Migration without borders: from your old Mac to a new MacBook Pro 2016

One smart Apple

A few weeks ago, Apple has finally presented a much-anticipated update to the new MacBook Pro. The most powerful and thinnest MacBook up to date, it has been redesigned, stuffed with improved hardware and amazing new features.

One of the new features setting the new MacBook Pro apart from the previous models is a brand new Touch Bar, built into the keyboard. It is a multi-touch OLED display panel that offers contextual controls and visual settings that change based on what app you’re using. You can interact with the Touch Bar through taps, swipes, and other multi-touch gestures, with the display supporting input with up to 10 digits at a time.

All existing Apple apps have been updated to take advantage of the Touch Bar, and many third-party developers like Photoshop, Pixelmator, Affinity Designer, DaVinci Resolve, Sketch and others already have plans to build in Touch Bar support and special controls into their apps by the end of the year.

Display in the machine has been significantly improved and goes in 13-inch and 15-inch versions. It’s brighter, offers better contrast, and includes wide color gamut support for richer colors, especially in the green and red spectrum. However, resolution remains the same: 2560 x 1600 on the 13-inch display and 2800 x 1800 on the 15-inch, but the screen still looks amazing.

MacBook pro 15-inch

Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro is the most powerful portable notebook computer the company sells, with quad-core processors, with built-in Intel HD Graphics 530 and with discrete graphics cards from AMD, and a larger size setting it apart from the 13-inch machine.

With CPU, GPU, and SSD improvements, Apple says the 15-inch MacBook Pro is 57% faster at video editing , 130% faster rendering 3D graphics, and 60% faster for gaming compared to 2015 MacBook Pro models.

MacBook Pro performance

Base models come with 2.6 or 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processors and can be upgraded to a 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz.

Two base machines includes Radeon Pro 450 and 455 (each with 2GB VRAM), while the Radeon Pro 460 with 4GB VRAM is available as an update option.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro will switch between the two graphics cards to maximize battery life. The low-power integrated card will be used for non-intensive tasks, while the Radeon Pro will be used for something that requires more GPU power such as 3D rendering or video editing. Built on a 14-nanometer process, the Radeon Pro would be up to 2.5x times more powerful.

Overall, the new 15-inch MacBook is a powerful workstation for media professionals of any kind. With all new features and hardware, the new machine would easily handle any task with graphic design or video editing.

By the way, the component that has received one of the biggest upgrade in the MacBook Pro, is the SSD. 256Gb base storage space and a possible upgrade up to 2TB, and a reading speeds of 3.1GB/s and writing speeds up to 2.2GB/s, makes new MacBook Pro is twice as fast as the SSD in previous MacBook Pro models.

All that calls for the best software to handle large amount of information being transferred and written to an external flash or hard drive. And that’s when our software comes to help. With the new update, ExtFS for Mac 10 now can quickly mount even large, 2TB volumes. And with NTFS for Mac 14 you’ll get full read/write access to any version of NTFS under macOS with the transfer rate is the same as with the native HFS file system!

New Great Migration

Once you decide to buy this Apple’s Lamborghini of laptop computers, you have to transfer all the data from your old MacBook or iMac. Of course, it’s possible to do with inbuilt Mac utilities, like Time Machine or Ethernet cable, but the most reliable way is to make a full copy of your disk, using a specialized third-party utilities, such as Hard Disk Manager for Mac.

All you need is your old Mac and your brand-new Mac, plus a cable to connect them. Once you got all the ingredients ready, follow these steps:

  1. Power up one your new Mac while holding the ‘T’ key down to enter Target Disk Mode. Once the machine starts up in Target Disk Mode, it will appear as a disk icon on the desktop of the other computer.
  2. Connect your Macs via cable. Open Paragon HDM for Mac on your old machine. To launch the “Copy Hard Disk” wizard, right-click on the hard disk (largest rectangle with partitions inside) and select “Copy Disk”.Hard Disk Manager 
  3. Specify the target hard disk using the drop-down menu.
    MacBook Pro solution 
  4. If you wish to copy the entire hard disk, leave all Source Partitions checked. You may also want to uncheck Resize boxes for this scenario. Otherwise, uncheck “Copy” box for partitions you wish to leave behind.
    Paragon HDM for Mac 
  5. Use “Raw” option to copy partition in sector-by-sector mode, making the resulting partition fully identical to the original one. This also helps to avoid problems with processing unrecognized or protected file systems.
    МасBook Migration 
  6. Click “Copy”. You can now preview your changes! Press “Apply Operations”, then – “Apply”. Done!
    MacBook Pro 2017
    That saves a lot of time and only depends on the cable’s transfer speeds you use. No dependence on Wi-Fi connection or Internet speed. Also, make sure to power plug your machines! When you are done, you can use your new Mac as if you were using you old one.

    Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac is not just for copying — it’s a powerful application that covers all aspects of the computer’s life cycle, including drive partitioning, file system optimization and repair functions, data backup capabilities, and irreversible data wiping. It also supports the file systems of OS X, Windows, and Linux.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac

  • System Integrity Protection in OS X 10.11
    El Capitan support;
  • Sector-level backup for best perfomance and backup/recovery speed;
  • Move, resize, undelete partitions and modify their properties;

NTFS & HFS for Android app has reached 1 000 000 installs on Google Play!

Even though Android as an operating system is strengthening its protection policy, over 1.000.000 users have downloaded and installed Paragon NTFS & HFS for Android app from Google Play!

This cross-platform tool for NTFS and HFS+ partitions allows you to easily manage your files: copy, repair or modify your data anyway you like. With automount option any inserted SD cards, USB flash cards, and all NTFS and HFS+ partitions will be automatically mounted.  Attach a USB flash card, hard drive, PC, Mac or any other device with NTFS or HFS+ partition and transfer any data as if it was default FAT32 system.

Imagine the following scenario: unplug your SD card or USB Flash from the desktop PC without having to take further actions – like clicking on the “safely remove” tray app. Some non-completed file system operations can damage data. Our solution to this problem is to assure complete safety through a technology that responds to the transactions before any other application starts working with the media. With a strong journaling capability you can safely complete uncompleted transactions even after unsafe media removal.

Paragon Software Group is the first software developer to implement a full set of drivers with read-write access to partitions of any file system, and delivers the highest performance cross-platform technologies — proven by millions of installations around the world from consumers to embedded systems manufacturers. Intel, Nvidia, Broadcom, Realtek, Huawei-HiSilicon, Marvell, Telechips, Acer and many other companies have selected our solutions for use in some of the world’s best-selling devices.

For more information about NTFS & HFS for Android app click here or download it from Google Play for free.

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When one is not enough, get five!

We are proud to release Paragon UFSD (Universal File System Driver) Value Pack – a bundle of five essential cross-platform tools: NTFS for Mac, ExtFS for Mac, HFS+ for Windows, ExtFS for Windows, and NTFS-HFS Converter, powered with Lifetime UPGRADE ASSURANCE for each product in the bundle.

The UFSD Value Pack has been developed for users working with multiple operating systems to instantly solve compatibility issues. The UFSD Value Pack comes with a lifetime free upgrade guarantee, and is available for just $49.95 — a savings of nearly $100 compared to purchasing the included tools separately. For existing Paragon NTFS for Mac 14 customers, the UFSD Value Pack is available for just $19.95 in their personal MyParagon accounts. For all users with NTFS for Mac 12 version and lower the final bundle price is $24.95. Check out your offer now >>

Paragon UFSD Value Pack includes:

NTFS_for_Mac_14

Paragon NTFS for Mac® 14: Full, ultra-fast read/write access to NTFS partitions under macOS.

extFS_for_Mac_10

Paragon ExtFS for Mac® 10: Full read and write access to Ext2/3/4 partitions under macOS with data transfer rate similar to native file system performance. The same driver also checks, repairs, creates, and formats Ext2/3/4 volumes.

HFS_11_for_Windows

Paragon HFS+ for Windows® 11: The only solution with full access to HFS+ partitions on disks of any type (GPT, MBR), with higher transfer rates than native HFS file-system performance.

extFS_for_Windows

Paragon ExtFS for Windows®: Fast and transparent access to Ext2/Ext3/Ext4 partitions under Windows; read and write support for LVM (Logical Volume Management).

ntfs_HFS_3d

Paragon NTFS-HFS Converter: Converts NTFS volumes to HFS+ and vice-versa, with a backup option.

