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Inside Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: New WiFi Diagnostics tool

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Apple has added a new Wi-Fi Diagnostics utility to monitor the performance of wireless networks, record events, capture raw network frames, and log diagnostic data that can be sent to Apple by users for troubleshooting.

The new app is in the hidden /System/Library/CoreServices folder, where Mac OS X stores a variety of utility apps that are integrated into the Mac desktop, including the Dock, Finder, Software Update, and Archive Utility.

Users can launch the tool by Option clicking on the Wi-Fi Menu Bar icon, which then presents an otherwise hidden "Open Wi-Fi Diagnostics" option (below).



After opening, the tool presents options to Monitor Performance, Record Events, Capture Raw Frames, or Turn on Debug Logs. A Learn More button outlines what these options do in a drop down sheet (below).



Monitor Performance works similar to AirPort Utility's Wireless Clients graphing feature, but provides a more detailed presentation of signal and noise for the client, rather than tracking every active client on a given base station. It can also Report the collected data to Apple for use in troubleshooting issues.



Other options log events or capture raw frame data in the background to a temporary .pcap (packet capture) file, which can similarly be reported to Apple for troubleshooting help.



Also noticeably new and different in Mac OS X Lion is network setup for 802.1x security. Formerly, users could manually enter settings or install a profile the automatically configured the settings. In Lion, Apple informs users that their network administrator will deliver a configuration profile (below).



Apple created configuration profiles for iOS along with a system site administrators can use to roll out initial settings and subsequent updates to their users. In Lion Server, the same infrastructure can be used to remotely deliver network configuration files that automate the management of Macs just like iOS devices.
post #2 of 34
Here's hoping they finally give me an easy way to track network activity, e.g., sites visited.
post #3 of 34
A way to capture real-world wi-fi situations, this can only help to make OS X and iOS better.

--- On an unrelated note ---

I can't quite get used to the reversed tab interface control. It seems more gimmicky than improvement. But I'm not yet using 10.7, so maybe somebody who is can chime in on this. It almost seems like they want to provide a "physical" movable control for touch interfaces, rather than a series of AM radio-like push buttons.
post #4 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

I can't quite get used to the reversed tab interface control. It seems more gimmicky than improvement. But I'm not yet using 10.7, so maybe somebody who is can chime in on this. It almost seems like they want to provide a "physical" movable control for touch interfaces, rather than a series of AM radio-like push buttons.

I'm with you on this one. But it's just like iOS and I'm sure I'll get used to it.
post #5 of 34
I really like this addition. Even for OSX, networking is one of the most pernickety areas of computing and any tool that can help iron out kinks in a system is welcome.

I'm sure there are great 3rd-party tools out there, but it's always preferable to have these things built right in. Hopefully all that data Apple can collect will only help things in the long run too!
post #6 of 34
Good, it's about time that they built that into the OS.

I've been using something called iStumbler for a while now.

Sometimes I like to see what channel I'm on compared to everybody else in the neighborhood and also to see the signal strength compared to everybody else.
post #7 of 34
I would like to see a network sniffer. There are times that I can see network activity via AirPort Extremes' flashing green light but I don't know who's talking. It would be nice to have a sniffer on my network to see who is talking and to whom they are talking to.
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post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

I would like to see a network sniffer. There are times that I can see network activity via AirPort Extremes' flashing green light but I don't know who's talking. It would be nice to have a sniffer on my network to see who is talking and to whom they are talking to.

You are either talking about "Little Snitch" or "Wireshark". Between those two, your requirements should be well met. Both work wonderfully on your Mac.
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

I can't quite get used to the reversed tab interface control. It seems more gimmicky than improvement. But I'm not yet using 10.7, so maybe somebody who is can chime in on this. It almost seems like they want to provide a "physical" movable control for touch interfaces, rather than a series of AM radio-like push buttons.

The "reversed tab" seems to make sense for me right now, but I haven't played with it in person yet.
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

I can't quite get used to the reversed tab interface control. It seems more gimmicky than improvement. But I'm not yet using 10.7, so maybe somebody who is can chime in on this. It almost seems like they want to provide a "physical" movable control for touch interfaces, rather than a series of AM radio-like push buttons.

Its still has radio button functionality. Meaning, you dont have to do a click, hold and drag maneuver to switch between the tabs. You can, if you want, but simply clicking on the new tab area will switch it, too.

I can see what youre saying about gimmicky, but after using Lion I dont think that is the intention. I believe Apple is simply doing adding familiar features from iOS back into Mac OS X to make the transition to Macs more comfortable. Lets face it, no matter how much faster Macs are growing than the rest of the PC industry they are still a drop in the bucket in the number of unique users compared to iOS-based iDevices.

