Does Big Sur still require another APFS *container*?

Wanted to play with the beta, and reading the whole kerfuffle about how it’s required to create a new partition / container instead of just another “volume” in the same container in order to preserve updates.

Does anybody know if that’s still an issue for the current public beta?

There’s no public beta yet. I’d ask here - much more active group with developer beta 3:

I installed it without a new partition and it’s upgraded to the 2nd and 3rd beta without a problem

The issue is not updates with Big Sur, but updates with whatever OS (probably Catalina) is on the other APFS container.

For some reason, those other installations of macOS were not able to get updates once Big Sur was installed, if it was installed on the same APFS container.

I have not heard that this problem is solved, and I assume that the lack of a solution is why we don’t have a public beta yet. (But that’s just a guess as to the reason.)

I just went ahead and made a “real partition” that I plan to use with Big Sur once the public beta is available.

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Other than the standard “always have backups” caveat, is it generally considered safe to have MacOS resize one’s primary drive down in order to make a “real partition”? Not too error-fraught?

I would advise against the install of Big Sur on a volume on your native APFS drive. I’ve tried to do so, it worked, but it ruined my Catalina install.
Have since done a nuke & restore from clone.

  1. I always update my bootable clone before I resize my main drive. Always always always always. (One of the nice things about using the T5-SSD is that it only takes a few minutes.)

  2. I’ve never had the resizing process ruin my primary partition/volume/whatever.

  3. I have had it fail, which is always scary. But it has never taken down the main partition with it. Usually it just throws up an error message with some random number error code that basically says “Well that didn’t work.”

When I went to install Big Sur, for some reason Disk Utility kept telling me it couldn’t resize the main APFS partition.

My standard response in these situations is:

  1. Shut down the Mac

  2. Disconnect everything from my Mac (well, if it’s not a laptop, keep your keyboard/input device connected, but basically any drives, docks, etc plugged into the USB ports).

  3. Power on the Mac

  4. Log in to my backup ‘admin’ account (which is not logged into iCloud or have anything else configured to launch on login, etc)

  5. Run Disk Utility from the backup ‘admin’ account.

Most of the time that works.

This time it didn’t, so I had to go the more aggressive route:

  1. Rebooted into Recovery

  2. Wiped my entire hard drive using Disk Utility

  3. Made two partitions using Disk Utility in Recovery

  4. Shut down the Mac

  5. Connected backup drive (T5-SSD)

  6. Booted from backup drive

  7. Restored Catalina from T5-SSD to internal drive

  8. Rebooted Mac from internal SSD

  9. Logged in to my default ‘admin’ account and ran the ‘Big Sur’ installer.

  10. Installed Big Sur to the other partition on the internal SSD.

I’ve been making these ‘backup admin accounts’ for as long as I can remember, and I don’t need to use them that often, but when you’re trying to debug something, it is very handy to already have a separate login account ready to go at a moment’s notice without having to deal with all the auto-launch stuff that we usually have with our main accounts.