El Capitan Means The End Of Mac Themes & Deep System Tweaks

Justin Pot 13-08-2015

About a year ago I discovered Flavours, a delightful tool to personalize the Mac desktop Top 7 Ways to Personalize Your Mac Desktop Want to make your Mac more personal? Check out these awesome methods for customizing your Mac theme and more. Read More . With it you could theme the Mac operating system, and all applications, by changing things like color schemes and the iconic top-left Apple logo.


Flavours broke when Yosemite offered a new look What's New In OS X 10.10 "Yosemite"? OS X is evolving both in terms of looks and features, and just like last year's Mavericks update, Yosemite will be another free download. Read More for the Mac. That’s to be expected: Flavours modifies system files to change the look of your Mac, and those system files changed completely with Yosemite. So the Flavours team got to work on a new version, which is just now available for $5, with a five day free trial.


The problem: it won’t work with El Capitan, at all, and neither will most customization software. The new version of OS X effectively kills this and other Mac customization software.

If you like customizing your Mac, Yosemite might be the last version of OS X that works for you. And that’s too bad.

A Delightful Way To Personalize Your Mac

Playing with Flavours was a lot of fun. You could browse a collection of 150 themes, setting them to be system-wide defaults in just a couple of clicks. Some offered expanded versions of Yosemite’s dark mode 10 Useful OS X Yosemite Features You Might Have Missed Ever since OS X Yosemite came out, everyone has been looking to see if they can find the features not so widely reported by Timmy up on his stage. Read More :



Others offered a touch of the organic:


There was a lot to explore, and it really did feel like you were making your Mac your own. It’s a feeling I’ve rarely had while using OS X — it actually reminded me of browsing beautiful Gnome themes 4 Drop-Dead Gorgeous GNOME Themes As an avid Linux user I know quite well how customizable my desktop really is. Whether it comes to the desktop shell, or the window borders, or the menu colors, or even the icon theme,... Read More back when I was primarily a Linux user. The ability to customize how the user interface on your Mac feels very… un-Apple.


So I guess it makes sense that Apple is killing off theming in El Capitan.

Apple Is Killing This, And Other Customization Features

So, what’s going on? Flavours explains on their website:

“Apple introduced a new security policy on OS X El Capitan, preventing every process (even privileged ones) from modifying system files, either on filesystem or dynamically at runtime. Unfortunately, with these security restrictions in place, this is the end of line for Flavours.”

Flavours homepage

The change looks like a good one from a security perspective — malware and hackers can take advantage of the same process to run exploits. But there’s going to be a lot of collateral damage, and not just for Flavours.

One of the most popular Mac customizations out there is Bartender, which helps you clean up your menubar.



It turns out that many of the features Bartender users love, such as moving and hiding the Notification Center widget, require additional steps to make work with El Capitan. Bartender offers instructions for achieving this, so it’s not a total loss, but you need to boot into Recovery Mode to follow them — a lot of effort to get a $15 program up and running.

El Capitan Means The End Of Mac Themes & Deep System Tweaks 1 mac spotlight plugins flashlight weather

Popular free programs are facing the same hurdle. We showed you Flashlight, which lets you add superpowers to Spotlight Add Superpowers To Spotlight With This Unofficial Plugin System Bring Google, Wolfram Alpha, the weather and just about anything else to Spotlight. Read More . Turns out it’s also affected by El Capitan’s changes, meaning Flashlight is going to become independent of Spotlight in the months to come. Developer Nate Parrot:


“Apple’s new “rootless” security system blocks code injection into system processes. Technically you can disable rootless – but I’ll have to agree with the TotalFinder devs that it doesn’t make sense to ask ordinary users to do this. And these security restrictions will only get tighter in the future – it doesn’t make sense to build a product around circumventing them.”

Flashlight developer Nate Parrot commenting on GitHub

Flashlight made Spotlight better, so to me this is a real shame (though I’m excited to see how well it works as a standalone project).

