I’m writing this post to share my experiences, provoke some discussion and possibly offer some advice on macOS High Sierra and a number of recent reliability issues we’ve been encountering with it.
The operating system doesn’t seem to be handling its updates well. While software issues happen from time to time, it’s unusual to have six machines on the bench all at once exhibiting the same or similar problems, with the only common denominator between them being macOS 10.13. These machines are different models, from iMac to MacBook, from different locations around South Australia, some connected to WiFi and some connected to Ethernet, some accessing the internet via NBN and some via ADSL2+.
The computers stop booting after installing software updates. When booting the machines in Verbose mode, the computer repeats the same message indefinitely:
Process [x] crashed: opendirectoryd. Too many corpses being created.
Apple has not acknowledged the issue and has not offered any solution to it, but reinstalling the OS does not resolve the problem. The only surefire solution is to backup the volume, erase it, reinstall macOS and migrate the user data from the backup.
In the process of reinstalling the OS and reapplying the software updates, the computer can sometimes fail once again with the same issue if for whatever reason the update once again does not install successfully.
Because many Apple computers are configured to automatically install updates overnight, some customers return in the morning to find their machines unusable.
But it continues. I’ve installed the 10.13.3 delta update on some machines only to have the machine freeze on restart at the Apple logo, before the process bar appears and thankfully before the update starts installing so a hard reset allows the update to continue normally.
Overall, the issues in High Sierra seem to vastly outnumber the issues in its predecessors. Sierra is a dream in comparison. El Capitan not as much, and then Yosemite and Mavericks before it were also decent systems to use. (I’m still running Yosemite on my own machines, where security is no concern.)
Of course the machines out there running High Sierra that work fine never come in the door, so I never see them, only ever the ones that failed. The volume and consistent patterns of failed machines I do see that happen to run High Sierra however paint a troubling picture.
I hope whatever version comes next addresses some of these issues. At the moment, Sierra is still the version of choice, or Yosemite on those older machines without support for it.