Andrew Clarke

systems architect, internet developer, team leader

Andrew Clarke

"transition is trying to modify the system network configuration" when upgrading to OS X Mountain Lion

July 27, 2012 · 3 Comments

Today is "upgrade to Mountain Lion" day.  First went my Mac Pro.  All went well, except for my Apache config files getting hosed, Mercurial needing a re-install, and probably other issues I'll find out about as I go on.  Next was my wife's MacBook Pro, which seems fine.  Last was my MacBook Pro.

After installing, I got the following message box:

"transition is trying to modify the system network configuration.  Type your password to allow this."

I hadn't encountered this on my first two installations, so I headed to to see what this meant.  The only result that came up was this one. at least lists this Apple Support thread.  "Better safe than sorry", I thought, so I hit "Cancel".  Immediately up popped this dialogue box:

"transition is trying to modify your user account.  Type your password to allow this."

I hit cancel for this one too.  Once into my MacBook Pro, I ran a "sudo find / | grep transition".  A bunch of stuff came up, but the only interesting entry was this one:


I headed over to my Mac Pro, already running Mountain Lion, on which I didn't receive these popups.  I checked the directory, and the files on that computer too.  I then decided to run it:

andrew@www:~$ /usr/libexec/transition
2012-07-27 13:51:32.895 transition[3583:707] INFO: Not signed into MobileMe, nothing to do.

It appears to be a program designed to move MobileMe to iCloud.  I'm not sure why it only requests permission occasionally.  Maybe it's a permissions problem.  Regardless, in my opinion (which you can take or leave), this seems to be a relatively benign set of popup boxes that Apple should have maybe encountered in testing and described a little better.

I've only used my MacBook Pro for a couple minutes so far with Mountain Lion, but I haven't found any problems yet.  Hopefully hitting cancel hasn't caused iCloud problems for me later on.


Tags: OS X

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Aram // Jul 31, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Hi Andrew,
    I had the same thing on both of my macbook pro's. On one of them I clicked cancel for both pop-ups and on the other one I put in my password. Both macbook's were already migrated over to iCloud. I haven't had any issues yet with iCloud. Have you encountered any?
  • 2 Andrew Clarke // Jul 31, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    I still haven't observed any adverse affects. Then again, I've still hardly used my MacBook Pro since switching to Mountain Lion, so that's not saying much.
  • 3 Caleb // Aug 1, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    I don't recall seeing these "transition" dialog boxes when I upgraded my MBP, but they did appear when my mac mini was upgraded. Googling brought me to your helpful post. Thanks for doing the background work on this.

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