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macOS 10.15 Catalina

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I know that Apple periodically announces updated printer drivers. I suspect they are given to Apple by the manufacturers.
In my (several) discussions with various people at Canon regarding printer drivers, I was told that Apple no longer gets the drivers from the printer company. They (Apple) wants to control everything and that is why I couldn't download a driver for my Pixma TS9120 from Canon for OS X 10.9.6 (Mavericks). As it turned out, I was able to use the printer with Mavericks through Bonjour and, it fact, it worked better than with El Capitan. It would not scan in El Capitan, but would in Mavericks. And Apple used to be the company with the "It just works" philosophy. Not so much now.
 


How does macOS 10.15 deal with audiobooks, such as those downloaded from audible.com and loaded onto an iPod Nano?
Audiobooks are now handled by the Books application in macOS 10.15. It has not yet been confirmed (here) that this will work with audiobooks other than those from the iTunes Store. If they don't work, then you'll need to use a different app and a manual file transfer method similar to this, but it will be done via the Finder rather than iTunes in macOS 10.15.
 


In my (several) discussions with various people at Canon regarding printer drivers, I was told that Apple no longer gets the drivers from the printer company. They (Apple) wants to control everything and that is why I couldn't download a driver for my Pixma TS9120 from Canon for OS X 10.9.6 (Mavericks). ...
Apple is changing how drivers are being done in the future. All drivers will be a subtype of something called a System Extension. However, it looks like all System Extensions are apps (special kinds of applications with non-normal capabilities but probably generally classified as an app). It wouldn't be a huge leap if eventually Apple opens a "system extension" section of the App Store. If distributing drivers was more like distributing apps, then Apple may jump back into the game.

I suspect Apple didn't like distributing something that needed something like the system installer to work - and, also, coupling new drivers to new OS update releases - an even bigger bundle with even bigger logistics.

Hardware vendors will still be free to build their own "System Extension" app and have users download it (or make awkward DVD/CD installers), Their app could percolate notifications (Nikon has a crufty "Nikon Software update' app that works along those lines). Most printers have some sort of "control center" app. They may need to trigger a new app bundle (something that has a consistent signature).

Starting with macOS 10.16, many of these hardware vendors are going to have to do something new anyway. Certain classes of current kernel extension (kext) drivers are going to just completely stop working and won't be loaded at all. They are going to have to build something that is new just to be on the contemporary macOS. Some bundle of apps will need to be put together.

It is going to be interesting to see what happens for "race to the bottom" hardware devices that put the absolute minimal budget on software development. (Similarly for high-end stuff with comatose software resources allocation.)
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Some notes on Catalina compatibility from Howard Oakley:
Eclectic Light Co. said:
Will my app/tool/extension run on Catalina?
Following recent articles here and elsewhere in the press, several people have asked me whether their software will run in macOS 10.15 Catalina. This article is an attempt to make this complex issue clear, and guide you in your preparations over the coming months.
1. Does it contain any 32-bit executable code? ...
2. Is the code signed or notarized? ...
3. Do you distribute your code beyond immediate friends/family? ...
4. What software does have to be notarized then? ...
 



Thanks again, Graham. I would be very interested to know if JoseHill can indeed provide an answer.
At least as of Catalina beta build 19A471t (not the latest build), you can burn an audio CD using the Music app. The procedure for burning and the preferences for burning are essentially the same as in iTunes.

