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I'm curious to know how you (and others) find these obscure links for downloading Apple products. Thanks.
I read about them here, or in Accelerate Your Mac, or someplace. Sometimes I have to add things like https:// in front of them to make them work. I have no idea where the people who post them find them. People working at Apple who leak them?
 


I'm curious to know how you (and others) find these obscure links for downloading Apple products. Thanks.
I don't pretend to know the details, but there are lists of the URLs that Apple uses when a software update is checked or performed. For example, there is one in this GitHub repository:


If you look at the list, you may discern that each URL is for a certain OS version. (If you look further, you may find that lists exist for normal users, developers, beta testers, etc.)

Use one of those URLs to download a software update list from Apple (probably best to use the one for the OS version you run); it's an Apple plist, usually an XML document. Within the plist are more URLs, including some for installer packages. You can browse or search for the item you're interested in. Then you can use its URL to directly download the item, or share with your MacInTouch friends.

(Caveat hax0r: be careful when playing with this stuff!)
 


Tried buying an app from the macOS App Store today. After clicking the buy button and confirming that, yes indeed, I wanted to buy the app, I'm presented with a dialog box saying Verification Required. Clicking 'Billing Info', I'm presented with a 'secure' windoid that lists payment methods (only one) followed by 'Verify' and 'Remove'. Verify takes me to a windoid which asks me to verify my security code (all fields are prefilled except expiration and security code). Fill the missing info and... nothing. No buttons to 'submit' or 'confirm' or 'verify' ... the windoid just sits there demanding that I enter the information I just entered.

Deleted the card at Apple's site and reentered the information. No complaints there. Relaunch the App Store app from the apple menu, logout and back in and ... same [problem].

And people wonder why I don't trust Apple iCloud with my data.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I don't pretend to know the details, but there are lists of the URLs that Apple uses when a software update is checked or performed. For example, there is one in this GitHub repository:
... Use one of those URLs to download a software update list from Apple (probably best to use the one for the OS version you run); it's an Apple plist, usually an XML document. Within the plist are more URLs, including some for installer packages. You can browse or search for the item you're interested in. Then you can use its URL to directly download the item, or share with your MacInTouch friends.
(Caveat hax0r: be careful when playing with this stuff!)
Reposado said:
reposadocommon.py
Code:
'AppleCatalogURLs': [
            ('[URL]http://swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/[/URL]'
             'index.sucatalog'),
            ('[URL]http://swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/[/URL]'
             'index-1.sucatalog'),
       ...
I'm not up to speed on shell scripting (or any handy alternative), but here's a very crude example of getting a basic list of some Apple software package URLs. This needs a lot more work, but it at least demonstrates the concept (and you could manually search in the resulting files for URLs of interest):
Code:
curl http://swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/index.sucatalog > ~/Desktop/sucatalog.txt
grep -E /[^/]*\.pkg  ~/Desktop/sucatalog.txt  > ~/Desktop/packages.txt

curl http://swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/index-1.sucatalog > ~/Desktop/sucatalog1.txt
grep -E /[^/]*\.tar  ~/Desktop/sucatalog1.txt  > ~/Desktop/tarpackages.txt

curl https://swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/others/index-10.14-10.13-10.12-10.11-10.10-10.9-mountainlion-lion-snowleopard-leopard.merged-1.sucatalog.gz > ~/Desktop/mergedcatalog.gz
gunzip ~/Desktop/mergedcatalog.gz 
grep -E /[^/]*\.pkg  ~/Desktop/mergedcatalog  > ~/Desktop/mergedpackages.txt
grep -E '/[^/]*\.tar</string>'  ~/Desktop/mergedcatalog  > ~/Desktop/mergedtar.txt
 


I read about them here, or in Accelerate Your Mac, or someplace. Sometimes I have to add things like https:// in front of them to make them work. I have no idea where the people who post them find them. People working at Apple who leak them?
If you run a proxy server on your network, you can configure it to log every URL that passes through it. If you're doing a software update, you should be able to capture the internal URLs it uses.

This may not be how people are getting them, but it is one approach that seems like it should work.
 


Tried buying an app from the macOS App Store today. ...
Replying to my previous posting: Worked through it again today. Deleted the payment method (card) from the App Store windoid. Added it back in through the App Store windoid (not through the Apple Account Management page). Seemed to get stuck at the same spot (all information keyed in) with nowhere to go. Accidentally vertically scrolled the windoid (Magic Mouse) and there it was: a confirm/submit button. No indication that there was anything there until I brushed my finger on the mouse. If I had been using my Amazon Basics mouse w/scroll wheel I never would have seen it.

