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With Mountain Lion, comes an extra layer of security. In the case of this movie, that means Apple helping you to ensure that when you download and install new software, that software will be free of bugs and other malicious cooties. The means for doing this is something called Gatekeeper and this is how it works. So I'll go to System Preferences, I'll select Security & Privacy, and we're going to look in the General tab. Now notice this area at the bottom, Allow applications downloaded from, and you have three options. Mac App Store, Mac App Store and identified developers, and Anywhere.
So what does this mean? Well Mac App Store means that you can download a piece of software from the Mac App Store, you can open it, and it will work perfectly well without any problems. However, if you try to download software from somewhere else, somewhere else on the internet for example, you will not be able to launch it. You can download it but you just can't launch it. That is off by default. Now the second option, Mac App Store and identified developers is on by default. So what does that mean? Well it means so you can download applications from the Mac App Store and launch them, and if you've obtained software from an identified developer, you can also download that and launch it as well.
What makes an identified developer? Well actually it's pretty easy. If you're a developer, you want to sell your application not at the Mac App Store but from your own website. You simply apply to Apple for a certificate. Apple gets your name, your number, where to contact you, and that's it. However, some developers have chosen not to join this program. And let me show you how this works. I've downloaded a program called Onyx. This is a utility program that let's you configure some of the settings of the Mac OS. This developer has chosen not to join this program.
So I'll double click on Onyx, and I see a warning. It says Onyx can't be opened because it is from an unidentified developer. Again, the developer does not have Apple's certificate. So what do you do at this point? Well you have a couple of options. One, you can click unlock and then you can choose the anywhere option. You allow it to happen and then at this point I can launch this application. But let's go back to the other setting. I'll go ahead and lock it just for fun.
Now, once again I try to open it, I'm told I can't. However, if I Control-click or right click and choose open, I see a different dialogue box. And here is the open command, indicating, "Well this is from an unidentified developer, are you really sure you want to open it?" "Yes, because I'm familiar with this software, this guy is okay, he may not have signed up but I know this software is perfectly okay." At which point, I click on open. I agree to the license agreement, I would go ahead and click on continue to run through this.
I actually don't want to run Onyx at this point, so I'll cancel. I'll continue canceling and it quits. And that's basically Gatekeeper and how to get around it. Now many old time Mac users felt like Apple was going too far to keep users from installing the software they wanted. As you can see, it's still possible. It's just that Apple is now taking care of new users who may not know what is and isn't safe to download. So those old timers could either change their Gatekeeper settings, or use the trick I just offered to open what they like.
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