Paragon UFSD Value Pack includes the essential tools for unprecedented high-performance read and write access to NTFS, HFS+, and ExtFS partitions from macOS or Windows-based systems. With Paragon UFSD Value Pack installed, dual-boot users can easily write files to NTFS-formatted USB flash drives, SSDs, or traditional hard drives, and copy data to NAS-based storage from a macOS-based computer.

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All these products come with lifetime free upgrade guarantee, which means free upgrades for all included tools delivered directly to the user’s personal MyParagon account, plus free online support!

Paragon UFSD Value Pack is available here for $49.95.

Still have questions? Check this detailed support FAQ!

How to install macOS Sierra beta: quick Paragon guide

When it comes to announcing new software, Apple gets into an annual cycle. We saw the reveal of macOS Sierra at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2016, with a private beta issued to developers at the same time. A public beta, released on July 7, brought Siri, the picture-in-picture mode and a bunch of new Continuity features, like an Auto Unlock option for unlocking a Mac with an Apple Wtch and a Universal Clipboard for copying and pasting text from one Apple device to another.

One of the most exciting announcements was Apple’s new file system APFS, which is already available to Apple developers in a pre-release macOS Sierra beta version and is scheduled to ship in 2017. It’s optimized for Flash/SSD storage and features strong encryption, copy-on-write metadata, space sharing, cloning of files and directories, snapshots, fast directory sizing, atomic safe-save primitives and improved file system fundamentals.

On August 29th, Apple released the eighth beta of macOS Sierra to developers and the seventh beta version to public testers. Though most of macOS Sierra’s features were revealed at WWDC, there are still a handful of discoveries to look for.

If you have an iPhone or iPad and don’t want to wait for more than a week to try out the new Continuity features, like Universal Clipboard and others, you need to install the iOS 10 beta.

However, the software is still in beta stage meaning there could be bugs and interface issues. Make sure to back up your data before installing the beta. If you end up having a serious problem, you can revert back using your backup.

So, if you decided to install macOS Sierra beta, follow these steps:

1. Get the Installer here https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/. You’ll have to sign in using your Apple ID. Once you’ve signed in, the macOS Sierra beta will be downloaded to your machine.

2. It’s a good idea to install the beta to a partition rather than over your main operating system. Open Disk Utility, click the “Partition” button, then click on the [+] plus button to create a new partition. You’ll need minimum 20GB for basic testing. Click “Apply” to create the new partition on the drive.
Create new partition

3. Run the Installer from the /Applications/ folder on the Mac.macOS Sierra installer

Go through the installation process, and when you get to the disk selection screen, choose “Show All Disks” and select the one you’ve created, click on “Install” to begin installing macOS Sierra to that partition.You will be asked, once again, to make sure you have backed up your data. If you have already created a back up with Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac and good to go, then just click “Continue” to proceed.HDM for Mac back up

4. Restart your Mac after the installation is complete and set up your new Installation.Sign up with Apple IDmacOS Sierra diagnostic and usageiCloud keychain

How to switch between macOS Sierra 10.12 and OS X El Capitan

Now you can easily switch between macOS Sierra and the earlier Mac OS X system:

1. Reboot the Mac from the Apple menu, as usual;
2. Hold down the “Option” key, when you hear the boot chime sound;
2. Select the drive and the operating system you want to boot from, then macOS Sierra or OS X El Capitan.

It’s that easy, you can reboot and switch between the operating systems running on the same Mac in no time!

Backup your Mac – efficiently and reliably!

Snapshot is the best technology to back up your data. The announced Apple File System (APFS) brings this long-anticipated file system mechanism. The arrival of the snapshot functionality in APFS promises big changes to Time Machine, which should completely replace the creaky, aging mechanism of hard links – a slow and resource-consuming process.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac delivers everything for data management, backup and recovery. It is designed to create instant copies of a disk (or several disks) at a specific point in time. This technology takes consistent snapshots of both inactive and in-use partitions. Unlike Time Machine, it provides snapshot-based backup and operates at the sector level, achieving superior performance and speed.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac is not just for backup — it’s a powerful application that covers all aspects of the computer’s life cycle, including drive partitioning, file system optimization and repair functions, irreversible data wiping. It also supports all OS X, Windows, and Linux file systems bridging incompatible systems. With Paragon Hard Disk Manager you can even back up data to affordable and popular NTFS-based carriers.

Enjoy the new macOS Sierra and its new features, and do not forget to back up your data and system with Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac!

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Paragon Software’s UFSD technology chosen by Western Digital to drive seamless connectivity for new WD Pro series

Our Universal File System Driver (UFSD) technology has been selected by Western Digital Corporation to provide advanced connectivity capabilities for the recently launched WD Pro series of products as part of an expanded software license agreement.

Building upon Western Digital’s use of Paragon’s NTFS and HFS+ UFSD drivers since 2009, the new agreement calls for Paragon’s exFAT technology to be embedded in a broad range of network attached storage (NAS) devices. In addition to supporting Western Digital’s new My Passport® Wireless Pro Wi-Fi® mobile storage product line, Paragon exFAT drivers will also be provided as a firmware update for the new My Cloud® Pro Series NAS, including the My Cloud® EX2 Ultra, My Cloud® EX2100, My Cloud® EX4100, My Cloud® DL2100 and My Cloud® DL4100 NAS devices.

Leveraging Paragon’s UFSD technology for the built-in SD card reader and USB 3.0 port, Western Digital customers can attach their NTFS, HFS+ and now exFAT for SDXC cards and other exFAT-formatted storage devices to WD’s Linux-based products and have rapid, transparent and full read/write access to these non-native file systems. The embedded Paragon drivers feature powerful utilities that maintain file system integrity and fully protect stored data, while delivering high performance for smooth playback and recording of Full HD Video content including 4K Video, with no limits on file or volume size. And by adding Paragon’s exFAT technology, WD products now support SDXC cards and provide maximum interoperability between Windows and Mac OS X operating systems.

“Paragon has already proven its value as a trusted software provider to our storage product lines and solutions, with powerful UFSD technology that enhances connectivity to create seamless cross-platform interoperability for our customers,” said Sven Rathjen, VP, marketing content solutions, WD. “We are pleased to extend and strengthen our partnership, and appreciate the top notch support we receive from their dedicated team.”

Western Digital’s new My Passport Wireless Pro Wi-Fi mobile storage device, offering up to 3TB of storage capacity, is built to accompany professional photographers and videographers in the field for easy and wireless offloading, editing and streaming of captured photos and HD videos. Also designed for creative professionals, and with up to 32TB of storage, the My Cloud Pro Series NAS solutions are optimized to import files from cameras, memory cards (with a USB adapter) and other USB storage with a simple one-touch backup button.

“Western Digital is a world-class company with world-class products. We are thrilled and honored to expand our partnership by supporting their exciting new mobile storage and NAS offerings,” said Tom Fedro, president, Paragon Software Group Corp. “Through the use of our UFSD products, Western Digital is not only delivering seamless connectivity, but also providing a greater customer experience.”

For more information on Paragon’s UFSD offerings, visit our website 

Paragon ExtFS for Windows 4 has been released! Extended Ext4 Linux File System Support, Higher Transfer Rate

We have finally released Paragon ExtFS for Windows 4 – an updated version of the utility software designed to grant full read and write access to Linux file systems under Windows. Paragon ExtFS for Windows simplifies data sharing, providing users with the ability to transfer files between otherwise incompatible systems at a higher data transfer rate than native file-system performance.

New features:

  • New! Supports nearly all of the latest Linux format Ext4: 64bit, dir_index, extent, extra_isize, ext_attr, flex_bg, has_journal etc. (Linux bigalloc, journal_dev, meta_bg features are not currently supported.)
  • New! The driver now works much faster, even when the Linux volume is short on free space. The product is able to transfer a larger amount of smaller files at twice the speed, with an increased rate of random read/write operations.
  • New! Unlimited trial version. Following the initial 10-day trial, the data transfer rate decreases to 5Mb/s, but the product otherwise remains fully functional.
  • New! For Windows users with less-frequent needs, the data transfer speed can be reset for up to 25 days free of charge by sharing with friends on Facebook via the in-app link.

