Installing Catalina on a separate APFS Volume

{This post will be updated as I go through the process of installing the Catalina Public Beta.}

Step 1: Downloading the public beta

Curiously, when you install the profile for the Catalina Public Beta, it downloads a 6.45 GB file, but that does not result in you having an “Install Catalina” in /Applications/.

I have created a separate APFS “Volume” called “Catalina” that I want to install the beta on, but apparently I have to reboot my MacBook before I can start the install process. I am hoping it will let me choose which volume I want it on, rather than blowing away my Mojave installation, but I have 2 bootable Mojave clones if I really need to revert later.

Back in a bit with more updates…

Every time I tried to install Catalina on an external SSD I got this message. Even after I followed the instructions as stated, I was unable to install Catalina. I tried this multiple times. Looking forward to hearing about your experience. —

I was unable… each time it came from restart no option to boot from new volume…

It sounds as though the folks above have a Mac with a T2 chip which is preventing them from booting from an external drive.

My MacBook did not have that.

Creating a new “volume” in Disk Utility was much easier than making a “partition”.

I’m not sure what happened the first time, but I had no “Install macOS Catalina” app. I had to re-download it, which was much slower for some reason (more people had heard about the beta?) but then when it finished it did have a “Install macOS Catalina” and I was able to install it to the new “Volume” very easily.

The only downside I ran into was that my iPad and iPhone were also updating when I was trying to login, so I couldn’t do my 2FA for iCloud on Catalina because I didn’t have any devices to get the code from. Just something to think about if you’re doing this too.

If you have a T2, check out this article from Apple:

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Is the public beta available already?

ordered an external SSD to cone my hd and upgrade the clone to Catalina during the beta :slight_smile:

Apple has something to say about this:

Installing macOS on a separate APFS volume

Yes, the public betas for iOS and macOS dropped yesterday. if you dare…

So far the biggest hiccup I’ve run into on Catalina is that Dropbox takes forever to start on a clean install. But that’s really nothing to do with Catalina itself.

Coda: I deleted my Catalina APFS volume today. It’s super buggy and there’s nothing that I really felt that it benefitted me to have right now, so I’m back to Mojave until I hear the beta has vastly improved.

(Related: I’m replacing my 2015 MacBook with a MacBook Air in the next few days, and I decided I want to have as good of an experience as possible on that, so I’m going to enjoy the stableness.)