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Video: I accidentally reinstalled Mac OS X trying to install X11.app

All I wanted to do was run a cool little Windows app called autostitch on my Mac. According to the site, it runs fine under Wine. “OK,” I think to myself, “I’ve been meaning to install Darwine for a while.” So I get and install Darwine, and it complains that X11.app isn’t installed.

Should be pretty easy to fix, no? Guess again. There’s a HUGE documentation problem/gap here. Watch the video to see how I went from wanting to run Darwine to unintentionally reinstalling OS X on my Mac mini. *sigh*

The (sort of) good news is that an hour and half later, my Mac is back up, and all of my apps and files are right where I left them. I have to install about 500MB of updates via Software Update, but it could have been a whole lot worse.

Oh, and X11.app still isn’t installed. And I still can’t run Darwine or autostitch.

Hey, Apple – want some freedback? Watch this video, and update your documentation! 😛

This video was originally shared on blip.tv by Josh Bancroft with a Creative Commons Attribution license.

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22 thoughts on “Video: I accidentally reinstalled Mac OS X trying to install X11.app

  1. Brandon says:

    That HAS got to suck, This did happen to me once with a program ( I don’t have the name at the top of my head) On my g4, so i re-installed and all my files were still fine, so i wouldn’t worry :)

    BTW, I have a new Macintosh G5 Quad, with 30 ” Cinema Display!!! It is sooo Beatiful, You should really check it out :)

  2. Brandon says:

    okay, I Downloaded and installed Darwine, and it gave the same result. Execpt i didn’t re-install, so i am guessing the problem lies in the darwine Program itself, Because on a full computer search, there is no file named X11.app

  3. Yeah, I’ll tackle the X11.app thing again next week. At least I got to learn how the OS X installer works – been meaning to do that for a while, too. :-)

    Nathan: yes. :-)

    There’s going to be more video posted, since I got my new Canon SD700, and believe it or not, TinyPodcast (audio) is going to come back soon, too.

    I know, I know. Promises, promises. Just stay tuned, and you’ll see… 😉

  4. Louis Wheeler says:

    I haven’t done this since I don’t have a Macintel yet, but from what I have heard is that you don’t need to download anything. X11 is in the developer portion of the the Mac DVD. You can run it from inside Mac OSX.

  5. Scott, I know. that’s what all the docs say. but where on the discs? how exactly do I install it?

    That’s the problem i’m trying to illustrate here.

    I’m a mac n00b, but a reasonably smart person, who should be able to do this by following the documentation.

    And look what following the documentation got me. :-)

  6. Peter says:

    1) insert Tiger install DVD.
    2) scroll window that appears down slightly
    3) double click “optional installs” package icon
    4) click continue on installer welcome pane
    5) click continue and agree on installer license pane
    6) select your boot volume and click continue on installer target pane
    7) click disclosure triangle on “Applications” at top of custom install pane
    8) select “X11”
    9) click install

  7. Marcos says:

    Peter gives the right instructions. It’s not all obvious enough how to install X11. I guess Apple figures anyone who knows what X11 is and wants to install it will be able to find it on the Tiger DVD. Btw, f you are for whatever reason -installing OS X itself which you appear to have done – X11 does appear as one of the options when you do a “custom” install – which you should always do to turn off extra foreign language packages and printer drivers which greatly speeds up install time.

  8. bonze says:

    Also, don’t blame Apple’s documentation for this. You have to read it before you can diss it. If you look at the “Read Before You Install” pdf on the DVD, it says:

    Installing optional software
    Easy Install installs all the software you need to use Mac OS X, but does not install some additional software. If you want to install this optional software or you don’t want to install all the software installed using Easy Install, click Custom Install and select the items you want to install. If you want to install this optional software later, insert the Mac OS X Install DVD and double-click Optional Installs.

    This readme is also displayed in the installer when it starts. The “HUGE documentation problem/gap here” is with the end user who doesn’t read the documentation.

  9. Peter says:

    Put the Tiger DVD in, scroll down and open the “System” folder, then open the “Installation” folder, and then the “Packages” folder. You will see X11User.pkg, which you can use to install X11 and nothing else.

  10. Steve says:

    So I had a similar problem. I wanted to install X11, but couldn’t find it. I had even read the docs that said to use the “Optional Installs”. My problem? The nicely arranged icons in the window that opens when you put the cd in threw me off, and I didn’t see to scroll down. Guess that proves that subtle GUI hints can make a fool out of even someone with lots of Mac and PC experience…

  11. Yeah, but there’s this little caveat for Tiger:

    “Note 10.4 customers can install X11 by using the Tiger DVD installer disk. ”

    I did manage to get it installed – you have to scroll down in the Finder window that pops up when you insert the Tiger DVD. Only there’s no real indication that there’s more stuff available if you scroll down (other than the fact that there’s a scroll bar on the window.

    I figured it out, but it could have been simpler. :-)

  12. Sam says:

    Admittedly I made the same mistake as Steve. I can’t believe I missed that scroll bar everytime until I read Peter’s post. The nicely arranged icons threw me off as well. Oh well live and learn.

  13. Andy McCulloch says:

    Ditto what Sam says. I’m no newbie and completely missed the scroll bar. Nearly reinstalled Tiger myself.

  14. PodcastTroubadour says:

    Thanks for the info. I am standing on the shoulders of people who have fallen in a hole I would’ve fallen in, if not for the shoulders pointing out.

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