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Apple Leopard Gets Unix Call

Apple's OS X Leopard, the company's latest operating system, has received the first update of its young life. But it also hit a milestone, having been blessed as a Unix operating system.

The Open Group, a vendor- and technology-neutral consortium that overseas usage of the Unix name and compliance against Unix specifications, announced that Leopard and its OS X Server counterpart conform to the Single Unix Specification version 3 (Unix 03) standard.

Unix 03 is a defining aspect of what actually makes Unix what it is. The group said that, with certification of Mac OS X, users can take advantage of applications on a range of other Unix 03-certified systems. In addition to Apple, they include IBM, HP, and Sun, which have certified their respective Unix offerings against the Unix 03 standard.

The Open Group hailed Apple's Unix 03 certification as a milestone for Unix itself. "Mac OS X is the first operating system derived from the open source BSD base of historical Unix products to meet the certification requirements."

But the news hasn't been all fun and Unix for Leopard. Apple released the 10.5.1 update, which addresses a trio of security fixes, all of which are related to the Application Firewall.

One of the fixes changes the behavior of the Application Firewall so that changes made by a user will take effect immediately. In 10.5, when a firewall setting had been changed, the action would not occur until after the system restarts. "A user might expect changes to take effect immediately and so leave their system exposed to network access," the advisory states.

On the bug fix side of things the 10.5.1 release corrects a number of small items in Leopard that impacted the operating system's functionality. Among the fixes is one for the Apple iCal calendar system, which is now enabled to have calendar alarms delivered more reliably via e-mail.

E-mail also gets fixed in this update. According to Apple's 10.5.1 release notes, the update "addresses an issue in which attachments enclosed inside an HTML link may not be clickable in e-mail messages."

Another fix addresses a bug in Leopard that limited access to Microsoft Windows shared folder to read-only.

The Leopard 10.5.1 update follows the Leopard release by three weeks. It also follows an Apple update to its predecessor Tiger that addressed 40 vulnerabilities.