The EasySIMBL team has the same problem, meaning it may no longer be possible (or, at least, not easy) to customize everything about your Mac Customize Almost Anything On Your Mac With EasySIMBL From hiding the menubar when certain applications are open to embedding Instagram images within the official Twitter app, you can do things with EasySIMBL you probably didn't know were possible. Read More using that program. This also means all the ways to customize Safari The Ultimate Guide to Customizing Safari on Mac Make Safari an even better browser for your Mac by customizing it. Here's how to tweak it to your liking. Read More that depend on EasySIMBL are also going to break.

Put simply: customizing your Mac is going to become a lot harder and, in some cases, not even possible.

The iOSification of OS X?


Tech pundits have been predicting this for a long time, saying that Apple would slowly but surely lock down their desktop operating system in a manner similar to their mobile one. And it’s not as though this is a terrible idea: the change that prevents these customizations will also prevent a lot of malicious code from ever running on Macs.

But Mac power users, who have grown accustomed to making their Mac run exactly the way they want, are going to feel disappointed when their favorites tweaks and themes no longer work.

Workarounds will present themselves, but it might take a while. Now we want to know what you think.

Are you going to be putting off El Capitan until tools like these are easy to use? Or do you not care about customizations and other tweaks? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

Related topics: Mac Menu Bar, OS X El Capitan, OS X Yosemite.

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  1. YoBo
    July 12, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    You MacUsers brought this on yourself, so no pity for you :D

  2. Chris R
    April 1, 2017 at 3:02 am

    The big issue for me is that I cannot distinguish the sidebar icons for Downloads, Applications, and various folders from one another because they are all MEDIUM gray over somewhat medium gray. We need contrast, those of us who don't have the vision of a 28 year old Apple engineer, thank you very much. When the icons in the sidebar were different colors, I could easily pick them out. Now I have to LOOK each time.

    • PJ
      June 28, 2017 at 9:11 am

      Feel your pain. If you must stay on El Crap, you could download mySIMBL and install colorfulSidebar9 by Wolf. Can't say I like the modern icons, but at least it's colorful.

  3. ss
    February 20, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    why doesnt someone come up with a operating system similiar to os x, without infringing using the logo... take the power back

    • Zachary Weinstein
      October 2, 2017 at 12:30 am

      This particular tweak I do not really care about. However if this means that they are locking down macOS to the point of eventually removing file system access, I will have to move to windows, though I far prefer macOS in it's current state.

  4. Eric Baldwin
    December 8, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    I will not move to El Cap. I do not want iOS on my desktop computer. I use my desktop computer to do my business. I may be able to do my business with the Mac OS out of the box, but it is much more pleasant for me when I can modify the interface for my own comfort. I don't ask too much, I think. But the ability to soften the brightness of the interface by darkening the window elements, the ability to organize and simplify my menu bars and menus, and the ability to re-assign ALL the keys on my keyboard make my work life easier and I am not willing to give them up. I will continue to suffer the insufferable immovable Spotlight rather than continue on into a brave new straight jacket. I bought my first Mac in 1984. Customization used to be a Mac hallmark. Of course, that's when Apple actually listened to its customer base.

  5. mwaterous
    September 21, 2016 at 3:04 am


    • EC
      December 9, 2016 at 7:25 am

      Well, as someone who lives in the first world, it would seem likely that I would consider first world problems. That don't make it trash.

  6. Dave
    September 1, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    The fact that something as trivial an icon on the desktop is a system file gives me great pause. The kernel and other subsystems like the network should have nothing to do with the way a user chooses to interact with the computer. Either Apple has tightly integrated the desktop shell with the core os, or this is just a move on their part to remove customization options. Sadly I don't think the OSx team would have made that dumb of a mistake. This is Apple booting their own users out of the system.

  7. judyofthewoods
    August 27, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    I am still on Mountain Lion by choice - hated the look and feel of Yosemite and El Capitan, and rolled back. I customise a lot, even down to replacing the toolbar icons of some of the uglier apps, as well as folder icons. Can't live without ML Tweaks, BetterTouchTool and KeyRemap4MacBook, and I don't want some nanny wrapping me in cottonwool (or a straitjacket) for "my own good".

