Software Update Mac 10.13.5

The Catalina 10.15.5 Update & 2020-003 Security Updates remove the software update –ignore ability for Major Updates. The –ignore flag for Minor Updates is now deprecated.

Managing macOS in Enterprise or Education is a tough job no matter how you look at it. One of the toughest things that we have to deal with is 3rd party software. On top of that macOS updates & upgrades can cause additional problems. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know what I’m talking about. 3rd party software is mission critical, and needs to run without issues. We need the ability to test new macOS Software Updates and Upgrades. Any of which could break that critical software, and cause major problems. A few points >

May 27, 2020  The Catalina 10.15.5 Update & 2020-003 Security Updates remove the software update –ignore ability for Major Updates. The –ignore flag for Minor Updates is now deprecated. Managing macOS in Enterprise or Education is a tough job no matter how you look at it. Jul 08, 2018  I recently purchased a Pro (just a heads up I recently made the switch from PC to Mac.So I'm a little new), and it needed some software updates to install some of my coding programs I use.I went to updates under the App store and tried to download the most recent High Sierra (10.13.5).

  • If we find a problem with 3rd party after installing an update, we would need to reach out the vendor. The fix might take longer than 90 days.
  • A macOS Update causes a big problem, so bad that we immediately need to block it. Sometimes it takes 2-5 months for Apple implement the fix to the next point release update.
  • Your Mac needs to be Supervised / Enrolled in an MDM, or you won’t be able to hide the Major Update (10.15.4+) update.
  • MacOS does NOT have an Update Recovery Ability. If something goes wrong after an update, we do NOT have any way to revert back to a previous update!!!

Table of Contents

  • 1. UPDATES!
  • 2. 10.15.5 & 2020-003 Update Changes.
  • 3. Right now, this only affects macOS Mojave
  • 4. What about High Sierra 10.13?
  • 5. Blocking the 2020-003 Security Update
  • 6. Catalina 10.15.5 Changes
  • 7. How can we ignore Updates and Upgrades in the future? (10.15.4+)
  • 8. System Preferences Icon Red Dot Notification (How To get rid of it)
  • 9. Don’t like this change? What can you do?

1. UPDATES!

UPDATE 6/9/20 – 10.15.6 Beta 2 (19G46c) was released today. The softwareupdate --ignore flag was changed to include some changes that we asked for! Be sure to check the AppleSeed Beta notes for all the details. I am still checking to see if the change will make it to Mojave 10.14.

UPDATE5/28/20 – I ran a quick test on a 10.14.6 (2020-002) Mojave Mac. First I used the command softwareupdate --ignore 'macOS Catalina' to ignore the macOS Catalina Upgrade. The Upgrade disappeared from System Preferences > Software Update. I then installed a configuration profile that used the restrictions payload that deferred updates for 90 days. I installed the 2020-003 security update. Catalina showed up in System Preferences > Software Update. This can only mean one of two things…

  • 1. A Mojave Mac with 2020-003 installed can now understand the new MDM Profile “Major Update” deferral. The Upgrade shows up because we are more than 90 days away from when Catalina was released.
  • 2. We are taking this sentence literally “Starting with macOS 10.15.4, major releases of macOS can be deferred for up to 90 days using MDM.” Meaning the change was not backported to 10.14 and we will be unable to ignore 10.16 on Mojave.
  • I have reached out to Apple for clarification on this.

2. 10.15.5 & 2020-003 Update Changes.

Lets jump right in and look at the new changes.

Before I do, I need to do a quick shout out to @bp Balmes Pavlov

Balmes first called this out on April 16th, and really took a deep dive into this upcoming change.

The changes are here now, so let’s take a look at the 10.15.5 patch notes.

“Major Releases of macOS are no longer hidden when using the softwareupdate command with the –ignore flag”.

  • Updates are considered 10.15.4 > 10.15.5.
  • Major Releases or Upgrades are considered 10.14 > 10.15.

