn't everyone call them that then?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Almost got it!

    Using Log Me In I was able to get Lion downloaded in 30 minutes (USA) and then after another 40-45 minutes my Mac showed back up in the Log Me In list. When I got back in the Setup Assistant was showing how to two finger scroll on the Magic Trackpad (so what happens if you install Lion without one of those?) and would not repsond to my Log Me In mouse clicks. At least it is loaded...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      OK Got It

      I went back in with Log Me In Ignition and it passed a two finger swipe from my iPhone to the iMac and I could 'Start Using Mac OS X Lion.' It seems the only purpose of the Setup Assistant was to smack you in the face with the multi-touch thing before proceeding?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Or... could just wait a day or two and download it at normal speed.

    Shhesshhh is you life so shit you can't wait for something so utterly insignificant in the grand scheme of things?

    Use the time, contact a friend you haven't seen in a while, tell your family you love them, go to the pub and have drink, discover new music, anything, but please nothing so sad as sitting around waiting for a bloody OS download.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Download blues

      Not only that but once the schools have emptied everything just crawls -- leave it until after the pub and it's fine.

  14. thirstylocket

    Best quote ever!

    > Twitter is filling up with twats complaining about download problems


  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not a £20 service pack

    For those bitching about the cost please do bear in mind you can now maximize your windows to fit the whole screen in a glorious new invention called "Full-Screen Apps"

    Welcome to the "World's most advanced operating system."

    1. Piloti
      Thumb Down

      'eh ?

      Twenty quid to do "full screen........"

      I think my Acorn Electron even managed that,.....

  16. Anonymous Coward

    waiting two weeks

    I think I'll let all the early adopters get burnt with the problems.

    Also, waiting for an "unofficial" version to appear, because sadly, I am SKINT and even £30 is too much for me.

    1. William Gallafent

      Skint? Really? Yet you have a mac that is modern enough to run 10.7?

      Then how about selling it on eBay for some easy money? Even macs that are not capable of running 10.7 still sell for good money, because they're still useful computers.

      And as for indicating that you plan to install a pirated copy of 10.7, well, if you don't want to spend £20.99 to upgrade from 10.6 to 10.7 then don't upgrade. That Is All. Apart from wondering where the extra £9.01 in your statement comes from.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    So that'd be...

    ....$20.99 from the US store? Was I close?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      $29.99 in the US which at the exchange rate of 1 USD = 0.619127 GBP is £18.57. Add VAT at 20% and you get £22.29, (at the old rate of 17.5% the price would have been £21.82), so were paying about the same.

  18. corestore

    No problems here

    Just pulled it down - nearly 4GB in a bit under an hour. Not bad at all.


  19. Danunwin

    No Problems

    I've just downloaded and installed no problems at all, maybe I was lucky or just have good spoec machine and 14 Meg BBand.

    Either way I can't grumble

  20. mrh2


    Just upgraded two machines perfectly fine

  21. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    "Twitter is filling up with twats"

    Filling up? I thought was populated with them already!

  22. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    I am actually more interested in all the ISPs cacking their grots as all the people each try to pulling 4GB into the country through the creaking tubes we call an internet infrastructure!

    1. David Webb


      All 750 of em? More people download Linux DVD iso's every week than an SP for a mac once every 5 years or however long it takes for a minor revision.

      1. That Awful Puppy

        Oh my

        The Penguinistas sure are cranky today.

  23. Chris D Rogers

    I've been running Lion since early July

    I upgraded to Lion GM at the beginning of July - whilst I may be a Apple Fanbois, I'm no fan of iTunes or App Store - as a libertarian I be;live in free software, particularly paying high premium for Apple hardware.

    Does this make me the Dennis Hopper of the Mac scene I wonder?

  24. s. pam
    Thumb Up

    Installed, and upgraded flawlessly!

    I ran DiskUtility just out of paranoia to check any permissions issues, ran KeyChainAccess to make sure no issues with that as well.

    Then after fixing a long-standing annoyance with the CppStore, it took 12 minutes to slurp the image down, and 35 minutes to upgrade my MB Pro Intel-Duo laptop.

    Spotlight reindexed my drive, a few "where the fuck is...?" but really nice. Like the new Mission Control, turned off the new scrolling (backwards) feature, but can't say a word bad about the experience.

