Unbreaking Google Drive File StreamEdit

Apple’s OS security update applied to Mojave 10.14.6 today (2020-12-16) broke the Google Drive File Stream app. Tried the usual stop/start, delete/reinstall, and reboot tricks, along with moving ~/Library/Application Support/Google/DriveFS to another location (forcing it to start from scratch) and some other tips found online like temporarily disabling/reenabling app permissions with sudo spctl --master-disable/sudo spctl --master-enable.

Logs at ~/Library/Application Support/Google/DriveFS/Logs/drive_fs.txt showed:

utils_mac.cc:295:LoadFuseKext Failed to load_dfsfuse: OS version too new

Fortunately, solution is found here, from here.

  1. As root, xattr -l /private/var/db/KernelExtensionManagement and confirm it has the com.apple.rootless attribute (it did).
  2. As root, chmod 755 /private/var/db/KernelExtensionManagement.
  3. Boot into recovery mode (restart while holding Command-R; not that even if machine is set to Colemak, you have to hold the physical R key from the Qwerty layout).
  4. Open Disk Utility.
  5. Mount "Macintosh HD".
  6. Open Terminal.
  7. chmod 755 /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/private/var/db/KernelExtensionManagement/Staging
  8. chflags restricted /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/private/var/db/KernelExtensionManagement
  9. Restart.
  10. Bonus: permanently turn off the world’s most annoying startup chime because you are sick of hearing it, with sudo nvram StartupMute=%01.

Fun facts:

  • restricted is not mentioned in man chflags.
  • xattr isn’t in the path when booting in recovery mode, and if you access it directly (eg. /Volumes/Macintosh HD/usr/bin/xattr) it will blow up because it can’t load the Python interpreter.