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macOS 10.15 Catalina

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I think it is a function of Catalina itself. I simply don't remember such grief before. I want to really like Catalina, as I love the Apple Watch integration, but permissions are giving me massive grief, as is trying to get Time Machine to work normally on my Synology NAS – problems I did not have with Mojave.
By coincidence today, our Netgear Nighthawk router at work had a firmware update ready to install. I have it set to only update manually. Netgear has been pushing users to enable automatic updating. Not a bad idea, per se, as, unlike Apple's system that provided notification when an AirPort had an update to install, the Netgears just sit there, and there's no Ric and MacInTouch of Netgear to provide alerts.

So if you'd had automatic updates enabled, and they had self-applied, here are the "enhancements" Netgear sent your router:
Netgear Support said:
R7000 Firmware Version 1.0.9.88
Please note that starting with this firmware release (V1.0.9.88), iTunesServer, Kwilt Photosharing, Time Machine Backup, TiVo support for media sharing, and the Downloader feature (which was in beta) are no longer supported. If you want to continue using these features, do not update the firmware.
What's stunning is this explanation for why Netgear did this:
Netgear Community said:
Re: R7000 FW Version 1.0.9.88
In order to bring you new, highly requested features, such as smart parental controls and advanced cyber-threat protection...
What's not mentioned is the smart parental controls and advanced cyber-threat protection are part of the cloud-based package of services called Netgear Armor that's $70 a year.

Looping back to your problem connecting Catalina to your Synology to run Time Machine, so long as your Mac connects through your router to the Synology, which supports Time Machine, the changes Netgear made by dropping direct router support for Time Machine shouldn't affect the Synology.

That's shouldn't.

I recently mentioned that I've had little success connecting our Synologies at work over SAMBA (Linux adaptation of Windows SMB) or over Linux-native NFS. With both Macs and Linux on the network, AFP has worked fine. I know AFP is being deprecated and understand Apple has moved to SMB v.2, but as this Carbon Copy Cloner post states about connecting to SMB volumes, that's a work in progress:
Carbon Copy Cloner 5 Knowledge Base said:
macOS Catalina Known Issues
We have received several reports that macOS is unable to create disk images on SMB volumes hosted by various NAS devices (e.g. FreeNAS device, Western Digital MyCloud Home and QNAP).
Here's one more that's related:
S Brown said:
WD Discovery 3.4.89 and macOS 10.15 Catalina Support
WD Discovery version 3.4.89 does not support macOS 10.15 Catalina.
We are working to release a new version of WD Discovery that will support macOS 10.15. Unfortunately, we cannot provide an exact date as to when the version of WD Discovery that supports macOS 10.15 Catalina will be released
(Sorry if this post seems to ramble around. At least it should give a sense of the many "moving parts" in play, and that it may be your router, your NAS, or Catalina that's the source of problems. Or a mix of the three...)
 


1) I found that the music files were still there in my music/iTunes/iTunes Music folder (though for some reason this folder had a generic icon, not a folder icon).
2) I then identified that my most recent 'iTunes library' file in the iTunes folder did not have .itl at the end so wasn't identified as a library folder by Music - I added .itl
3) I started Music with the option key held down, clicked on 'choose library', then selected this 'itl' file; it will then ask you where to save the library (it'll give you Music or Music 1 etc). Then it will create this new folder, and inside it will be a new 'Music Library.musiclibrary' file - and in my case, nothing else. All the actual music files are still in my 'iTunes' folder
Absolutely right about this... my generic icon "iTunes Music" "folder" seems to continue to contain all my 12,000 tracks plus podcast,s ringtones, movies, TV shows (which appear in the TV app), audiobooks, etc. still in their own folders. The iTunes Library.itl (I have the suffix) remains untouched by recent additions, and the Album Artwork folder remains untouched there.

The "Music" folder contains one "Music Library" file (about 100 MB). The "TV" folder (in the Users/~/Movies/ location) contains a small "TV Library". There's no "Podcasts" subfolder.

I always have extreme doubts about the readiness of software when such inconsistencies are still present, particularly when the main reorganisational intention, namely to remove iTunes completely, leaves the entire previous iTunes folder structure untouched, if slightly altered.

Clearly there's a whole bunch more work to be done to clean all this up....
 



... But I do see one really annoying minor bug - all my .webloc files have only generic, white icons. And if I do Get Info on these files, I can't change the "Open with" app. ...
That's not a bug; it's a feature since at least Sierra. By design, macOS now opens a .webloc file using the Default web browser [which can be chosen] in System Preferences > General.
 