The new version of Paragon ExtFs for Windows comes with extended support for Ext4 file formats, enabling the highest transfer speeds. The new ExtFS for Windows 4 mounts Linux volumes, including those over 2TB in size, up to two times faster than the previous version. Best of all, for owners of Paragon ExtFS for Windows Professional 3, the upgrade is free.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac

    • The new ExtFS for Windows mounts Linux volumes much faster, including large volumes over 2TB;
    • Ability to mount any number of Ext 2/3/4 partitions at once;
      • With ExtFS for Windows, the Linux logical volume manager retains all functionality, performing open, close, read, and write operations in the usual way!

 Learn more about Paragon ExtFS for Windows 4

ReFS Support added to Paragon Universal File System Drivers

Resilient File System (ReFS) was first introduced by Microsoft Corporation in the release of Microsoft Server 2012. Since then support of this file system has been integrated into Microsoft server and desktop operating systems like Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10, Server 2016 (Technical Preview).

ReFS was designed with one key goal in mind – file system integrity and the ability to verify and auto-correct data without need to run a separate file system checking utility.

To provide better NTFS file system compatibility for existing applications, Microsoft is using the same API for implementing file system semantics: “This code implements the file system interface (read, write, open, close, change notification, etc.), maintains in-memory file and volume state, enforces security, and maintains memory caching and synchronization for file data. This reuse ensures a high degree of compatibility with the features of NTFS that we’re carrying forward”.

Unfortunately even with the upper-layer engine nearly identical to what’s found in NTFS, up until now, only Microsoft platforms provided access to ReFS volumes; as a result, a Windows PC or a virtual machine running a supported Windows operating system would still be required to open files on Refs volumes from other platforms such as Linux, Mac, etc.

Paragon Software’s development team has been working on integrating ReFS file system support into our UFSD (Universal File System Driver) technology since 2012. We are happy to announce the present result of this work and release a Paragon UFSD driver that supports working with Refs volumes in read-only mode (full solution with both read and write support is under active development).

Introduction to the Paragon ReFS Universal File System Driver

1. Create a ReFS volume on Windows Server 2012 platform:

Create ReFS volume

2. Mount a ReFS volume on Linux:

Mount ReFS volume Linux

3. Copy data from ReFS on Linux:

Refs data copy on Linux

As you can see, with the help of the Paragon ReFS driver anyone can make a copy of their data from the ReFS volume on a Linux platform, without need for a Windows PC.

ReFS Compatibility within the Microsoft Ecosystem

With the release of Microsoft Server 2016 Technical Preview versions, Microsoft has shown that it continues to develop the ReFS file system. The newest ReFS version implemented into the Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 revision is not currently compatible with the previous Microsoft platforms, like Windows Server 2012 R2.

Attaching a ReFS volume from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2016 (Technical Preview 5) – the ReFS volume is recognized:

Attach ReFS volume Windows Server

ReFS is now ready for your Read-Only workloads. If you want to to take advantage of this new technology, please contact Paragon’s sales team at sales@paragon-software.com.

“No complaint about the lack of windows”: the new era of Apple multi-platform environment

Yesterday at WWDC 16 Apple presented its new macOS Sierra – the spiritual successor of OS X 10.11 El Capitan. The era of “OS X” as part of the name has ended.

With the new name, macOS Sierra focuses mainly on cross platform experience, continuity, and iCloud.

To start with, Apple announced a new auto-lock feature which allows Apple Watch wearers to unlock their Mac simply by opening it or walking into its vicinity. The other newcomer is a universal clipboard – a shared clipboard between macOS and iOS that allows users to easily share text, images, or video between Mac, iPhone, or iPad.

Apple also brings Apple Pay to the web, allowing the authentication of online payments on Mac via Apple Watch or iPhone with Touch ID.

Apple Pay

The trend is clear – Apple is trying to make the experience between devices seamless. Siri on the new macOS is the cherry on the cake. After allowing Siri to introduce herself, like it was done in the original 1984 Mac demo, Craig Federighi showed off several Siri desktop features that should look familiar to iOS users, like calling up playlists, creating tasks, or searching the Web.