Was it there yesterday? I wish I could say, but I didn't try scrolling a window that had no indicators to clue me. And I was so annoyed by the the 5th or 6th trip through that sequence of unhelpful windows that I gave up. Whatever Apple.
 



Thank you for your input, but I think you've missed all our previous postings and conversation, so to summarise for everyone: we already know all about Mac OS X 10.6 needing to be the Server version. This has been extensively discussed here in the past, and I put together a step-by-step guide for virtualising this version of Mac OS X over on MacStrategy....
Graham has provided very useful information here. I have some additional tidbits.

For virtualization, I wanted to have the latest installers for the last few macOS versions before I consider upgrading to a new machine, since the new machine won't run 32-bit apps.

I am currently running Mojave (10.14.6) on my trusty 2010 Mac Pro with Parallels 12.2.1.

For virtualization, to get both Mojave and High Sierra, I used the App Store (in Mojave) via the following Safari links:
To get Sierra, I ran a Parallel virtualized Yosemite installation then used the App Store (in Yosemite) via the following Safari link:
To get El Capitan, I ran a Parallel virtualized Snow Leopard (server) installation, then used the App Store (in Snow Leopard) via the following Safari link:
Alternately, on my App Store Purchased page (via Snow Leopard Server), I can also download installers for older OS X versions (Mavericks, Yosemite, and El Capitan) as decribed at:

Hopefully, folks will find this useful.
 


I have recently downloaded full installers for Mojave and Catalina. These show in the Finder as app bundles. The pkgutil command line tool does not recognize these as packages. Suspicious Package will not open the installers. If I launch the installers, as suggested at Eclecticlight, I see no padlock icon (at least on the first window). How does one check the certificates on these installer apps?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
More fun with Apple updates, macOS Catalina and firmware:
Eclectic Light Co. said:
Firmware update failure in iMac Retina 5K 27-inch Late 2015 with Catalina

... Three users have now commented that, despite upgrading successfully to 10.15, the firmware in their iMac17,1 models has remained stuck at 170.0.0.0.0. Although it’s not unusual for occasional Macs not to upgrade successfully, this is a surprisingly high number of failures.

Running Catalina (or any version of macOS) with an old version of your Mac’s firmware can cause problems. Usually this only amounts to instability, or some features not working reliably. However, in worst cases it can lead to kernel panics, for example when putting the Mac to sleep or waking it up. It’s therefore important that, if your Mac has been upgraded to Catalina, the firmware has also been upgraded appropriately to match it.


... For many years now, the only way to update EFI firmware is when installing a macOS update. Apple doesn’t provide any means of upgrading firmware separately now.

... There are also known problems updating the firmware in some Mac models, such as Mac Pros, which have had their original internal storage replaced using third-party products. It’s not clear why this should be, and Apple hasn’t explained or offered a solution. Macs with T2 (and T1) chips also use a different system to update the T1/T2 firmware, and can’t run eficheck either.
#firmware #applequality
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
There are similar follies for Macs that have not installed macOS Catalina and its silent firmware update:
Eclectic Light Co. said:
A gap opens in EFI firmware, leaving Sierra in doubt
In recent macOS release cycles, Apple has followed a fairly regular pattern. The last minor update to the previous major release of macOS, such as 10.13.6, has brought EFI firmware updates across all models, in preparation for the first release of the next major version. That hasn’t worked out with Catalina: if you have installed its first release, your Mac will have undergone firmware update, but Macs still running Mojave and High Sierra have, for the moment at least, been left running the previous firmware.

In the normal course of updates, we should expect Apple to release security updates for High Sierra and Mojave very soon, which will install the same firmware updates as came with Catalina. Although that may well still happen, there’s something else rather odd with these Catalina-only firmware updates: they’re mostly older than the last Supplemental Update (the third) for Mojave 10.14.6, and its parallel security update for High Sierra.
 


I have recently downloaded full installers for Mojave and Catalina. These show in the Finder as app bundles. The pkgutil command line tool does not recognize these as packages. Suspicious Package will not open the installers. If I launch the installers, as suggested at Eclecticlight, I see no padlock icon (at least on the first window). How does one check the certificates on these installer apps?
Open up the app bundle by right-clicking and selecting Show Package Contents. Inside the Resources folder you should find all the individual installer packages, including the main one called Core System.pkg or something like that.
 


