APFS in High Sierra causing problems for Unity Engine, Cities: Skylines, Civilization V, m...

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in macOS
Game development engine producers Unity has strongly recommended to its users to avoid the upgrade to macOS 10.13 for the moment, as despite the firm fixing a number of issues that plagued developers using the tool with High Sierra's beta releases, there are still some faults that need to be rectified to make the game engine stable on Apple's latest operating system -- and APFS is inducing problems in other game titles as well.




The iPhone Team Lead for Unity Technologies Mantas Puida advises on the company forum that its High Sierra upgrade recommendation is "better postpone it." A previous version of the post advises that there were "some issues" with the beta 1 release of macOS 10.13, which also advised holding off on upgrading until issues were fixed.

One major issue raised during the beta releases was of disappearing assets in Project View, which was found to be an interoperability problem between Unity and APFS, Apple's new file system. While patches for releases 5.5.4, 5.6.3, 2017.1.1 and 2017.2.0 RC 1 and later do fix the disappearing asset bug, Unity confirms there will not be any fixes to version 5.4.x for High Sierra, and that affected users will either have to upgrade their project to Unity 5.5.x and later or keep using macOS 10.12.

During the High Sierra betas, a number of forum posters found they could still use Unity by installing the tool and project files onto a secondary drive formatted as Mac OS Extended (HFS Plus), though it did not work for everyone.

While Unity has largely solved that problem, the firm advises there are still some High Sierra-related bugs that need squashing. Users are unable to use Local Cache Server in Unity, as this will crash the whole operating system, with the current solution being to disable it for the moment, though the remote version is said to "work fine."

Monodevelop, a customized version of an open source development environment that ships with Unity, was reported by users to crash at startup when in High Sierra, an issue that has also been fixed in Unity patches. Another Monodevelop issue, where the software crashes when it is dragged between monitors, has yet to be solved.

Puida does offer some general advise relating to testing beta operating systems, suggesting "Please consider installing it to a separate partition to not interrupt your everyday workflow." The same advice could be extended to newer versions of operating systems and software as a whole, especially when used in mission critical or production systems.

Issues with game engines and operating system updates are usually felt not only by developers but also by players. Reports from players of "Cities: Skylines" on Reddit, Steam, and in the AppleInsider forum mention problems with the Unity-based game, including glitches and freezes that appeared both during the High Sierra betas and after the public release.

A post on publisher Paradox Interactive's forum answering macOS user complaints about the game acknowledges the issues, advising it is being investigated. Current speculation indicates it is either an issue with Unity, linked to the existing High Sierra APFS problems, or a driver issue.

Firaxis and Aspyr title "Civilization V" is having issues with High Sierra APFS compatibility as well. The title, regardless of where purchased, either fails to launch or is crash-prone on APFS volumes. Some users have reported running the title from a HFS+ volume fixes the problem, with others getting no relief.

Numerous posts on the Steam forums raise concerns about games using Valve's Source engine, with reduced performance reported in titles including "Team Fortress 2," "Half-Life 2," and "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive." Aside from frame rate issues, some users also find that the Steam client itself is problematic following the move to High Sierra, with clients reporting they are not up to date, despite the user running the latest release of the software.

AppleInsider will continue to monitor this situation, and other compatibility issues that have been generated with APFS, and update accordingly.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,779member
    As it has been since the very first developer beta.  
    dysamoriacornchip
  • Reply 2 of 44
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,808member
    IMHO this is another red flag of concern about APFS reliability. The tolerance for bugs in such a critical operating system component should be as close to zero as humanly possible. 
    xzudysamoriaksec
  • Reply 3 of 44
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,408member
    It's a brand new file system, and while I think it's long overdue it's also been added to their OSes with great speed and competency. We saw iOS, tvOS, and watchOS devices get APFS during a point update in the early part of this year. I think it's clear that those OSes are comparatively simple and straightforward with less obscure and complex setups compared to a desktop OS. APFS has been great on my bootable SSD and my external HDD RAID; however, not my one bootable HDD, but that was an early beta so things could be different now. That isn't to say that having a problem with that one drive is something I should bitch about seeing as how Apple has been very clear about which setups should get APFS.

    dewme said:
    IMHO this is another red flag of concern about APFS reliability. The tolerance for bugs in such a critical operating system component should be as close to zero as humanly possible. 
    I'm confused by this statement. Do you think there are humans at Apple working to making bugs further away from zero?
    edited September 2017 RacerhomieXcyberzombiecornchip
  • Reply 4 of 44
    If only there was a way developers could have gotten a beta before macOS High Sierra was released.... oh wait.  :#
    dws-2DavidAlGregorysandorcornchip
  • Reply 5 of 44
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,307member
    dewme said:
    IMHO this is another red flag of concern about APFS reliability. The tolerance for bugs in such a critical operating system component should be as close to zero as humanly possible. 
    For sure... even though my 2009 iMac upgraded just fine to High Sierra and been running it trouble free since it became official, it took a big dump when attempted to do a clean install last night on it.  It was unable to create an APFS boot volume during the MacOS reinstall..

