Why is Docear not starting on Mac OS X?

Mac OS X 10.9.x requires all software to be signed, otherwise you might experience errors and warning messages when trying to start a software. Docear is not signed for Mac OS because Apple charges money for this. Hence, you might receive warning messages or a message that Docear is damaged when you try to start it.  The following solutions might help you. Please note that we don’t have any Mac for testing. Hence, all information is based on what users tell us. If you feel that some information is missing, misleading or whatever, contact us and provide some better information that we can put here.

  • When start Docear for the very first time, you need to change your security settings:  system preferences -> security -> allow apps from anywhere. You can also right-click the app, open it and select that you want to execute it although it is not signed.
  • When you already used Docear and upgrade to a newer version, OS X 10.9.x fails to verify the Docear app and reports that it was tampered.

To solve this issue you need to open a terminal shell and execute the following commands::

sudo spctl --list | grep Docear
This will return a line with an ID and some additional information like this: 3529[UNLABELED] P0 allow execute [/Applications/Docear.app]

Then you need to remove it.
sudo spctl --remove --rule 3529 # e.g. with an id of 3529. It may be different for you.

Next you have to tell the system to put Docear.app back in quarantine to test if the signature is valid again and we can use the right click method again.
xattr -rd com.apple.quarantine /Applications/Docear.app # your app location can be different.

Now the application will open when you right-click it and press OPEN.

Mac OS X 10.10.x (Yosemite): Since we don’t have a Mac for testing and developing, we can only report what users are telling us, and reports are contradicting. Some users use Docear successfully on Yosemite 10.10.x.  However, it seems that many users experience problems. Originally, we thought the problem was caused by one of the software libraries Docear is using (the OSGI framework) which presumably is not compatible with Mac OS X 10.10. There is a version of that library that is compatible with OS 10.10 but upgrading Docear would require massive changes. We currently don’t know when we will have time for this. However, as mentioned, some users run Docear successfully on Mac OS X 10.10 with the ‘old’ software library. One possible solution is explained on StackOverflow, with the solution being to downgrade your Java version (on your own risk).

So, all we can suggest is: Try to run Docear, maybe it works. If it does, let us know how you did it. If it doesn’t… come back in a few months and check if we upgraded Docear to the latest OSGI version, or have some other information on how to run Docear on Mac OS X 10.10.

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