Known bugs in macOS Mojave 10.14.1: an incomplete summary

This article lists bugs which you and I have encountered in macOS Mojave 10.14.1 itself, rather than issues in specific third-party applications and other software.

iCloud Drive document sharing – versions erratic and unreliable

Although Apple has only recently documented that documents shared using iCloud Drive also share their previous versions, this may well have been present in High Sierra, and can work with Sierra systems too. However, the number of versions shown on different sharing systems is erratic and unreliable, and this feature can lose versions altogether.

Full details are in this article and followed up here. You should not rely on this feature working, particularly across different versions of macOS, and with iOS.

Thanks to Edoardo for first drawing my attention to this.

ssh – doesn’t conform to privacy setting rules

Although ssh works with Mojave’s privacy settings, it breaks their rules:

  • Unlike all other apps and tools, when it is not in the Full Disk Access list, it is given full disk access.
  • Unlike all other apps and tools, when you remove it from the Full Disk Access list, it is given full disk access.
  • Its access to protected data is controlled by an oddly-named stub, not ssh or sshd.
  • Its behaviour is not documented anywhere by Apple.

Full details are here. Apple is understood to be working on improving this for a future update to Mojave.

System Information – Legacy Software wrong and misleading

The information given about ‘legacy software’ in System Information is highly incomplete and misleading. Further details are here. Use 32-bitCheck (from Downloads above) instead.

Note that you cannot rely on Mojave to warn you of 32-bit software when you open an app: that only happens on the first occasion that an app is run after it has been downloaded from the internet. Existing installed apps generated no such warnings.

EFI version numbers – System Information and eficheck return different numbers

In 10.14.1, the EFI firmware version number returned in System Information has the form 96.0.0.0.0, but that returned by eficheck commands such as /usr/libexec/firmwarecheckers/eficheck/eficheck --integrity-check are different in form and content, e.g. IM171.88Z.F000.B00.1809251200.

Privacy protection – malicious apps can discover which apps have Full Disk Access

I gather that another bug has been discovered in the new enhanced privacy protection, in which a crafted app can obtain a list of those apps which have been given Full Disk Access in the Privacy section of the Security & Privacy pane. Apple has been informed, and a fix is expected in a future update to Mojave.

In itself, that information is of little use, but could be exploited by malware to ride on the back of an app which already has this access.

(Thanks to security researcher Phil Stokes at Sqwarq for this information.)

App Store – removes some recent updates once installed

I have noticed on several occasions that, when the App Store app has finished downloading and installing some updates, instead of them being added to the Updated Recently list in its Updates section, they simply vanish. This has happened in the previous App Store too, sometimes when an update has been pulled or a larger download has been required; neither appear to be the case here, it’s just that the update vanishes from the list.

Although not a major functional issue, this makes the list of recent updates completely unreliable.

App Store – search returns weird hits

When you enter some search terms into the App Store app, completely unrelated apps appear in the results. In some cases, these are additional to genuine hits, in others they just appear weird and unrelated. For example, searching on the word consommé (a type of soup) consistently returns an app which has nothing whatsoever to do with the word, nor does it appear in the info provided about the app.

Screenshot 2018-11-06 at 23.39

clover returns three genuine hits, and three spurious apps which are completely unrelated. This looks like the store’s metadata are corrupted with random terms.

Dark Mode – QuickLook and other bugs

If you use an editor such as my DelightEd which is designed to produce RTF which ‘works’ in Dark as well as Light Mode, then QuickLook thumbnails and previews switch contained text to white in Dark Mode, but retain a white background. This renders the thumbnail/preview useless in Dark Mode.

A similar problem with Dark Mode exists when you use Control-Command-D to show the definition of a selected word: the popover window is semi-transparent, which makes text in custom dictionaries visible only when viewed over a window with a white background (such as in TextEdit). If the underlying window is dark grey, then that text is almost invisible.

These are described in more detail here. There don’t appear to be any workarounds for these, other than switching back to Light Mode.

Thanks to Artyom for drawing my attention to the second of these.

Safari – errors opening local Home page, and others

If you set Safari 12.0 to open a local file as its Home page, this may cause an error when Safari first opens, and that error may in turn result in another error reporting that the error page can’t be found. Others also report Safari’s inability to search until a remote page has been loaded, and other potentially related issues. These are detailed here (see the comments there in particular).

Once Safari has started up and connected to a remote page, these problems usually vanish, so can be safely ignored. They also appear to occur most commonly when the Develop menu is enabled; turning that off may make them disappear, but you then lose the additional features of that menu. This bug was present in 12.0 and persists in 12.0.1.(Thanks to Manoli for pointing this out.)

Font Book – can’t disable or remove fonts in /Library/Fonts

Although Font Book used to be able to, and its Help book still claims that it can, since 10.14 (including 10.14.1) it has been unable to disable or remove any font stored in /Library/Fonts. It can currently only disable or remove those in ~/Library/Fonts.

The well-known workaround is to create the folder /Library/Fonts (disabled), or similar, and move fonts to that folder to disable them.

Appearance – grey/gray accent turns ‘traffic lights’ grey too

In the General pane, set the Accent colour to grey. Whether in Light or Dark mode, the ‘traffic lights’ at the top left of every window then show just three grey lights instead. Now which end was red?!

greylights

The only workaround is not to use the grey accent.

(Thanks to simweb for reporting this below.)

Finder – incorrect column width

This can occur when using Finder windows which are set to column view. When switching folder in the view, the rightmost column being displayed has excessive width, filling the Finder window, its divider being placed incorrectly at the right edge of that window.

findercolsbugmoj

This long-standing but intermittent bug dates back to Mavericks if not earlier, and I have whinged about it here and here. It was also present in every version of El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra. The only workaround is to select a different folder, then to select the correct folder again.

Bugs known to have been fixed from 10.14

Two of the three vulnerabilities in privacy protection appear to have been fixed. These include that discovered by Jeff Johnson, that of Patrick Wardle (according to Apple’s security notes, where it is listed as a vulnerability in the Dock), but not that in ssh.
Safari ‘smeared’ image previews during download.

(Updated 15 November 2018 with privacy bug.)