I just upgraded to Catalina today. I used Carbon Copy Cloner Version 5.1.10 (5778) to back up my macOS 10.15 to an external drive. However, the drive will not mount as a start-up drive. It is acting like a "read only" drive. This is different from every other upgrade I've ever done, and I need an external mountable drive. Do you have any ideas?...
I was doing something similar, but Ibacking up to a disk image on my NAS server. Carbon Copy Cloner 5.1.11 had issues (wouldn't complete a backup without multiple forced restarts), but Carbon Copy Cloner 5.1.12 had no issues with the backup or the restore.
 



Once up and running with Catalina, I noticed all three machines had a badge on System Prefs requiring me to update my Apple ID settings. On all machines having completed this step, the machines got stuck in an endless loop of entering the ID, waiting 30 seconds or so then asking again.
I had the same issue on one of two computers. Logging out of the cloud and logging back in fixed the loop.
 



In the new macOS Catalina, you cannot see the Apple apps in the main Applications folder when you are looking for them from an external drive. However, when you open the system folder, you can see another Applications folder where the Apple apps are hidden away. There you can pull any of the Apple apps you don't want to the trash and, with your admin password, throw them away.
I don't think I understand this because it seems too easy, so I'm breaking it down into parts.
  1. Boot from external Catalina drive
  2. While booted from the external drive, open the System folder (the new folder in Catalina to which only Apple has write privileges?)
  3. Find in there a second "Applications" folder with Apple's apps
  4. Simply drag Apple apps (e.g., Maps)that the user doesn't want to the Trash, and delete using Admin password.
At the end, the pruned Catalina system could be cloned and shared to other Macs?
 


I've set up our Macs, all on Sierra or Mojave, to be as agnostic as possible of Apple ID and iCloud. Should be obvious we're not using iCloud for Mail or paid apps from Apple's store. Have gone further and used Little Snitch to block all "regular" Apple connections (telemetry). That means it's necessary to disable those settings to get security updates.
The computers work fine, but we're using Firefox and NeoOffice, not Apple applications.
Has the need for an Apple ID been more deeply embedded into Catalina itself, or are you referring to applications that phone home to Apple for linked data, DRM verification, and other telemetry, and won't run without live connections?
It is certainly more persistent about Notifications and other nagging to login to iCloud, etc. If you are not logged into iCloud there is a permanent badge on System Preferences in the Dock. I now have
Code:
defaults write com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs 0;killall Dock
in my Scripts menu.
:-{
 



Objective Development posted an interesting blog entry:
which explains why you'd better not run any installer that updates or installs a kernel extension until the Catalina bug is fixed.

The article explains the conundrum: the kernel is on the read-only volume, so how can kextcache update it?

I suspect this is the answer to how any installer will be able to update the System volume. It appears that launchd is allowed to remount the volume as read/write during shutdown, after all other processes have ended.

#applequality
 


1) With nearly 12,000 photos...Activity Monitor reports constant up to 100% CPU usage of com.apple.MediaLibraryService and photoanalysisd. This has happened to many people on previous macOS versions, so I am assuming this is standard, but it seems to take a long time.
I don't have a solution to your issue but it reinforces my resolve to stay with Sierra. I have a script that disables almost 60 system agents and daemons I do not need, including photoanalysisd. I have a feeling I won't be able to do that in Catalina, since system files are locked down?
 


I have a Deleted Users folder that contains 6 GB worth of stuff I cannot delete. Error message says needed by system, etc. I have tried all the simple Terminal tricks, but nothing will delete this damn folder. Anybody have suggestions?
 


1) With nearly 12,000 photos...Activity Monitor reports constant up to 100% CPU usage of com.apple.MediaLibraryService and photoanalysisd. This has happened to many people on previous macOS versions, so I am assuming this is standard, but it seems to take a long time.
One of the updates to Mojave fixed the problem with Activity Monitor.

Since I still had some 32-bit Adobe and Microsoft apps, I deleted them. Then to be sure, I ran EasyFind for "Adobe" and "Microsoft" - amazing how many extras are not needed. Hard to get rid of some, but I probably deleted over 200-300 extra files.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
And he covers critical Apple Mail bugs that wipe out customers' emails (which can be even more of a horror show with IMAP and confusing issues with the lack of local email storage).
 



