Update on Multi-Safari

It’s interesting how many people became suddenly interested by Multi-Safari in the last few weeks. In the last few weeks, Apple released Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, with Safari 3, and they released the 10.4.11 update to Tiger, also with Safari 3, leaving a lot of people wondering how to test websites under previous versions of Safari.

It seems the self-contained Safari applications works fine under Leopard… that is, unless you happend to update to Leopard 10.5.1, in which case you’ll get an error message telling you that this version of Safari doesn’t work on Leopard. I don’t have Leopard myself so I’m telling you this based on all the reports people have sent to me by email. More importantly, since I don’t have Leopard, I can’t investigate right now to find out what is causing this and see if there is a solution.

But having said that, it seems odd to me that suddenly, in a minor point release, an application stops working. Perhaps it’s trigging some security feature which wasn’t working in the early Leopard release, or perhaps Apple deliberately added a block for older versions of Safari (which would make some sense since in general running an older Safari on a newer system isn’t a so good idea). If someone has a clue, I’d like to hear it.

In the meanwhile, you’ll have to resort to using a Tiger (10.4) system to run Safari 2, or just refrain from updating to Leopard 10.5.1.


Thomas Aylott

I hate to join the massive throngs of people that are beginning to HATE Apple and all this carp they’ve been pulling lately. But some of their recent decisions are REALLY starting to push me over the edge.

I sure am glad Microsoft beat them at monopoly, because if Apple were in control of things, they would have us all by the… neck. Apple would have been a billion times worse than Microsoft as our malevolent dictator.

I love to hate Microsoft, but I HATE to have to hate Apple.

Michel Fortin

Thomas, please don’t hate Apple for this before it’s clear they’ve done this with the intent of disabling Multi-Safari.

In fact, I’ve received a few comments by email from people with Leopard and I’m leaning towards the explanation that the current loading perl script embeded in the Multi-Safari packages just aren’t allowed to open as an application anymore, possibly as a security precaution to avoid application hijacking or something like that.

If that’s the case, the solution is obvious — use a real binary instead of a perl script as the special Safari launcher — and I may have a fix for this by next week.

Thomas Aylott

I may have beat you to the punch.

After much investigation, it turns out that Apple has specifically blocked all versions of Safari < 3 from running on Leopard 10.5.1. Whatever their reasoning, they have hardcoded the OS to block All older versions of Safari from running.

However, the only thing you have to do to fix Safari 2.0.4 for Leopard is change the CFBundleVersion to something at least as high as Safari 3 and reset your LaunchServices cache.

I have a script that fixes that and a few other things here: http://tripledoubleyou.subtlegradient.com/stuff/Safari2/

I also included a zip of Safari 2.0.4 that has been pre-modified with the fixes from the script. See that link for more info.

Samuel Lebeau

Thomas, this worked fine for me, thanks a lot for this tip.

Harold Bakker

Thanks Thomas, worked like a dream. Awesomeness.

Thomas McGee

Interesting that this Thomas’ method works with 2.0.4 but I’m unable to get it to work with any of the earlier releases. Am I missing something?


Hi all, I was able to use the version of Safari 2.0.4 that Thomas supplied. However, it seems like there are some problems running some Javascript functionality? For example, if you type “javascript:alert(‘test’)” in the location bar, it doesn’t run if a page has been loaded. Also I’m having some other problems with my web application but am having a hard time debugging as even the basic alert functionality is not available. Has other people encountered this problem?


Hi Michel, Thomas, First of all thanks for your work, I’ve just installed Thomas’ lazy version 2.0.4 on leopard 10.5.1 and it works a treat. Do you happen know a page where I would see the difference between Safari 3 and 2, in terms of site rendering and/or Javascript? And, on another note, I wanted to give you a quick heads up that the downloads for Safari 1.3.2 and older don’t seem to be working right now.

Thomas Aylott


Try creating a new user account and installing it all on that clean user. If that still causes problems, reinstall Leopard ;)

Craig 'Ruks'

Hello! I am very interested in getting 2.0.4 running on 10.5.1, however, after trying to install the pre-modified 2.0.4, as well as trying the old 2.0.4 and then running the sh file, as well as trying the old 2.0.4 and just running it from the console, the program crashed before loading. The crash report gave no help that I understood (let me know if you want to see it), and the console said ‘Trace/BPT trap’ when I tried to run the program from the console and the program crashed. Any ideas as to what could be causing this? Thank you so much for your help!!


Hello, I tried tweaking the 1.3.2 version the same way Thomas has enabled 2.0.4 to run on Leopard, sadly it crashes on load, with this message in the console: LSOpenFromURLSpec() failed with error -10810 for the URL http://tripledoubleyou.subtlegradient.com/stuff/Safari2/.success.html.

I found this thread about it: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=1216046 but that solution seems to be only a more drastic way to clean the LaunchServices cache.

I also tried the app with a new user, to no avail. Anyway, if any of you guys has an idea, that would be great, otherwise, my life is not depending on it, and I just wanted to share. Cheers!

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