    First time I've ever had a problem with an OS install by Apple.  Ever.  I didn't hear any problems (outside of beta) about doing clean-installs with High Sierra, but warning to others not to do it just yet.  It could be a problem specific to my machine/configuration but those considering it should wait.  Obviously, Apple missed the QC train here.

    Attempting a work-around... crossing fingers.

    dysamoriapscooter63cornchip
  • Reply 6 of 44
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,530member
    sflocal said:
    dewme said:
    IMHO this is another red flag of concern about APFS reliability. The tolerance for bugs in such a critical operating system component should be as close to zero as humanly possible. 
    For sure... even though my 2009 iMac upgraded just fine to High Sierra and been running it trouble free since it became official, it took a big dump when attempted to do a clean install last night on it.  It was unable to create an APFS boot volume during the MacOS reinstall..

    First time I've ever had a problem with an OS install by Apple.  Ever.  I didn't hear any problems (outside of beta) about doing clean-installs with High Sierra, but warning to others not to do it just yet.  It could be a problem specific to my machine/configuration but those considering it should wait.  Obviously, Apple missed the QC train here.

    Attempting a work-around... crossing fingers.

    So it might be your system or your configuration of it but, okay, blame Apple’s QC anyway. And by the way, just FYI, I haven’t performed a ‘clean install’ since 2008 and have used Migration Assistant to move between three iMacs. To me, anyway, ‘clean installs’ are just one of those unnecessary voodoo incantations like hard disk optimizing that have long since been retired by the modern operating system. Sure, you’re allowed to do whatever you want with your equipment, I get that, but really.
    edited September 2017 SoliRayz2016RacerhomieXStrangeDaysrandominternetpersonpropodjony0
  • Reply 7 of 44
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,779member
    dewme said:
    IMHO this is another red flag of concern about APFS reliability. The tolerance for bugs in such a critical operating system component should be as close to zero as humanly possible. 
    I'd suggest that all it would have taken is for Unity programmers to have tested on the developer version of 10.13 and fix what's wrong in advance of the release of High Sierra to Joe Public.  I don't see how you interpret this as a reliability issue with APFS.
    Rayz2016macplusplusmacxpresssandor
  • Reply 8 of 44
    Curious, is this an actual problem with APFS or was Unity utilizing a few "tricks" to perform certain disk access functions. Tricks that no longer work under APFS.
    bonobobdysamoriapscooter63jony0
  • Reply 9 of 44
    dewme said:
    IMHO this is another red flag of concern about APFS reliability. The tolerance for bugs in such a critical operating system component should be as close to zero as humanly possible. 
    You are aware of the fact, that your computer is not fault tolerant when it comes to storing data in volatile memory, right? You do realize that some random cosmic ray shooting through that memory chip MIGHT FLIP that one bit, and you won't even know that, until your OS crashes quite ungracefully.

    Your computer is not a "critical operating system" and it was never designed to be that system. Period.
    And that is a good thing, because otherwise, we would be buying computers costing 40-50k instead of 1k.
    When consumer level PC fails, it fails and that is it. Sometimes computers can freeze because of the deadlock due to circular dependency issue and no one in the last 50 years decided to fix that. Why? Because it is f-ng cost prohibitive (both in terms of money and CPU cycles that would be wasted on that). So, instead of fixing it, the real solution is NOT TO FIX IT and rely instead on the fact that such events are extremely rare.


    edited September 2017 RacerhomieXSoliStrangeDays
  • Reply 10 of 44
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,779member
    Curious, is this an actual problem with APFS or was Unity utilizing a few "tricks" to perform certain disk access functions. Tricks that no longer work under APFS.
    I doubt it's trickery as such it could be something as simple as a directory hard link in some code.  Directory hard links are not supported by Apple File System. But I have no idea I just want my Cities Skylines fixed sob sob ... ;)
  • Reply 11 of 44
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,307member
    lkrupp said:
    sflocal said:
    dewme said:
    IMHO this is another red flag of concern about APFS reliability. The tolerance for bugs in such a critical operating system component should be as close to zero as humanly possible. 
    For sure... even though my 2009 iMac upgraded just fine to High Sierra and been running it trouble free since it became official, it took a big dump when attempted to do a clean install last night on it.  It was unable to create an APFS boot volume during the MacOS reinstall..

