Apple says a big F U to Final Cut Studio 2 users…
Category: Blog

Not being a Bud Light type person (I virtually always ask “but why?”, especially when something doesn’t make sense), I felt compelled to dig into the issue further causing this to appear when you try to install Final Cut Studio 2 on OS X 10.7 Lion:

following up on my blog post yesterday about how to Install Final Cut Studio 2 on Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) without resorting to hackily installing Rosetta.

Digging high and low, I could find nothing in the FinalCutStudio.mpkg that would indicate any PPC requirements. Every binary is universal, nothing in any plist, not even a magic resource fork of some type getting in the way. Trying to pull it up in Pacifist crashes Pacifist, so no luck there either. Stumped, I decide to leverage the knowledge I learned yesterday of DTrace via this amazing blog post on the Top 10 DTrace scripts for Mac OS X.

First up I try `iosnoop`. It does help confirm that the system Installer.app is being executed, but nothing unexpected appears. One thing it does remind me about however is that Installer.app writes out a log file to /var/log/installer.log that I had overlooked previously. Checking it for any clues, I see the following:

Installer[14684]: @(#)PROGRAM:Install PROJECT:Install-686.3
Installer[14684]: @(#)PROGRAM:Installer PROJECT:Installer-530
Installer[14684]: Hardware: MacPro5,1 @ 2.40 GHz (x 16), 32768 MB RAM
Installer[14684]: Running OS Build: Mac OS X 10.7.3 (11D50b)
Installer[14684]: Final Cut Studio Installation Log
Installer[14684]: Opened from: /Volumes/Final Cut Studio/Installer/FinalCutStudio.mpkg
Installer[14684]: Rosetta required to install (QuickTime MPEG2 [6748520])

Ok, well that makes sense then. I’m obviously looking at the wrong package, I should actually be looking at QuickTimeMPEG2Pro.pkg instead it seems! Shifting my focus to it, I don’t find any obvious signs externally of it requiring PPC, but I do find it has an executable called `CheckMimeTypes` in it’s Resources folder that’s PPC only which is called by the postflight script. Aha! So there’s our issue, but that still doesn’t explain how Installer.app knows this fact before we even attempt to install. Not willing to just accept this new found knowledge on face value, I press on.

Since iosnoop was a bit light on info, I decide to give `hfssnoop` a shot since it’s significantly more verbose. Running QuickTimeMPEG2Pro.pkg directly now at this point, I check the hfssnoop output and find the following interesting tidbit:

1922348 501 17517 Installer hfs_vnop_read 0 BundleVersions.plist
1922348 501 17517 Installer hfs_vnop_read 2 PPCRequirements.plist
1922351 501 17517 Installer hfs_vnop_write 0 data.data
1922352 501 17517 Installer hfs_vnop_write 0 windows.plist
1922352 501 17517 Installer hfs_vnop_read 8 com.apple.LaunchServices.plist
1922352 501 17517 Installer hfs_vnop_read 8 com.apple.LaunchServices.plist
1922353 501 17517 Installer hfs_vnop_write 0 windows.plist

Ooohhh! Something referencing PPC! What might we have here? Doing a quick find for that file (`locate PPCRequirements.plist` for what its worth) lands me at this file: /System/Library/CoreServices/Installer.app/Contents/Resources/PPCRequirements.plist. Opening it up, I find the following contents:

Very very interesting if I do say so myself! It would seem that Apple is intentionally listing the identifiers explicitly of packages related to Final Cut Studio 2! Removing the FCS2 related entries from that file and re-running the installer, everything proceeds as normal and the install completes (albeit with a warning about the postflight failure) just fine.

So it would seem that just because a simple binary which does nothing other than to check mime types in the postflight script of a minor dependent package, Apple is going to say a big F U to FCS2/FCP6 users! W.T.F. !?!? What’s worse, they aren’t explicitly blocking just the package which is borked (albeit slightly), they are blocking multiple packages related to FCS2, even though they run just fine on Lion and furthermore all of Final Cut Studio 2 proper runs without issue!

This is extremely disappointing to say the least… :(

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10 Responses to “Apple says a big F U to Final Cut Studio 2 users…”

  1. -shelby says:

    so i found the file…but it says i can’t change it. how do you go about “Removing the FCS2 related entries from that file and re-running the installer?”

