It appears Apple has blocked Safari on 10.7 and 10.8 Macs from running Oracle’s Java 7 in the wake of a zero-day exploit for Java:
Update – January 31, 2013: It appears that Apple has blocked Java from running in Safari on Macs running 10.6.x and higher. New post with latest information available here.
Update – January 13, 2013: Oracle has released Java 7 Update 11 to address the vulnerabilities in Java 7 Update 10. Once Java 7 Update 11 has been installed, Safari will no longer block the Java plug-in.
You can download the latest Java installer for OS X from here: http://www.java.com/en/download/mac_download.jsp?locale=en
To verify this on your own machine:
1. Open Safari on a 10.7.x or 10.8.x Mac
2. Go to http://www.java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp to test your Java browser plug-in.
Instead of a report that Java is working, you’ll receive a Blocked Plug-In message.
I’ve verified that 10.5.x and 10.6.x Macs do not appear to be affected by this, as they are not running Java 7.
Oracle has not yet released an updated Java 7 installer, so there’s nothing currently available to fix this issue. The latest Java installer for OS X was released in November 2012 and contains the vulnerability.
The best workaround at this time is to use Firefox. I tested with Firefox 18 and Firefox is not blocking the Java plug-in at this time.
Update – January 12, 2013: Mozilla has announced that they are also now blocking the Java plug-in unless the user specifically authorizes it to run by clicking on the warning message for the plug-in.
Chrome will not work as an alternate browser, as Oracle’s Java 7 browser plug-in only works with 64-bit applications. Firefox and Safari are both 64-bit, but Google Chrome is a 32-bit application.
If the Java application you need to run does not require Java 7, you can also re-enable the Apple Java 6 browser plug-in. You can do this using the procedure in this post.
Update: The blocking was done by Apple’s built-in malware protection. For those interested, the list of acceptable browser plug-in versions is stored at /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/XProtect.meta.plist
As of 12:26 PM on Friday, January 11th, XProtect.meta.plist on my 10.7.5 workstation had the following contents
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd"> <plist version="1.0"> <dict> <key>LastModification</key> <string>Thu, 10 Jan 2013 22:48:02 GMT</string> <key>PlugInBlacklist</key> <dict> <key>10</key> <dict> <key>com.macromedia.Flash Player.plugin</key> <dict> <key>MinimumPlugInBundleVersion</key> <string>11.3.300.271</string> </dict> <key>com.oracle.java.JavaAppletPlugin</key> <dict> <key>MinimumPlugInBundleVersion</key> <string>188.8.131.52</string> </dict> </dict> </dict> <key>Version</key> <integer>1037</integer> </dict> </plist>
The plugin version installed by the current Oracle Java 7 Update 10 installer is 184.108.40.206. The plug-in blacklist is specifying that 220.127.116.11 or higher is required, so 18.104.22.168 is being blocked automatically.
A few months back, I saw that I was running out of space on my home theater Mac Mini. This was a 2007 Mac Mini with 2 GBs of RAM running 10.6.8, with a 1 TB drive that held media content and 2 TB backup drive connected via FireWire 400. I also noticed that it was struggling to play the latest HD movies from the iTunes Store.
This Mini also acted as my Tivo2Go server and DVD player, so I couldn’t just replace the Mini with an Apple TV and call it a day. So I pitched to my wife the idea of replacing the 2007 Mac Mini with a newer Mini and upgrading the storage with a 2 TB drive to hold media content and 4 TB backup drive connected via FireWire 800. To help future-proof it against future storage needs, I also wanted to get a Mini with Thunderbolt capability.
“Fine, but it needs to be able to run Front Row.”
That was a problem. The first Mini models to come with Thunderbolt were the 2011 Mac Minis. The 2011 Mac Minis were among the first Mac models that supported only 10.7.0 and higher. Front Row is noticeably absent in 10.7.0 and higher .
In short, I needed a 2011 Mac Mini to run Mac OS X 10.6.8.
After a bit of research and head-scratching, I was able to get both what I wanted and what my wife wanted. See below the jump for the details.