Mac Software Update Not Working – Solution

Recently a lot of Mac users are complaining that the software update program is not working correctly and I also ran into this issue today. It just tells you “your software is up to date” but obviously there’s some software not up to date. For example, I opened iTunes and it told me there’s a newer version of iTunes, would you download it? I clicked “download” and the software update app opens but it told me that there’s no update – that made me crazy.

I was not alone. Someone already complained in apple’s support forum. I looked through the replies but found nothing that worked, including deleting files. After investigating the problem for minutes, I found that the software update app downloads information from, but the resolved IP for me is not working – as it’s CDN, users at different locations may get different IP addresses.

The solution is simple – add the following line to your /etc/hosts file:

and go back to check software update.

For readers interested in the details, here is the dig result on my machine:

$ dig

; <<>> DiG 9.6.0-APPLE-P2 <<>>
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 18722
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 5, AUTHORITY: 2, ADDITIONAL: 2

;       IN  A

;; ANSWER SECTION:    1178    IN  CNAME 279 IN  CNAME 19178 IN CNAME 279 IN CNAME   1179    IN  A

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:      59910   IN  NS      59910   IN  NS


;; Query time: 6 msec
;; WHEN: Sat May 15 23:33:33 2010
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 305

So might be an expired domain! Look at its whois information:

Domain Name:

Whois Server:
Referral URL:
Status: clientUpdateProhibited

Expiration Date: 2011-04-30
Creation Date: 2008-04-30
Last Update Date: 2010-05-01

Name Servers:
See DNS Records

Information Updated: Sat, 15 May 2010 15:40:22 UTC

Notice that most complaints of software update started in May... I don't know the relationship between and Akamai CDN, but if is really expired, it is a serious fault. Apple is using Akamai as its CDN, and Akamai redirects some users to As I know, most of these users are in China, but some users in other countries are also affected.

Apple, please contact your CDN provider to solve this problem.

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  1. Hi Thinlight ,

    I changed my host file.
    When i ping swcdn it resolves the new IP adress.

    But still when i try a software update, it says everything is up to date…
    Too bad it doesnt work for me …

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