Category: Apple/Mac (page 2 of 60)

OS X operating system, Apple Mac apps, Mac OS X Server, iOS Devices; iPhone & iPads, Apple Watch, Apple Computers; MacBook, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac mini, Apple Accessories; AirPort, Time Capsule, Apple display

Warning: Apple Server 5.4 removes file sharing

Server 5.4 was recently released, which requires Mac OS 10.13 or later.  Older versions of the Server app won’t run on High Sierra, so if you upgrade a Mac “server” to 10.13, you must additionally upgrade the Server app to 5.4.

As crazy as it may sound, Apple has removed many core features in Server 5.4, including: File sharing, Caching server, Time Machine backup server, FTP sharing, and Xcode Server.

Yes, you heard me right, Server 5.4 no longer provides the option to setup network file shares!

Furthermore, if you had previously setup the Server app to serve out these features that were removed, then upgrade to High Sierra and Server 5.4… too bad, you lose!

Apple is downplaying this change, dismissing most of it as a sidenote saying “Caching Server, Time Machine Server, and File Sharing advanced options are now built directly into macOS”.  This translates to the Sharing system preference pane in High Sierra has few new features.  It now includes an option for enabling a Content Caching service, plus a non-intuitive process* has been added for configuring a network Time Machine destination or advanced file sharing.

So that’s it for me, Macs are officially out of the game when it comes to file servers.  Apple has further pushed themselves away from this segment of the Enterprise market. The Server app has become a tool targeted at Profile Management (pushing configuration profiles to iOS devices).

*I’m not recommending a Mac running High Sierra be utilized as a file server or network Time Machine destination, but the process for accessing these configuration options is worth sharing.  From within the Sharing system preference pane, enable file sharing and add a shared folder.  Now control-click on that shared folder and, select Advanced Options from the contextual menu.

History lesson
Apple’s last server operating system was Mac OS X Server 10.6.  Back in the late 2000s this was a robust server offering, and it came with a price tag of $999 for an unlimited license (then you had to spend 2-4k for an Xserve to run it on!).

In 2012 Apple introduced their $19.99 Server app, which can be installed on any Apple hardware including Mac minis.  The capabilities of the Server app were diminished, and it was clear that Apple had removed themselves from the Enterprise server market.

Apple’s $19.99 Server app has been upgraded over the years, and some features were dropped along the way (like Workgroup Manager support in Server 4).  Even so, if properly configured the Server app could do one thing well… share files out over the AFP protocol to a small group of Macs.

The Server app could also perform a lot of other “server” functions too, like mail or DHCP services, but personally I rarely recommended these capabilities because I felt they were afterthoughts and not well supported by Apple.  My mentality was “you get what you pay for”, so getting a solid Mac file server for less than $20 was pushing things anyway.

R.I.P. Office for Mac 2011 – No High Sierra Support from Microsoft

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 has officially reached end of life, and Microsoft is no longer supporting or updating it.

Furthermore, Microsoft has stated that Office 2011 apps have not been tested with Mac OS 10.13, and that users should upgrade to Office 2016 for High Sierra compatibility.  While Office 2011 apps may appear functional to one degree or another after upgrading to Mac OS 10.13, it is not a supported configuration, and should be considered use-at-your-own-risk.

High Sierra APFS conversion formula

Upon installing High Sierra, if the boot volume is a SSD it will be automatically converted to the APFS format.  If the boot volume is a HDD or Apple Fusion Drive, it will not be converted and remain formatted as HFS+ (Mac OS Extended).

SSD is any solid-state drive (a.k.a. flash based storage), HDD is a traditional spinning hard drive, and Apple Fusion Drives are a combination of the two.

This means that depending on the Mac’s hardware configuration, High Sierra may be running on either APFS or HFS+.

There is no way to opt-out of 10.13’s APFS conversion of SSD boot volumes, and both Apple OEM and internal after-market SSDs are treated the same.  If everything goes smoothly, no data is lost during this conversion.

If the Mac has additional internal or external volumes, they will not be converted to APFS during the High Sierra install, even if they are SSD.

Apple has also committed to making APFS work with Fusion Drives in the near future.  When this happens a High Sierra update will likely also convert them.

HDDs can manually be converted to APFS, but beta testers have reported poor speed and boot volumes stability.  It is unknown if Apple will be able to address this in the future.

Checking volume format for APFS or HFS+

In High Sierra you can easily determine if a volume is formatted as APFS or HFS+ (Mac OS Extended) by using the Finder to highlight the volume name, then click on File->Get Info, and see what’s listed as the Format.

Determining the format type is an important High Sierra troubleshooting step, because depending on the hardware configuration some Macs running 10.13 will be booted from APFS and other will be booted from HFS+.  These file systems are very different under-the-hood, and apps may exhibit problems with one but not the other.  For example, the automatic backup option in Quicken 2007 is reported to fail with APFS, but works with HFS+.

Time Machine can’t backup to APFS

Time Machine only supports backing up locally connected volumes formatted as HFS+ (Mac OS Extended).  If you attempt to select an APFS volume in High Sierra as the Time Machine backup destination, you will be prompted to erase the drive because “it has an incompatible file system”.  Erasing/re-initializing is the only way to get change from APFS back to HFS+

APFS drops support for AFP shares

If you turn on File Sharing (from the Sharing system preference pane) on a Mac running High Sierra, and select a folder to share that resides on a APFS formatted volume, it can only be shared out as SMB.  Selecting a folder to share that resides on an HFS+ formatted volume will allow it to be shared as either AFP or SMB.

Illustrator issues with High Sierra

Adobe has posted a list of known issues with Illustrator (CC 2017.1 or earlier) and Mac OS 10.13 High Sierra.  Problems currently include screen rendering glitches with some GPU cards and unexpected behavior when using the Color Settings dialog box.  These issues will be addressed in a future Illustrator CC 2017 update.

Photoshop issues with High Sierra

Adobe has posted this recommendation and warning regarding attempting to run older versions of Photoshop CC with High Sierra: “Adobe strongly recommends that customers update to the Photoshop CC 2017 release prior to updating to macOS 10.13 (High Sierra). Older versions of Photoshop CC were not designed, nor extensively tested to run on macOS High Sierra. Additionally, we strongly recommend that customers do their own testing on a non-production partition to ensure that new operating systems work with their current hardware and drivers (printing, etc). You may wish to remain on an older version of the OS that is compatible with prior versions of our software.”

Photoshop (CC 2017 or earlier) will fail to enter full screen mode if the Dock is shown.  This problem does not occur if the Dock is set to “automatically hide and show”.  This issue will be addressed in a future Photoshop CC 2017 update, and Adobe has workaround posted here.

InDesign issues with High Sierra

Early adopters of Mac OS 10.13 High Sierra discovered that after working in InDesign (CC 2017 or earlier) for a few hours, the cursor would appear as a pixelated box.  This issue has been resolved by Apple’s High Sierra 10.13 Supplemental Update.


High Sierra not compatible with older Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X

High Sierra is only compatible with very recent versions of Apple Pro Apps, including Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X.  Users of older Apple Pro Apps may need to buy new versions.

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