Upgrading to MacOS Sierra

I decided to pull the trigger early on the Sierra update. Like previous upgrades, I ran into my share of issues. I figured I would share my experiences so far. Read on to learn more!


  • Requires a large file download
  • Requires a reboot with all applications shutdown (including TextEdit)
  • Takes over 30 minutes to install
  • Requires going through the upgrade wizard post-restart

All of this is expected from such an upgrade and worked without issue. If you are using Xcode and/or macports/brew then you need to upgrade/migrate them as well.


  • Pulse (VPN) connections were all lost — not a big deal for me as I was migrating to Global Protect anyway
  • Global Protect (VPN) does not work — turns out it requires a minimum version of 3.1.1 for Sierra
  • git pull failed due to SSH error

    Fetching origin
    Unable to negotiate with no matching key exchange method found.
    Their offer: diffie-hellman-group1-sha1
    fatal: Could not read from remote repository.
    Please make sure you have the correct access rights and the repository exists.
    error: Could not fetch origin

    This can be fixed by setting the GIT_SSH_COMMAND environmental variable (of course this is a security vulnerability):

    export GIT_SSH_COMMAND='ssh -o KexAlgorithms=+diffie-hellman-group1-sha1'

I have also seen some intermittent issues including:

  • Upon waking up from sleep and logging back in the display goes dark and requires a hard reboot
  • Sometimes when switching desktops the display remains, but no keyboard or mouse interactions work requiring a hard reboot
  • Some amount of resource/battery issues

Finally, I have heard of a potential issue with Fusion if your power settings are set to turn off the hard drive — discussed here — though this appears to be fixed in 10.12.1.


Overall, the Sierra release seems pretty stable and while I have had a few issues along the way, they were nothing that I could not find a workaround for. At this point, I would recommend the upgrade, but ensure you have a time machine backup beforehand and ensure you have a few cycles post-upgrade in case any issues arise. Good luck!

© 2016, Steve Flanders. All rights reserved.

One comment on “Upgrading to MacOS Sierra

Be careful with Time Machine. If you take a Time Machine backup after you install Sierra you can’t use that to restore your stuff if you choose to start fresh. Consider keeping a separate Time Machine backup disk. Or, use Carbon Copy to make a bootable restore of your previous OS.
I’ve had issues with Sierra and Spotlight not working right with Mail. And with the Unread counter showing unread messages but not displaying those messages! PITA. That’s something to do with Spotlight. I killed my Exchange account and restarted to no avail.
I JUST installed a beta of 10.12.2 to see if that fixed anything. I’ve been filing bugs but of course, Apple, means you don’t hear anything back.

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