Notice how at the bottom of the note it says, “This change also affects macOS Mojave and macOS High Sierra after installing Security Update 2020-003”.

3. Right now, this only affects macOS Mojave

The direct impact of this update is to macOS Mojave. If you are running 10.14.6 and have the 2020-002 Security update installed, you can block macOS Catalina with softwareupdate --ignore 'macOS Catalina'

After running the above command, macOS Catalina will not show up in System Preferences > Software Update.

This is what the Software Update Pane will look like in 10.14.6 before installing 2020-003.

After installing 2020-003, this is what the Software Update pane will look like.

This leaves macOS 10.14.6 with very few options if you want to block users from upgrading to macOS Catalina.

  • Turn Off Automatic Updates (manually deploy updates)
  • Hide/Block the Software Update Preference Pane
  • Software Restrictions on “Install macOS Catalina.app”

4. What about High Sierra 10.13?

Mac 10.12 update

The 10.15.5 patch notes specifically mention High Sierra. For Software Updates, 10.13 still uses the App Store Preference Pane. When you click on it, you go right to the App store updates tab. macOS Catalina is NOT listed anywhere in the “updates” Section.

High Sierra and Sierra used notification banners.

Mac 10.13 Update

If you wanted to block the banners on High Sierra and Sierra, you would run the following command.

sudo softwareupdate --ignore 'macOSInstallerNotification_GM'

You will now run into another problem after installing the 2020-003 Update.

Ignoring software updates is deprecated.

The ability to ignore individual updates will be removed in a future release of macOS

Reading that deprecation note, it looks like we will not only lose the ability to use the --ignore for Major updates (Right Now on 10.15.5 & 10.14) but also point updates in the future (10.16).

5. Blocking the 2020-003 Security Update

If you would like to block the 2020-003 Security update, run the following command below.

  • softwareupdate --ignore 'Security Update 2020-003'
  • The Mac App Store (10.13) & System Preferences > Software Update (10.14) will respect the --ignore option.

6. Catalina 10.15.5 Changes

This change does not really affect Catalina right now. The problem will come when 10.16 is released.

How To Update My Mac To 10.13

You will not be able to use

softwareupdate --ignore 'macOS 10.16'

7. How can we ignore Updates and Upgrades in the future? (10.15.4+)

Apple is providing something for 10.15.4+ users.

Starting with macOS 10.15.4, major releases of macOS can be deferred for up to 90 days using MDM.

Apple Patch Notes

The forceDelayedSoftwareUpdates key in the Restrictions payload will now apply to major OS versions in addition to software updates.

Apple Patch Notes

We already have the MDM Key forceDelayedSoftwareUpdates but after installing 10.15.4 you can now defer Major Upgrades for up to 90 Days.

Once macOS 10.16 is live, you will be able to hide the Major (Upgrade) and Minor (Point Release) Updates for 90 Days.

8. System Preferences Icon Red Dot Notification

HT goes out to Jeff Johnson who first investigated this earlier today.

He called out that even though we can’t block the Catalina Update in System Preferences, we might still want to remove the Red Dot Notification.

Check out his article to find out how disable the notification.

Mac Software Update 10.9

HT also goes out to this guy who first documented the fix.

UPDATE 5/28/20 – A MacRumors forum user found a new way to block the notification.

I did by editing com.apple.dock.plist

changed “dock-extra” from YES to NO for system preferences and no more red annoyance.

Software Update Mac 10.12

MacRumors Forum User VTRN

9. Don’t like this change? What can you do?

Please let Apple know NOW, not later (10.16 is coming in one month!).

Software Update Mac 10.13.5
  • Apple Enterprise Ticket
  • Apple FeedBack Assistant
  • If you have an Apple SE assigned to your company, talk to them.
  • AppleSeed for IT: macOS Deployment & Management Survey (this survey is available for AppleSeed for IT participants and can only be taken in the FeedBack Assistant.app)

Update Mac 10.6 To 10.8

10.15.5 2020-003 softwareupdate –ignore