Since I still had some 32-bit Adobe and Microsoft apps, I deleted them. Then to be sure, I ran EasyFind for "Adobe" and "Microsoft" - amazing how many extras are not needed. Hard to get rid of some, but I probably deleted over 200-300 extra files.
A lot of apps have their own uninstaller app to remove the original app and all related items. Unfortunately, in this scenario, that uninstaller app will probably be 32-bit as well.

In this case, instead of simply dragging the application file into the trash, try using an app uninstaller utility. My choice for this is AppDelete.app. Once you “AppDelete” an item, it will gather all the related files with it and gives you a choice to archive or delete them, with the option to save specific items on the list.

Even if the actual application has been deleted, try applying AppDelete to any related file, e.g., .plist files. It should find the rest of the items connected with the original app.

However, if you can spare the space, I suggest keeping your 32-bit apps, for now—at least the ones that you might still have a use for. Whenever I find the need to run them, I boot from an external Mojave system to access them. I’m pleasantly surprised that I can launch them directly from the Catalina volume.
 


Here's a problem I have which hasn't been mentioned yet. I upgraded both my 2018 Mac Mini and 2017 iMac 27" to Catalina. With both machines, I tend to share an Apple Magic Keyboard, Apple Magic Mouse and/or Apple Magic Trackpad.

Prior to Catalina, if I had used one of these input devices on, say, the iMac, if I wanted to then use it on the Mini, then, about 30 seconds after powering on the Mini, it would try to connect any of the devices via Bluetooth, and that connection dialogue usually executed to completion i.e., the devices were then available.

Since Catalina, no such thing happens. Using the above scenario as an example, the Mini will sit there looking all stupid until I connect a cable from the keyboard, mouse or trackpad to the Mini, after which it then becomes available via Bluetooth.
 


I haven't changed to Catalina and currently intend to stay on Mojave. But I did notice something that might be of interest to those brave souls who are early adopters. Louis Rossman - better known for his hardware repair videos - has made a brief video describing an issue with Catalina bricking machines, and refers to a fix that Apple is assiduously removing from their support forums. I hope it might be helpful:

 


I have a Deleted Users folder that contains 6 GB worth of stuff I cannot delete. Error message says needed by system, etc. I have tried all the simple Terminal tricks, but nothing will delete this damn folder. Anybody have suggestions?
I had that problem sometime ago. As I recall, what I did was "restore" the deleted user to active state, convert or verify the restored account had admin privileges, then carefully delete the contents of the account before again deleting the user from a different admin account.

My experience didn't occur when "upgrading" a version of OS X, and was well before APFS and the separate "read-only System" setup in Catalina.

Since your issue may be an artifact of installing Catalina, and not a user account you deleted yourself, this may not work, but here is a link to Apple Support:
Apple Support said:
Restore a deleted user on Mac
If you saved a deleted user’s home folder, you can restore the user and the user’s home folder.
I've read that Apple has "invented" a new kind of symlink, a "firmlink," to point at the application elements in the new-with-Catalina read-only system file. A Catalina "firmlink" pointing at something in the "Deleted User" folder is a possible source of your error messages and inability to delete.
 



Objective Development posted an interesting blog entry:
which explains why you'd better not run any installer that updates or installs a kernel extension until the Catalina bug is fixed.
So, if I understand the process, once it's fixed, this is the roadmap to infect Catalina-running Macs. SIP is still there but will have to be disabled in order to update such low-level processes. Maybe I'm just too much of a skeptic, but I'd rather stick with Mojave and put my trust in Malwarebytes/ClamXav.
 


... FireWire will not mount, so you have to use USB or Thunderbolt. An external drive booted with macOS Catalina will not see the Apple apps in the main Applications folder on your Mac [internal drive]. You will have to go into the system folder, where you will find them in another Applications folder hidden there. You can remove them by dragging them to the Trash and with admin privilege (password), you can remove them. To me, this is very important news for people wanting to back-up macOS Catalina (which is advised before any updates are done on any Mac) and for people (like myself) who want to remove unwanted Apple apps.
I received this today from Bombich Software, Inc. which produces Carbon Copy Cloner:
Oct 16, 9:22 AM EDT

John,
We did some testing in-house, none of our Firewire systems are compatible with MacOS 10.15 Catalina, and we were unable to boot with a Thunderbolt to Firewire adaptor.
Apple Apps are NOT seen on the Main HD when you have booted from another device with OS Catalina. Apple Apps are stored in the System Folder under a Second Applications Folder. If you go to that Apps Folder inside the System Folder you will see your Apple Apps and you can move unwanted apps to the Trash and remove them with Admin Privileges (Password).
Yes that's all part of the locking down that's going hand in hand with APFS groups.
Best wishes,
Rob
Bombich Software, Inc.
 