    My 2010 non-retina has had 6 years of very solid use and is still going strong, though I expect it won't for much longer. So I just splashed out on a 2012 non-retina MBP, the last of the solid, customisable machines which can still run with ML. Runs like a dream with the 16GB RAM and the SSD I gave it. I may well still run ML in another six years, and then may have to go Linux, when the last of the true Macs has died - unless Apple has a change of heart. Or go analog.

    • ML
      January 1, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      Me, too. Returned to Mountain Lion 10.8.5.

  8. deborinquen
    August 27, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Regretted my upgrade to 10.10 but managed to tweak it enough to make it work. Once I heard about SIP I knew I would either spend more time than desired to tweak or not be able to tweak all I want to tweak so I stayed with 10.10. Now, around the corner, is the rebranded OS X, now "macOS" 10.12. Neither 10.11 or 10.12 offer enough to warrant my abandoning my tweaked up 10.10, so with 10.10 I (and my other family members) will stay.

  9. Shangey Del
    August 25, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    I had a 2007 Mac Pro that couldn't install anything beyond Lion. And then only a couple weeks ago, Firefox could not be updated on it anymore. So the time had come I had to upgrade.

    I was considering buying a new Mac Pro (the garbage can cylinder kind), but didn't really want to spend $5000 on a new system that isn't really that much faster.
    The only reason why I kept with the Mac is because I use Logic Pro for the past 8 years, and starting over with Cubase or another music composition program will take almost a year to learn and familiarize myself with.

    It is curious, that my friend and I have both bought used Mac Pros for the first time in our lives.
    I bought a used 2010 Mac Pro, and it came installed with El Capitan OSX. My icons on the Icon Launch Bar can no longer be customized. I searched and found a way through booting into recovery mode, but that's unacceptable for such a basic change.
    And currently, the directory of my harddrive shortcuts does not match up with the Icon Launch Bar. For example, I have music icons in a folder, but the Icon Launch Bar is showing me my old icons, before I changed them around.

    If it wasn't for Logic Pro (that is only available on OSX), I would not have bought another Mac.
    From being disappointed with their hardware, now i'm seeing disappointment with their operating system.

  10. Middcore
    August 17, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    "You will use this product you paid a lot of money for the way WE want you to and thank us for the privilege, pleb."

  11. sassiebrat
    August 5, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Well, I finally had to download and install El Cap because Firefox is no longer supporting Snow Lep. I HATE EL C!!! What happened to Aqua??? This flat mess is awful!!! There are other problems too detailed to go into but it makes El Cap even more bad (worse). I have spent hours trying to get things to work in El Cap. Too bad!!!

  12. Anonymous
    July 26, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Why is it that software designers continue to remove options and think that everyone wants/needs the same thing? In older Mac OSes, for example, you could have a different background/color style for the menu bar and the dock. Now you can't - it's either light or dark for both. Various options I used in Safari, Mail, Calendar, the OS and more are now gone, some of which are useful and I miss. Why can't software designers add features but leave existing features alone?? The claim that they are doing this for security reasons is just B.S. - they could still leave the existing features and add new ones, and just give you the means through menu options to make changes like they always have, and like they still do. For example, the give you the ability to change the menu bar and dock background to "dark mode" but why did they have to remove the ability to change one and not the other? It doesn't make any sense from a security standpoint. It's just Apple falling in-line with what the other companies - Microsoft, Android, etc. do - they know better than you do what you want and they're only going to give you that and nothing more even if you proclaim, loudly, that it's not what you want. It's that "take-it-or-leave-it" attitude that pisses me off and there's now no alternative because the last company that allowed customization and choice (Apple) now doesn't.

  13. Vickie
    July 23, 2016 at 6:17 am

    I am visually impaired and despite Apple's few and very similar magnification options on El Captain, and other tweets like dark mode and Dock Magnification, the font is still very hard for me to read. I contacted Apple and asked if there was any way to changed the system fonts and of course they said 'no'. So I wrote to them explaining why I and others need at least some control over the customizations of our systems. I don't expect an answer, but the more people that contact them about this, then eventually they will have to do something if they want to keep their current customers and get recommendations for potential new customers.

