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Duet Display on MacBook and iPad

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macOS 10.13.4 Breaks Third-Party Dual-Display Systems

We’re hearing reports, such as this comment from Dana Stevens, that the recent update to macOS 10.13.4 High Sierra is breaking third-party dual-display systems (see “macOS 10.13.4 High Sierra Adds Business Chat and External GPU Support,” 30 March 2018).

MacObserver says the products affected include the hardware-based DisplayLink, along with the app-based Air Display, Duet, and iDisplay. However,  the problem doesn’t affect secondary displays that connect directly to the Mac via Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt.

In an email to Air Display users, Avatron wrote:

We’re sorry to say that the Air Display Host software does not yet work on macOS 10.13.4. This new version of macOS has made some bold changes to its WindowServer and Metal frameworks, and unfortunately has broken the Air Display Host, as well as all of our competitors. The breakage is severe; it causes an inelegant system crash when you try to connect to any unaccelerated display or USB monitor. We have reported the bug to Apple and are hoping for a fix in macOS 10.13.5.

Until Apple issues a fix, we do not advise updating to macOS 10.13.4. Of course Air Display continues to work fine on 10.13.3.

And Alban Rampon, a product manager at DisplayLink, shared a similar story in the company’s support forums, saying:

We are aware that installing macOS release 10.13.4 will cause DisplayLink connected displays to go blank after the OS upgrade when using DisplayLink driver v4.1. (Functionality such as Ethernet and/or audio, where implemented, is unaffected.) Extended display support continues to work as expected in mac OS 10.13.3.

The only workaround would seem to be to downgrade to macOS 10.13.3, which would likely involve installing an earlier version of High Sierra and then upgrading to 10.13.3 using the combo updater.

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Comments About macOS 10.13.4 Breaks Third-Party Dual-Display Systems

Notable Replies

  1. I am using Astropad Standard and it works fine on the latest macOS version. It’s not quite the same functionally as the other dual display systems but should suffice for many users.

  2. I wonder if the problem isn’t more pervasive. I run two ATD (27") units that were daisy chained to my MacPro. As soon as I upgraded/rebooted the second display on the chain was gone (no power and not in Sys Info.) I cabled it several other ways and was ready to conclude it was a hardware issue when a few days later I happened to connect form home over ARD and there it was and still there when I returned to the office. I will reboot at the end of the day and report back!

  3. How were they connected to the Mac Pro?

  4. Originally a “Daisy Chain” - MacPro (late 2013) to ATD to ATD. Now I have both displays connected direct. I just rebooted for the first time and all is well but for 3 or 4 days after the upgrade … nothing!

    This is reminiscent of the 10.13.2(?) upgrade when both home and office MacPro’s (with different dual display setups) started crashing during screen sleep. The fix was to always Log Out then .3 fixed it.

    Gremlins and Demons!

  5. I was very surprised this evening to find my new Macbook Air in process of rebooting to a just updated 10.13.4 when I picked it up this evening. It hasn’t caused any trouble YET, and I don’t have a second screen running with it, but I had made a point of avoiding updating. Apparently the default App store preferences had been set at the factory was to Install system data files and security updates, and it decided to do so several days after I had bought it. So if you want to avoid updating, be sure you check the App Store settings.

  6. I have my prefs set up to allow only “install system data files and security updates” but not “macOS updates”. And in my case 10.13.4 was not auto-installed as I’d expect. Are you sure you didn’t have “Install macOS updates” checked?

    In principle I don’t want anything installed without my knowledge or my explicit consent. So I would like to have turned off all those options. However, I recall there was some lower-level updates that would only take place if you’d check the “system data files and security updates” box with no other simple way to have those updates otherwise take place. I think there was actually a TidBITS article with the details not so long ago. My compromise was to turn on only that option.

  7. Perhaps I’m being dim, a good possibility, but I don’t understand how this problem is a “surprise” when the 10.13.4 update went through, I believe, 4 different betas that were available for testing by the general public of macOS users before it’s release as a GM.

    If no one saw this as a problem before its release, this would imply that Apple made the changes that caused this problem between the final beta and release of 10.13.4. Why would this happen as it would seem to defeat the purpose of having a wide range of folks try out the betas.

    Hopefully some informed reader of this site can help me understand what’s going on here!


  8. This has happened many times in the past. In fact, looking at the last few years, I’d say the more Apple has invested in beta programs and public betas and multiple testing releases, the more they have released buggy software. Either Apple cannot process feedback or public betas are a complete and total hoax.

  9. I think you’re at least half correct with that statement. Public betas are little more than publicity for the company and a gift for the ever-impatient and easily distracted end-user.

    I would be willing to bet a cream-filled donut that 99% of public beta users never test anything, or provide any feedback in the correct manner—but they sure do complain a lot in web forums like MacRumors, etc.

  10. Why yes, there was! And you really don’t want to turn off that checkbox.

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