I only noticed one significant change with the burning procedure. Unfortunately, it's another example of Apple's fetishization of hide-and-go-seek interfaces:
  • In iTunes, the progress of the burning operation is prominently reported in the iTunes controls area at the top-center of the iTunes window, so there is immediate feedback that all is working properly.
  • When I started to burn a CD in Music, I heard the CD spinning, but I didn't see any obvious feedback from the app that anything actually was happening. Eventually, I noticed the text "Burning CD" in small type (smaller than any other type displayed in the Music screen) in the lower left corner of the Music sidebar. Very easily overlooked! Although there was no strong indication that "Burning CD" was a clickable object, I clicked on it, and a small window appeared with a small progress wheel and the name of the track currently being burned.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Howard Oakley observes how incomplete Catalina is:
The Eclectic Light Co. said:
More haste, less upgrade
Catalina is looking good, but there’s a great deal which remains far from complete, rushed out for WWDC, and needs considerably more work before it’s going to be anything more than a taste of what’s to come. That includes SwiftUI for macOS, notarization for standalone code, malware detection, and of course Time Machine backups on APFS. I wonder how many of those we’ll have this time next year.
However, its radical changes address security vulnerabilities:
The Eclectic Light Co. said:
Why Catalina has got a read-only system volume
Since Apple introduced System Integrity Protection (SIP) in El Capitan – in addition to the more regular file-system protections provided to macOS system files – there has been a succession of vulnerabilities reported in it.
...
The solution adopted in Catalina has involved considerable engineering investment, including the development of a new type of bi-directional symbolic link named a firmlink, which enables the two boot volumes to integrate and function as one. Apple clearly considers that protecting system integrity is an essential function in macOS 10.15, not an optional extra to be enabled so long as it doesn’t trip your apps up.
#security
 


Silly question (unless I missed in here): has anyone tried running iTunes 12.6.x or 12.8.x on the beta of Catalina?

I know, as someone who manages their iPhone apps via iTunes 12.6 access to the App Store, I can't imagine folks being happy if they lose that functionality under 10.15.
 


Like many others, I have a large iTunes library on an external drive. Anyone have any idea as to what will happen in Catalina?
 


Like many others, I have a large iTunes library on an external drive. Anyone have any idea as to what will happen in Catalina?
<humor>mass confusion</humor>

The reality is that iTunes is being ripped apart. Multiple iDevice-like apps will appear with few of the features of the existing iTunes - at least initially. Audiobooks and Podcasts will be removed from iTunes, iDevice Syncing will be done via Finder. Playlists for these will most likely disappear.

Real answers, at least for the Catalina beta release, may be available in a week or two. Get info for my iTunes folder on my external media drive is currently 427,124,432,766 bytes (427.15 GB on disk) for 14,356 items. I am hoping to get a round tuit, soon.
 



We've had several days of dry weather, so I have been doing yard work. Next week I expect to continue testing on the Catalina developer beta with the emphasis on finding what features Apple has removed and how an existing (Mojave) library is migrated.

As some say, "News at 11."
 


Silly question (unless I missed in here): has anyone tried running iTunes 12.6.x or 12.8.x on the beta of Catalina?
Attempting to install iTunes 12.6 or 12.8 on Catalina will fail with a warning that the software is not supported on the system.

Also, if iTunes is installed, and you try to update to Catalina, it will be replaced by the new Music, Podcast, and TV apps.

Perhaps it might be possible to install iTunes by manually extracting the necessary software from the installation package, but I would be very surprised if that were true, and I wouldn't recommend trying. Even if it were possible, I suspect it would be time-consuming to undertake and unreliable over time.

PS. As Ric mentioned on the 10.15 thread, the Catalina Public Beta is now available.
 


Okay. I've had some time to test the macOS 10.15 Public Beta. Here are a few of my initial notes:
  • The installer is ~6.45 GB.
  • There are new setup screens e.g. Screen Time.
  • new system preferences layout with Apple ID login at the top
  • new apps: Apple TV, Find My, Music, Podcasts (the new apps are already in the Dock)
  • AFP networking still works (yay!).
  • 32-bit apps are crossed out with a no-entry symbol on their icon e.g. QuickTime Player 7. Launching them errors with a message to "contact the developer for an update."
  • Apps with deprecated dependencies are not crossed out with a no-entry symbol on their icon but simply do not launch or crash/freeze - e.g. Audacity 2.3.0.0 and EasyFind 4.9.3.
  • CoreServices* RAID Utility application has been removed. Apple hardware RAID is no longer supported (add another item to the "Apple killed it" list).
  • CoreServices* System Image Utility application has been removed (no longer supported - add another item to the "Apple killed it" list).
  • Ticket Viewer app has moved to /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications/
  • Remote Disc (from another Mac) does not show up in the Finder sidebar.
  • iTunes 12.6.5 cannot be installed - errors with "This software is not supported on your system."
  • iTunes 12.8.2 cannot be installed - errors with "This update requires macOS version 10.13.99 or earlier" (!).
  • Adobe CS6 cannot be installed (as expected) - the 32-bit installer is crossed out with a no entry symbol on its icon.
  • Adobe Flash Player can still be installed.
  • Apple's Java 2017-001 cannot be installed.
  • Oracle's Java 8 Update 211 can be installed.
  • I was able to manually install, setup and test print from a Xerox Phaser 6180DN (the driver hasn't been updated since OS X 10.11) (yay!).
  • The Apple Music interface can be easily disabled in the Music application: Go to Music app > Preferences > Restrictions > tick 'Disable:' "Apple Music" + "Apple Music Profiles" (yay!).
  • Trash has been renamed "Bin" - at least for language & region: UK > English (UK), it is! Surely it should be "Waste basket." ;-)
I will be updating the following articles over on MacStrategy as more testing is done and I will also report back here with anything major that I find:
[* i.e. in /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications/]
 


