Thursday 8 March 2012

Apple Airport Utility: UPDATED

Airport Utility v6.0 looks very shiny, but has lost lots of features since the old version.  It no longer supports IPV6, syslog, connection monitoring graphs, or WDS (extending a network wirelessly).  Happily there is an easy fix...

Just to go to download AirPort Utility 5.6 for Mac OS X Lion.
This installs itself alongside the existing version (with an Airport Utility 5.6 icon) and works perfectly.

I can only hope that this isn't a sign of dumbing-down to come in Apple products, and that they will restore the lost functionality in the glossier version.

Update (May 2014):

Max OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) broke a dependency that Airport Utility 5.6.1 depends on.  Happily, someone has patched Apple's code for them. Download from if you need to manage an older Airport Express device from a Mavericks machine.

Update (October 2012).  

The latest version of Airport Utility is 6.1.  It has a bit more functionality than 6.0, but it does not allow you to administer the original Airport Express devices (the old 802.11 B/G ones).  It can see those devices, but tells you that you need to install Airport Utility 5.6 to administer them.

Annoyingly, the latest version of Mac OS X (10.8: Mountain Lion) cannot install Airport Utility 5.6.1, due to a bug in the installer.  Happily there is a simple fix for that:-
  • Download the Airport Utility 5.6.1 installer (this is a .DMG file) from Apple.
  • Double-click the .DMG file to mount it - you'll find a .PKG file inside.
  • Normally you click on the .PKG file (but as I said, this fails on Mountain Lion).  So instead, expand the .PKG file by hand (renaming it to avoid overwriting Airport 6.x):-
  • mkdir mytemp
  • cd mytemp
  • pkgutil --expand /Volumes/AirPortUtility/AirPortUtility.pkg AirPortUtility561
  • gunzip -c AirPortUtility561/AirPortUtility.pkg/Payload | tar -xvf -
  • cd Applications/Utilities
  • mv AirPort\ AirPort\ Utility\
  • sudo mv AirPort\ Utility\   /Applications/Utilities/
  • cd ../../..
  • rm -rf mytemp
  • You now have "Airport Utility 561" alongside "Airport Utility" in the Apps / Utilities folder.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely, thanks for the tip. Maybe at around version 12 Apple will have restored the features of version 5... :-)


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