Bringing back to life again the Airport Utility v5.6.1

I know this topic could be of interest to people who can’t read the original post in Spanish. So, I decided to provide a brief translation in English. Essentially the problem was about an unsupported version of the Apple’s Airport Utility which stop working, again. That version was particularly useful because it was the last one to support old Airport Extreme Base Station models.

AirPort Utility Icon

Previously, I was able to use the Airport Utility v5.6.1 in Mavericks (OS X 10.9) thanks to the instructions I found some time ago in a blog. Unfortunately, this utility stopped working again, sure due to the regular updates of the operating system. I was able to make this utility works again but this time required a little bit more effort as the previous one. So this is the story.

First, the Airport Utility v5.6.1 was showing a crossed circle. Current Airport Utility 6.3.2 version (in /Applications) has not this circle, so this was a sign of troubles.

Airport Utility v5.6.1 Airport Utility v6.3.2

As expected, this utility couldn’t be started.

Error message After some tries and manoeuvrings, I had this clue

dyld: Symbol not found: _wlScanAuthenticationModesArray
Referenced from: /Users/rob/Desktop/AirPort Utility Utility
Expected in: /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/A/Apple80211

Despite the referenced library was present, the reported symbol was not in there. So I’d proceeded to do these steps:

  1. I made a copy of the Airport Utility v5.6.1.
  2. I made a copy of /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework from an OS X 10.8 distribution I still have.
  3. Using I went were my copy of Airport Utility v5.6.1 was and I did the following (where <text> are values to change):

cd <path to Airport Utility v5.6.1 copied>
cd <name of copy>.app
cd Contents
mkdir Frameworks
cp -rf <source>/Apple80211.framework Frameworks
cd MacOS
install_name_tool -change /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/A/Apple80211 @executable_path/../Frameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/A/Apple80211 ./AirPort\ Utility
cd ..
sudo chown -R root Frameworks
sudo chgrp -R wheel Frameworks

It was necesarfy to do some adjustments in info.plist to avoid the error message in Finder. In this case, using XCode, I edited the file with right click (or cmd+click) to show the package contents

Finder, Show Package Contents

Inside Contents was this file. I looked for the key shown as BundleIdentifier, which value was change to The key Bundle creator OS Type code  with value 1wcu was changed to 2wcu. So these keys and values are now:



Finally, It was necesary to sign the application. For this, using Keychain Access, the Certificate Assistant was called:

Keychain Access

The certificate name can be anything…

Create certificate

Confirm the action …


… and done.

Certificate Assistant

After this, to sign the application …

codesign -s <nombre-del-certificado> -f <ruta y nombre de la copia de Airport Utility v5.6.1>.app

as example, where the copy of the utility was, this command was:

$codesign -s AirportUtilityv561 -f Airport\ Utility\
Airport Utility replacing existing signature

so this useful piece of software is working again:

Airport Utility v5.6.1I hope this was so useful for you as It was for me. Remember, these instructions are provided “as is” and you use them at your own risk.



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