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Is there a secret Apple download link for Mojave now? I haven’t been tracking the Catalina release date, and never got around to downloading Mojave from the App Store, because I was waiting for it to be fully baked. Apple grudgingly provided a way to get Sierra after High Sierra came out, so I am hoping something similar exists for Mojave.
I was able to download the macOS 10.14.6 installer from this page:

Step #4 will suggest installing Catalina, but the download link is after "If you still need macOS Mojave, use this App Store link: ..."

I was running this from Catalina, so after the download, it automatically launched and gave back an error saying “this software is too old” or something to that effect, which is not a bad thing. Quit the installer if you need to, and you will find the installer file in your /Applications folder, as usual.
 


Wow, I didn't realize that a search for macOS Mojave on the App Store would turn up nothing. Luckily I downloaded the latest installer. But what happens if I have to restore my system from the recovery partition? Will it force me to Catalina?
This has been standard practice by Apple for several years now, since, if I remember correctly, OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Apple removes the ability to search for the older OSes within the Mac App Store but then (thankfully) offer a dedicated web page for the old version with a special link to the Mac App Store. In this case, the Mojave dedicated page is here (see also my updated Mojave FAQ).

Restoring your system from the recovery partition should not force you to install Catalina but the version restored is dependent on how you invoke recovery. We've discussed this recently on MacInTouch but here's the relevant part from my macOS Recovery FAQ:

On startup:
  • hold down the Command + R keys (Reinstall the latest macOS / OS X that was installed on your Mac, without upgrading to a later version)
  • or hold down the Command + Option + R keys (Upgrade to the latest macOS / OS X that is compatible with your Mac)
  • or hold down the Command + Option + Shift + R keys (Reinstall the macOS / OS X that came with your Mac, or the version closest to it that is still available - requires mac OS 10.12.4 or later to have been previously installed on the computer to update the boot firmware)
 


I did some searching after Mojave vanished from the App Store and got a download link. if I recall correctly I searched in Apple's software updates section. The link sent me to the App Store's hidden download. I started the download but had to go out for 1–2 hours so I paused it, just to be safe. The keyboard and mouse were covered and placed out of the way of casual contact. When I got back, I discovered that the download had finished anyway. I don't know if the pause somehow timed out; if it did, that is very undesirable behavior. Fortunately, no human or cat managed to accidentally trigger the installation process.
 


While the Mojave installer was on the App Store yesterday, I just this morning tried to download the earlier macOS versions (Sierra and High Sierra) from the App Store using those links and the Software Update panel opened but then could not find the older OS versions.
Update: The links worked when I tried to download the install apps from a Mac with El Capitan running. I was not able to download them on a Mac running Mojave. So it may just be that you have to have a computer capable of installing those OSes to download them.
 


Update: The links worked when I tried to download the install apps from a Mac with El Capitan running. I was not able to download them on a Mac running Mojave. So it may just be that you have to have a computer capable of installing those OSes to download them.
I wish Apple would just provide a straightforward download of OS installers in addition to their idiot-proof approach for people who do not know that they can quit the installer app. Some of us just want to download and store and are savvy enough to not let the installer run over a newer OS. I recall in the past having to retrieve final-version OS installers by booting from an earlier OS and also unmounting drives that might have had an earlier release of the OS installer backed up on it.
 


After October 24, all software update packages signed with the current certificates will stop working. I just checked, and all the Combo updaters still being distributed for Mac OS X 10.6.8, OS X 10.7.5, 10.8.5, 10.9.5, 10.10.5, 10.11.6, macOS 10.12.6, 10.13.6, and 10.14.5 [and] are signed with intermediate and Software Update certificates that expire on Oct. 24, 2019.
The packagepocalypse is nigh!

I checked the Catalina installer, and it has been signed with new Software Update and Intermediate certificates that expire in 2029 and 2031, respectively. However, this is the first thing I have seen signed with the new certificates.

The macOS 10.14.6 Combo Updater, issued on Sept. 26 (rolled up with Supplemental Update 2), and downloaded today is still signed with Software Update and Intermediate certificates that expire on October 24, less than 2 weeks away.

Every installer you've saved from Apple will need to be redownloaded once Apple gets around to reissuing all the packages, or else you will have to set your clock back to before Oct. 24, 2019 in order to use the old ones.
 


Wow, I didn't realize that a search for macOS Mojave on the App Store would turn up nothing. Luckily I downloaded the latest installer. But what happens if I have to restore my system from the recovery partition? Will it force me to Catalina?
... It does appear one cannot successfully search for all particular macOS version at the App Store, but following this example procedure will likely lead you to the App Store download:

Search for "Mac OS 10.12 Sierra installer +apple" -> How to upgrade to macOS Sierra -> Get macOS Sierra (link) -> App Store page for macOS Sierra, which you cannot navigate to directly from the App Store.
 


... It does appear one cannot successfully search for all particular macOS version at the App Store, but following this example procedure will likely lead you to the App Store download:
Search for "Mac OS 10.12 Sierra installer +apple" -> How to upgrade to macOS Sierra -> Get macOS Sierra (link) -> App Store page for macOS Sierra, which you cannot navigate to directly from the App Store.
I’m thinking about Douglas Adams again. The stairs and lights have gone…
 


Is there a secret Apple download link for Mojave now? I haven’t been tracking the Catalina release date, and never got around to downloading Mojave from the App Store, because I was waiting for it to be fully baked. Apple grudgingly provided a way to get Sierra after High Sierra came out, so I am hoping something similar exists for Mojave.
My friend Marv pointed me to How to create a bootable installer for macOS, which has links to Apple upgrade instruction pages for 5 different OS versions. Each of these pages has a link to get the installer in step 4.
 


My Mac Pro (Late 2013) automatically let me know that there was an update to Safari 13 and macOS 10.14, but for whatever reason, my two MacBooks (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015 and a 2012 Air) couldn't find those updates but were trying to force me into Catalina. I had to manually download both updates.
 


How does one get the full installer for Catalina, rather than just the small "stub"? Even though I don't have any plans to install it at this time, I would like to have it "just in case". And then the Mac App store will have a record of me "buying" it so I could download it at some later time.
 



I did some searching after Mojave vanished from the App Store and got a download link. if I recall correctly I searched in Apple's software updates section. The link sent me to the App Store's hidden download. I started the download but had to go out for 1–2 hours so I paused it, just to be safe. The keyboard and mouse were covered and placed out of the way of casual contact. When I got back, I discovered that the download had finished anyway. I don't know if the pause somehow timed out; if it did, that is very undesirable behavior. Fortunately, no human or cat managed to accidentally trigger the installation process.
You may have been affected by the same gremlin that randomly closes mail messages or moves to the top of the screen, just as if some mouse action happened. This has been happening since Mojave on my desktop and continued into Catalina on my MacBook Pro.
 


Tonight Safari updated itself to 13.0.2 without permission! I am running macOS 10.14.6 on my 2017 iMac and had kept Safari at 12.1.2. I generally quit it at the end of each day, so it has certainly been restarted many times since version 13 was released. Tonight, I quit it accidentally (I thought another app was the front one), so I tried to restart it. I got the message that I couldn't restart while it was updating. A few minutes later, I restarted it and was at 13.0.2.

I have automatic software updates disabled except for the system files/security ones. I checked in System Prefs and the setting is still correct. I am at a loss to explain this.
 


Tonight Safari updated itself to 13.0.2 without permission! ... I have automatic software updates disabled except for the system files/security ones. I checked in System Prefs and the setting is still correct. I am at a loss to explain this.
One explanation is that Apple declared Safari 13.0.2 a security update.
Apple Support said:
Apple security updates

Safari 13.0.2
This update has no published CVE entries.
macOS Mojave 10.14.6 and macOS High Sierra 10.13.607 Oct 2019
 


One explanation is that Apple declared Safari 13.0.2 a security update.
I am on Mojave 10.14.6. I have not applied Supplemental Update 2 (or whatever they are calling it) or updated Safari to 13.0.2. I checked just now, and I have "Install system data files and security updates" checked under the Advanced settings in Preferences -> Software Update. No auto update here, as of yet.