I dont see any evidence that Apple plans to make Mac OS Xs primary display also be the main input device. I say primary because I am still holding out for the glass, multi-touch trackpad to also be an AMOLED display at some future date.
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post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Good, it's about time that they built that into the OS.

I've been using something called iStumbler for a while now.

Sometimes I like to see what channel I'm on compared to everybody else in the neighborhood and also to see the signal strength compared to everybody else.

Now here -- surprise -- is a useful post from you.
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Now here -- surprise -- is a useful post from you.

And your post was pretty dumb, and not very useful, to be honest.

If you don't like the majority of my posts, then feel free to skip over everything that I write in the future.
post #13 of 34
I have been using iStumbler for this, but it will be nice to have it built in!
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

A way to capture real-world wi-fi situations, this can only help to make OS X and iOS better.

--- On an unrelated note ---

I can't quite get used to the reversed tab interface control. It seems more gimmicky than improvement. But I'm not yet using 10.7, so maybe somebody who is can chime in on this. It almost seems like they want to provide a "physical" movable control for touch interfaces, rather than a series of AM radio-like push buttons.

I wanted to try out 10.7, so running it from an external drive. Don't worry- I got used to it in 5 min. I love the new animation effects throughout the interface, including that one- adds fluidity, and can actually help normal people understand what just happened, instead of a jarring effect. I personally think the sliders are an improvement visually- in terms of functionality, it won't make one difference once way or another. Just another way to present the exact same thing. However, I think it's beneficial in the long term to unify so UI elements from iOS/OSX - and this does just that.

PS- I LOVE the new dashboard (find it quicker to access, more intuitive), and gestures to slide between that, desktop, and open fullscreen apps.
post #15 of 34
This design makes a lot more sense as it highlights what you have selected. This is how the tabs work in Safari/Chrome/Firefox and how these buttons should have worked all along.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post


--- On an unrelated note ---

I can't quite get used to the reversed tab interface control. It seems more gimmicky than improvement. But I'm not yet using 10.7, so maybe somebody who is can chime in on this. It almost seems like they want to provide a "physical" movable control for touch interfaces, rather than a series of AM radio-like push buttons.
post #16 of 34
I'd like Apple to do a very simple thing for users, which is to have the wifi icon indicate whether or not you are actually connected to the internet, rather than just connected to a network.
Same applies in diagnostics.

Scummy Microsoft can do it, and it's often handy to know at a glance that your computer has made it to the network, but not to the net. I assume windows pings a server on the net.

Currently I use the Dropbox icon to tell me this.

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post #17 of 34
"Wi-Fi"...? Not "AirPort"...? Is Apple giving up on some of their branding?
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by casey4147 View Post

"Wi-Fi"...? Not "AirPort"...? Is Apple giving up on some of their branding?

It makes sense since Macs connect to other Wi-Fi networks than those supplied by AirPort base stations.
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post #19 of 34
I'm concerned about the apparent removal of the ability to manually set 802.1x settings, since that's sometimes needed when joining corporate wireless networks. Hopefully there'll be a way to create these profiles locally via some utility (someone's got to have such a thing), or else circumvent them completely via an Advanced option somewhere.

<fingers crossed>
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post #20 of 34
Off topic a little but ... No one else seems to have mentioned that the scrolling logic for up and down has been reversed, i.e. you scroll the opposite way to go up and down as in 10.6 and earlier. Unless this is just my MBP. I see no option to alter this anywhere. Left and right remains the same obviously. Actually after a while it seems more intuitive but it's hell switching between 10.6 and 10.7
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post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Off topic a little but ... No one else seems to have mentioned that the scrolling logic for up and down has been reversed, i.e. you scroll the opposite way to go up and down as in 10.6 and earlier. Unless this is just my MBP. I see no option to alter this anywhere. Left and right remains the same obviously. Actually after a while it seems more intuitive but it's hell switching between 10.6 and 10.7

I know some that like is because it’s like iOS movement, but I don’t care for it. It’s the first thing I had to change. I see the mouse pointer as the object I’m moving down when moving my fingers down to scroll a page. I’m just glad Apple offered a choice here.
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post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I know some that like is because it’s like iOS movement, but I don’t care for it. It’s the first thing I had to change. I see the mouse pointer as the object I’m moving down when moving my fingers down to scroll a page. I’m just glad Apple offered a choice here.

Ah! Thanks. I am getting used to it now ... I think
p.s. I missed it as I was using an older mouse with a scroll ball at the time as my magic mouse's battery was dead and hence looked in mouse options! Obviously the track pad settings alter the mouses balls too, if you see what I mean.
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post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrkiran View Post

You are either talking about "Little Snitch" or "Wireshark". Between those two, your requirements should be well met. Both work wonderfully on your Mac.

