Why DNS in OS X 10.10 is broken, and what you can do to fix it

“Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about the current state of Apple’s software quality. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with development knows that bugs are par for the course, and most people aren’t bothered by small, day-to-day bugs that are fixed within a reasonable timeframe,” Iljitsch van Beijnum reports for Ars Technica. “Obviously, like everyone else, Apple’s software has its share of those.”

“But there’s another category of bug — glaring, perplexing bugs that couldn’t possibly have escaped the attention of the software engineers in question, let alone the quality assurance department,” van Beijnum reports. “Such issues exist, and sometimes they go unfixed for months. Or years. Or ever. Hopefully, the set of network issues with OS X 10.10 described below won’t fall into this column, but they do raise an obvious question: why?

“For 12 years, the mDNSResponder service managed a surprisingly large part of our Mac’s networking, and it managed this task well. But as of OS X 10.10, the mDNSResponder has been replaced with discoveryd, which does the same thing,” van Beijnum reports. “Mostly. Here are some strange networking problems we’ve observed since installing 10.10…”

Read more in the full article here.

30 Comments

    1. Right number of products; too few experienced developers led by a team that seems to care more about Jony Ive’s poor interface choices rather than the end user’s efficiency, reliability, intuitiveness, stability, and security.

      I have been pointing out this for quite a while now.

      1. Yes, you have. Your incessant repetition does not necessarily make it so, however. To date, I have had no reason to believe you or your opinions. Why should I or anyone else on this forum take you seriously, Chicken Little?

        1. Well logic would say that either Apple has too few developers, or are asking too much of them or they are simply incompetent. The only other alternative is that some in powerful positions are making bad decisions about software and certainly from reading this article that sounds a reasonable conclusion. I’m no technician but I imediately recognised these sort of problems though on my iPad with its wifi with safari suddenly stuck in mid load and closing down and re starting the iPad to get it working again. It’s a serious pain time consuming and there seems no end to the problem. As for my Mac on upgrading to Yosemite my wifi/router settings were lost and I had to re establish it manually as again the computer seemed incapable of communication automatically. Apple has been reciculously shoddy on this and need to get their act together or ease of use will be a joke. As is, my main computer will stay on Mountain Lion with the advantage i font have to look at the naff icons even if I do now lose Dropbox functionality because the 2 OS aren’t compatible in that regard.

          1. I’m disappointed with Apple software over the last 18 months. “It just works” is over. Shame really.

            iTunes is a usability and reliability nightmare. Try editing metadata for songs, then switch views, sometimes it sticks, sometimes it doesn’t. And if you select a song, then switch views, do you think the interface shows you the selected song in the new view? Nope. argh

            1. Another possibility is that there are enough very good developers, but the schedule is too fast. There are situations where throwing more (even good) developers at a situation can’t make it better. A release schedule that is too fast is one of those situations. That’s on the people making the release schedule.

        2. KingMel, neither does your Apple Excuse-Maker stance give you any more credibility. Let’s let objective observance of quality by the greater Apple user community speak for itself:

          Apple users who loved Snow Leopard: almost unanimous love. OS X 10.6.8 runs on more computers than 10.7 or 10.8 according to NetMarketShare.

          Apple users who prefer Yosemite: of date, 5069 rated Yosemite on Apples US App Store, and it gets an average of 2.5 out of 5 stars.

          Data is out there, KingMel, so you don’t need to look foolish attacking someone who is correct.

      2. I agree with you …
        Something is not right at apple software develpoment !
        Those who deny it …well are in denial themselves and think denial will make problems evaporate!
        Wrong!
        Point out problems.. Put pressure on apple .. Make it be heard.
        Shoving things under a beautiful carpet is not how Steve did thing .. Is it ?
        He cared what coating the internal screws had inside the machines .. Screws that 99.9 % of people would never see!
        Yet here we have people bashing those who point out problems.. Feeling offended rather than grateful that some people actually care
        !
        Its good to be a fan.. But not a blind one !
        I consistently write to apple.. And i am impressed by the level of attention i have received from them.
        They do care to hear from us. They appreciate input !
        You want to be helpful dont bash those who point out problems.
        Join them and help apple get better !

        Ps .. Now Go ahead and bash me ….

        1. So this idea that Steve was perfect and only produced perfection is ridiculous. He was the best and all others will suffer in comparison. However, some of these exact same problems would be happening if Steve was still with us.

    2. As I’ve stated here a few times over the last year: Beta testing for Apple (via AppleSeed) can be a really annoying experience. I’ve had Apple sit on important bug reports for a month, then come back with ‘can you tell us more about it’ garbage when I already told them the situation in excruciating detail. Testing Yosemite was particularly annoying because they were bound and determined to do several things wrong, including the awful idea of killing off the title bar in several applications, such as Safari. Oops. Massive blunder there!

      IOW: This situation may be due to too few developers at Apple to cover OS X, but it also feels like their beta testing department is out-to-lunch. Unless something glaring is going on in the betas, I don’t bother reporting it any more. I’m seriously burned out from trying and being ignored.