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?
 


For some reason, Safari 13.0.2 was installed twice automatically from the App Store on October 7th and October 16th. Any idea why?
 


I managed to unhose myself. Undaunted, I located a copy of the Safari13.0.2Mojave installer and opened it up with Pacifist. I carefully inspected the installer to find every file that was installed.
Would you be able to list the changed files? I need to do the same thing (v 13 is a disaster, and I have quarantined my last backup before it installed) but the 13.0.1 installer has been pulled from every available download location that I can see... TIA
 


Would you be able to list the changed files? I need to do the same thing (v 13 is a disaster, and I have quarantined my last backup before it installed) but the 13.0.1 installer has been pulled from every available download location that I can see... TIA
In response to this thread, I've been playing around with Howard Oakley's (Eclectic Light Company) SystHist ("lists full system and security update installation history"), where I find in its right-hand pane/list:

com.apple.pkg.Safari13.0.1MojaveAuto​

Clicking that line yields a log of installed files (which can be cut and pasted). This may also shed some light on the mysterious install without user's permission.

P.S. Kudos to Oakley for the tools he provides.
 


I checked just now, and I have "Install system data files and security updates" checked under the Advanced settings in Preferences -> Software Update.
If you ask me, allowing anything to update automatically is asking for trouble. Even security updates have been known to introduce new bugs and security holes. I would always wait at least a few days after any update is released to make sure there are no serious reports, and then allow the update.
 



For some reason, Safari 13.0.2 was installed twice automatically from the App Store on October 7th and October 16th. Any idea why?
I can't answer your question, but I'm seeing a similar thing, even with manual updates. I allowed App Store to install Safari 13.0.2 on October 8, and now today it's notifying me that it wants to install it again. Go figure.

FWIW, am running High Sierra 10.13.6.
 



For some reason, Safari 13.0.2 was installed twice automatically from the App Store on October 7th and October 16th. Any idea why?
This happened to me, under somewhat unusual circumstances. I have four installations of High Sierra 10.13.6 (main computer hard drive, and three external hard drives used for repair purposes). I used the URL
to install Safari 13.0.2 about October 7, since doing things like this via the App Store takes forever. In the past day or two as I have booted up with three of my four 10.13.6 installations, I made routine checks with the App Store program and, in each case, it wanted to "update" to Safari 13.0.2, so I let it do so. The new version seems to be almost the same as the old one, but exactly 2 bytes smaller. I haven't booted up the fourth installation yet.

Perhaps the people at Apple can't count and think that 13.0.2 is the next version after 13.0.2, but the new version should really be called 13.0.3. This makes at least as much sense as some of the other things coming out of Cupertino recently.
 


BKN

For some reason, Safari 13.0.2 was installed twice automatically from the App Store on October 7th and October 16th. Any idea why?
I checked both the previous and current versions of Safari 13.0.2 before updating, and the internal version number in parenthesis was changed from 13608.2.40.1.2 to 13608.2.40.1.3, so apparently whatever the change was, it was minor but enough to warrant pushing a "new" version of 13.0.2 out.

I've not seen any release notes for the change, but I haven't really looked, either.
 


I checked both the previous and current versions of Safari 13.0.2 before updating, and the internal version number in parenthesis was changed from 13608.2.40.1.2 to 13608.2.40.1.3, so apparently whatever the change was, it was minor but enough to warrant pushing a "new" version of 13.0.2 out.
I don't know what Apple is actually doing, but on most products I've worked on, those internal version numbers usually correspond to build numbers from an internal automated build server.

Given that only the last digit changed, I suspect there might not be any actual changes to the code, but maybe simply a re-compile. Maybe because some option was added or omitted (e.g. some optimization flag for the compiler) in the build script or because the build-automation tool itself got upgraded.
 
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My three Macs running Mojave had previously updated to Safari 13.0.2. Yesterday all three updated to Safari 13.0.2 again.

This trend of releasing software updates with the exact same name and version number is confusing to everyone. Users shouldn't have to delve into build numbers to know if an update is actually new or a rehash of an old update.
 


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.
 


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