Upgrading to Catalina

Hi all,

I feel like I am being forced to upgrade to Catalina. I am trying to build an iOS app and am having issues with Xcode 9 and Xojo 2019r3.1 recognizing the development profile. I’ve been told I need to upgrade to Xcode 11. However, Xcode 11 needs Catalina and I am currently running High Sierra (10.13.6). I’m deathly afraid to upgrade to Catalina. With all the restrictions and “security” features of the OS, I am afraid half the tools I use (32 bit apps?) will be completely worthless.

So does anyone have any recommendations? What do I need to look out for as I upgrade? Are there utilities I need to install that Apple has removed (like the removed Telnet in either 10.12 or 10.13).



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I would recommend you to install Catalina in a virtual machine until you are sure that you want to work with it.

It works quite well, but rather slowly, in VirtualBox (which is free). I can help you with the creation of the VM if you need it.

About your 32-bits applications, it depends on how many apps do you really need daily. For the others, you can have them installed in a VM running an older version of macOS.

Overall, if you need to switch to the Catalina VM all the time, then you should upgrade. Otherwise, just keep your current macOS.

That’s actually a pretty good suggestion. I already have a license for Parallels. Perhaps I should use that for creating the VM.

Of course, that’s even easier with Parallels.

Just make sure to allocate at least 2.5 GB for the virtual machine. Below that limit, you will constantly wonder if Catalina has crashed or not. And I am not even saying that 4 GB would be comfortable :slight_smile:

The biggest pain in the ■■■■ with VMs is disk space. I am presently working to upgrade my Windows VM to Win10, but I don’t have a huge amount of disk space left on my laptop. And running VMs on an external HD is incredibly painful. So I’ll have to figure out how to do this!

Thanks for the tip.

Do you get the same speed issues with an external SSD? May be worth getting a cheap smallish one.

That’s a good point. I have one that I could use…

Or, you could do the opposite - move your current 10.13 install into a VM on an external SSD and then upgrade your boot drive to 10.15. Where do you see yourself spending most of your working day?

Yeah I was thinking about that as well. At this point I’m not sure. I think eventually, migrating to the latest Apple OS is probably going to be required. It might actually be easier to create a VM from my existing machine and then upgrade to Catalina. That way I have all my apps and everything all in the VM. But I’ll see…

I guess I’m looking for Feedback on Cataline, Big Sur, etc. Are the new features worth the upgrade and the associated pain?

Don’t upgrade to BS. It’s seriously buggy. Way worse than Catalina.

What about a compromise and doing Mojave? I’m on High Sierra, too, and thinking about upgrading to Mojave. The security in Catalina is just too bad for daily use. It’s like your own computer doesn’t trust you.


The problem is that all iOS apps built for the App Store need to be built against Xcode 11. Xcode 11 requires Catalina. So Apple has you by the you know what…

My advice; as I suffered terribly with Catalina earlier in the year, is not to upgrade. AppleCare know that the migration assistant is broken in Catalina and is causing many customers many problems (that’s what I was told).

I choose to partition the drive into 3, (as this machine can only run Catalina or newer), I have Catalina on it’s own 64GB parition, BS on another 64GB partition and my apps & data safe on a 3rd partition. This way if I need to perform a clean install of an OS version, it doesn’t have to touch my stuff.

If you choose to do a clean install of Catalina, make sure you log-in iCloud and disable “send all my stuff to Apple” options (iCloud Drive and Photos) BEFORE you copy across your data, otherwise Apple will delete your desktop and documents folder, like a spiolt little brat, when they realize they can’t trick you in paying for iCloud.

Xcode 11 requires Catalina.

No. Xcode 11.3 works on Mojave, too. So you can use it to build for App Store.
Only Xcode 11.5 or news needs Catalina.

You could create a Backup with Carbon Copy Cloner to USB and even Boot from this USB Device and work as if you’ve never upgraded.

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Same boat, same issue, due to that 20 June cutoff for ‘old’ (hahahaha) SDK

Actually doing this as I type
Wish me luck.

In 30 years I can not recall being put in the same situation on a Windows machine.


Big Sur has been my main OS since Beta 2 and, for a beta, it’s been excellent so far. I encourage you to at least be on Catalina for your main OS and run Big Sur on a VM, especially if you’re targeting the App Stores. Doing otherwise means you don’t know what most of your customers are experiencing and you just end up fighting with requirements of your development environments.


If you are building for the App Store, you have to be on Catalina. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good OS. Everything I have heard about it just really scares me. So I do indeed want the ability to go backwards.

I was just thinking this morning that it seems like Apples OS upgrades were better when you had to pay for them.

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And in many ways, I hate to say it, Windows is becoming more attractive!

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This is good to know, but I’m not even on Mojave. I’m still on High Sierra. Maybe it’s worth the step up to Mojave…

I purchased a new MBP just after Catalina came out… and I kept my old machine that was running 10.14.x in case I ran into issues with Catalina… I was sure I was going to run into 64bit and other issues and have to fire up the old machine. But after 4 months I have not had to do that.

Yes, I did have a few programs that were 32bit but I was able to easily replace them for almost no cost… and in most cases they needed updating anyway.

So my experience with Catalina has largely been smooth and non-eventful.