      1. It is tiring feeling like your feedback is not given consideration, especially when you use the channels that THEY set up for that. I’ve reported my dissatisfaction with the Pages app losing a much-needed feature (in our business) – linked text boxes – for over a year and my feedback is falling on deaf ears. Not even an acknowledgement that they recognize our frustration. Well, the silence and disregard is creating that frustration more-so than the missing feature.

  1. I’m guessing my VPN problem falls under the category as well.. can’t connect to a VPN with a static IP address on your Mac. Worked perfectly for YEARS… no… doesn’t work at all. The only way is to get a dynamic IP address from the router serving the Mac, and then connect to the VPN. Sad.

  2. My problem with Yosemite is the inexplicable, random cessation of SMTP connections in Mail. Mail sends mail fine for days or weeks, and then between one email and another, it all of a sudden cannot connect to the SMTP server. Happened again this morning and I’m still haven’t got it back working. POP from the same server runs fine.

    1. Sounds like the DNS issue can be the culprit of not finding your SMTP server.

      Did you see Howie Isaacks comment below?

      “I am sick and damn tired of this problem. Because of it, I have modified my hosts file to make sure that My MacBook Pro will always know where to find my email servers.”

      1. I have no problem with iCloud, and I have 5 additional IMAP accounts set up alongside it. Occasionally, a connection might get stuck in the “Connecting….” state, but it’s been less-so under the latest version of Yosemite. I actually found my Airport Extreme router may have been a factor, and switched to a 5GHz channel make a world of difference.

        1. Ah, I agree that switching to 5 GHz makes a big difference! Unfortunately, I have a slightly old Canon all-in-one printer and an old iPod Touch 4 that don’t speak 5 GHz. I’ve gotten used to diving into my router’s setup to swap between 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz radio band settings as needed. 5 GHz always provides better results. I’m very careful to choose channels that aren’t clashing with other routers around me. Nevertheless, 2.4 GHz tends to cause problems.

    1. Yes, chances are, they did; unbelievable! If not, then those programmers have to change or be changed.

      On the greater picture of things, we want to know if the sales guy(s) is/are now in charge at Apple, because if that’s the case then that’s a big big issue/concern.

      By the looks of the KIND of recent issues or problems in Apple’s software (Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, iOS 7, iOS 8), the sales guys are in charge.

      Obviously, “we” (Apple) want to have the product guy in charge, whoever that might be at Apple. So far we know Scott Forstall and Avie Tevanian are no longer in charge of software engineering at Apple, and they were product guys.

      According to Wikipedia, Tevanian was responsible for setting company-wide software technology direction at Apple ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avie_Tevanian ), and Scott Forstall led the original software development team for the iPhone and iPad ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Forstall )

      We will wait and see.

  3. I spend a lot of time in command line, and I appreciate the efforts of the people who posted this. That being said, Apple needs to get off its collective ass and fix these stupid problems with Yosemite. I am sick and damn tired of this problem. Because of it, I have modified my hosts file to make sure that My MacBook Pro will always know where to find my email servers. At least I will get emails while this fucked up bug rights itself after waking from sleep. Apple should not release another major OS upgrade until they fix the current one. They left bugs in Mavericks too. It’s utter horse shit that Apple thinks that this is quality work. It’s crap.

  4. I’ve experienced every one these networking bugs described in the original Ars article. And all of these were either better or did not exist in Mavericks.

    Honestly, what’s up with a new OS every year when it involves breaking a whole bunch of stuff? Wouldn’t it have been better to leave Mavericks intact and just add Continuity to it?

    I don’t get it.

  5. Two fixes, and no harm in trying both …

    Preventing discoveryd from changing the name (doesn’t always stick):

    Modify the .apple.discoveryd.plist to include the -nonamechange flag using Terminal (all one line):

    sudo /usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c “Add :ProgramArguments: string –no-namechange” /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.discoveryd.plist

    and addressing the likely cause, which seems to stick:

    OS X appends the number to the machine name when it encounters another device already using that name. So, if you’ve only got one machine with that name, what else could be using it?? Enter Bonjour Sleep Proxy. This is a service that lets your Macs go to sleep, but their services continue to be offered via Bonjour. (When the Mac goes to sleep, the Sleep Proxy server masquerades as the Mac, continuing to advertise its services. If something tries to connect to the masquerade Mac, the Sleep Proxy server wakes the Mac, hands it its machine name back, and hands it the request to handle.) Apple routers do this, as do Apple TVs (if they don’t already find another Sleep Proxy server).

    My hunch is that most everyone affected has an Apple router or Apple TV, as I do, and that for some reason, it’s gotten out of sync and has continued to advertise the Mac’s services even though it has already woken up.

    1. Unplug AC power from all Apple TVs
    2. Unplug AC power from all Apple routers
    3. Reset the machine name in System Preferences
    4. Reconnect the primary router and wait for it to boot
    5. Reconnect any additional routers
    6. Reconnect the Apple TVs

  6. I remember years ago, prior to OS X launch that Apple said on the record something like, “if a user sees the code behind the UI, then we haven’t done our job properly”.

    Apple your not doing your job properly. Sack who ever is responsible, fix it, release it. Top priority.

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