Okay. I've had some time to test the macOS 10.15 Public Beta. Here are a few of my initial notes...
I use Cisco's AnyConnect VPN client to connect to my employer's network when I work from home. The latest version of AnyConnect, v4.7, is broken in Catalina public beta. It works fine in Mojave and prior macOS versions.

I've sent a "feedback" report to Apple about the issue. We'll see.
 


I use Cisco's AnyConnect VPN client to connect to my employer's network when I work from home. The latest version of AnyConnect, v4.7, is broken in Catalina public beta. It works fine in Mojave and prior macOS versions.

I've sent a "feedback" report to Apple about the issue. We'll see.
Version 4.6.04056 of the Cisco ANyConnect VPN client still seems to work fine, though.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Okay. I've had some time to test the macOS 10.15 Public Beta. Here are a few of my initial notes...
This is a huge issue, in my view:
macOS 10.15 Catalina Frequently Asked Questions
Catalina has a dedicated system volume - backup/cloning/disk repair software will almost definitely need to be updated/upgraded to work with this new version of macOS
Has anyone had a chance to test cloning Catalina to an external drive, then moving that drive to a system with no other Catalina installation, and booting from that clone?
 



This is a huge issue, in my view...
Has anyone had a chance to test cloning Catalina to an external drive, then moving that drive to a system with no other Catalina installation, and booting from that clone?
Running the current release of Carbon Copy Cloner gives this warning:
Notes for macOS Catalina testers:
  • The current build of CCC will not make a proper backup of a macOS Catalina startup disk. Don't attempt to back up the startup disk, and ignore any suggestions to reformat the destination as HFS+.
  • Your Catalina startup disk will not appear in CCC's sidebar.
  • If you would like to make a backup of your user data on a Catalina volume (not that you should be using it in production!), you may drag the /System/Volumes/Data folder onto CCC's Source selector to specify the Data volume as the source for a backup task.
  • Stay tuned for another beta release that will address most of the "backing up the Catalina startup disk" issues.
  • No, we don't have a timeline. The changes in Catalina that affect backup processes are more...
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Running the current release of Carbon Copy Cloner gives this warning...
(The end of your quote got cut off....)

I checked at the Carbon Copy Cloner website and found some related notes:
Bombich Software said:
Catalina, Read-only System Volume, and HFS is getting out of the system business
Among the new announcements this year is the introduction of a read-only system volume on macOS Catalina. From the moment that Apple announced APFS, I anticipated exactly this sort of setup – user data on one volume, macOS on another – complete separation, absolute protection for the system. Apple has implemented this in a manner that will be (almost) completely transparent to the end user, and so far, I'm pretty stoked about how all of this works.

What implications does the read-only system volume have for CCC backups?

In the Finder you'll only see one volume that represents your startup disk and it will appear as if everything is on that single volume. In reality, the startup disk that you see in the Finder is the read-only system volume and doesn't have any of your data on it; the "Data" volume is separate and hidden. CCC will have to find that hidden volume (don't worry, I know where to look :-) and back up its contents alongside the system volume. The current version of CCC can't do that, of course, it knows nothing about APFS volume groups. We're adding that functionality right now, though, and we'll be hard at work over the summer on some new documentation that will help explain everything that you're seeing (or not seeing!) on the newOS.

What are the implications for my backup disk?

