Using Mountain Lion and the Airport utility I can't find a way to activate SNMP on any of the Airport base stations I have. Even the old ones which were configured to use it don't have the option anymore.

It is as if the options disappeared recently. What is the solution to enable SNMP?


SNMP appears to be on by default. I bought a new Airport Express recently (the white Apple TV looking version), and just ran this command against it: snmpwalk -v 2c -c public -O e and it returned the huge list of OIDs/values I would have expected.

You are correct that the community cannot be changed with the 6.* version of the AirPort Utility app, but 5.6.1 is still compatible even with Mountain Lion. One Mr. Frank Tisellano created an Automator Workflow to install 5.6.1. After installing this, you'll have both versions of the Airport Utility side-by-side. Using 5.6.1 will allow you to customize the community string, and the other advanced options that were lost in version 6.

See this answer to install Airport Utility 5.6 on Mountain Lion.

  • Do you know if there is a way to administrate the functions through CLI?
    – Coyote
    Oct 9 '12 at 1:34
  • There are no command line binaries shipped in the AirPort Utility app bundles. Neither 5.6.1 nor the current 6.1 version. So no, I doubt this is possible. Oct 9 '12 at 8:37
  • I will accept your suggestion to install a previous version of Airport Utility if you change your answer. Add manual steps or a link to another stackexchange solution as this utility fails on my system.
    – Coyote
    Oct 9 '12 at 9:44
  • At what point does it fail? Error messages? Oct 9 '12 at 10:34
  • It gave me some error messages about being unable to launch a script. I unpacked everything manually. Edited your question to a link on how to unpack the App.
    – Coyote
    Oct 10 '12 at 11:51

In El Capitan, I was unable to get 5.6 running. It showed an "application damaged" icon, and trying to open it resulted in a message "You can’t use this version of the application “AirPort Utility 5.6” with this version of OS X."

However, I did get this to work. I have an OS X Leopard Server install running in Parallels v11, and was able to get 5.6 running readily on the older OS. I put the Parallels network into "bridge" mode to the host system's Wifi.

And it worked! Airport Utility 5.6 was able to see my Airport Extreme and adjust SNMP settings.


After a resetting the base station to default settings using the latest Airport utility (6.1), SNMP is available on the community public.

It seems impossible to change the community or to update other informations like the system contact email.


To repeat what Jason Salaz wrote: if you want to change SNMP settings you probably have to install Airport Utility 5.6 alongside 6.x. Trying to replace 6.x doesn't work well... either the install fails (typically) or if you get it to install, it will get overwritten later by an update.

If an automated script doesn't work, you can extract the app from the 5.6 .pkg file, available from Apple downloads, using a tool like Pacifist. Another option is to simply copy the app from a machine that is running it, rename it to Airport Utility 5.6.app, and then copying that to your Applications folder. Then you will be able to use both 6.x and 5.6.

To get to the (rudimentary) SNMP settings, open Airport Utility 5.6, click Advanced, then the "Logging & Statistics" button. In that panel you will find settings for turning on/off SNMP, allowing SNMP over internet (WAN), and the SNMP community string. All settings are changeable.

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