macOS Sierra 10.12.5 update released (updated)

Apple has released macOS Sierra 10.12.5 update.

Reported improvements and fixes include:

  • fixes audio stutter on some USB headphones and speakers,
  • App Store improvements to support future software updates (whatever that might mean),
  • media-free installation of Windows 10 Creators Update using Boot Camp,
  • fixes a system date problem which could set the year to 2040,
  • fixes a kernel panic when starting up from a NetInstall image.

Significant security fixes include: in CoreAnimation and CoreAudio, privilege escalation in DiskArbitration, reading of restricted memory in HFS, crafted iBooks which could open arbitrary websites without user permission, or could execute code with root privileges, five kernel bugs (including one reported by Patrick Wardle), graphics drivers, apps able to escape their sandbox via several vulnerabilities, four bugs in SQLite. Further details are here, and for Safari are here.

It includes Safari 10.1.1, with many security fixes, and there is a matching security update for El Capitan and Yosemite (2017-002). There are also matching updates for Apple’s other operating systems, including iOS.

Installation of the update on this iMac17,1 with a half-empty 2 TB Fusion Drive took a little more than ten minutes. The sequence of events was strange:

  • an initial black screen, with a progress bar starting at about 32 minutes remaining;
  • after about 3 minutes, the display went completely black, and a multi-coloured circular pointer (not a spinning beachball, though) appeared briefly;
  • then there was the normal startup chime;
  • the black screen with progress bar returned, in continuation from earler, but with no time estimate;
  • after a total of 5 minutes elapsed time, the Desktop (in default settings) appeared for a couple of seconds; don’t get excited because that changed back to
  • a black screen with the progress bar, resuming with about 15 minutes remaining. This is the slow phase;
  • after a total of just over 10 minutes elapsed time, my normal Desktop re-appeared.

Your experience will of course vary, but this iMac has not apparently had any firmware update this time, and from the list of security fixes I doubt that any model should.

One feature/bug which has not changed since 10.12.4: trying to browse the log from a normal user account still results in completely empty logs. So it looks as if that is here to stay, I’m afraid.

Apple has also released standalone installers. The 2.15 GB regular ‘delta’ update is available from here, and the Combo updater is available from here.

I’ll be opening a new bug list for 10.12.5 in the course of the next day or two.