Operating systems

Living with Lion: How do you like your upgrade?

Now that Lion has been out long enough for users to start grappling with it, there are a number of reported bugs, roadblocks, and general annoyances. What's your experience with Lion? Take the poll!

Mac OS X Lion has been out for a few weeks and users have been confronting the usual glitches and issues that OS upgrades tend to bring. Certainly, Lion is breaking some new ground debuting as download-only from the Mac App store and bringing some fairly significant departures from past versions in features and design.

Note: Apple has been offering free Lion USB sticks to some customers with qualifying problems and will start selling them from the Apple Store soon for $69, according to recent reports.

CNET's Topher Kessler reports that some users are running into graphics issues that are serious enough to warrant a "downgrade" to Snow Leopard while Apple investigates a fix:

...a bug results in kernel panics when performing specific video-processing tasks, be it the movement of a window, or the editing and management of a graphics file. The systems will display a kernel panic message that mentions a "NVRM Read Error" and references some IO and graphics kernel extensions in the backtrace, suggesting the graphics systems are the root of the issue.

There have also been problems with Adobe Flash, boot camp partitions, and apps suddenly quitting. Not all users on all devices are experiencing the same problems, of course, so lets take a quick poll. Feel free to  describe your issue -- or lack of them -- in the comments and share workarounds.


Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...


I had updated to Lion the week it came out. Then my wife told me she couldn't get on the Interwebs. I She said it started before the upgrade from when we had "the other cute cat" ;D Long story is, I had some Parental Controls turned on for her, but had "Allow unrestricted access to websites" checked off. Chrome, Safari, nor a Software Update wouldn't work, but logged into my account worked just fine. Even alerted the Chrome blog and they thought that it was weird. Whenever Chrome was launched two permissions alerts would pop up, one for either chrome launcher or helper, can't remember, and another one for some xml, or xms something or other, and I Allowed it permanently but that didn't fix it. I fixed it by allowing her account to Administer this machine, which told me Parental Controls would be turned off. Fine by me, and that fixed everything. I then unchecked 'Allow this user to administer this machine' and so far its still working. $70 for a USB stick seems like an outrage to pay for an OS that you already paid $30 for? Or am I mistaken, and they are only offering the drives to first time buyers? I just this morning updated their release that covers a lot of what folks here were angry about. I hope the "fixes" in this 10.7.1 update fix your issues. Let us know, I'd be interested. :D Philip


MacPro, Dual Xeon 3 ghz Quads, 32 GB ram, 4 2TB Seagate Constellations in Raid 5. I usually use this machine as a host for virtual machines. The MacPro is an outstanding platform for this task, extremely reliable, as or more stable that Dell high end servers. Run 3-4 VMs at a time (Windows server 2008r2). Since the Lion upgrade I've noticed a significant performance drop. Activity monitor indicated 5-8% more CPU consumption and (it varies somewhat) and about 4% more memory occupied. It seems that memory is not released as quickly when an app exits and some apps bloat more quickly. Example, Safari. Safari has always been a memory hog when there are a bunch of pages open and it doesn't like to fully release that memory when pages close, seems like a garbage collection issue. This has become more obvious with lion, I used to see Safari sucking 2-3oom mb and now I often see it over 400 after I've been using it a while. Even after closing all but one page it doesn't release the ram. Also had a few apps that used to work OK that occasionally die on startup with Lion, not sure why, just blink and gone. I've since removed Lion and reverted to Snow, CPU & memory back where they were before. I'll stay with Snow for now but I do miss the ease of window resizing of Lion, it always bugged me the bottom left corner was the only place to grab and re size; Lion worked like Windows, grab anywhere, and other problems aside, it was better just for that alone.


As with all new OS's, Mac and Windows, there are always teething problems. I am hoping that Lion will not become Mac's "Vista". The reason I have not yet upgraded is because I am using a late 2006 Intel MBP and I am a little unhappy that Apple has dropped Rosetta, as I have a number of older programs that require it to run. e.g. MS Office. If someone can offer a work around for this problem, I will upgrade.

Vulpinemac like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Compared to what I'm reading here, I must be the luckiest guy in the world; a 4-year-old iMac running just as well as it always has, with trackpad, and no issues worth speaking of. Then again, I also note that most of you have so tweaked your previous version of OS X that I'm betting you're mostly fighting the old permissions problems again. A little niggle about a few repositioned icons is nothing.


