Archive for October 11, 2019

Enabling root on a Mac which hasn’t gone through macOS Catalina’s Setup Assistant

October 11, 2019 9 comments

On certain occasions, it may be necessary to configure settings on a Mac which has not yet gone through Apple’s Setup Assistant. This process usually involves enabling the root account and setting a password for it, since no user accounts with admin rights exist yet. For more details on how to do this on macOS Catalina, please see below the jump.

Read more…

Categories: Mac administration, macOS

Most Apple apps installed with the OS have a new filesystem location

October 11, 2019 5 comments

Starting with Mac OS X 10.0.0, Mac apps have traditionally been installed into /Applications or /Applications/Utilities. It appears to be the same on macOS Catalina, but appearances can be deceiving.

As part of implementing a read-only volume for the OS, Apple has moved the apps it installs along with the OS from /Applications to a new location on the read-only volume: /System/Applications

Screen Shot 2019 10 11 at 11 06 55 AM

For operations in the Finder, this move won’t make a lot of difference because Apple has made sure that the applications in question still appear in /Applications and /Applications/Utilities.

Screen Shot 2019 10 11 at 11 06 11 AM

However, if a script or other command line tool is referencing an app in /Applications or /Applications/Utilities, the new /System/Applications and /System/Applications/Utilities path must be referenced. In my case, I ran across this as part of a script that as part of its work was referencing the Keychain Access app in the following location:


The script failed because Keychain Access is no longer available at that location on macOS Catalina. To fix this, I updated the script to use the following location:


Once that was done, the script ran without problems again.

This new location on the read-only volume only applies to apps which Apple installs as part of the OS or which are only updated by OS updates. For example, because Safari may be installed or updated separately, the Safari app is not located on the read-only volume in /System/Applications. Instead, Safari remains in /Applications as /Applications/

Screen Shot 2019 10 11 at 11 22 09 AM

Categories: Mac administration, macOS
%d bloggers like this: