Monday, January 11, 2016

Displaylink Drivers and Google Chrome sitting in a tree

C-R-A-S-H-I-N-G

I've been having issues with my Mac lately and it gets pretty annoying when you get logged out for what seems to be no reason at all. This all started when I had to use Lenovo's USB Pro Dock. Since I'm part of a limited pilot program that allows me to use a Mac at work, I'm mostly left to my own accord when it comes to support cases and dealing with issues that my computer is having. Last September, +Google Chrome made changes to it's displaylink hardware acceleration algorithm that caused for Chrome to be completely unusable when I am connected to the USB Dock at work. They've fixed that problem since then.

To give you a better context of my setup, I have a Macbook Pro with OSX 10.9.5 using Displaylink Driver version 2.4 with 2 Lenovo monitors connected through a USB3 Pro Dock. I'm also using the latest stable version of Chrome with hardware acceleration enabled.

Just today, I was doing SEO specific research and looked for tools that can help me. The Google Webstore has pretty decent SEO related plugins until the link drivers crash and kick you out of your computer. I tried looking into available plugins and settled with using Meta SEO Inspector because of the information it gives and it's ease of use. I had the chance to look at one site and the plugin started acting funky.

The first time I launched the tool, I get the advertised operation. A window drops down containing all necessary declared SEO information about the page. Within the context of that window, I can scroll down and click on link that are pointing to external tools that give you deeper information for further analysis (like Google Pagespeed, etc.) The second time I launched the tool on the same site, the plugin window is no longer completely visible and I can no longer interact with it. The next time I try to interact with the browser window that has the plugin activated, I get immediately logged out.

When I look at the system logs on my mac after logging back in ... I see these errors;
Google Chrome Helper[57736]: AVF error: IORegistryEntryCreateCFProperty failed for display number 1, IOVARendererID property not found
Google Chrome Helper[57736]: AVF error: IORegistryEntryCreateCFProperty failed for display number 2, IOVARendererID property not found
Google Chrome Helper[57736]: AVF error: IORegistryEntryCreateCFProperty failed for display number 3, IOVARendererID property not found
Google Chrome Helper[57736]: AVF error: IORegistryEntryCreateCFProperty failed for display number 4, IOVARendererID property not found
The problem is now pointing towards how Chrome is calling the displaylink drivers that are extending Apple's IOKITLib API. 

Yak needs to be shorn.

This problem can be solved by by not using the dock which forces my computer to not use the DisplayLink Drivers. But ... I need 3 monitors to be productive, so #firstworldproblems.

Now skype is acting up ... no rest for the wicked.
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