Talking about iCloud, it now plays an expanded role in synchronization, making your desktop folders and files visible on other Macs and iOS devices. Another new feature called Optimized Storage can sweep through old files and move them to iCloud, thus making room on local disk space for other purposes. Moreover, it can automatically delete your trash, clear your Web history, old mail attachments, and do other behind-the-scene clean-ups.

Optimized Storage

Another feature, that wasn’t introduced on the presentation, is the new file system which is available in a pre-release macOS Sierra beta version for Apple developers and is scheduled to ship in 2017.

“Apple File System is a Next-Generation File System for Apple Products” – says the Apples guide published yesterday, – “HFS+ and it’s predecessor HFS are more than 30 years old. These file systems were developed in an era of floppy disks and spinning hard drives, where file sizes were calculated in kilobytes or megabytes. Today, solid-state drives store millions of files, accounting for gigabytes or terabytes of data. There is now also a greater importance being placed on keeping sensitive information secure and safe from prying eyes. A new file system is needed to meet the current needs of Apple products, and support new technologies for decades to come”.

Accordingly, Apple File System, or APFS, is a next-generation file system for Apple products based upon the iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS software platforms, ranging from the Apple Watch to a Mac Pro. It’s optimized for Flash/SSD storage and features strong encryption, copy-on-write metadata, space sharing, cloning for files and directories, snapshots, fast directory sizing, atomic safe-save primitives, and improved file system fundamentals.

In conclusion, it seems like Apple is making steps to ease the multi-platform experience. However, it takes time to reach perfection and during this lengthy journey, Paragon Software products including HDM for Mac, NTFS for Mac, or EXTFS for Mac can help you to always be on the cutting edge.

Paragon NTFS for Mac Recognized as the Best of Data Management Solutions by IT Innovation 2016 at CeBIT

At CeBIT 2016 in Hanover Germany, after review of several thousands submissions, the Initiative Mittelstand awarded the utility application Paragon NTFS for Mac 14 with the Best of IT Innovation 2016 in the category “Data Management.” Impressed by the product’s capabilities, the judges bestowed this special recognition to the popular OS X utility.

Paragon NTFS for Mac 14 allows anyone to easily access and format Windows NTFS-formatted partitions, even those used to dual-boot Windows on a Mac, simplifying management of Windows-based volumes in OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Paragon NTFS for Mac allows users to check and repair the file system integrity of NTFS partitions via the app’s graphical interface, using its volume management functions, instead of using complicated command line tools, as is required by other utilities of this type.

OS X 10.11 El Capitan’s new System Integrity Protection (SIP) feature prevents the use of third-party disk utilities in OS X Disk Utility. Paragon NTFS for Mac overcomes this limitation, simplifying management of such volumes in El Capitan.

“While Mac OS X allows users to easily read from Windows NTFS formatted partitions, it doesn’t allow them to write files to such a drive without entering arcane commands into Terminal, or allow them to fix any problems that a volume’s file system might incur,” says Ivan Sidorin, Product manager at Paragon Software Group. “Paragon NTFS for Mac allows users to read, write, run diagnostics, and fix any issues with NTFS volumes directly from its graphical volume management interface, simplifying the use of NTFS formatted volumes on the Mac.”

Users can conveniently use Paragon NTFS for Mac to easily navigate the contents  of any NTFS drive, allowing them to read, edit, copy, or create files and folders on the drive. The app provides fast and transparent access to any NTFS partition while running OS X 10.11.

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Сircumventing the security challenges of OS X El Capitan

OS X El capitan may be more resistant than ever to malicious software, but its arrival means new challenges lie ahead for some third-party developers.

SIP: Forcing developers to think different

OS X El Capitan 10.11 offers serious defense against malware on a number of fronts, most notably System Integrity Protection (SIP for short). SIP removes administrative overrides for processes running in the background and disables root access to /usr, /bin, /sbin, and /System, preventing ANY user or application (with the exception of Mac-native installer software) from writing to those locations or modifying files residing there.
In doing so, Apple has for the first time rejected a key Unix principal by limiting the access privileges of a “superuser” (better known as root). Traditionally, users with administrator privileges could install software and generally access any part of the root-level system they so desire, while regular users had more limited access.
Although this approach has generally worked well since OS X debuted in 2001, there was always the potential threat of local or remote attacks from rogue Trojan horse software that gained access to root. By implementing SIP, veteran Mac power users now consider the operating system to be “rootless.”
It should be noted that Apple has provided power users with a workaround to temporarily disable SIP, simply by booting into the Recovery partition and selecting Utilities > Security Configuration from the menu. Next, uncheck Enforce System Integrity Protection, click Apply Configuration, and restart for the change to take effect. However, it’s clear that SIP is the way forward, so developers and end users will need to adapt accordingly.