    • Your Mom
      April 22, 2017 at 8:38 am

      Just use Ubuntu GNOME already. It is as polished (if not more) than / as MacOs, and is customizable through themes & icons & shit. Extensions also let one customize more than enough, its damn amazing.

      • Jim
        May 11, 2017 at 7:49 pm

        Can you run Ubuntu GNOME on an existing Mac? That's a significant hardware investment we're talking about.

        I have 30+ years of work and files all completed on various flavors of Mac OS, OS X, macOS, whatever. Mow many of them would Ubuntu GNOME be able to handle? Pretty sure there's no MS Office for Linux. (, yeah, I know, I know....)

  14. Ellen
    June 21, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    As a graphic designer I'm visually oriented and really benefit from custom icons and screens. I'm still using Lion, unwilling to lose this capability. We'll see how long I'll be able to do this. I do like the iPhone interface, but its colour icons are the navigation for the most part. It seems they could find a way to let us customize and separate that from security concerns - I think it's a branding issue with them, IMO. Oh well.

  15. Refereall
    May 30, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Fundamentally, the Apple v Microsoft debate focused on the difference between the way both companies saw business. Microsoft was all about unifying all personal computers under one platform, windows, and then using windows as a platform for third-party software developers to do as they please. Apple followed the old system of using software, OSX, to sell hardware, Macintosh, making it impossible to run OSX on non-apple hardware.
    Apple also wants to lock down the software so they can control the ecosystem on their terms. There are numerous advantages to this; if they can control everything, they can make sure everything works, instead of relying on third-party developers and hoping what they do works. At the same time, this means taking control away from users and forcing them to do it "the Apple way."

  16. Downunder
    April 11, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    With the advent of letter versions of Xcode with Interface Builder fully incorporated enabling automatic layout, Apples own internal designers have either been fired, or sent down to the public bar for a few too many drinks before work.
    Once upon a time interface designers were expected to read and apply Apple's own Human Interface design rules. Carefully researched and rigorously applied these provided an interface that not only was easy on the eye, but systematically easy to navigate. But now Apple has gone down a "style before substance" route that neglects such details as how a user interacts with desktops differently than a handheld, task differentiation,color perception, and variations in human physiology and psychology. All of which were considered in the development of the original human interface guidelines.
    Worse yet, although previous versions of the Apple, and Mac Desktop OSs permitted users to alter themes contrary to Apple's given (almost always disastrously - cf. Linux themes), at least the baseline interface was reliably aesthetic.
    "Aesthetic" by definition not only looks good, but also reflects good design, and feel, and works well. While it may be said -by some- that the new Mac look is attractive it utterly fails the works well test: note all the Apple users peering at the finder on heir 27" iMacs trying to find the column dividers when sorting files, or simply just trying to read finder text on screen.
    It also doesn't feel good because eyestrain is a common byproduct of struggling to see in no contrast environments. To say the accessibility feature resolves these problems is like saying Linux hasa pretty aesthetic interface. Linux is only aesthetic in purely engineering terms, not consumer experience. But then again Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan also are well engineered, but hard on the consumers eyes and brain.
    Dumbing down the interface to suit children who have grown up on iPods, is a farce. When children grow up so does their sense of aesthetics, or is Apple having a go at social engineering and attempting to maintain it's users in a perpetual state of childhood, or adult frustration. If either one can comfortably assume Apples stock will bottom out in the bearish future.

  17. silkythreads
    April 10, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    This cookie-cutter attitude from Apple is going to drive the user base to other options. If I/we wanted a cookie-cutter OS, we'd be using Microsoft products !

    • Stuart
      July 4, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      you can completely customise Windows you moron, typical Apple user.

  18. William
    April 7, 2016 at 10:13 am

    The new San Francisco was supposedly introduced to bring OS X in line with IOS.

