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An upcoming change introduced in the latest Mavericks and Yosemite developers previews will require some developers to re-sign their applications and submit updates to the Mac App Store in order to get around Gatekeeper’s watchful eye. According to a technical note from Apple, any apps built and signed on a version of OS X older than 10.9 will now be flagged by Gatekeeper has not having a valid signature.

For users, this will add an extra layer of annoyance when dealing with certain third-party apps, especially those downloaded from the web rather than through the Mac App Store. Where most developers are now in the habit of signing their apps before making them available, if those developers are still doing so on OS 10.8 or older, their apps will fail to launch on 10.9.5 and Yosemite.

To get around this, developers will need to build their apps on Mavericks and update them with new signatures. Users who end up with an app that no longer wants to run can simply right-click the app and choose “Open” from the contextual menu to bypass Gatekeeper for that application.

Apple has urged developers to update to Mavericks, re-sign, and re-submit any App Store apps built on older versions of OS X to avoid any potential issues, though it’s not quite clear if Apple would really allow so many third-party apps currently available on its store to break, or if it will use some workaround to allow App Store apps with old signatures to keep running until the developer gets them updated properly.

The company notes that apps with updated signatures will still be able to run on older versions of OS X, so there’s no possibility of breaking backwards compatiblity with this change. The only users who will be forced to update their OS will be developers building on outdated systems.

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11 Responses to “Apple changing Gatekeeper app signing rules in OS X 10.9.5 & Yosemite, could break some apps”

  1. kelax says:

    Makes sense. I don’t want to rely upon a developer who uses outdated OS X versions to write apps for the latest versions of OS X, as there’ll most likely be compatibility issues they’ve not been aware of.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, upgrade to mavericks so you can experience our buggy SMB2 implementation that corrupts permissions, and then update to Yosemite, because we messed it up so bad, we’re going to stop updating the OS at 10.9.5 and give 10.10 SMB3. No thanks, Apple.


    • standardpull says:

      You write about SMB as if it were some kind of reliable standard. It’s not. It is an unholy Microsoft hack that has been broken and re-broken at least a dozen times because it lacks a specific specification.

      Anyone that depends on SMB is using outdated 30+ year old technology that is insecure, unreliable, and fragile. The fact that Apple or anyone else still supports it is a testament to lazy IT managers around the world.


      • Not only that but I doubt, even if Microsoft worked directly with Apple, that the mess of SMB would be improved; the alternative could be for IT folks to use NFS for Mac clients given that you can setup NFS on Windows Servers which would avoid the SMB fiasco.


    • The permission problem is fixed in 10.9.2 or so.


    • driverbenji says:

      “…buggy SMB2 implementation that corrupts permissions…” thanks! I thought something is messed up whenever safari just hangs, then I repair permissions w/disk utility and it’s fine again (usually with forums or certain websites.)


      • yepperoni says:

        SMB2 relates to network file sharing, not browsing the web.

        I highly doubt repairing permissions does anything useful to Safari, unless maybe you’re running it off a network share for some odd reason.


      • No, it messes up permissions on the server, not the end users computer itself.


  3. Can someone confirm that CS6 works with the new beta of Yosemite?


  4. oomu (@oomu) says:

    why you use “could” instead of “will” ?

    yes, apps needs to be updated with new signature.