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Thursday, July 31, 2008, 03:55 pm PT (06:55 pm ET)

Apple drops first build of Mac OS X 10.5.5 with warning

As expected, Apple on Thursday afternoon provided its vast developer community with the first pre-release build of Mac OS X 10.5.5, but warned developers not to use this initial version of the software with Macs that contain integrated graphics chips.

"Do not install on the following machines: MacBook Air, MacBook, Mac Mini, iMac (with Intel integrated graphics)," the company is reported to have told developers in a set of seed notes accompanying the release, though it doesn't say when Apple will resolve the temporary graphics glitch.

People familiar with the matter say the first seed arrived labeled as Mac OS X 10.5.5 build 9F5.

Developers evaluating the beta software were asked to focus their testing efforts on a dozen and a half core system components. Among them were AirPort, FileSync, the Finder, graphics drivers, iCal, iChat, Networking, Text Services, Time Machine, and ExpressCard & USB modems.

The release also addresses 82 bugs discovered or outstanding since the release of Mac OS X 10.5.4, those familiar with the software say.  Among the significant issues mended in 9F5 seed are kernel crashes in Dashboard or with physical memory addresses larger than 4GB, multiple problems with iCal that include events, scripting, syncing, and several glitches with networking and printer sharing.  Text handling has also allegedly been improved.

On Wednesday, AppleInsider reported that Apple was preparing the first pre-release builds of Mac OS X 10.5.5 — the latest of an ongoing string of maintenance and security update to its Leopard operating system — for distribution prior to the weekend.