Am i to hear that mac is not working out so well, that the upgrade is not a upgrade at all, that programs do not work, that keyboards, and mice do not work. And i have always been told they always had this much better system that never has an issue. Well folks welcome to the real world of tech 101!!!

daniel.l.ward like.author.displayName 1 Like

Lion won't see my 3TB Buffalo Terrastation NAS where all my music and photos are stored. I reverted back to Snow Leopard the very next day and will stay with it until this problem is fixed. The error says, "The version of the server you are trying to connect to is not supported". My research has revealed many users are having this problem as well and hopefully firmware upgrades are soon forthcoming...


Personally as a long time Mac user, I thought it was the first OS upgrade that really caused me to question doing it. I only had one program that would not work with Lion. I developed a work around for it. I use Parallels and was concerned about problems with that. But even that went very well. No, my biggest issue was some of the changes and the hints of IOS that were introduced. I really did not care for many of them. Especially the so called "Natural" scrolling. It was not very natural to me and even though I have had a iPad I did not like the scrolling direction on my Macbook Air being the same as my iPad. If I could not change this feature it would have forced me to go back to Snow Leopard. Luckily most of what I did not like about Lion was reversable and for $29 I can't say its not worth the upgrade. But its certainly not recommended if you have a older Mac that only marginally meets requirements. Because you won't be able to experience some of the features anyway.

joecorso37 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Lions sucks. It crashes frequently. The battery life on the computer is much less efficient. They took away Front Row. Snow Leopard was so much better. Lion is dumbed down so much.

batman825 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I have problems reconnecting to my Wi-Fi network after the machine wakes up. If I startup from power on it's fine but if I close the machine and open it later it has problems finding the network connection. It sees my g network and has a problem finding my n network.

MikeGall like.author.displayName 1 Like

Horrible horrible. I have a early 2010 iMac 27" with 4GB RAM and i7 quad core. Performance has been horrible with LIon, ~50% of what I got with Leopard. For example about half the time that I try to launch Firefox for some reason it would take 2 min or so. Click on mail to see my mail and again wait 10s or so for the window to come up (Mail already running). I gave up and installed Windows 7 Ultimate as a boot camp rather than just a VM as it was. I'll pop in occassionally and update Lion and see if it fixes it but to be honest Win 7 has moved the Windows platform so far ahead I think it both looks better and is more productive that OS X for my work so I might never go back.

aginj like.author.displayName 1 Like

I don't care for it one bit, it reminds me too much of Vista, I even purchased the trackpads so I could use the new swipe features. Both computers I upgraded to Lion seem sluggish now.

dsonntag like.author.displayName 1 Like

I never utilized the space before. The new version is not just easy to set up (just drag and drop your application to the different desktops), but I love being able to swipe through the different spaces. And I can even do it with my Might Mouse, I don't even have to get a Trackpad, although I think I will now, so I can use the other new features. I also really love having more screen space with a scroll bar that disappears. Genius!

CR2011 like.author.displayName 1 Like

We experienced issues with the Active Directory authentication. After the update you can no longer authenticate to AD. We had to completely remove all the AD settings and put them back in in a very specific way. Even after the settings are recreated, on initial login it takes up to two minutes for the system to recognize AD. Also the Cisco VPN client will not work unless you start in 32bit mode.


Major issues so far from converting to Lion from Snow Leopard: - Battery efficiency substantially dropped: Mail and SystemUIServ are pigging CPU. There is a also the kernel_task that seems more resource intensive as well. Down from 10 hours on a full charge to more like 5. HPShortcutManager still horrific (have to manually kill after every restart as it still consumes 99% of one core and still does so after the post-Lion HP update). iTunes still too consumptive as well. - iCal: gmail calendar entries duplicated And a few niggles: - Bit torrent client transmission removed and .torrent file association removed - easy to fix but cheeky! - Mobile provider USB modem - stopped working - Mail: Letter Opener disabled - nixps (Microsoft fps viewer) - broken or uninstalled - Samsung Android USB drivers ("kiesmac") - not supported by Lion (workaround as below) - Lost PGP plugin - "VPN-1 SecureClient Error" - VPN software broken - Mail regularly stops syncing email with an Exchange 2010 account; mail hangs when you quit; have to kill and restart mail to get sync working again - Desktop icons re-arranged at reboot, all pushed to the right (rm ~/Desktop/.DS_Store)


Workaround for Lion Here???s how to make Kies work in Lion : Download the previous version of Kies for Mac KiesMac_1.0.0.11055_7.dmg . Once its installed, open Kies and perform an Update. (Kies > Preferences > Update)