MacOS Mountain Lion Upgrade - Ubiquity

While Mountain Lion certainly seems more stable than the upgrade to Lion, I came across something nasty today.

While trying to get Pages to start so that I might do some work on the train, I noticed that Pages would load the inspector but nothing else and then lock up. I also noticed that a process “ubd” (which is the Ubiquity Daemon) was repeatedly restarting and using huge amounts of CPU resources. This was evident in the console log for Ubiquity, it kept coming back with an error:

[ERROR] 109710548aa [12/08/07 14:16:11.418] 768.main get_uuid_and_open_iidb:920 failed to mkdir "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/Nick/Library/Application Support/Ubiquity/peer-A457E30B-FECA-D32F-0E18-059C1F0917D3-v23" (Permission denied)
[ERROR] 1097682a992 [12/08/07 14:16:11.510] 770.main ubd_main:2604 personid: 104544000
[warn] 1097b9d1c5a [12/08/07 14:16:11.595] 770.main find_existing_identity_unsafe:1104 Can't find identity. (error -25300 from SecItemCopyMatching)

There is a lot of content on this on (see this article).

As it happens, neither Numbers nor Keynote was coming up either. I tried deleting all the iWork files in /library/preferences, but that didn’t help. Then - since ubd is related to iCloud, I opened the system preferences for users and - lo and behold - my Apple ID had been removed from my user account! Why? Nobody knows - perhaps this is “standard issue” for an OS upgrade, I don’t know.

In any case, as soon as I re-entered my Apple ID, ubd calmed down and iWork was startable again…

As with many of the issues reported in the article mentioned above, ubd had filled my Keychain with massive amounts of entries called, where n is one of thousands of UIDs. Apparently, it was trying to generate self-signed root certificates for the missing one, but unable to do so due to the missing entry of my Apple ID.

In any case, Apple seems to really have made a complicated blunder here - there are, apparently, so many dependencies with the Apple ID and iCloud, that if something goes wrong, it tears down a large chunk of a previously running system.
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