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Daily Aggravation with macOS Catalina Sleep Problems: Still the Same Piece of Shit as 4 Months Ago

On the road photographing in my Sprinter van for nearly 4 months running my 2019 iMac 5K running macOS Mojave, the absence of numerous aggravations was a wonderful relief versus macOS Crapalina, which takes the prize for the most aggravating software ever designed, degrading my productivity every day.

More than four months ago in February in macOS Catalina: System Sleep Frequently Fails, I wrote about sleep problems with macOS Crapalina. Apple has had lots of time now to fix the problems in macOS Crapalina, but it has not happened—not a priority apparently.

Apple brags about being “green” as a major marketing point, but all I know is that power plants out there are burning fossil fuels to power my Mac Pro 24 hours a day because 90% of the time the 2019 Mac Pro won’t go to sleep at all, wasting huge amounts of energy. If I shut down, then it takes time to boot up and none of my USB devices work until I unplug and replug them, and I have to restart all my work windows and such. So most days, I let 'er waste power overnight.

Ironically, the displays will sleep (even as CPU does not) and then upon wakeup I often 'lose' the primary display, all my windows get rearranged, etc. A godamn mess and time-wasting daily hassle—multiple times per day.

Do Apple’s 'green' ratings take into account such end-user waste? No way, which makes the whole set of environmental claims total bullshit.

And it’s about a lot more than system sleep problems—way more bugs in Adobe software for example. Every day it’s like wearing a hair shirt.

Reader Stu from Down Under recently inquired if things had improved.

Hello, thanks for your blog. Having the same problems with a MacBook Early 2015. Fine until Catalina. Have you come across a workaround?

10.15.5 has made my laptop almost unusable—5 mins and a number of times to just power up. Hope they release an update soon.

Good luck with that. :( Go back to Mojave if feasible.

No workaround to fundamental Apple bugs that I know of. Stick with macOS Mojavedo not “upgrade” to macOS Catalina. I’d love to run Mojave instead of Catalina on my 2019 Mac Pro, but it’s not feasible AFAIK.

Jonannes B writes:

I have had the same sleep problems, including bridgeOS panics & reboots after wake from hibernation, on my 2018 MBP, on Mojave and now Catalina, but I solved it with the following Power Management settings (pmset -g) System-wide power settings:

System-wide power settings:
DestroyFVKeyOnStandby		1
Currently in use:
standby              1
standbydelaylow      30
womp                 0
halfdim              0
hibernatefile        /var/vm/sleepimage
proximitywake        0
powernap             0
gpuswitch            2
networkoversleep     0
disksleep            25
standbydelayhigh     30
sleep                5
hibernatemode        25
ttyskeepawake        0
displaysleep         5
tcpkeepalive         0
highstandbythreshold 100
acwake               0
lidwake              0

With these settings, FindMy will not always work, because that feature needs wake on network access. So if your Mac is stolen and put to sleep, it won't be found. So you'll need something like a honeypot guest account.

If I want my Mac to stay wake, and not go to sleep after a couple of minutes, which in my case means hibernation & destruction of FileVault keys, I have mapped a `caffeinate` command to a TouchBar button. Then (depending on the active processes) it might still go to regular sleep, but it won't hibernate.

MPG: additional bugs can interact with sleep problems, and these can be dependent on the hardware design, version of the Thunderbolt 3 hardware, and a host of other factors.'

Michael S writes:

On my 16 inch MacBook Pro, Catalina is running fine. No trouble at all. Sleeps like a baby, right on schedule, wakes up fresh and ready to go.

MPG: I don’t have cancer, so I don’t understand why some people do.

My car has no problems but someone else’s car of the same model has lots of problems—how can that be true? I had better let them know that my car is running fine, just to be helpful.

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