    It Just Worked. As Expected!

    My 2009 laptop seems to be running equal speed so no performance loss, just worked.

    Well done Apple Crew!

  25. Alan Denman

    I swear....

    .... that the queen's English is getting more and more bastardised.

    You twits

  26. clanger9
    Thumb Up

    Fast here

    Pulled down in about an hour (at teatime, on TalkTalk, no less!). Took about 30 mins to install, back up and running like a charm.

    Feels snappier, too.

    Pretty impressive that the download servers can manage this with a simultaneous global release. Any idea what infrastructure they used?

  27. Nick Sargeant

    Won't install on a machine with rEFit dual boot ..

    *sigh* .. the installer tells me that it can't be installed on my macbook. I think it has either noticed that the bootloader is not the original Mac bootloader or bootcamp, or that there is no obvious space to put a restore partition on the disk. (maybe it swallows the last few meg off the end of the disk? which is now an EXT4 file system with Linux on)

  28. Ed 11


    Are some people really struggling that hard with a 4gig download? I'm away from home with work this week and using my phone as a wifi hotspot I was able to download it in a little under 3 hours. Kudos to Three, and kudos to their 'The One Plan' tariff for allowing me to download without fear of repercussions. Sure the other networks would have been less accommodating.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Yes Apple…

    We told you there'd be problems… the fanbois would hit your network hard… people having various issues with that delivery mechanism… now, can we buy it on a DVD… please?

  30. Jamchal
    Thumb Up


    Skimmed through some maccish forums and failed to find much by way of slow speeds, i know there's some unfortunate chaps out there though :(

    Personally, I downloaded and installed within 1.25-1.5 hours. Easiest OS upgrade i've done in my life, 'it just worked'. (Sorry, i had to wedge that in there).

    As for the trolls bashing apple 'fanboi's well.... never mind i'm sick of saying it over and over. gtfo.

    Kudos to apple for the release, they must have some serious resource, any thanks to ec2 perhaps?

    Would also be curious to see the numbers by way of DL/installs in the first 24-48 hours :D

  31. Uberseehandel

    Kafkaesque Nightmare

    My experience of upgrading a new iMac to an allegedly 'free' upgrade, involved endless repitition, repeated logging in, providing credit card details for a £0.00 amount, changing passwords, being led up blind alleys that didn't go anywhere.

    After much frustation, I obtained a code which I could 'redeem' through what appeared to be the iTunes store. Then it wanted further credit card information and finally the download never kicked off, and all attempts to restart were frustated as the system had marked the computer as having already used its free upgrade entitlement.

    I have been an IS professional for a very long time, I cannot recall anything quite as disfunctional as this experience. Following on a week of dealing with the lack of ortogonality in Photoshop and AI,, all I can look forward to is chatting to Apples lovely ladies in Cork as we sort this mess out.

    I'd say they really shot themselves in the foot on this one

  32. Adrian Bool

    1 day, 4 hours

    I was worrying that downloading Lion now would effect the available bandwidth on the video call I need to have in an hour - luckily (!?!) I don't think I need to worry given this trickle of data!

    PS: Thanks go out to William Gallafent for the hint on finding the estimated download time within the Purchased tab of the App Store.

  33. Demosthenese


    3.7G - for an o/s upgrade. Seriously? I mean its not as if they have to include all the world's drivers as they have a small platform set.

  34. ColonelClaw
    Thumb Up

    Worked fine for me

    Took 35 minutes to download when I got home from work yesterday, and installed in 10-15 minutes. So far I've been pleasantly surprised, everything looks a bit nicer and the full screen mode is great. For £21 it's hard to complain.

  35. glenn smith

    Maybe I was lucky

    On my iMac that turned up tail end of last week, I was able to get my free download easily. The download itself came down in a respectable ~1.5hrs on my 8mb ADSL.

    As a new convert to mac from windows, also impressed with the sub 45min upgrade process.

  36. Anonymous Coward


    And the form buttons will still be ugly

  37. sunny3063

    OS X lion installation...

    Hey guys i am not able to install OS X lion plz any one help to me how to install and what is the configuration i have to maintain for installation...



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