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PGP Desktop Support for Snow Leopard

Created: 27 Aug 2009 • Updated: 05 Nov 2012 • 20 comments
Tim_Matthews's picture
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Like everyone in the Macintosh user community, we're excited by Apple's early Friday delivery of Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6). Unfortunately, like many applications at the moment, the currently shipping versions of PGP Desktop products (v 9.10) are not supported on Snow Leopard. This includes PGP Desktop Professional, PGP Desktop Home, PGP Desktop Email and PGP Whole Disk Encryption (a comprehensive list of Mac OS X applications and their status on Snow Leopard is available on the MacInTouch site).

While we are working diligently to complete the Snow Leopard compatible versions of the PGP Desktop products, we do not recommend you use the currently shipping versions on any system that has been upgraded to Snow Leopard. Please note that users wanting to migrate to Snow Leopard immediately must first decrypt all of their PGP WDE encrypted drives and uninstall their PGP Desktop application prior to upgrading to Snow Leopard. Failure to decrypt PGP WDE encrypted drives prior to installing Snow Leopard could result in data loss or other system issues. Do not attempt to reinstall the currently shipping versions of the PGP Desktop applications (v 9.10) after installing Snow Leopard. Please refer to this PGP Support article for more information.

When the Snow Leopard compatible versions of these products ship, PGP Desktop application users with current Subscription licenses or under current Maintenance will receive the updated applications free of charge. If you are interested in participating in the PGP Desktop for Snow Leopard beta program, please sign up here and we will contact you when it's ready.

PGP Corporation announced PGP WDE for OS X  last year and it's been very well received.  A big part of this has to do with the fact that it's a native Mac application that was designed from the ground up for the Mac.  PGP Corporation is committed to providing Macintosh users the best possible encryption solutions and we’ve been building them since re-starting the company in 2003.

To get a sense of what the overall experience is like with PGP WDE for OS X, take a look at Paul Stamatiou's excellent step-by-step overview.   The experience on Snow Leopard will be the same.  You'll notice PGP WDE for OS X is controlled using PGP Desktop, which can be expanded to secure email and files as well.

Users of PGP WDE for OS X will have a new pre-boot authentication screen that protects access to the machine before the operating system loads.   Here's what it looks like on a Mac with Snow Leopard. 

WDE Pre Boot Authentication Dialog Boxpba-snow-mac-photo

Once installed, users can access the PGP Desktop application via the PGP lock icon on the Menu

PGP Desktop Menu BarPGP Desktop Menu Bar

Users can see the progress of their initial disk encryption from within PGP Desktop.

PGP WDE Progress Bar

PGP WDE Progress Bar

Comments 20 CommentsJump to latest comment

Edgar Tijerino's picture

please. thank you.

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N.Berendt's picture

What is the estimated time of release for the new version of PGP WDE for Snow Leopard?

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Marc Schwartz's picture

So if you are just soliciting participants for beta testing, what is the estimated timeline for release?

My Snow Leopard just arrived via FedEx... :-)

Marc

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Paul Stamatiou's picture

Thanks for linking over to my PGP article! As for "First, a word of caution for PGP WDE 9.9 Mac OS X users who want to migrate to Snow Leopard immediately" - what if we unecrypt our whole drive (but still have PGP Desktop installed) and upgrading to 10.6, and not re-encrypting the drive until this PGP WDE update comes out?

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Tim Matthews's picture

Good question. We recommend you decrypt all PGP WDE encrypted drives AND uninstall PGP WDE (or any other PGP Desktop application) prior to upgrading to Mac OS X 10.6. After upgrading your system you should not attempt to reinstall PGP Desktop or re-encrypt any disks until the updates to the PGP Desktop applications are available.

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Tim Matthews's picture

We can't unfortunately, disclose beta dates in advance (it's a financial accounting issue), but if you'd like to be informed when the beta is available, please sign up here and we will contact you when it’s ready.

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Tim Matthews's picture

Since posting the blog about Snow Leopard last week, we've received a number of detailed questions about the upgrade process and issues associated with running the current versions of PGP Desktop products on Snow Leopard. We've consolidated the current list of questions and answers below.