Little Snitch monitors data goming in and out of one computer. I wanted to be able to look at the data passing by on the network but not necessarily entering or exiting the iMac. Wireshark looks promising. I'll look into that. Thanks.
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post #24 of 34
How about they make it so it stops forgetting the wifi password like EVERY FRIGGIN DAY. Same thing with Mail. Anyone else have this issue? This new Wifi stuff sounds cool though.
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post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic View Post

How about they make it so it stops forgetting the wifi password like EVERY FRIGGIN DAY. Same thing with Mail. Anyone else have this issue? This new Wifi stuff sounds cool though.

No. I do not have this issue.
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post #26 of 34
what bugs me is why no mac (afaik) or iphone or ipad can join airport extreme networks using airport utility's (quasi) Wifi Protected Setup "add wireless clients" feature.
ive tried other wifi protected setup devices but they won't negotiate a connection, but
one of them a trend net tew-664 usb stick will successfully negotiate and connect to a
airport extreme based on a pin number. it also works on "first attempt" apple's lingo for push button WPS but i've never been able to connect that way

I've emailed steve a couple times why include such a great feature in airport extremes but have no way to utilize it in any apple device ever manufactured but he never replied to me

it sounds to me that it would be easier to use that half-WPS feature then having to type 12 or 20 or more digit password on a cramped iphone keyboard or emailing/texting the password and pasting it.

this feature does not change the existing airport in any way, such as changing the existing password, it just does a key exchange with a supported device and sends it the passphrase securely to it that it needs
to connect to it. full-WPS differs in that the entire setup can be changed, apple's version only sends the keys

oh i almost forgot before someone replies and says the key exchange isn't secure please keep in mind that wpa and wpa2 changes keys every 60 minutes by default and informs all paired wireless devices
what the new key is. this is the "wpa group key timeout" timer in airport utility in wireless options
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

A way to capture real-world wi-fi situations, this can only help to make OS X and iOS better.

--- On an unrelated note ---

I can't quite get used to the reversed tab interface control. It seems more gimmicky than improvement. But I'm not yet using 10.7, so maybe somebody who is can chime in on this. It almost seems like they want to provide a "physical" movable control for touch interfaces, rather than a series of AM radio-like push buttons.

It makes sense if Apple is planning on bringing touch screen options to some of their Macs.
post #28 of 34
How to set a password to secure a previously unsecured network? There doesn't seem to be a way to do this now or to edit?

Thank you,
Drking
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by drking View Post

How to set a password to secure a previously unsecured network? There doesn't seem to be a way to do this now or to edit?

Thank you,
Drking

That was never a feature of the operating system. If you have an Apple router, use the Airport Utility. If you have another brand of router, you'll probably need to access the router's admin panel. This hasn't changed with Lion.
post #30 of 34
On the Golden Master of Lion Option-Clicking on the WiFi menu bar icon doesn't open up the WiFi Diagnostics tool.

Gotta do it manually at:
/System/Library/CoreServices/Wi-Fi Diagnostics
post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

On the Golden Master of Lion Option-Clicking on the WiFi menu bar icon doesn't open up the WiFi Diagnostics tool.

Gotta do it manually at:
/System/Library/CoreServices/Wi-Fi Diagnostics

I've loaded Lion and Option Click on the WiFi icon doesn't have the menu option.



I was able to run the app manually from a command line. Any ideas on what is needed to activate the option?
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaMordecai View Post

I've loaded Lion and Option Click on the WiFi icon doesn't have the menu option.



I was able to run the app manually from a command line. Any ideas on what is needed to activate the option?

If it's not there, there isn't one, and it can't be added. Not even Option-Clicking brings anything new up.
post #33 of 34
It's not available from the menu (option-clicking or not). It was in the Lion beta, apparently, but not the shipping version. You have to run it manually.
post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic View Post

How about they make it so it stops forgetting the wifi password like EVERY FRIGGIN DAY. Same thing with Mail. Anyone else have this issue? This new Wifi stuff sounds cool though.

I had the same problem with OS 10.7.2. My Macbook Air could remember wireless password. This is how I resolved the issue.

Open Network Preference
Click the Advanced button to bring up Add a wi-fi network profile screen.
I had an entry in Preferred Network. My entry was
Network name Linksys security WEP Enterprise

I click on Linksys, click on the '-' button to delete it.
Click on '+' button to add a new network

In the network name field, type your wireless network name
In Security drop down box, I pick WEP.
Enter your wireless password.
click ok, apply

Do not click 'Choose a network' button, it do not remember wireless password if you add a network thru 'Choose a network' button.
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