Hollywood Kernel Panic

Hollywood Kernel Panic

Last week there was a panic in the edit rooms from Los Angeles to Budapest. Apple computers running Avid Media Composer were getting an error message relating to a dongle, and upon restart the computers would not boot up.

This issue was solved. Google had pushes an automatic (and hidden) update to Chrome through its Google Chrome Keystone updater. The update was damaging the macOS file system, causing what’s called kernel panic. Here is Google’s explanation. https://support.google.com/chrome/thread/15235262?hl=en&fbclid=IwAR1AzJ-tvj5fYDLhF-nKek_tjWli3OW5XCGCArowY3EKJyGjOTKtIh9M-V0

This corruption only happens on macOS systems that did NOT have System Integrity Protection (SIP) running. SIP was added the Apple operating system starting with macOS 10.11 El Capitan.

Avid sent out an early email blast and Facebook post with a video of CEO Jeff Rosica explaining they knew of the problem and were immediately investigating.

It is not caused by Avid Media Composer. Nor is it caused by macOS. It is just that most Hollywood post uses Avid, mostly on Apple hardware, and some systems have SIP turned off. Certain older hardware can’t be installed with SIP turned on, because their drivers aren’t ‘signed’ or approved.

How do you know if you have the problem? There are three positive signs. 1) a VAR folder appears on the boot drive root, 2) an iLok error message appears, and 3) in the User Setting you are listed not as ‘Admin’ but as ‘Standard’. If you don’t have those three, and SIP is enabled, you are safe. After acknowledging that their update “may” have caused a problem, Google has pulled this update.

Do the following to make sure you are safe.

Test to see if your SIP is running. In the program Terminal, type the command: csrutil statusĀ  – then hit Return. If the response is ‘enabled’, your computer is safe. And you can turn wifi back on.

Then there are two files to delete, that prevent Google automatic updates.

In the Finder, hold down Option and click on the Go menu. Choose ‘Library’. Open the folder ‘LaunchAgents’. Delete the following files from this folder.

com.google.keystone.agent.plist
com.google.keystone.xpcservice.plist

And breathe easier.

Harry Miller, ACE
Editor Treadstone (and lots of other cool stuff)