How to Launch AirPort Utility 5.6.1 on OS X 10.9 Mavericks

Apple changed the 802.11 framework that AirPort Utility 5.6 links against. The symbols exported by the new 802.11 framework don’t match the ones that AirPort Utiltiy 5.6 needs, so OS X can’t launch the app. 

However, it is possible to get the app to run if you have a copy of the old framework binary. The file in Mountain Lion is located in /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current. Ideally, save a copy of the Apple80211 file in there before you upgrade.

Once you have Mavericks, you can put it back in an alternate subdirectory of /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/, such as MountainLion:

cd /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/
sudo mkdir MountainLion
sudo cp ~/Desktop/Apple80211 MountainLion

 

It doesn’t have to be there, just somewhere. Once you have a copy of the old Apple80211 framework binary, you can inject it into the Airport Utility process instead of using the default 802.11 framework.

Open a new Terminal:

export DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES=/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/\
Versions/MountainLion/Apple80211
cd /Applications/Utilities/AirPort\ Utility\ 5.6.1.app/Contents/MacOS
./Airport\ Utility&

AirPort Utility 5 6 1 on Mavericks

AirPort Utility should have launched for you. You will still have the incompatible app overlay on the Dock icon but it should launch and work.

With that working, you can wrap the shell script in an Automator app that you can launch from Finder or Spotlight.

  • Launch Automator and create a new Application. 
  • Add a Run Shell Script action.
  • Paste in the script above.
  • Assuming the Run button works, save the app and copy it to your /Applications/Utilities folder.

Automator airport

For convenience, you can download and use the Mountain Lion Apple80211 framework binary and Automator app.

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