Allow me to be the first to say it: stick a fork in it, HFS is done. HFS simply won't work for making a backup of a Catalina system volume, so in the near future, we're going to drop support for backing up macOS (Catalina and later) to HFS+ formatted volumes. We plan to make this as easy as possible for you, though, so don't go out of your way to get ready for this. My goal is to make this transition as simple as possible for you and your backups.

If you're testing Apple's new OS already, stay tuned for another CCC beta release in the next couple weeks that will start to add support for the new features of macOS Catalina.
 


Like many others, I have a large iTunes library on an external drive. Anyone have any idea as to what will happen in Catalina?
I have been using a 952GB iTunes library on an external USB 3.0 drive using the macOS 10.15 beta for several weeks now. It has run very well - quick and reliable.

The music app, on the other hand, is full of issues and truly is not even at a beta state. Calling it an alpha would be doing it a kindness. My favorite shortcoming is that all of the text is black on a dark gray background, rendering most of it unreadable. Not only could that be fixed in 30 seconds, but how did it get implemented in the first place.

Well, plenty of time for progress.
 


My favorite shortcoming is that all of the text is black on a dark gray background, rendering most of it unreadable. Not only could that be fixed in 30 seconds, but how did it get implemented in the first place.
It's amazing how far Apple has deviated from its own Human Interface Guidelines. I'd be very interested in a serious historical perspective, particularly specific management decisions/changes, on how something so seemingly part of a company's DNA was abandoned.

In my opinion, Apple needs a credible Senior Vice President for Human Interface. I don't regard any of Apple's current senior executives as particularly credible in that area.

PS. It's interesting that among the portraits of the 17 executives shown on Apple's Leadership and Governance page, all have at least a hint of a smile, except for one. Normally, I avoid commenting on such things, but for something as prominent as the official executive portraits on Apple's website, the choice of portrait sends a conscious message. If that portrait is any indicator, don't look for a lot of positive "surprise and delight" from that department.
 


Unfortunately, it's another example of Apple's fetishization of hide-and-go-seek interfaces.
Sadly, that's exactly the right word for it.

And even when interface changes aren't exactly hide-and-seek, they seem to trend towards being less informative than their predecessors. I updated to the latest iWork apps on Mojave and again on my mom's High Sierra machine. I immediately noticed that I had a much better idea of the progress [in the older macOS], compared to the minimal information conveyed by the iOS-style progress indicators in the Mojave App Store.

Is the Catalina App Store any better (or worse)?
 


A major change in the Catalina Podcasts app is how it stores downloaded podcast files.

In iTunes, downloaded podcasts are stored in this easily accessible, human-intelligible location:

~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Podcasts/name of podcast/title of episode.mp3​

In Catalina Podcasts, downloaded podcasts are stored in this hidden, human-hostile location:

~/Library/Group Containers/243LU875E5.groups.com.apple.podcasts/Library/Cache/string of 36 seemingly random characters with no human-understandable indication of the source of the podcast.mp3​

Apple clearly does not want to let you save podcast files for any reason outside of using it in the Podcasts app. They've done similar for the iBooks to Books transition. I imagine they'd love to get away with this for Music files, too, but I suppose that is a bridge too far, at least for now.
 


Apple clearly does not want to let you save podcast files for any reason outside of using it in the Podcasts app. They've done similar for the iBooks to Books transition.
Is there any chance at all these changes might be unintentional or at least likely to improve in later betas?
 


Is there any chance at all these changes might be unintentional or at least likely to improve in later betas?
While one always can hope that Apple will change direction, it's hard to imagine them doing this without intention. This approach is very consistent with moving towards a business model of having people access data via proprietary/subscription services and apps, rather than letting people "own" their own data and use it as they please. Nearly everything Apple does these days points in that direction. I've already left iBooks/Books, and I'll soon start investigating cross-platform podcast apps. I'd bet music will follow.
 


Running the current release of Carbon Copy Cloner gives this warning...
Time Machine is also broken. I had it make a full backup, restarted, and did a full restore from it (meanwhile, I mowed the lawn). Both system and user data were lost. Safari, of all things, was lost. What little user data I had on that volume was lost, but random preferences were preserved. I'm still assessing it, before I file the bug report.
 



