Avid Mac Boot Issues (But really it’s Chrome Keystone)

Late last night a number of Avid Mac users started reporting licensing errors and then boot issues with the Mac Pros. Through out the day, a number of Mac admins and Avid technical support teams have been trying to trouble shoot the issue, and thanks to Mr. Macintosh, it appears that a silent update for Google’s Chrome Keystone application is the source of the issue.

Symptoms:

  • Avid Media Composer or ProTools will throw a licensing error, usually involving the key work “ilok”.
  • Rebooting the Mac will cause a boot loop, where the Mac will restart and users will get the Apple loading screen, but crash or kernel panic about 2/3 of the way through the boot process.

Affected Systems:

  • Users running MacOS 10.9 – 10.10 and those who have disabled SIP protection on MacOS 10.11-10.14

Solution (Courtesy of Mr. Macintosh):

1. Boot into Recovery
2. Launch Terminal
# chroot /Volumes/[affected install]
# mv var vv
# ln -s private/var var
# chflags -h restricted /var
# chflags -h hidden /var
# xattr -sw com.apple.rootless "" /var
 remove launch agents from /Users/[affected user]/Library/LaunchAgents/
- com.google.keystone.agent.plist
- com.google.keystone.xpcservice.plist
# exit
(recommended) # csrutil enable
8. Reboot

Apple created SIP for this very purpose, and it is highly recommended that you leave it on to avoid unwanted issues such as this.

If you already have a machine that was affected, and the above solution is not working, reinstalling MacOS from the Recovery Console should also solve the issue. Just be sure to enable SIP so you are protected in the future.

I’ll update with any further information as I receive it. Good luck!

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