    First time I've ever had a problem with an OS install by Apple.  Ever.  I didn't hear any problems (outside of beta) about doing clean-installs with High Sierra, but warning to others not to do it just yet.  It could be a problem specific to my machine/configuration but those considering it should wait.  Obviously, Apple missed the QC train here.

    Attempting a work-around... crossing fingers.

    So it might be your system or your configuration of it but, okay, blame Apple’s QC anyway. And by the way, just FYI, I haven’t performed a ‘clean install’ since 2008 and have used Migration Assistant to move between three iMacs. To me, anyway, ‘clean installs’ are just one of those unnecessary voodoo incantations like hard disk optimizing that have long since been retired by the modern operating system. Sure, you’re allowed to do whatever you want with your equipment, I get that, but really.
    The only change I did to my iMac was replacing the factory hard drive with a Samsung SSD EVO drive and that was years ago.

    I have two iMacs, with my 2009 also being used as a test machine when Apple introduces a new OS.  I will upgrade, clean-install, rinse-and-repeat to make sure there are no surprises so when it comes time to assist with Macs owned by others, it can be done quickly and with no downtime.  I've lost track of how many times something like a bad Java release (I have to use it) just ruined the system configuration.

    If you haven't done a clean-install since 2008, well then good for you.  Many times I've had to choose between taking hours to clean someone's messed up system vs. just doing a clean-install.  I don't see how you can claim it's a "voodoo incantation" since you haven't done one in almost 10 years.  In my 10 years of using Macs, repairing them, troubleshooting, etc... I can say without a doubt that starting with a fresh system is the best way to eliminate many problems related to the issues others have done to their systems over the years.  I'm very much an MacOS person vs. Windows (my Macs run both) MacOS is not 100% free from its own issues.  They are just far more rare compared to Windows. 

    All my data is stored offline, or in a cloud service.  My Macs could fail right now and I'm only a login-away at most on a new Mac to be right back where I was.

    There ARE problems right now with APFS if one reads the boards.  My specific problem today is not unique, the difference being that those problems were from the beta release whereas mine was the official earlier in the week.  It's definitely related to APFS and the errors mean that APFS is not fully-baked yet.  Since it's a new file system for Apple, I'm giving Apple some leeway since it's the first time I've ever had an OS issue.  Nonetheless, people need to know to tread carefully when resetting their Mac back to factory.

    While writing this post, I got my iMac back up and running.  For those interested in actually learning something... the problem was resolved by creating a USB boot drive with High Sierra on it, and re-installing the OS via USB.  Reinstalling High Sierra using the recovery partition on a clean APFS-formatted drive may (as it did for me) cause an invalid boot volume and crash your machine.

    And even then, the first USB attempt did install the OS, but resulted in the spacebar key constantly repeating (not a keyboard issue) with no way to answer certain panel prompts before actually using the OS.  The 2nd attempt after re-erasing the system drive worked fine.

    So LKrupp... if you ever decide to do a clean-install to start fresh, you can thank people like us for taking the time to spread the knowledge.
    edited September 2017 dysamoriapscooter63propodcornchipgatorguy
  • Reply 12 of 44
    Game and Game engine developers have been known to abuse APIs for performance gains.
    Unfortunately it sometimes tends to come back and bite them in the ass.

    Oh well, such is life.
    anton zuykovmacplusplus
  • Reply 13 of 44
    sflocal said:
    dewme said:
    IMHO this is another red flag of concern about APFS reliability. The tolerance for bugs in such a critical operating system component should be as close to zero as humanly possible. 
    For sure... even though my 2009 iMac upgraded just fine to High Sierra and been running it trouble free since it became official, it took a big dump when attempted to do a clean install last night on it.  It was unable to create an APFS boot volume during the MacOS reinstall..

    First time I've ever had a problem with an OS install by Apple.  Ever.  I didn't hear any problems (outside of beta) about doing clean-installs with High Sierra, but warning to others not to do it just yet.  It could be a problem specific to my machine/configuration but those considering it should wait.  Obviously, Apple missed the QC train here.

