How to Download and Test Lion Server Updates

Apple creates Lion Server updates to fix problems or make improvements, but despite Apple’s best intentions, system updates can also break functionality or cause conflicts with third-party software. So instead of blindly installing Apple updates, download and test the update on another Mac or in a virtual machine.

Test an upgrade on a spare Mac or in a virtual machine before you roll it out on your server. This means downloading the upgrade on your test machine, not on your server.

Here’s how to safely download an update:

  1. Choose Apple menu→Software Update.

    Software Update automatically checks for new updates. These could be updates to the operating system (a Mac OS X 10.7.x update), updates to components (such as Java), or security updates.

    Security updates are important, but they have also been known to cause compatibility issues.

    Software Update tells you whether it found anything.

  2. If Software Update did find something, click the Show Details button to display the updates.

    Never install an update without knowing what it is, even on a test machine.

    Software Update shows you a list of the updates it found.

  3. Select the check boxes next to the updates that you want to install.

  4. Click the Install button.

You can now test the update. Try replicating the kinds of things your users do. Make sure you test on Mac, Windows, and Linux clients.

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