Stream Deck on Big Sur: WARNING!

David was kind enough to alert me that one of the recent Big Sur betas seemed to have caused his Stream Deck to stop working. The software will launch, but the Stream Deck buttons will not change. A few moments later, Activity Monitor will note that Stream Deck software is “Not Responsive”.

I’m talking to Elgato Tech Support about this, but in the meantime, here’s what I have learned.

The ~/Library/Application Support/com.elgato.StreamDeck/ folder

I was able to “solve” the problem by removing the ~/Library/Application Support/com.elgato.StreamDeck/ folder.

Unfortunately, that folder contains all of my customizations for the Stream Deck.

The “.streamDeckProfilesBackup” file

You probably know you can make a backup of all of your profiles here:

BUT! Here’s the problem: with that file, all you can do is wipe away your entire Stream Deck configuration. You can’t just replace one profile.

AND to make things worse, what I found was that I could not import a “.streamDeckProfilesBackup” file, even from a working installation of Stream Deck on another Mac.

The “.streamDeckProfile”

A better idea is to export each of your profiles separately.

Go to the same window but select a profile and then click ‘Export’ as shown here:

While I was not able to import one of my profiles, I could import the others. So at least I don’t have to start from scratch.

Set Yourself A Repeating Reminder!

I recommend exporting each of your Stream Deck profiles individually at least a month, or more often, depending on how often you are working on them.

Good News / Bad News

The good news is that I can now use 4 out of 5 of my profiles.

The bad news is, that 5th profile was one that I use a lot, and I don’t know why it does not work and the others do. I can’t see a lot of differences between the 1 that does not work and the 4 that did work.

I have sent the relevant files off to Elgato’s tech support team. Hopefully they’ll figure it out.

In the meantime, I’m off to re-create that one profile that won’t import.

Bonus for Keyboard Maestro users

I created a Keyboard Maestro macro which will backup the Stream Deck ~/Library/Application Support/com.elgato.StreamDeck/ folder every time the application quits. Hopefully if something goes wrong, you can restore the folder to a working state and not lose everything. YMMV. No guarantees. Use at your own risk. Void where prohibited. Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

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That’s pretty good diagnostics: Finding the one non-working profile. Is it possible it’s the code it tries to run?

That’s the thing, it’s all just Keyboard Maestro links, as far as I can tell. I’ll try to take a closer look tomorrow.

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Are they hoping to issue a fix before Big Sur release?

The problem started with the developer Beta 6. I tried to fix it for a few hours without success. If the streamdeck is not plugged in, the app starts and loads the profiles. It seems to work but hangs while deleting profiles or doing other actions. It also hangs instantly if the streamdeck is connected. Starting with a clean profile works for a while but it’s not safe in my experience.

I was able to recreate my decks over a clean profile but they didn’t last long, it worked for maybe an hour, then the streamdeck turned off and the app got stuck again.

I ended up reverting to the public beta and I’m not planning on updating betas until I see someone confirm that it’s fixed.

If it’s not apple’s fault, they have to do fix it or they will get a lot of angry customers.

I’d put mine in a drawer for the last week because it was making me crazy. I just tried again and it’s still unstable. Adding a custom profile specific to any app immediately crashes the app for me. There are other way to crash it. Hopefully it gets sorted out soon.

On the bright side …

I’ve been revisiting all my Keyboard Maestro triggers and my contextual computing scheme is getting really advanced since I don’t have the stream deck to rely upon.

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Did I say it was? Sorry.

I think major releases of an OS every year is too aggressive as has been proven out by many of the issues encountered among users.

I think Apple’s focus is put on generating. more revenue in this case Apple Services and back capability was never a focus area for macOS.

Not only do you have Apple trying to upgrade their OS but it requires most developers who may be resource constrained to provide upgrades as well.

I typically wait 9 months until I upgrade OS when most of the issues have been rung out and focus on use the tools to do actual task associated with my own revenue generation. That is my productivity tip avoiding the shiny new object until the shine is worn off.

I think most people are aware of the potential risk and time wasting but somehow convince themselves that “This time it will be different”

Well it isn’t and the only one to blame is yourself and you have to be prepared to devote extra time to resolving these issues to be on the edge of technology. It would be interesting to see the total amount of man-hours for both developers and end user is spent getting the new OS upgrades working. I will bet the numbers would be astounding.