This approach is very consistent with moving towards a business model of having people access data via proprietary/subscription services and apps, rather than letting people "own" their own data and use it as they please.
Looks that way. Almost the top quarter of the new System Preferences is dedicated to pushing you into logging into iCloud. The actual Prefs icons are arrayed below it.
 


I have been using a 952GB iTunes library on an external USB 3.0 drive using the macOS 10.15 beta for several weeks now. It has run very well - quick and reliable. The music app, on the other hand, is full of issues and truly is not even at a beta state. Calling it an alpha would be doing it a kindness. My favorite shortcoming is that all of the text is black on a dark gray background, rendering most of it unreadable. Not only could that be fixed in 30 seconds, but how did it get implemented in the first place. Well, plenty of time for progress.
Apple has already reported that the initial beta release of macOS Catalina doesn’t support switching between multiple iTunes Libraries:
 



This is true. I will do so now. Thanks for the heads up.
I think I read somewhere (maybe on my institution's site?) that Cisco is aware of the impending problem and is working on a compatible version. This will affect a lot of educational institutions (and, presumably, others), so it will be in Cisco's interest to address it over the summer.
 


I think I read somewhere (maybe on my institution's site?) that Cisco is aware of the impending problem and is working on a compatible version. This will affect a lot of educational institutions (and, presumably, others), so it will be in Cisco's interest to address it over the summer.
I am certain that Cisco will have this fixed before (or worst case, soon after) the Catalina release. It's too high profile for them to just ignore.

That having been said, bug reports are important. You might provide information others haven't (which would help them fix it faster) and even if you provide no new information, it helps their support department understand the number of customers affected by it.
 


For what it's worth, I am running the macOS 10.15 Public Beta on my Mac Mini (2014) under Parallels 13 running on macOS 10.12.6 (Safari).

The Parallels disk image is on an external USB 3 drive. My Mini has a 250GB SSD. The whole setup is sluggish, as you might expect, but to my amazement, it does run.

I am trying it this way because I am still not comfortable with APFS, but I wanted to take a look at Catalina.
 


A Mac Pro 5,1 can work with Catalina. However some steps are needed for the Mac Pro to run correctly. The first two are the need of a Metal-compliant video card and upgrading the Bluetooth and WiFi modules. You just need to do these three simple steps for the Mac Pro 5,1 to run macOS Catalina:

(1) Install macOS Catalina on a drive on a supported Mac.​
(2) Boot your MacPro5,1 to recovery, and then in Terminal, type*:​
sudo nvram boot-args="no_compat_check"
(3) transfer the drive with macOS Catalina installed to the Mac Pro 5,1 and boot. I have it running on my Mac Pro 5,1 (mid 2012). No problems.​


*If you get an error when doing Step 2 above, then just enter the command but leave out "sudo" at the beginning.
 


A Mac Pro 5,1 can work with Catalina. However some steps are needed for the Mac Pro to run correctly. The first two are the need of a Metal-compliant video card and upgrading the Bluetooth and WiFi modules. You just need to do these three simple steps for the Mac Pro 5,1 to run macOS Catalina:
(1) Install macOS Catalina on a drive on a supported Mac.​
(2) Boot your MacPro5,1 to recovery, and then in Terminal, type*:​
sudo nvram boot-args="no_compat_check"
(3) transfer the drive with macOS Catalina installed to the Mac Pro 5,1 and boot. I have it running on my Mac Pro 5,1 (mid 2012). No problems.​
Catalina Patcher is available now and will do Step 2 for you, patching the Catalina Installer so that you can run it directly, obviating the need for Steps 1 and 3.
 


I've sent a "feedback" report to Apple about the issue. We'll see.
Cisco AnyConnect used to break all the time, with every release of the OS. It used to be a ridiculously fragile piece of software. I suppose things haven't changed.

Are you able to use the built-in Cisco IPsec VPN client?
 


Looks that way. Almost the top quarter of the new System Preferences is dedicated to pushing you into logging into iCloud. The actual Prefs icons are arrayed below it.
I'm terrified of this. I have a small ad agency - the computers are all mine. How the hell do I assign iCloud accounts to each employee? Why?

They've already killed Server - we're stuck at macOS 10.13, because we still use the Wiki, messages, and haven't had time to play all the games to switch...
 


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