Apple macOS 11 Big Sur (and how to download it)

Yesterday, Apple announced new versions of all their operating systems, including macOS 11 named “Big Sur”, which they describe as the biggest change to macOS since Mac OS X. Apple also announced the widely-expected macOS on ARM (or Apple Silicon as they’ve branded their chips). Apple will enable you to ship Universal binaries containing both ARM and Intel code (Universal 2 format), and support for Apple Silicon should simply require a recompile in Xcode for most apps if your third party libraries have been updated. They will also ship Rosetta 2, an emulator layer that allows you to run old applications on new Macs.

Release date

The release date for macOS 11 Big Sur is “Coming this fall”link

Devices

  • iMac 2014+
  • iMac Pro 2017
  • Mac Pro 2013+
  • MacMini 2014+
  • MacBook 2015+
  • MacBook Air 2013+
  • MacBook Pro 2013+
  • MacBook Pro (mid 2012 & Retina)*
  • Mac mini (late 2012)*
  • MacBook Air (mid 2012)*
  • iMac (late 2012-2013)*

_* not supported_

Download

Backup your currnt macOS system using TimeMachine and beware that stuff might (WILL) break.

From Apple:

Or you can just enroll in the DeveloperSeed and skip the part where you need to have an Apple Developer Account:

# Enroll in Developer Beta
$ sudo /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Seeding.framework/Versions/A/Resources/seedutil enroll DeveloperSeed
# or you can just force softwareupdate to use the DeveloperSeed catalog but beware that the ability to specify a custom catalog will be removed in a future release of macOS.
# $ sudo /usr/sbin/softwareupdate --set-catalog https://swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/others/index-10.16seed-10.16-10.15-10.14-10.13-10.12-10.11-10.10-10.9-mountainlion-lion-snowleopard-leopard.merged-1.sucatalog.gz
# Check for updates
$ sudo /usr/sbin/softwareupdate -l
# Open System Preferences -> Software Update
$ /usr/bin/open "x-apple.systempreferences:com.apple.preferences.softwareupdate?client=bau"
# or just force-download it.
# $ sudo softwareupdate --fetch-full-installer --full-installer-version 10.16

macOS 11 Big Sur
macOS 11 Big Sur

Note

Yes, the download is mislabeled as 10.16 but it’s really macOS 11 beta.

To reset and unenroll:

# Enroll in Developer Beta
$ sudo /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Seeding.framework/Versions/A/Resources/seedutil unenroll
# or you can reset softwareupdate catalog back to production
# $ sudo softwareupdate --clear-catalog
# Check for updates
$ sudo /usr/sbin/softwareupdate -l
# Open System Preferences -> Software Update
$ /usr/bin/open "x-apple.systempreferences:com.apple.preferences.softwareupdate?client=bau"

macOS 10 Catalina
macOS 10 Catalina