That’s fine and quite reasonable as a personal decision. However, the folks who are discussing betas here (“Beta Town” on the MPU forums) are ones who have already decided that they want to do this, for whatever reasons, so it’s really not a place to rehash the debate over whether or not people “should” use betas. If you don’t want to, great. But we do. That’s why an area specifically for beta testers was added to the forums, so we didn’t have to keep having this discussion every time someone mentions a beta-related issue.

As I’ve said elsewhere, Big Sur in beta is more stable for me than Catalina was on my 16" MacBook Pro which can’t run any other versions of macOS, so I’ve decided to take the trade-off of some software incompatibilities in exchange for not having to worry about my $2500 MacBook rebooting itself multiple times a week while I was trying to work.

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Unfortunate update that the 4.9 software update to Stream Deck does not fix this bug for macOS Big Sur.

I’ve tried @tjluoma’s techniques but none of my profiles are operable. I’ve deleted the /App Support/ folder along with the /Caches/ folders, without success.

EDIT - I’m on macOS Big Sur Beta 9 (20A5384c)

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@andrewjfreyer thanks for letting us know. I’m still on big sur public beta 5 or 6 and I just updated streamdeck to 4.9 to test it. Seems to work fine so something after that beta (or dev beta 7) seems to be what broke it. I’ll hold updating until someone confirms that it works.

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@deadsunrise I just updated the previous comment to note that I’m on beta 9. Worked on the first several betas for me too.

Good to know. I can confirm that it works in Big Sur Beta 6 (20A5364e)

They posted on reddit and I’m trying to see if they acknowledge the issue: https://www.reddit.com/r/elgato/comments/jagj6p/stream_deck_update_49_screensaver_sleep_action/

@tjluoma have you gotten any info from elgato support?

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This is what they wrote to me:

As it turns out, at this time, we do not have support for the latest Mac OSX, we cannot guarantee that it will work as that OSX is still in the Beta stages. We should be releasing updates once the OSX has be released publicly.

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In the reddit thread, people are saying that removing the AppIdentifier lines from the profiles works but you’ll have to change profiles manually:

I have my stream deck working again. I edited the profile json files and to remove the line starting with AppIdentifier. You will need to do this for all profiles to prevent crashes.
This is the same as removing default program in the software.

Can confirm that this worked. My app-specific profiles seemed to be the hold up. Though now resolved to the point that Streamdeck at least now runs, it is worth noting that profiles will no longer open automatically based on the app being used, and trying to add the app-specific feature back to the profile results in the system crashing again.

I can confirm that /u/s341232’s solution worked for all of my profiles.
EDIT - and I can confirm that adding back the default profile flag and application-specific profile triggers via the app works, which just adds back the exact same line that we just deleted. Weird bug.
EDIT 2 - don’t re-set the application specific triggers. on restart, they’ll break again and you have to manually edit the manifest.json again.

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Weirdly I don’t see any lines with AppIdentifier in them. Was that in manifest.json or another file?

I’m going to try moving my Zoom profile over to Big Sur and see how that works. If it’s just a line that needs to be removed, I bet I could script Keyboard Maestro to make the edits whenever the Stream Deck app quits.

I didn’t try it but I just checked a profile and it seems to be located at the end of the manifest.json inside each profile folder:

...
...
"UUID":"com.elgato.streamdeck.system.hotkey"}},
"AppIdentifier":"/Applications/OmniFocus.app",
"DeviceModel":"20GAT9901",
"DeviceUUID":"@(1)[4057/108/CL28J1A00478]",
"Name":"Omnifocus","Version":"1.0"}

Ah, it seems to only appear if you have a profile tied to a specific application.

Which explains why my Zoom-profile causes Stream Deck to crash.

Curious.

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Oh duh. Now I understand what you were saying, which is that this was for profiles tied to a specific app. This is what happens when I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since Obama was president.

As mentioned on Automators, I have a button on each profile which brings me to a “profile which links to all of my profiles” so I can quickly switch between them.

If that’s all it takes to use my Stream Deck on Big Sur beta, I’ll take it.

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