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Mac UI Semi-Freezing

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James Osborn

This is happening pretty regularly for me now.  It may be unrelated to Synergy, but in case it is, I am describing it here.  My two machines are Windows 10 x64 and Mac OS (High Sierra 10.13.4).

What happens is:  I am using the Windows box as server to control the Mac as client.  I am moving the pointer, clicking, and typing from my Windows keyboard and mouse on the Mac UI.  Suddenly clicking and typing there stops working.  It is very much like a similar situation that occurs in which I am able to work around it by toggling Synergy control back and forth to restore operation.  In this case though, that does not work.  The Mac client is also not able to click or type either (local keyboard or trackpad) in the Mac UI.  However, if I do click or type with the local trackpad or keyboard on the Mac UI, it does become Synergy server and I can control my Windows box in that direction no problem!  In fact everything I am running on the Mac apparently continues in the background (audio playing or virtual machine running on Parallels continue for example).  But in reality the Mac UI is frozen.  I see the pointer changing shape (pointer, finger, I-beam, etc.) and the spinning beach ball coming and going occasionally.  But NO ability to get back to normal control.  I also noticed the time display in the menu bar is frozen, so I think the whole screen is just frozen.  I tried starting new programs (on the command line after logging in remotely via SSH), but nothing appears on screen, so I think it is a static image I am seeing.

The only solutions I have found are to reboot the Mac.  One way is to login thru SSH and use "shutdown -r".  Killing the WindowServer process also seems to work.  But of course in either case this closes all my running applications instantly without saving data.  I am running a VM under Parallels on my Mac, so I often SSH in and use prlctl to suspend my VM before restarting the Mac.  Then after it comes back up, I can resume the VM.  I also found that if I engaged the screen saver (using a hot corner on my screen), the screen goes black, then within 15 to 30 seconds, I get the Mac equivalent of a BSOD - the splash screen proclaiming a hardware error comes up and my Mac restarts.

This sucks, but I really cannot be sure it has anything at all to do with Synergy.  I have full command line access to the Mac via SSH.  So if anyone reads this and has some ideas about what to try or what to investigate from the command line, let me know!

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