I don't have a lot of extra software on my Mac, but wondered what tools people are finding useful for aggregating or checking that existing software is ready for Lion.

I'm also wondering if I need to buy new versions of iLife - will iLife 08 work OK with Lion?

I almost hesitate to ask, since the best solution is to dutifully check with each vendor - they are the best resource, but has anyone found a good resource that lists or aggregates software that is either known to have issues or is reported to be good to go Lion?


I've used RoaringApps' Compatibility Table, which seems fairly comprehensive.

However, their servers seem a bit bogged-down at the moment.

(edit - as of July 26 - it's still very slow to use)

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    Hopefully the table will be completed soon. I'd also like to know whether we can export all the name of apps in /Applications and ~/Applications and check it against the table automatically. – Enrico Susatyo Jul 21 '11 at 8:28
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    System Profiler does a great job of finding all the applications on your mac. You can save the output in several structured formats. It's more info that you might want, so you'll need to filter it. It would be cool if they had a tool to compare lists. – bmike Jul 22 '11 at 14:53


If you have lipo, probably installed with Xcode, a four-line command will list some files that are PowerPC-only:

2>/dev/null find ~/Applications /Applications -type f -perm +111 -exec lipo \
-info '{}' ';' | grep -w Non-fat | grep -w ppc &&\

I experimented with the script in an application, http://www.wuala.com/grahamperrin/public/2011/07/12/ppc-lister/ for anyone who's interested. I stopped experimenting when I realised that lipo is probably not present on the average Mac.

Either way, what's above is a rough approach. Finding some thing PowerPC-only within an .app may not mean that the .app as a whole is incompatible with Lion.

System Information

(Successor to System Profiler)

The list of applications produced by System Information is better for identifying .app bundles that are PowerPC-only.

You can copy from the bottom half of the window, but there are sometimes ten or more lines per application. In System Information 10.7 (733) you can not copy simpler lines from the top half of the window.

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    Nice - I have been using WhatSize to check for PPC frameworks. I also like offline things so I can see if apps I don't currently have installed are end of the line. (Quicken or older years tax software - I'll have to get in and convert all that to PDF or another format at some point before losing my last SL machine) – bmike Aug 16 '11 at 17:42

While this is not directly germane to your question, I hope you will find it useful.

I use CNET's TechTracker to scan my Applications folder each day and inform me if there are any newer versions or updates of any of the software programs I have installed on my system. I can then download all available updates directly from a single page on download.cnet.com in most cases. It's a useful service and the basic version is free. It is particularly helpful in times such as this when Apple has recently released a new operating system, because many software publishers are putting out new updates all the time.

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  • A nice service - let's see if we can find the right question for this great answer. – bmike Aug 16 '11 at 17:47
  • Hey, was this really deserving a -1? I thought I prefaced my answer clearly, and I thought I was providing useful additional information. The point is that application publishers may pump out a series of updates in the wake of the Lion release, as they fix more bugs and compatibility issues. This service keeps you abreast of each new update, not just whether it's Lion-compatible or not. – user9290 Aug 16 '11 at 17:50
  • Bodega is similar and when I last compared (not recently), seemed more reliable than the CNET product/service. YMMV, and I never treat these things as totally reliable. – Graham Perrin Aug 16 '11 at 17:56
  • I down voted once - it's not useful to the question posed. This tool doesn't appear to have any Lion compatibility information so if someone is looking for an answer on Lion compatibility, it's wasting their time. It's OK here for you to ask your own question jeopardy style and answer that question. Why not put the answer there? – bmike Aug 16 '11 at 18:01
  • bmike, I've never asked my own question here just so I can post my own answer. If that's really kosher, I might give it a try. – user9290 Aug 16 '11 at 18:07

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