Open up the app bundle by right-clicking and selecting Show Package Contents.
I had tried this previously but now see more persistence is required. No .pkg files are visible in the Contents directory. One has to mount the InstallESD.dmg disk image in the SharedSupport folder and then you can see four .pkg files and one .mpkg file. I checked a couple of them with Suspicious Package and the certificates all expire April 14th, 2029 (at least for the Mojave installer).
 


One has to mount the InstallESD.dmg disk image in the SharedSupport folder and then you can see four .pkg files and one .mpkg file.
Yeah, sorry about that. I was trying to do it from memory and forgot that everything is in the InstallESD.dmg. It’s like that for all the installers (since Lion). That should be obvious though too, since the dmg is the single largest file inside the app bundle.
 


Adding to the recent discussion of a second install of Safari 13.0.2 and sourcing of download URLs: On a Mojave system with the Check for Updates and Download New Updates options activated under Software Update, a second install folder for Safari 13.0.2 was received. The included metadata files show a tiny 4KB size increase vs. the previous installer.

Prior version:
<pkg-ref id="Safari13.0.2MojaveAuto" installKBytes="192130" version="1.0.0.0.1.1570214549">​
<key>PostDate</key> <date>2019-10-07T17:04:03Z</date>​

New version:
<pkg-ref id="Safari13.0.2MojaveAuto" installKBytes="192134" version="1.0.0.0.1.1571107884">​
<key>PostDate</key> <date>2019-10-16T20:01:13Z</date>​
(Both versions point to support.apple.com/kb/HT201222 for detailed security content information.)

On a system that allows checking and downloading of updates, but has all the “install” options deactivated, you can find the download URL listed in one of the two metadata files that are included with the installer package that Software Update automatically downloads. Look in /Library/Updates/ to find downloaded (but not yet installed) folders containing updater package(s) and metadata files. The metadata file with a .extrainfo extention can be opened in TextEdit to reveal the posting date and the source/download URL. (The plist files at the root of the Updates folder are less useful and largely contain references to print devices.)
 


Speaking of what updates are available, I am disappointed in Apple pulling RSS feeds (I believe due to "security") of updates to Apple Downloads.

I had a plugin on a site that would list all the current (top 20) updates [and] that was broken. There is no way to monitor the updates, as now Apple is using the App Store for updates. And when they are on the support page, I would need a plugin (for WordPress) that monitors (daily/weekly) any site changes and link updates.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Speaking of what updates are available, I am disappointed in Apple pulling RSS feeds (I believe due to "security") of updates to Apple Downloads.
That Apple web page has been grossly out-of-date and misleading in recent times, so maybe the real issue is Apple's elimination of useful software update information and how it forces everyone into its stores for support. I'm sure it's entirely coincidental that Apple generates an ever-larger portion of its revenue from these stores and that the first thing you face in the App Store is a huge, colorful circus of animated ads selling profitable software and media.
 



I am on Mojave 10.14.6....
I did notice a change in the Software Update panel, however. Now it only lists Catalina as an update and the supplemental and Safari updates are only viewable after clicking a "More info..." link. I also noticed there are checkmarks next to these updates in the window that opens. Unchecking, say, the Safari update and then closing this window does not appear to stick. The update shows as checked when opening this window again. A placebo checkbox?
I'm also on Safari, and have noticed this behavior change in the System Software Update panel. The Safari 13.0.2 update is visible only after looking under the (small font) "Another update is available" line, with the clickable link to "More info..."

Once in "More info," the Safari update is pre-checked. And there's another checkbox to "Install." The only way to "unstick" that selection is to choose "Cancel scheduled updates." (Huh? Who "scheduled" them?!?)

After choosing "Cancel scheduled updates," another dialog appears, in which the "Cancel" button is not the default, while the "Install" button is the default.Quick-clickers will likely blow through that without realizing the need for using the non-default button.

However, after closing the "Cancel" button, the update is, in fact, "unstuck" and requires further action to install.

By the way, I realized, as others have reported, that I already have 13.0.2 installed, and it's nagging me to install it again.

What a mess.

(I don't use Safari often, so I haven't experienced any problems with 13.0.1 or .2).
 



For what it's worth, these Supplemental Updates are evidently being included in the full installers Apple is pushing out for Catalina. Software Update reported that Catalina was up to date after I installed the OS using a full installer that I pulled down from Apple late yesterday morning. Software Update still reports that the OS is up to date this morning.
 