    Attempting a work-around... crossing fingers.

    On my mid-2011 iMac, I booted into recovery and formatted the 1TB standard hard drive to APFS (encrypted). I then tried to install High Sierra from recovery. I had a time machine backup, so I wasn't too too concerned. Tried three times to install the OS, and all three times the install just stopped with anywhere from 18 to 20 minutes left. I ended up creating a bootable install on a thumb drive with DiskMaker X and was able to install the OS from that. Once it was installed, I restored all of the data from time machine. Back to normal with APFS!
    propod
  • Reply 14 of 44
    dewme said:
    IMHO this is another red flag of concern about APFS reliability. The tolerance for bugs in such a critical operating system component should be as close to zero as humanly possible. 
    I’m not so sure about that. They are introducing a new file system. It’s a big deal...we’ve had HFS+ forever, since Mac OS 8.  Naturally there will be some issues, but they will get worked out. 
    DavidAlGregorycorradokidmacplusplusStrangeDayspropod
  • Reply 15 of 44
    If a software runs into issues with APFS it is simply doing things in a way they should do at all. They should have fixed that during the beta, but instead they blame others.
    corradokid
  • Reply 16 of 44
    dewme said:
    IMHO this is another red flag of concern about APFS reliability. The tolerance for bugs in such a critical operating system component should be as close to zero as humanly possible. 
    You are jumping to an unsupported conclusion by assuming this is a bug or in any way an APFS reliability issue. There are a few fundamental differences with the way some things are being handled by design. Programs that use bad practices or that make unsafe assumptions are likely to be impacted by this. As an example, do a little research on Unicode normalization as an example of how HFS+ and APFS handle things differently by design.
    edredStrangeDaysemig647
  • Reply 17 of 44
    dewme said:
    IMHO this is another red flag of concern about APFS reliability. The tolerance for bugs in such a critical operating system component should be as close to zero as humanly possible. 
    You do realize iOS has been chugging away with APFS on hundreds of millions of devices for the last 6 months or so without issue, right?

    APFS changes things.  Sometimes programmers make assumptions when they code, and sometimes changes serve to remind why programmers shouldn't make assumptions.  3rd party apps will be fixed as time goes on.  In the mean time, you're under no obligation to update to HS until you're sure your required apps are fully compatible.  This is how it is for all OS updates.




    edited September 2017 edredStrangeDays
  • Reply 18 of 44
    I have been using APFS on all of my Macs and have fairly complex setups and have not seen any issues. Networking- yes. File system- no. System Prefs locks up on my desktop on networking. Probably just a corrupted pref file.
  • Reply 19 of 44
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,307member
    I have been using APFS on all of my Macs and have fairly complex setups and have not seen any issues. Networking- yes. File system- no. System Prefs locks up on my desktop on networking. Probably just a corrupted pref file.
    Did you upgrade your system, or did you start from scratch?  Upgrading mine first had zero issues for the most part.  It's only when performing a clean-install that issues come up.
  • Reply 20 of 44
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,307member
    fatkid98 said:
    sflocal said:
    dewme said:
    IMHO this is another red flag of concern about APFS reliability. The tolerance for bugs in such a critical operating system component should be as close to zero as humanly possible. 
    For sure... even though my 2009 iMac upgraded just fine to High Sierra and been running it trouble free since it became official, it took a big dump when attempted to do a clean install last night on it.  It was unable to create an APFS boot volume during the MacOS reinstall..

    First time I've ever had a problem with an OS install by Apple.  Ever.  I didn't hear any problems (outside of beta) about doing clean-installs with High Sierra, but warning to others not to do it just yet.  It could be a problem specific to my machine/configuration but those considering it should wait.  Obviously, Apple missed the QC train here.

    Attempting a work-around... crossing fingers.

    On my mid-2011 iMac, I booted into recovery and formatted the 1TB standard hard drive to APFS (encrypted). I then tried to install High Sierra from recovery. I had a time machine backup, so I wasn't too too concerned. Tried three times to install the OS, and all three times the install just stopped with anywhere from 18 to 20 minutes left. I ended up creating a bootable install on a thumb drive with DiskMaker X and was able to install the OS from that. Once it was installed, I restored all of the data from time machine. Back to normal with APFS!
    Mine would display "Unable to mount APFS Boot Volume" error after the main install about 18 minutes later.

    Apple has a great page about creating a USB boot drive.  A simply copy/paste into a terminal window was all it took. :)

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372
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