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Snow Leopard Software Compatibility

This page discusses various program compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard”.

This page is especially targeted at photography-related software. More entries will be added as new findings emerge.

Boot mode

Snow Leopard can apparently boot into 32-bit or 64-bit mode, though the form the final release will take is unclear. Expect issues in 64-bit mode with hardware devices and related software.

Compatibility in general

Excellent! In general, even booted into a 64-bit kernel most applications run just fine. Apple has a technical note on really bad actors.

There are few 64-bit applications available, with the notable exception of Adobe Lightroom and Helicon Focus, as shown below. Shown below are a larger number of applications running; very few non-system applications are 64-bit.

A lot of apps running, all just fine with a 64-bit kernel

Summary of compatibility

Some applications have more details below.

The shorthand "32", "64" and "32/64" refer to booting into a 32-bit or 64-bit kernel. Do not confuse this with the rare 64-bit application.

Application Notes
Adobe Photoshop CS4 32/64
Adobe Lightroom 32/64
Adobe DreamWeaver 32/64
Canon Digital Photo Professional 32/64
Carbon Copy Cloner Works in 32/64-bit mode. But has one problem with the cache.
DiskTester and MemoryTester 32/64
Helicon Focus 4.1.1 32/64
Leaf Capture 11.2.4 A reader reports that it doesn't work right in 64-bit mode.
NEC SpectraView II Version 1.1.00 works perfectly with Snow Leopard. Download the latest version of SpectraView II.
Nikon Capture NX2 Do not upgrade from version 2.2.0 to version 2.2.2. See notes.
Nikon software in general Nikon has posted a warning on its web site about Snow Leopard compatibility.
PercepTool Total failure with CS4.
Photozoom Pro 3.0.2 32/64
PhaseONE Capture ONE Pro Application starts up, but batch mode does not function. PhaseOne warns of issues.
Parallels 4.0 Will not start with a 64-bit kernel. I briefly tested it with a 32-bit kernel and it worked just fine. According to a Parallels representative, an update is due out within a week or so. Whether this will fix the 64-bit kernel problem is unclear.
RAW Developer 1.8.5 32/64
SoftRAID SoftRAID version 4.0.x required
Toast 6 One reader reports that Toast 6 does not work.
Wacom drivers A reliable source reports that they work fine.
X-Rite/Gretag-Macbeth Eye-One Match A reliable source reports that they work fine with Rosetta installed.
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Carbon Copy Cloner

CCC clones a Snow Leopard install that boots just fine.

However, it doesn’t clean up the dynamic library cache properly. After cloning, go into Terminal and issue the following command:

sudo update_dyld_shared_cache

This will clear the rebuild the cache to fix the problem.

Adobe Photoshop CS4

I experienced no issues in 32-bit or 64-bit mode.

John Nack at Adobe has a blog entry on it, see also the Adobe CS4/Snow Leopard FAQ online. You might also wish to check the Adobe downloads page periodically, in case Adobe finds a problem and actually fixes it (it has happened before).

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DiskTester and MemoryTester

Both DiskTester and MemoryTester work correctly. MemoryTester is also 64-bit app (DiskTester is not, and there is no reason for it to be one).

Nikon Software (in general)

Nikon has posted a warning on its web site about Snow Leopard compatibility.

Here’s what you get updating Nikon ViewNX to version 1.40 on Snow Leopard.

Nikon View NX 1.4, updated on Snow Leopard

Side note: in general, Nikon software is very poor quality, rife with bugs even before Snow Leopard. I just learned that the $1800 SuperCoolscan canner I recommended to a friend has no working Mac software ( even on Leopard or Tiger apparently). I guess he's screwed.

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Nikon Capture NX2

Version 2.2.0 works fine.

Version 2.2.2 (after applying the updater) is completely non-functional for NEFs.

Version 2.2.2 dead on two Macs

On the Mac Pro, I booted into the 32-bit Snow Leopard kernel, I uninstalled Capture NX2, then reinstalled versions 2.2.0. At this point, everything works fine with NEF.

I then applied the version 2.2.2 patch. After doing so, NEFs cannot be opened or viewed, and batch processing won’t even bring up the dialog. The system log shows a variety of errors from dlopen().

I then tried the MacBook Pro. I encountered exactly the same problem: version 2.2.0 works fine, version 2.2.2 fails. Maybe it’s a bug in the updater.

Version 2.2.2 was released on August 28th, the day Snow Leopard was released. Does Nikon test their software?

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DXO Optics Pro

Readers report problems of various sorts, including the inability to read files, and loss of the license key.


Use SoftRAID version 4.0.x, no problems. Earlier versions of the SoftRAID application do not work, though previously installed drivers are OK>


PercepTool version 1.5.5 is required; my earlier version had serious problems with streaks appearing all over the image.

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Leaf Capture 11.2.4

Reader report:

Regarding Snow Leopard and Leaf Capture 11.2.4, not only it doesn't work in 64 bit mode but it doesn't work in 32 bit mode either. Produces errors when you try to process a file.

According to Leaf technical support, a version that is SL compatible will be ready around the November 2009 time frame.

NEC Spectra View II monitor calibration

Version 1.1.00 works perfectly with Snow Leopard. Download the latest version of SpectraView II software for NEC displays.



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