    On IOS this font works fine for me, it's black on white or lightly coloured background, and my iPhone is about 12" from my eyes.

    On El Capitan the SF font is on grey/dark grey background and my monitor is at least 25" from my eyes, which really makes reading the system font very difficult and stressful on the eyes. And I have a retina monitor! This is a design flaw an nothing else.

    Apple Support have a page called "OS X El Capitan: Make it easier to see what’s on the screen", implying that Apple are aware of thse problems. So Apple, just fix it!

    I wonder if Steve Jobs would have put up with this?

  19. Homer
    April 5, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    I have held off upgrading from Mavericks expressly because of this. I hate, HATE the flat, over-saturated, cartoonish-crayon icons and dock, and I hate all-gray (or metal). So, I still run Mavericks with Flavours and a wood-tone theme.

  20. Raven
    March 26, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Apple *USED* to mean customization. I've been a MacHead since...oh, geez; System 7? The last few iterations of OS X have been serious backward steps in GUI design, as have the last few IOS releases.

    Frankly, the flat interface, the skinny fonts, and the stark white give me headaches (on my IOS devices, too!) This is not just a vanity issue, or a 'nest-feathering' issue, this is a core usability issue. So far, I am stubbornly clinging to Mavericks, but to be honest, I think Snow Leopard was the last decent GUI Apple put out. Yosemite and El Capitan look like the "Playskool Operating System."

    But I'm not about to saddle myself with Windows. It might be time to give Linux another look. What a shame; Mac OS was always about user empowerment.

    • Justin Pot
      March 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      Linux is certainly worth looking into for customization, but you're going to miss a lot of the polish. I found I agreed with your take on the look of Yosemite for about three days, and after using it for a while I find the old look to be old-fashioned/fisherpricy because of all the faux-metal elements. But I can really see where you're coming from.

      • Your Mom
        April 22, 2017 at 8:42 am

        People, has using too much of sub-standard Apple garbage ruint your brain? Linux is not missing polish at all. have you people even laid your eyeballs on the beautiful & polished GNOME Shell? its amazing!! AND, it is themeable. and forget themes, with extensions, one can change the way their GNOME works, but thats not to say the default sucks, because the default is equally comparable to mac. GNOME even has touchpad & Touchscreen gestures, an app store, and many games & apps. and some Adobe apps one can run on them through CrossOver / Wine.

    • Zephyr
      January 13, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      It's a real shame. While I don't mind the new aesthetics (after a period of about 6 weeks of 'what the hell did they do this for'), I am getting tad irritated by the removal of certain features or Apple's attitude to certain things.

      I was very happy with Windows, until Windows 8 arrived. It was at this point, I bought my first Mac running OS X Lion. I figured if I had to relearn how to use Windows, there was no harm in learning how to use a Mac. At the point I migrated to Apple I loved the operating system and the hardware - 2012 MacBook Pro is literally the best computer I have ever owned.

      However, Apple has now destroyed almost everything I liked about the hardware platform. Removing to option to upgrade components in favour of, if it breaks, just replace it - is ridiculous. Especially as a company that parades around telling us how 'green' they are. No company that cared about the planet would adopt a system that resulted in perfectly good hardware going in the bin, for the sake of one faulty component. Even if they recycle it with an army of little Apple robots, it's also the principle of being able to fix it yourself, without having to go to the Apple Store if you choose.

      Glued in batteries, hardware that cannot be removed all for the sake of making my device thinner is irrelevant to me.

      My next computer will be most likely be Linux based, but I would need to find a satisfactory laptop to run it on - unfortunately for me, I've now grown rather accustomed to the feel of aluminium...

      Apple is killing the Mac in order to make it more palletable to the iPhone/iPad user. Whilst I use an iPhone (and I do have an iPad, but don't use it), I use it completely differently to my Mac. iPhone - communication and occassional web browsing. Mac - getting stuff done. The touchbar thing just seems like a gimmick. Oh well, maybe if enough people ditch them, they'll see sense.

