experience and tips for joining the OS X beta program

Apple has rolled out the OS X beta program for all who wish to join. This is my personal experience and tips for others who might want to join. The first thing I did was back up my system. Although a partition was unlikely to affect my existing data, it is still a system modification with the chance of something going wrong. Next, I exported my Voiceover preferences to a flash drive. This can be done by going to Voiceover utility, and pressing command shift E. Then, just select the drive and your settings will be exported. I prefer this method over portable preferences, because I could make these settings permanent on the newly installed copy of OS X that would become the system for beta testing. After that, I went to partition the drive. I gave my second partition 50 gigabytes from a 500 gigabyte hard drive. However, once I hit partition, I got an error saying that filesystem verification failed. After restarting the computer and checking the hard drive, finding no problems, I finally found a problem with my startup volume, Macintosh HD. I then went into recovery mode by restarting the computer while holding command R and repaired the volume, which partitioned successfully on my next try. Then, from the recovery application selection table, I selected reinstall OS X. In the installer, I selected my new partition where I was going to be testing beta software. After clicking install, I got an Apple ID sign in prompt. For some reason, Voiceover wouldn't focus the keyboard in the text field to enter the Apple ID. I had to use the trackpad to navigate to the field, which then seemed to work. Then on to the password field, something that should be easy with Voiceover but in this instance, was nearly impossible with the awkward split of focus between the installer window and the sign in dialog. The VO shift space keystroke for some reason seemed to get it in the game and I was able to enter my password and proceed with the installation. I would recommend using the Mac Appstore for this. Voiceover was quite buggy in the OS X installer with the recovery HD. Once installed, it restarted to the normal setup assistant. I elected to transfer some basic settings from my primary partition, and happened to find another bug with Voiceover. In the transferring your information screen, there was no information but a busy progress indicator. With the trackpad, I was able to move my finger just right to find a time remaining ticker. This was not navigable with the keyboard or trackpad flicks. You just have to move your finger around to focus on it. Once setup, I plugged in my flash drive and imported my Voiceover preferences I had exported from my primary system. When all that was done, I went to the OS X beta program website, https://appleseed.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/ and signed in with my Apple ID. I then excepted the agreement and downloaded and installed a simple utility that shows prerelease versions of Apple software in the updates panel of the Mac AppStore. From there, they can be downloaded and installed like any other software updates.

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2 Comments

So you first installed a OS

So you first installed a OS lijke the main on (identical version) and latter on you updated this second OS to the beta?

I first installed a fresh

I first installed a fresh copy of OS X on my second partition. This would then serve as the one with the utility I downloaded that could receive prerelease versions of beta software. After the installation of a beta version of OS X, there would be two versions on my system. One being the shipping version and the other being the prerelease version used for testing purposes.