Question: Will PGP® Desktop for OS X and PGP® WDE for OS X support the new 64-bit kernel in Snow Leopard?
Answer: Yes. PGP Desktop’s next major release, PGP Desktop 10.0 (“Athens”) will have full support for Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) x32 and x64 configurations.

Question: Will Apple® BootCamp be supported?
Answer: Yes. PGP® Whole Disk Encryption’s next major release (“Athens”) will have full pre-boot authentication support for Apple® Bootcamp in 10.5, 10.6 and all supported flavors of Windows, including Windows 7 in x64. For example, you can run Snow Leopard x64 and Windows 7 x64 fully encrypted with PGP Whole Disk Encryption using Bootcamp.

Question: Will the PGP WDE next be updated to support both the 32-bit and 64-bit kernels?
Answer: Yes, See answer above.

Question: Has any progress been made on the Apple-imposed inability to hibernate instead of suspend when the system disk is encrypted?
Answer: Apple safe sleep (hibernate) works the same as previous releases (no change).

Question: What about support for backup?
Answer: Backups are supported using a variety of software including Apple® Time Machine and AppleShirtPocket® SuperDuper. SuperDuper recently added specific support for PGP Whole Disk Encryption.

Question: What about the support for Apple® Time Machine?
Answer: Apple Time Machine works seamlessly with PGP Whole Disk Encryption and PGP Desktop for OS X.

Question: Is it possible to use PGP Desktop with OS 10.6 and just open (read only access) disk containers created with PGP products? I have PGP products on Windows and Mac Partitions (on the same machine), and just want to access (not save data) into shared files.
Answer: PGP Whole Disk Encryption does not have a read-only mode, although PGP® Virtual Disk does. If you are looking for a solution for read-only disk access for forensic analysis then we recommend tools such as Encase from Guidance Software. Encase provides a mechanism to access a disk – read only when that disk is encrypted with PGP Whole Disk Encryption – after providing necessary authentication credentials.

Question: Does PGP Desktop work with Snow Leopard if you use none of the disk encryption features (i.e. can you use it purely for PGP® encrypt/decrypt/sign services that it provides)?
Answer: Yes. The next major release of PGP Desktop (“Athens”) for Mac OS will support these functions. Previous versions of PGP Desktop should not be run on Snow Leopard. Although some functionality does work (file encryption does work) there is the possibility of random kernel panics without making substantial modifications to the install.

Question: When are you going to propose the option to add custom info to this screen, so that if my computer is found someone turning it on can actually contact me?
Answer: Customization of the BootGuard screen for PGP Whole Disk Encryption for Windows managed by PGP Universal ™ Server is currently supported. This feature is on the roadmap for PGP Whole Disk Encryption for Mac OS. Stay tuned!

Question: Once PGP Whole Disk Encryption 10.0 is released, will the upgrade change how the system disk appears to the Snow Leopard (Upgrade) installer, such that we can leave the disk encrypted after upgrading to PGP Whole Disk 10.0; or will we need to decrypt our drive, upgrade to Snow Leopard, and then install PGP Whole Disk 10 and re-encrypt?
Answer: In order to upgrade to Snow Leopard, the disk needs to be decrypted and PGP Whole Disk Encryption for Mac OS X uninstalled. The correct steps to upgrade are as follows.
• Current system has Leopard and PGP WDE for OS X 9.10 or earlier
• Decrypt the disk encrypted with PGP WDE
• Uninstall PGP WDE for OS X
• Install / Upgrade to Snow Leopard
• Install PGP WDE for OS X – the 10.x release supporting Snow Leopard
• Encrypt the disk
For further detail on exactly how to upgrade to PGP Desktop products v 10.0, please refer to the user guide that will ship with those products.

Question: Using PGP Desktop version 9.8.3 (build 4028) I found that with my use of PGP Desktop to keep an encrypted PGP disk file of business critical documents still seems to work fine - I encrypted and decrypted this volume and the decrypted files could be opened and closed without problem. Is there another issue that I am missing or am I reasonably safe to continue using this aspect of PGP Desktop while you prepare the update?
Answer: Versions of PGP Desktop for OS X prior to 10.x are not supported with Snow Leopard.

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Tomasz Stasiuk's picture

I love PGP WDE. I use it on my macbook pro and it is great to know that the data is protected in case of loss or theft.