  21. retch
    March 12, 2016 at 4:06 am

    This will be my last Mac computer, since every tool I loved has been disabled. Good riddance, Crapple

  22. Jonty
    March 5, 2016 at 11:38 am

    This is sorely disappointing. First 10.9 removes the Mission Control Background, 10.10 goes flat and now 10.11 kills Flavours. This sucks!

    The best customisation I ever had is still with 10.8, Lion Designer and Flavours Classic. And now Chrome is asking me to leave that version and I don't want to! I won't!

    Updates be damned, my Mac is my digital _home_ and I wish to have it set out the way I like it the most. Is this too much to ask? Apparently the future is uniformed computer interfaces and (if you're lucky) a few pre-defined options that all look pretty much the same.

    • Justin Pot
      March 5, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      It's good to see some people are sad, most the comments seem to be aligned with Apple. It does suck, and I hope more customization options return with time.

  23. D34d$3c_
    January 27, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Complete and utter Garbage. Apple are simply locking the customer base out to simply homogenise the rest of the Apple range where the customer base is forced to buy the new piece of shit every vis a vis when ever the new release date is and you Suckers keep allowing it to happen.

  24. Carl Smith
    January 23, 2016 at 3:20 am

    Personal Opinion: The main reason Macs became popular is that serious users need a POSIX compliant OS, and Windows isn't one. When you're spending thousand of pounds on a laptop, you don't want to buy a Windows machine, with Windows keys and stickers and all that crap, and then replace the paid for Windows version with Linux, install the drivers etc. etc. It's just feels nasty. Also, it is helpful to have OS X or Windows occasionally.

    If Apple make OS X work like iOS, the devs and professors will just migrate straight back to Linux. Everyone else will follow over time, except for some of the iOS mugs and Apple's original base.

    Serious users will never use iOS for the exact same reason that they do use OS X: They want to write and run programs on their devices. I expect less than 5% of fully literate OS X users have iPhones.

    Spending a couple of grand on a laptop to make a fashion statement is fine if your Kim Kardashian, but that's not mass market, and will force prices up due to loss of scale.

    Apple have three options - keep the two operating systems separate, make iOS more like OS X or give up market share on desktop.

    • Justin Pot
      January 23, 2016 at 11:23 pm

      Going by your definition of "serious users", I'd guess they make up less than one percent of computer users overall. But I think you've got some insights here for sure.

      • Carl Smith
        January 24, 2016 at 10:45 am

        Justin - Yeah, you are right to mock that a bit, fair play. I was on my phone, and it was a bit of a stupid rant that I should have edited properly (and removed half of it). Thanks for seeing the point I was trying to make, despite the tone.

        • Justin Pot
          January 24, 2016 at 3:46 pm

          I'd never judge someone for taking the time to rant. :) I know I've got a few good points made poorly on this site.

  25. Ben
    December 5, 2015 at 3:09 am

    This was a nice article on this unfortunate tragedy in OSX customization...

    What's more unfortunate though, is that I'm actually the creator of the "Android L Dark" theme you showed a picture of above (the "expanded version of Yosemite's dark mode" theme), and I just happened to read this article in which you used a picture of my theme yet didn't credit me, or even link to it... and I'm sure Allan Neilsen would have appreciated some credit for his "organic" theme as well, even if it is free.

    Android L Dark: [Broken Link Removed]

    Naturesque: [Broken Link Removed]

  26. Thomas
    November 23, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Yeah I found out about this the other day when I wanted to get AHT installed in my library folder. This new thing is called SIP-System Integrity Protection. It is supposed to be a new security feature, so I guess it is not advised to turn it ott. If you want it it is pretty simple. Just boot in recovery mode and use a terminal command. This can be done temporarily until you install your stuff I guess. Then it can be turned on again.

    • DigiFreak
      January 5, 2016 at 9:32 pm

      Good thought but some customization programs won't even run properly anymore such as LiteIcon. Even though I turned off SIP with the Terminal command, LiteIcon would install into the Applications folder but wouldn't execute properly. My favorite wood-grained drive icons are history!!

