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  • How to install macOS Big Sur beta on a separate APFS volume

    Posted on Alex5723 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems macOS How to install macOS Big Sur beta on a separate APFS volume

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      • #2280981 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus
      • #2281151 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks, Alex. This article that you have pasted a link to in your original comment, at the start of this thread, is probably one of the most useful things, for me at least, that I have read about “Big Sur” until today. Installing “Big Sur” in a separate HD or SSD volume while keeping the current macOS in the original partition and being able to switch back and forth between them at will is a great practical idea and a prudent one, considering the drastic change from the Intel- to ARM-based Macs “Big Sur” is designed to run on while “translating” Intel-Era software one has installed in one’s Intel Mac with “Rosetta.” It looks like this shall let users have their cake (current Intel-Era applications in their still healthy and not too old Intel Macs), and eat it (keep running those applications in their Macs under “Big Sur” and its successors, designed to run in ARM machines) without overwriting the old with the new until they are ready and sure it is OK to switch.

        Although I must add that I find this confusing:

        Disclaimer: In the current macOS Big Sur 11 developer beta, if the beta is installed into the same APFS container as the previous version of macOS, Apple says that system software updates can no longer be installed on the previous versions of macOS. This appears to be an issue just affecting the current developer beta, and may be resolved in future macOS Big Sur betas going forward. For the record, Apple outright recommends this method.

        And this reassuring:

        With all of that being said, I’ve updated two of my Macs, both containing additional APFS volumes for the Big Sur beta, to the latest version of macOS Catalina 10.15.6. These updates worked just as expected and I have encountered zero issues. Of course, your mileage may vary based on what Apple disclosed in its beta release notes.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2281373 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          So OscarCP you have bit the bullet and installed Catalina 10.15.16 without a hitch.  I was waiting to hear from you and others before installing it.  I’m on the fence because I don’t use any apps or anything that would benfit from this install.  However, since I’m still on Mojave I would be 2 behind when Big Sur comes along.  I would appreciate hearing from Oscar and all others exactly how their installations went for Catalina.  Should I hold my nose and upgrade to Catalina?  Thanks for any guidance!

          • #2281402 Reply
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            Anonymous: I am not sure where a different idea might have come from, but I am still on Mojave, have not moved to Catalina yet, for the same reason you haven’t. I am also waiting to figure out how much trouble the change might be, what to do to reduce it, what to watch for, before I update the OS to Catalina, already significantly different from previous versions of macOS, including “Mojave” — probably some months from now. Once I have done that and am comfortable with “Catalina”, I’ll repeat the process with the even more different “Big Sur”, and so with even greater reason to be cautious once more and wait a long time before I jump.

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2281406 Reply
              anonymous
              Guest

              Sorry OscarCP — you were quoting Alex5723 who installed Catalina.  I feel better now that you are also still waiting to install.  I just installed a security update to Mojave today and am satified that that is as far as I’m going for now!

              • #2281539 Reply
                Alex5723
                AskWoody Plus

                Replay to anonymous

                “you were quoting Alex5723 who installed Catalina”

                I don’t use Apple MacOS (switched long time ago to Windows due to work requirements).
                I do use an iPhone, an iPad and Apple Watch.

                1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2281262 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        if the beta is installed into the same APFS container as the previous version of macOS

        both containing additional APFS volumes

        There is no confusion . Don’t install on the same volume.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2281404 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          So, Alex, do all previous versions of macOS have additional volumes?

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2281409 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        Thanks for the discussion. This can be useful for those who wish to beta test Big Sur.

        I’ve also heard from around the net asking if it’s possible to do this with the final shipping version of Big Sur, or even now with Catalina, and “test drive it” before upgrading to ensure everything works as it should. You could do that, and you could even migrate your existing data into the new OS from a Time Machine backup using Migration Assistant (then if you’re happy with it, just nuke the previous OS partition). I haven’t done it since I’ve found it easier to simply upgrade in-place, and for the most part, I haven’t had many major issues with OS upgrades (although I’ve had some with Catalina, it hasn’t been quite as bad as I was expecting).

        Nathan Parker

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2281536 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        do all previous versions of macOS have additional volumes?

        volumes = additional internal / external HDDs. In this case formatted to APFS.
        Nothing to do with MacOS versions.

        • #2281540 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Alex: Terribly sorry. Let me rephrase that:

          Are all previous versions of macOS compatible with keeping separate volumes in the HD or SSD? (Because they don’t have to be, have they?)

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

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