I eagerly await the new release supporting Snow Leopard.

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Tim Matthews's picture

We've received a few more Snow Leopard related questions I answer below.

Question: Can I install Leopard and Snow Leopard as virtual machines using Parallels or VMware and send encrypted email?
Answer: If the virtual software allows configuring Leopard as a VM, then it could be used to install PGP Desktop 9.10 to use for email encryption/decryption or PGP Virtual Disks within Leopard. When doing this, the disk should NOT be encrypted with WDE as this is not supported and may result in system problems associated with disk partitioning and EFI.

Question: If I just use PGP desktop to encrypt PGP virtual disks
(not WDE), will this function in Snow Leopard? I would hate to have to
reformat everything in Truecrypt, not be able to use PGP keys, while I
wait.
Answer: Unfortunately, no PGP Desktop 9.10 functionality is supported on Snow Leopard.

Question: Will performance of WDE on SSD drives be addressed in the
forthcoming version?
Answer: We expect WDE performance on SSD drives for the Windows and OS X platforms to be improved in the upcoming version.

Question: Will this include SSO login?
Answer: SSO is not currently supported on Mac OS X. In single user environments, after encrypting the disk with PGP WDE, the end user may choose to turn off OS X login security because the whole disk is protected with PGP WDE and the PGP BootGuard login screen. In multi-user scenarios this is not recommended. For security reasons you will want each user to authenticate at PGP WDE BootGuard and the OS X user login.

Question: Will the Snow Leopard release work when using virtualization
software on the Mac (running WinXP under Parallels 4.0)?
Answer: Assuming Snow Leopard is running native (not virtual), the version of PGP Desktop that supports Snow Leopard is supported regardless of whether there are other virtual partitions running.

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James Wright's picture

I have a question. I am a beta tester for PGP 10. My drive is encrypted using WDE. Will I need to decrypt my drive and uninstall the beta when the release is final?? Or can the final just be installed over the beta?

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Scott Ginsburg's picture

Any chance of getting Apple to distribute a PGP Kext with the OS .. Like they do for Softraid, so that when future OS upgrades come out that require booting form the DVD, we can be prompted during the install for out PGP encrypted boot disk to be mounted and eligible for OS upgrade?

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Shilpi Dey's picture

If you have a trial or beta or subscription, all you need to do is enter a new license.
If after the beta has ended, no new license is added, then upon authentication to the system at BootGuard, the system will begin decrypting.

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Risto Tolonen's picture

I have few quick questions before diving further into the PGP beta ...

What happens at the end of the 30 day period if 10.0 release is not available for purchase by then? Can the user obtain an extension on the beta or use another beta license?

Can Beta testers buy a 10.0 license in advance of the final release?

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Rolf Wagner's picture

Upgrading any Operating System when a disk is encrypted is always complicated and is very dependent upon the details of the OS upgrade. Upgrading the Mac OS X 10.5 to 10.6 requires that the disk be fully decrypted.

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Rolf Wagner's picture

Yes, you will need to fully decrypt and uninstall PGP Desktop.

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ROn Gibson's picture

I did the uninstall of PGP 9.9, then upgraded to MacOS 10.6, downloaded 9.12 installed it and I still get PGPError #66 when trying to encrypt my drive. What gives?

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Doug McLean's picture

Per the beta evaluation agreement, the beta the beta license is valid for 30 days after which the license will expire. Any WDE encrypted drives will automatically decrypt at the point the license expires. We will make version 10.0 available to all users simultaneously.

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Doug McLean's picture

As we've stated, PGP Desktop version 9.12 does not support Snow Leopard. We will be releasing a version of PGP Desktop (version 10.0) which will support the changes Apple made to the OS.

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B2B Tech Talk » Apple breaks Mac security again by not playi's picture

[...] left Mac users hanging. The company’s previous version of Whole Disk Encryption for the Mac did not work well with the original Snow Leopard upgrade, causing a similar potential data-loss problem. PGP users [...]

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JetForMe's picture

What's the status of PGP Desktop support for OS X? I have some PGP Disks I want to decrypt (not whole disk ecryption, just .pgd files). I have Mountain Lion.

 

I can't find the product on Symantec's website, nor can I find a way to contact appropriate support.

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