For what it's worth, these Supplemental Updates are evidently being included in the full installers Apple is pushing out for Catalina. Software Update reported that Catalina was up to date after I installed the OS using a full installer that I pulled down from Apple late yesterday morning. Software Update still reports that the OS is up to date this morning.
Wikipedia lists build numbers for the supplemental updates.
Wikipedia said:
macOS Catalina Releases
VersionBuildDateDarwinRelease NotesStandalone download
10.1519A583October 7, 201919.0.0Original Software Update releaseN/A
10.1519A602October 15, 201919.0.0Supplemental update
10.1519A603October 21, 201919.0.0Revised Supplemental update
10.15.1 Beta 219B77aOctober 17, 201919.0.0Developer Beta 2
 


Once in "More info," the Safari update is pre-checked. And there's another checkbox to "Install." The only way to "unstick" that selection is to choose "Cancel scheduled updates." (Huh? Who "scheduled" them?!?)
After choosing "Cancel scheduled updates," another dialog appears, in which the "Cancel" button is not the default, while the "Install" button is the default.Quick-clickers will likely blow through that without realizing the need for using the non-default button.
However, after closing the "Cancel" button, the update is, in fact, "unstuck" and requires further action to install.
There is no "Cancel scheduled updates" on my install. The checkbox setting is still not honored. Presumably, there is some other setting that triggers the appearance of this option. At least Safari has not yet been updated (behind my back).
 


I’m being held hostage. I have an iPhone 6 Plus. iOS 13 can’t be used on it. There is an update to my Apple Watch. But it requires my iPhone to be running iOS 13. The watch downloaded it, leaving 24 MB free space on the watch. Luckily I was able to delete it and get my free space back.

I thought of upgrading my iMac (2017 4.2GHz with 1TB SSD) to Catalina, but read somewhere (I can’t find it now, though) that it converts Notes and Reminders to a new format that can only be used with iOS 13.

Plus, will the Finder recognize my iPhone without iOS 13, now that iTunes is gone? ... So I guess I am being held hostage to spend a ridiculous price to get a new iPhone (when the 6 Plus works fine) or I am stuck forever with all my other devices staying where they are!

I’ve been a loyal Apple user since the dawn of time, but I’m beginning to question that, considering the forced upgrade and all the other stuff they have eliminated over the years (AppleWorks, Aperture, HyperCard, iDVD, Airport, iWeb, and on and on).
 


Not sure this has been posted, but Apple has added a new option to the softwareupdate command in macOS 10.15. You can now download a full installer directly using the following command:

softwareupdate --fetch-full-installer --full-installer-version 10.XX.YY

You would substitute the XX.YY with the version of the installer you want - so 15 or 14.6. I have heard, but not tested, that you can even get versions of macOS 13 with this command. It does require using a computer with Catalina installed.
 


I thought of upgrading my iMac (2017 4.2GHz with 1TB SSD) to Catalina, but read somewhere (I can’t find it now, though) that it converts Notes and Reminders to a new format that can only be used with iOS 13.
Going the other way (IOS 13 on my iPhone and Mojave on my Macs), your reminders are not automatically upgraded, and you are warned that upgrading them (and unlocking new features of the new Reminders app) is incompatible with older operating systems.

There have been no nag buttons about this since I installed IOS 13 about a month ago. The only reminder (sic) that I am back-leveled is that, on the main reminders screen (which I usually don't see, since Reminders opens to the last list seen), there is an Upgrade button on the right side of the header above the list of lists.

I suspect that Catalina has similar fencing around upgrading the actual reminders.

I don't remember such an issue with Notes around the Catalina upgrade (and I can work with my Notes on all my devices), but there may have been a similar situation for the Mojave-IOS 12 release in 2018.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Not sure this has been posted, but Apple has added a new option to the software_update command in macOS 10.15.
In macOS 10.12, softwareupdate lacks any "full-installer" options, but here's an example of listing pending software updates:
Bash:
softwareupdate -l
Software Update Tool

Finding available software
Software Update found the following new or updated software:
   * iTunes Device Support Update-
    iTunes Device Support Update ( ), 128392K [recommended]
 


...I have heard, but not tested, that you can even get versions of macOS 13 with this command...
Evidently the new option is only intended to allow download of installers for currently-supported versions of macOS.

I can confirm that the command can be used to pull down a full installer for macOS 10.13.6, but attempts to download older major versions result in a "not found" error, even when executed on a Mac that can boot the requested older version of macOS/OS X.
 


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