Inside Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: New WiFi Diagnostics tool

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    gordygordy Posts: 971member
    Here's hoping they finally give me an easy way to track network activity, e.g., sites visited.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,462member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    chabigchabig Posts: 624member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    jonamacjonamac Posts: 384member
    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!
  • Reply 5 of 33
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,650member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    areseearesee Posts: 776member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    vrkiranvrkiran Posts: 110member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.



    It?s still has radio button functionality. Meaning, you don?t 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 you?re saying about gimmicky, but after using Lion I don?t 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 don?t see any evidence that Apple plans to make Mac OS X?s 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.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,509member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,650member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    I have been using iStumbler for this, but it will be nice to have it built in!
  • Reply 13 of 33
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,144member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,657member
    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.



  • Reply 15 of 33
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    "Wi-Fi"...? Not "AirPort"...? Is Apple giving up on some of their branding?
  • Reply 17 of 33
    jlljll Posts: 2,709member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    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>
  • Reply 19 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,225member
    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
  • Reply 20 of 33
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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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