(Sorry for the bulk-reply. I've been on vacation for a few days....)
The resistance comes about due to my having about 1 zillion scripts which were done in bash and not having the time, nor inclination, to move all 1 zillion to zsh.
The shell you use for your interactive sessions should not impact your scripts. Any script that begins with a line of the form
Code:
#!/bin/sh
will always be executed using the shell specified on that line. If your scripts require Bash, then make sure their first line begins with
Code:
#!/bin/bash
then you can change your login shell to anything you like, and your scripts will still run via Bash. No need to change the script itself, unless Apple actually deletes Bash, and if they do, you will almost certainly be able to compile and install your own copy (e.g. via MacPorts or Fink).
In a previous life I maintained a library of shell scripts. You choose one shell that works everywhere (/bin/sh) and leave them in that shell forever. Moving to a new shell is really hard, especially since their "emulation mode" never quite works.
Sounds like you were also writing scripts without specifying the required shell at the top of the file. That has always been a dangerous thing to do, especially if your want your scripts to be portable, since your favorite shell might not be allowed as a login shell on some systems. (This was a very big deal when I was in college, where my home directory was shared by many different mostly-incompatible systems.)
It's been said before, but again: /bin/sh is not necessarily a Unix Bourne shell and in these modern times, it probably is not.
Yes, but when launched via a hard- or symbolic-link named sh, it should run in a sh-compatible mode. This doesn't mean all extensions will be disabled, but it should mean that any non-backward-compatible changes should be turned off.

On the other hand, all systems have bugs, so this may not always be the case.

On the other, other hand, if your scripts currently work via /bin/sh (whatever it ends up being), then there's no reason to assume that they will break if they begin with
Code:
#!/bin/sh
and you change your login shell to something else.
I’ve read and scrupulously followed several tutorials on how to change to Bash, and it simply won’t do it. My problem is that the new shell prompts for a password I simply don‘t have.The OS password doesn’t work. Keychain doesn’t show any passwords for Terminal. Any ideas?
Interesting. How are you trying to change it? I usually run the chsh command. When it prompts for a password, use the one you used to log in to the OS. It should be the same, unless you've done something funky with your Mac's configuration.
 


... My iTunes folder, again located in my Music folder, looks like this:
[Folder] Album Artwork​
[File] iTunes Library Extras.itdb​
[File] iTunes Library Genius.itdb​
[File] iTunes Library.itl​
[File] iTunes Library.xml​
[Alias] iTunes Media ----> points to "iTunes Media" folder on external drive​
[Folder] Previous iTunes Libraries​

... So, anyway, the fix is to start out with a good "iTunes" folder, but instead of pointing to your "iTunes Media" folder with an alias, use a symbolic link.
Thanks for the tip. Although it is too late for anyone who has already upgraded to Catalina, there's another option for those who have not yet updated. Instead of creating an iTunes Media symlink, another option is to configure iTunes to look in the folder on your external drive for the library. On my Mac (macOS Sierra, running iTunes 12.8.2.3), this is how:
  1. From the menubar, select "iTunes -> Preferences..."
  2. Click on the "Advanced" tab
  3. In the box labeled "ITunes Media folder location", it should show the location of your media folder. I suspect it was something like "/Users/username/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media" on your system
  4. Click "Change..." and select a new location
  5. Click "OK"
Once this is done, iTunes will start using that location for your media. If the new location is empty (e.g. if you did this as the first step of moving your media elsewhere), then you should consolidate the library (File -> Library -> Consolidate Files...). This will copy all of your files from their current locations to the selected iTunes Media folder, if they are not already there.

If you copied/moved your iTunes Media folder to a new location and simply selected that location, I think (but do not know for certain) that consolidating the library won't actually copy any files but will update the database to look for them in the new location. But don't take my word on that - make a full backup before you try. (Actually, you should make a full backup before any major file reorganization like this, since you never know if/when something may glitch.)

I suspect (and would love confirmation from someone who has done this) that Apple's automatic migration on Catalina will see the library-location preference and look there.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I received this today from Bombich Software, Inc. which produces Carbon Copy Cloner:
... We did some testing in-house, none of our Firewire systems are compatible with MacOS 10.15 Catalina, and we were unable to boot with a Thunderbolt to Firewire adaptor.
Wow, that's a pretty big deal, and I can't find any documentation of that from Apple (or anyone else). Thanks for the heads-up, and I'd like to hear from anyone who has more information about this.
 


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