Bundled software versions with Mac OS X

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Mac OS X ships with a large quantity of bundled software. A common complaint is that it comes with an old version. As a developer, I have to take into account that people use older versions of both the OS, and thus very old versions of bundled software. Let's look at Pyhton and Java, that comes with Mac OS X.

Python versions bundled with Mac OS X

You can easily check which python versions are bundled with Mac OS X at http://www.opensource.apple.com/darwinsource/. So far, Apple never updated the Python version using updates (e.g. Mac OS 10.4.0 and 10.4.9 contains the same version of Python). Surely this is done for quality assurance. And users who need a newer version, simply install it with MacPorts or Fink.

For fun, I also added the release dates of both versions. As you can see, Mac OS X typically ships with a version a couple of months old, but since it is not upgraded with Mac OS upgrades, the age grows to over 2 years old just before the next major version of Mac OS X is released. Also, Tiger was disappointing, since it came with Python 2.3.5, even though 2.4 was released on 30 November 2004, five months before Tiger.

Recent versions of Mac OS X come with multiple Python versions (this table only lists the most recent version), but so far no Python 3 version has ever shipped with Mac OS X, not even as a non-default version. This despite that Python 3 was already released on 3 December 2008, and Python 3.3 (which makes the transition from Python 2 to Python 3 easy) was released on 29 September 2012.

Mac OS X version Mac OS release date Python version Python release date
10.9 (Mavericks) 22 October 2013 2.7.5 15 May 2013
10.8 (Mountain Lion) 25 July 2012 2.7.2 11 June 2011
10.7 (Lion) 20 July 2011 2.7.1 27 November 2010
10.6 (Snow Leopard) 28 August 2009 2.6.1 4 December 2008
10.5 (Leopard) 26 October 2007 2.5.1 18 April 2007
10.4 (Tiger) 29 April 2005 2.3.5 8 February 2005
10.3 (Panther) 24 October 2003 2.3 29 July 2003
10.2 (Jaguar) 24 August 2002 2.2 21 December 2001
10.1 (Puma) 25 September 2001 not bundled
10.0 (Cheetah) 24 March 2001 not bundled

Java versions bundled with Mac OS X

Unlike Python, Apple does not directly bundle Java with Darwin (the OS), but as separate Java packages. In practice, this means that is less tightly coupled with the Mac OS X version, and updates of Java version happen disjunct of Mac OS X updates. Java Packages are typically updated using the Mac OS X Software Updater (that also takes care of security updated and minor Mac OS X updates). In addition, developers can download Java documentation that is not standard included with the OS.

Java Package Package release date Java version Java release date Note
Mac OS 10.5.0 2007-10-26 J2SE 1.5.0_13
Java for Mac OS X 10.4 Release 5 2007-03-08 J2SE 1.5.0_07 and 1.4.2_12
J2SE 5.0 Release 4 Release 2006-05-23 J2SE 1.5.0_06
J2SE 5.0 Release 3 Release 2006-01-10 J2SE 1.5.0_05
J2SE 5.0 Release 1 for Mac OS X 2005-10-04 J2SE 1.5.0_02
Java 1.3.1 and 1.4.2 Release 2 2005-10-03 J2SE 1.3.1_16 and 1.4.2_09
Java 1.4.2 for Mac OS X v10.4 2005-09-08 J2SE 1.4.2_07
Java 1.4.2 Update 2 Release 2004-10-05 J2SE 1.4.2_05
Java 1.4.2 Update 1 Release 2004-08-11 J2SE 1.4.2_05
Java 1.4.2 Release 2004-08-11 J2SE 1.4.2
Java 1.4.1 Update 1 Release 2003-09-02 J2SE 1.4.1
Java 1.4.1 Release 2003-06-11 J2SE 1.4.1
Java 1.3.1 Update 1 2002-02-01 J2SE 1.3.1