  2. Tom says:

    Thanks for doing the research on this! I’ve been running FCS2 for a long time on a PowerMac, and then on a Mac Pro. When I upgraded to Lion, I read about how it FCS2 wouldn’t install. Luckily, I had already had it installed when I was using Snow Leo do I just did an uograde and was able to keep FCS2 running. I was wondering though if I ever did get rid of my Mac Pro, how would I install FCS2 on that new machine. Luckily I found your site! Thanks again!

  3. Lee Dale says:

    FC Studio 2/Final Cut Pro 6 was released in 2007, around the time Apple completed the transition from PowerPC to Intel chips. Apple did need to continue to support PowerPC during this transition period and beyond to not screw Pro customers who invested in expensive software and machines.

    Since that time, FC Studio 3/Final Cut Pro 7 ($299 upgrade price for FCS3) was released in 2009 and FCPX in 2011 (admittedly, a work in progress upon release, but now back up to speed for Pros at a cost of $299).

    Point being, it’s pretty unreasonable to expect 5 year old software, released during arguably the industry’s greatest architectural transition, and which has been upgraded twice since then (along with a very public announcement in 2007 and again in 2009 stating that PowerPC would no longer be supported), to work on an OS that is now 3 generations (Leopard > Snow Leopard (2008) > Lion (2010) > Mountain Lion (2012)) removed from the release date, while shifting not just from PowerPC to Intel, but from 32-bit to 64-bit.

    Now, I understand the frustration if there’s an unnecessary bit of code that prevents installations on the latest OS. That does suck. But, 5 years on, it seems unreasonable to expect engineering resources to be shifted to a 3rd generation, 5 year old, discontinued products in order to go back and fix previously unknown issues.

  4. Lee Dale says:

    Whoops. Just caught that you’re talking about Lion and not Mountain Lion. Well, that’s 4 years of support instead of 5. My bad.

  5. AnneF says:

    I ran into this issue yesterday, trying to install FCS on a new MacBook Pro (mountain lion). I also downloaded the updated FCS (a dmg file) to try to install from that, but no luck. I am not a geek at all, and have no idea how I would be able to find the text file you mention above in order to delete any FCS references to it–all I have is a DVD of the original FCS and the downloaded dmg for what is presumably the updated version of the same.
    When I double click on the dmg I get this message: “The following disk image couldn’t be opened”. Can you help me work around the blockade against the dmg file, so that I might be able to just install fresh from that? If I used the code you posted elsewhere (sudo installer -package /Volumes/Final\ Cut\ Studio/Installer/FinalCutStudio.mpkg -target / ) how would I change the volume information so that it corresponds to the downloaded file–or to the DVD in the external drive?
    I have NO idea how these things work, but I am good at following directions!
    I got the updated computer on purpose to run the programs I already have; did not imagine that an OS X.anything would not run legacy programs written for OS X.
    Many thanks for your consideration!

  6. AnneF says:

    Yesterday I located the plist file in my MacBook Pro (Mountain Lion) and (with great trepidation) deleted all references to Final Cut and related programs. When I attempted the install today, however… I got the same “PPC not supported” message as before.
    On other posts, I have seen references to Rosetta, which — as someone who has been running FCS on an early 2007 iMac (OS 10.4, non-upgradable), I don’t have access to a disk with this program (nor could I use the MIgration Assistant to set up my new MacBook).
    Is there any hope for getting FCS in some form on the new computer?

  7. mike kranyak says:

    i’m having same error message….. read through our blog here, but don’t see, or can’t recognize how to fix it…. are you saying you have a workaround on this..? thanks….

  8. Eric Nelson says:

    Thanks for posting this…

    I assume QT’s postflight script will fail when it encounters the CheckMimeTypes code. If true, are there other things that script should do that now need to be done manually?

    Thanks
    Eric

  9. So, to a non-geekoid the translation of the above is, a) FCS2 will run on a Lion machine, once the planned obsolescence mines Apple inserted in their code are stripped out, or b) Apple has doomed us to hop on the upgrade merry-go-round? See previous question referencing same.

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