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Great news from Apple today! OS X 10.9 aka ‘Mavericks’ is now available on the App store for FREE as a single step upgrade from 10.6.x (snow leopard), 10.7.x (lion), and 10.8.x (mountain lion) for all Mac mini server hardware 2009 and beyond!

As a MacStadium subscriber, you are free to install and/or upgrade to OS X 10.9 via the AppStore on your rented Mac mini server (there is no cost).

Update: We solved the ARP issues and many others so there’s no issues with upgrading from 10.9 anymore. Read more in our article about OS X 10.9 Mavericks Bugs.

Some notes:

At this time, WE ARE RECOMENDING THAT YOU DO NOT UPGRADE if you can help it. In particular, if you have a production server, upgrading would be a very bad idea at this point in time. There are very few features in 10.9 that will positively affect your experience here at MacStadium.

  • For those of you who are wanting to upgrade to 10.9 before any bug fix releases come out from apple (10.9.x), we have a significant list of serious bugs which we have found to date, and which is detailed in this article here.
    1. Network ARP issues causing ~ 50% packet loss in datacenter environments.
    2. GPU Enabler Issues (video dongles and acceleration do not work correctly).  Your remote video performance will be significantly slower in 10.9 vs. 10.8.
    3. Energy Management settings need to be manually reset to “Start up automatically after a power failure”
    4. Mission Control preferences need to be set for “Displays have separate spaces” otherwise you may see a grey screen on remote desktop.
    5. Other strangeness and inconsistency.   The issues show up sometimes, and not other times.
  • If you do choose to try and upgrade to 10.9, we are seeing that your mini will go offline for up to 1 HOUR during this process before it comes back (depending on the performance of your mini, and network congestion at Apple.com).
  • DO NOT power cycle your hosted mini via your MacStadium dashboard during this process or you may lose control of it, and may require remote hands assistance.
  • If you are wanting to upgrade, and are concerned about downtime, we recommend making the upgrade during 9A – 9P (EST) to ensure we have staff onsite to assist immediately if there is a problem.
  • We have not had a chance yet to fully review 10.9.x Server.app, and any changes or upgrade issues.  We expect that there are many changes that will break things.  In particular, VPN issues have been noted already.
  • We always recommend making a Time Machine (or similar) backup of your server to an external HDD prior to running any significant upgrades which will allow rapid restore to 10.8.x in the event something doesn’t work out well during or after the upgrade.
  • Users who are taking advantage of our new Windows RDP (Remote Desktop) software from iRAPP, which is included on all rental minis, this software is not compliant with Mavericks 10.9 yet. Be aware that after your upgrade to 10.9 the RDP service will no longer function until further notice. If you are dependent on RDP connectivity to your Mac mini server, we recommend you stay on 10.8 at this time.

As with all new software releases, there are bound to be subsequent ‘bug fix’ releases in coming days and weeks. If your mini is a production server, you should for sure wait it out a while until 10.9.x is available, and the bug-fix list has been reduced.

Sometimes the latest isn’t always the greatest!  Just ask the hundreds of die-hard OS X Lion 10.7 users we have – they will tell you that version updates aren’t always best for ‘all users’.