  27. Anonymous
    August 14, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Actually this is wrong, these kind of softwares can run even on El Capitan, Bartender lost support for system icons, but they found a workaround to allow their app to control them again. You have just to disable rootless protection, install a little agent, and then enable again the rootless protection.

    If this is not enough, you can just disable rootless protection and get access to the entire file system as was before EC

  28. Anonymous
    August 14, 2015 at 9:45 am

    I remember back in the days of System 7-9, and extensions, shared libraries, etc. And the frequent crashes, as these things invaded memory space all over. And I remember the days of the Input Managers under X, and those "extensions" that took advantage of those, and the weird app disappearances, and other odd behaviors, as, once again, extensions invaded others' memory space.

    I'm sure things have gotten better with the apps mentioned in this article, but the one thing I took away from the input manager debate. I had some installed, and used them, but the more I learned about them, how they work, and the risks (and the downside--the weird app quits, etc.) that I decided then to just give such tweaks and customizations up for good. Ever since then, I tend to run a relatively clean system. Yeah, I have things like F.lux installed, and DropBox (wonder how DB will work now?) but I have tried to hold onto these things loosely, as if any one of them give me pause, either by seeming to slow down my system, or behaving flakey or interfering with other apps, they are gone. I've gotten rid of several because of this. I find that, long term, what I give up in customizability and flexibility--making it "mine", I gain on the other side--speed, stability, and frankly, much less time spent trying to "make things work." I have learned how to maximize what Apple gives us, and use tools that work the way Apple prefers they work. It does help a lot at the end of the day.

    (and this is from a guy who used to have two or three rows of icons on the bottom of his OS 9 Boot screen on a 14" monitor)

    I like to run Linux, too, and have discovered that running a simpler DE, without a lot of bling also works better. In fact, I kind of like using a WM instead--or LXDE, xfce. KISS is a good philosophy.

  29. Anonymous
    August 13, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    I will hold off until I can determine how to hack the font. I believe that the new system font (san fran?) is a bit retro for my tastes. Reminds me of the look of a Mac Classic. Hey Apple, if you're going to turn back time on the font, why not at least give us back the rainbow Apple logo?

  30. Anonymous
    August 13, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Why would you choose Apple products if you want customization? The principle of Apple products is "it just works". Moreover, I found customization is temporary, after all I just want my devices to work so I can get sh*t done and then get away from them.

    • Justin Pot
      August 13, 2015 at 6:42 pm

      Enjoying Apple products doesn't necessarily mean you don't want to customize things, does it?

      • Anonymous
        August 13, 2015 at 7:37 pm

        Because Jobs said so. Sheeple want all their Macs and iThings to look alike.

      • Anonymous
        August 14, 2015 at 1:17 pm

        iOS certainly has almost no customization options. That's great for people who just want to know one way to do things, but it's not much good for those of us who are unsatisfied with "acceptable" defaults.

        I'm not much of an OSX user and most of the customizations I make on my personal Mac are done by removing Apple software so that I can have an experience more like working on a Unix workstation. But I still find it insulting. Users of full-featured desktop OSes should be given options and interfaces to control OS components, not forced in to the One True Way.

  31. Anonymous
    August 13, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    I used Flavours for a little while but eventually disabled it. In the end I don't care what the OS looks like as long as it if functional.

    Here is the thing though. Customization is such a small thing when compared to security. Yes, there are some truly useful apps that will have to make changes or in some cases will simply give up, but for me to know that I am not open to malicious code, I will gladly make the trade.

    • Justin Pot
      August 13, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      The tradeoff might well be worthwhile, but it's a little sad to see things like Flashlight stop working. We'll see how it all works out, I guess.

    • Anonymous
      August 20, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Agreed – A tricked out OS at the cost of security is something that I am not interested in.

      I'm not entirely sure what the fall-out of this will be for me. While I'm not into themes and such, I do like to tweak my system a bit to be more productive for my workflow. I expect that some tweaks that I enjoy will be casualties of El Capitan. :-(