APPLE MACINTOSH COMPUTER SUPPORT PAGE for LION (currently 10.7.5)
Released on 20 July 2011
Other versions of Mac OS X supported in this website:
Yosemite (10.10) users, utilize the Yosemite support page
Mavericks (10.9.x) users, utilize the Mavericks support page
Mountain Lion (10.8.x) users, utilize the Mountain Lion support page
Snow Leopard (10.6.x) users, utilize the Snow Leopard support page
Leopard (10.5.x) users, utilize the Leopard support page
Tiger(10.4.x) users, utilize the Tiger support page
IF the lack of Lotus Forms and ApproveIt for Mac "bothers" you, I recommend you contact the Army Publishing Directorate and let them know your thoughts.
Army migrating to Adobe fillable forms. Army Publishing Directorate will begin conversion of the Army's inventory of existing IBM Lotus forms to PDF in the first quarter of FY 14 with a completion by the end of FY 14. Beginning in FY15, Lotus Forms and ApproveIt / eSign software will no longer be supported. This is great news for Mac users since Lotus and ApproveIt has never worked for them. Please know that the current EES system requires Lotus Forms and eSign to allow signing of OERs (currently) and NCOERs (in the future).
The 4 current CAC Types are...
Look at the back of your ID card above the black strip for either 1 of these
Find out how to flip card over video
How to make a web server think your Safari web browser is Internet Explorer
How to configure Firefox on your Lion Mac video (using CACkey)
The following information is provided for your situational awareness while setting up the utilization of your CAC on your Mac. It is updated as additional information is available and your input is appreciated for solutions not outlined here. Installation instructions can be found below.
ActivClient is a middleware program used by the DoD to facilitate the cross talk between Windows computers and your Common Access Card. It was offered for the “Tiger” release (Mac OS X 10.4.x) and is not compatible with Lion (the current release of Mac OS X (10.7.x)). The program is available for purchase through the manufacturer, and is not available for download from DoD. The use of this program is not supported here for Apple operating systems, as it is not required and won't work with Lion (10.7.x).
Lotus Forms is currently only available for Windows. You will have to install Windows in a virtual environment (read below) or use Apple's native Boot Camp to be able to use Lotus Forms and ApproveIt. NOTE: Your computer must have an Intel processor.
A version of Lotus Forms is available for your Mac (Intel processor only). So, IF you only need to complete a form (and NOT sign it) give it a try.
NOTICE: The links to vendors / products is an attempt to save you time searching for the specific item, by linking you directly to the item shown. You will notice I have multiple [when I can find] vendors to choose from. I have no personal preference as to who you decide to purchase from. I am not endorsing any particular product, I'm merely letting you know what works and where you can get it from.
We know you have made a conscious decision to “be a Mac,” but the Government has not, and therefore the easiest solution for some problems, such as: Digitally signing forms with Lotus Forms and eSign, some websites (including digitally signing / encrypting emails in OWA), is to use Windows through a Virtual Machine, such as Parallels (discounted prices), VMware Fusion (Parallels vs. VMware comparison), or VirtualBox or through Apple’s native Boot Camp (alternate guide). This will require you to have a legal copy of Microsoft Windows. With these programs, you can install the ActivClient, Lotus Forms, and ApproveIt software and also utilize all the DoD tools from your Mac. The benefit of the Virtual Machines over Boot Camp is that it will allow you to run Windows as an additional program (without restarting your computer) and keep OS X running the entire time.
Discounted prices on these programs below can be viewed here
NOTE: If your your CAC reader is not being recognized by your virtual Windows, follow this guidance:
VMware Fusion: From the the menu bar, select Virtual Machine, then USB. Find your CAC reader and select it.
Parallels Desktop - (In Coherent mode): Click the red parallel lines in the menu bar, Select Devices, USB, find your CAC reader and select it.
Parallels Desktop - (Not in Coherent mode): Simply plug your reader into the computer and select whether you want to use it in Mac or Windows. You may also need to click the word Devices in the top row, USB, then your CAC reader.
VirtualBox: Click the word Devices (at the top of the screen), then USB Devices, and select your CAC reader. When you want to use it on your Mac, go to the same location and remove the checkmark. If you receive an error message when trying to select the reader here follow these instructions:
* In the VirtualBox GUI, click on USB (small icon in
the list of devices).
DTS (Defense Travel System) See the DTS specific page for support
DCO (Defense Connect Online) works with your Lion Mac since the servers have been updated. Make sure you select the check box to Allow all applets from "www.dco.dod.mil" with this signature and select Allow. You "should" now see a Java based screen with logon / password, or CAC PIN. Select the CAC PIN option.
CAC Readers: With a variety of CAC readers available today there are also a variety of issues. The SCR series of CAC readers work very well. The SCR-331 reader may need a Firmware Update. See several different models of USB CAC readers here. You will see a small note on some of the readers to show you how to make them compatible with your Mac. Here is a web page that lists all known CAC readers and whether they are supported, should work, or unsupported with the Mac OS'.
HQDA Citrix access information for your Mac How to guide
DoD Root certificates on your Mac only go up to CA 26, so, if your CAC has a CA between 27-32 you need to install all of the CAs 27-32 and CA Email 27-32. You can download the AllCerts.zip file, then double click each certificate in the folder.
Outlook Web Access / App (OWA): The use of OWA on Mac currently has a known issue with time outs. Beware that when using OWA on your Mac that if you are inactive on the primary window, for example: the Inbox, while replying to an email, your browser may time out. On a Windows computer the ActivClient software maintains communications with the server and re-requests validation of your credentials. On a Mac this is not so, Safari will respond to a direct request for validation of your credentials, however it will not re-request that you verify as the server requires. Be sure that prior to selecting the Send button that you copy your work to the clipboard as you will most likely have to restart Safari and log back in. You also will not be able to digitally sign / encrypt / decrypt emails since the S/MIME software is proprietary for Microsoft Internet Explorer (32 bit) only, therefore, it doesn't exist for a Mac.
Internet Explorer Emulation (NOT applicable to OWA): If you visit a website with your Mac that states it can only be accessed via Internet Explorer, or some web pages simply won't work while using your CAC with Safari, please try this: Open Safari, Click on the word Safari (in the bar at the top), select Preferences..., Advanced, click the Show Develop menu in the menu bar box. Close Advanced screen. Now when you need to emulate IE, click on the word Develop (at the top), click User Agent, then select Internet Explorer 7 or 8. This was received from the Air Force IMA JAGs.
Air Force Users look here for some helpful information
Navy Users look here for some specific information
If you are still having problems, contact us.
If you have questions or suggestions for this site, contact Michael J. Danberry
Are you interested in subscribing to the CACNews email list?
Last Update or Review: Sunday, 22 February 2015 22:35 hrs
The following domain names all resolve to the same website: ChiefsCACSite.com, CommonAccessCard.us, CommonAccessCard.info, & ChiefGeek.us