Disk Utility vs. Third-Party Drivers

The El Capitan version of Disk Utility has also been through major changes — both cosmetically and under the hood. Once you get used to the glossy new user interface, veteran users might notice Apple has entirely removed the option to repair disk permissions. That’s because Apple no longer allows permissions to change in any way, with the exception of an automatic repair run during software updates.

But that’s not all: Disk Utility no longer manages disks mounted by third-party drivers, at least not through the program’s graphical user interface. The reasons for the change don’t make a whole lot of sense to outsiders, especially when disks mounted by non-native drivers can still be mounted, formatted, or repaired by using the command-line diskutil.

Making OS X more like mobile

An additional security improvement removes the possibility of using unsigned kernel extensions (kexts) which modify the core of OS X. Starting with El Capitan, developers must sign kexts with a valid Apple certificate in order for them to continue working. This means perfectly good drivers for discontinued products or expensive hardware could suddenly become unusable after upgrading to the new OS — with no easy or reliable downgrade available!

By adopting such changes, Apple aims to make OS X a more user-friendly and secure platform similar to iOS, which powers the company’s popular iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch products. Although this move will surely benefit average users and protect them from the ever-increasing threat of malicious software, the additional layers of security temporarily complicate matters for advanced power users and Mac developers whose livelihood depends upon OS X.

The challenge for developers

If you already purchase most of your software from the Mac App Store, chances are you’ll never notice (or care) about the under-the-hood changes Apple has implemented with OS X El Capitan. But there are plenty of third-party developers who will be affected, especially those who offer software outside of Apple’s walled garden ecosystem.

The makers of popular utility software like Default Folder X have already discovered solutions to work around El Capitan’s new challenges, which required a complete overhaul of the existing application in order to implement. Paragon Software faced a similar challenge with NTFS for Mac, which adds the ability to write to Windows-formatted volumes, which can’t natively be done with OS X alone.

Like many other developers, Paragon products have traditionally stored application components in the very places El Capitan no longer permits. For example, the NTFS for Mac driver would be installed in /System/Library/Filesystems, while auxiliary command-line utilities were located in /usr/sbin.

Because of SIP, NTFS for Mac 14 and higher now place this driver in /Library/Filesystems, relocating associated utilities to /usr/local/sbin/, where root still has full privileges. It’s not only a reasonable alternative, but also remains proper Unix etiquette. Likewise, the NTFS for Mac 14 driver is properly signed as a kernel extension, making it a required update for owners of earlier versions prior to upgrading to El Capitan.

Meet the new NTFS for Mac 14

In addition to the under the hood changes outlined above, the familiar NTFS for Mac preferences pane has been overhauled with version 14. Since Disk Utility can no longer be used to work with Windows-formatted volumes, NTFS for Mac 14 now includes built-in format, verify, and mount functionality.

In addition to Windows NTFS, other file systems supported by OS X can also be used with this preference pane — for example, if Paragon’s ExtFS for Mac driver is already installed on the same system, NTFS for Mac will also be able to format, verify, or mount Linux-native Ext2/3/4 disks as well.

Here’s what NTFS for Mac 14 looks like when launched:

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And here’s a look at the new way to format volumes as NTFS:

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NTFS for Mac 14 can also be used to verify a volume for possible file system errors:

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For those comfortable with Terminal, the same actions can also be performed with Paragon’s command-line utilities. Advanced users familiar with Unix will have access to additional options through this interface:

  • fsck_ufsd_NTFS finds and repairs errors on NTFS disks.

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  • fsck_ufsd_NTFS formats a volume to NTFS.

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  • mount_ufsd_NTFS mounts or unmounts NTFS disks.

Finally, support of the Windows NT file system is automatically added to the command-line diskutil during installation of the NTFS for Mac driver.

Download and try NTFS for Mac 14 for free!