Impact of Mac OS 10.7 Lion on file servers

Apple’s upcoming release of its latest operating system changes the way it connects to Apple Fileshare Protocol (AFP) servers. Mac OS versions previous to 10.7 support various authentication protocols, each with a different level of security. Mac OS Lion drops support for less secure authentication (specifically DHCAST128) in favour of DHX2, which has been available since 10.2.

DHCAST128 is used and supported by practically all third-party AFP servers, including Xinet, ExtremeZ-IP, Windows SFM and Netatalk-based NAS devices. DHX2 is not yet as widely supported. Care should be taken before upgrading your Mac clients to ensure that your third-party server has been upgraded to support DHX2. Xinet have a patch available now, as do GroupLogic. If you are not able to upgrade your third-party AFP server, it is possible to re-enable the older authentication method in Lion, using command-line tools. Please contact Nexus for assistance if needed.

Sean Murphy

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