Sick of macOS Catalina updates

And yet another “incremental” update for macOS Catalina 10.15.6.

Again it’s a whopping 2.8GB. Two point eight gigabyte! For an incremental update that, according to the provided information fixes 2 (!) issues, one of which is not at all relevant to my machine (it’s for a specific iMac model, while I’m using a MBP).

Probably it’s going to cause again substantial downtime during the upgrade process.

What is Apple doing? Most of the time I can install Linux updates - heck, even Windows 10 updates - without restarting my machine once. Let alone several restarts as with the last few macOS updates. Linux updates install in minutes, not in hours.

Really, Apple is heading in the wrong direction with macOS. And once again, 2…8GB(!) for an incremental update. It’s beyond ridiculous.

I’m not phased by that. It’s a few minutes of downloading, depending on your speed, for peace of mind? Still think MacOS is nowhere near the abomination that Windows is…

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The download doesn’t take long indeed, if you have a fast connection that is. The whole update process does take some time though. Or at least, it did the last couple of times.

Apart from the time it takes to download 2.8GB, it’s just a ridiculous amount of data for what the incremental update seems to offer.

I’m not a Windows fan either. But a lot has changed at MS since they introduced Win10.

I work on Windows 10 most of the day. Updates to the OS and M365 apps are handled behind the scenes unobtrusively. Periodically at boot time there is a period to wait while "Windows is updating … ", which rarely goes more than 90 seconds.

I’ve never trusted macOS to self-update reliably. I’ve always trusted Windows 10 to do that.

Horses for courses.

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This seems unusually long. I sometimes get 30min or so, but rarely over an hour unless it’s a new OS.

I agree! The amount of frustrations I’ve gone through in the past with upgrades on the Windows operating system are nothing short of a nightmare in comparison. Apple may be providing large incremental upgrades and the computer may reboot several times but by in large I have very few problems after the update. This is just one reason why I am a happy Mac user. I’ll take the large downloads and a couple reboots any day over my experiences with the Windows operating system and upgrade process.

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It’s around the 30 minute mark indeed. However during that time the Mac can’t be used at all.

As for all the negative experiences with Windows, I assume that’s mostly not based on Windows 10. Which is actually a quite decent OS. Still ugly, but not bad at all.

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:man_shrugging: I usually just do them when I’m done work for the day or as an excuse for a break.

On the flip side, previous versions of Windows were notorious for auto-updating at random times while also making the machines unusable. At least macOS lets you decide when to update, so it’s not/less disruptive. I imagine most people don’t need 24/7 access/full use of their machines. I also can’t imagine Apple intentionally wants to clog up server bandwidth for millions of machines with bloated update files. I’m not a developer, but perhaps they need more refined delta updates like they started doing for iOS a few years back. Presumably, there’s also a bunch of stuff being updated that isn’t mentioned in the release notes explicitly. At least they still list some information unlike most iOS release notes from big third-party developers: “bug fixes and performance improvements.”

I, for one (at least, my ego may count for another but that’s a discussion for a different day), really appreciate that Apple releases updates when necessary. The alternatives are to either not release updates at all, or to not make any errors when coding, the former of which seems undesirable and the latter infeasible.

I do wish that Apple would put out security updates on a regular schedule though.

I agree. Most of the computers I managed were Macs and my Windows machines had most of the problems.

But Macs had their share of trouble. Some updates would cause recurring problems with or, for a while, screw up logging into an AD domain. And Keychain was a constant problem. Normally little things that could still cause problems for a significant percentage of users.

How can I check whether I have 10.15.6 or 10.15.6 with the Supplemental Update?

I have an IT managed MBP and while it did download the update I did not see any installation after the download (usually my machine boots and it can take up to 30 minutes), so I fear that IT now allows the download, but still blocks the installation…

You can find that in System Information > Software > Installations

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That’s something every (reputable) developer of computer operating systems does. It’s a bit naive, to say the least, to think that only Apple provides updates when necessary. In fact, most open source OS’es (like e.g. Ubuntu) are much faster in delivering patches for security issues.

My point for starting this discussion was not that I thought that Apple was providing too many updates. My point is that these updates seem to be very inefficient (large and time consuming) compared to those for most other operating systems (e.g. MS Windows 10).

Just installed the latest supplemental one, and my Mac was once again completely unavailable for 25 minutes. This ineffiency also causes huge backups after the update. Instead of patching just a handful of files, Apple seems to replace just most of the OS.

Indeed. Every computer and platform as issues. I was not absolutizing the matter, only stating my experience over the years. On balance, I’ll take the Mac hiccups over Windows any day. :slight_smile:

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Me too. …

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It was not my intention to contrast Apple with other developers/vendors. If anything, I think that Apple doesn’t release updates frequently enough.

You made the statement that you’re tired of updates and I observed that the alternatives are to not do updates or to not make development mistakes. I said nothing about anyone else other than to imply that there are better update models than Apple’s.

I feel like there are more updates that require 30 minutes downtime these days, which doesn’t feel good.
It’s not actually a problem for me though as I delay them until a time I’m happy for my Mac to do its thing overnight.
I do hope it doesn’t continue progressing in this direction though.

Considering the effort that’s gone into app thinning etc I’m personally sure the size of these updates is something Apple is concerned about too.

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If you got the impression that I’m growing tired up Apple updates, I must have phrased it wrongly. I’m tired of Apple pushing out 2.8GB supplemental updates (not point releases!) which bring down your Mac for 20+ minutes. That’s definitely not industry-standard anymore. And also not something you’d expect from a modern OS in 2020.

For most things, something called a supplemental update should replace or patch a couple of files for which most of the time no reboot is required. The fact that Apple fixes 2 issues but needs to push out 2.8GB of data - resulting in a 6+ GB TimeMachine backup b.t.w. - makes me wonder what’s going on. It’s definitely not something I encounter on my Win10 and Linux machines.

So I’m not against updates, not at all. I’m complaining about the process for the last couple of updates.

Ah! That makes much more sense to me. I’m also frequently shocked at the size of what seems to be a minor update, not to mention the generally poor update process, when contrasted with, for example, most Linux distributions.

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2.8GB might be updating lots of parts - and might well have to. It’s the long time to apply the updates that annoys me. It’s always a very dodgy 37 minutes’ estimate on my 2015 15” MBP.

“37 minutes” sounds authentic - being a prime number :slight_smile: - but:

  • It’s always 37 minutes.
  • The progress indicator “behaves badly”. :slight_smile: