MacOS Catalina
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MacOS Catalina

macOS Catalina
A version of the macOS operating system
macOS Catalina wordmark
MacOS Catalina Desktop.png
Screenshot of the macOS Catalina desktop in dark mode
DeveloperApple Inc.
OS family
Source modelClosed, with open source components
October 7, 2019; 20 months ago (2019-10-07)[1]
Latest release10.15.7 Security Update 2021-003 [2] (19H1217) (May 24, 2021; 22 days ago (2021-05-24)) [±]
Update methodSoftware Update
Kernel typeHybrid (XNU)
LicenseAPSL and Apple EULA
Preceded bymacOS Mojave
Succeeded bymacOS Big Sur
Official website at the Wayback Machine (archived November 9, 2020)
Support status

macOS Catalina (version 10.15) is the sixteenth major release of macOS, Apple Inc.'s desktop operating system for Macintosh computers. It is the successor to macOS Mojave and was announced at WWDC 2019 on June 3, 2019 and released to the public on October 7, 2019. Catalina is the first version of macOS to support only 64-bit applications and the first to include Activation Lock.[3][4] It is also the last version of macOS to have the version number prefix of 10. Its successor, Big Sur, is version 11.[5] macOS Big Sur, released on November 12, 2020, succeeded macOS Catalina.[6]

The operating system is named after Santa Catalina Island, which is located off the coast of southern California.

System requirements

macOS Catalina officially runs on all standard configuration Macs that supported Mojave. 2010-2012 Mac Pros, which could run Mojave only with a GPU upgrade, are no longer supported.[4] Catalina requires 4 GB of memory, an increase over the 2 GB required by Lion through Mojave.[7][8]

It is possible to install Catalina on many older Macintosh computers that are not officially supported by Apple. This requires using a patch to modify the install image.[9]





Catalyst is a new software-development tool that allows developers to write apps that can run on both macOS and iPadOS. Apple demonstrated several ported apps, including Jira and Twitter (after the latter discontinued its macOS app in February 2018).[10][11]

System extensions

An upgrade from Kexts. System extensions avoid the problems of Kexts. There are 3 kinds of System extensions: Network Extensions, Endpoint Security Extensions, and Driver Extensions. System extensions run in userspace, outside of the kernel.[12][13] Catalina will be the last version of macOS to support legacy system extensions.[14][15]


A replacement for IOKit device drivers, driver extensions are built using DriverKit. DriverKit is a new SDK with all-new frameworks based on IOKit, but updated and modernized. It is designed for building device drivers in userspace, outside of the kernel.[16][13]


Mac apps, installer packages, and kernel extensions that are signed with a Developer ID must be notarized by Apple to run on macOS Catalina.[17]

Activation Lock

Activation Lock helps prevent the unauthorized use and drive erasure of devices with an Apple T2 security chip (2018, 2019, and 2020 MacBook Pro; 2020 5K iMac; 2018 MacBook Air, iMac Pro; 2018 Mac Mini; 2019 Mac Pro).[4][18]

Dedicated system volume

The system runs on its own read-only volume, separate from all other data on the Mac.[4]

Voice control

Users can give detailed voice commands to applications.[19] On-device machine processing is used to offer better navigation.[4]


Sidecar allows a Mac to use an iPad (running iPadOS) as a wireless external display. With Apple Pencil, the device can also be used as a graphics tablet for software running on the computer.[11][20] Sidecar requires a Mac with Intel Skylake CPUs and newer (such as the fourth-generation MacBook Pro), and an iPad that supports Apple Pencil.[21][22]

Support for wireless game controllers

The Game Controller framework adds support for two major console game controllers: the PlayStation 4's DualShock 4 and the Xbox One controller.[23][24][25][26]

Time Machine

A number of under-the-hood changes were made to Time Machine, the backup software. For example, the manner in which backup data is stored on network-attached devices was changed, and this change is not backwards-compatible with earlier versions of macOS.[27] Apple declined to document these changes, but some of them have been noted.[27]



iTunes is replaced by separate Music, Podcasts, TV and Books apps, in line with iOS. iOS device management is now conducted via Finder.[28][29] The TV app on Mac supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 on MacBooks released in 2018 or later, while 4K HDR playback is supported on Macs released in 2018 or later when connected to a compatible display.[11] Although you can install any version of iTunes as said on Apple's website.

Find My

Find My Mac and Find My Friends are merged into an application called Find My.


Among other visual and functional overhauls, attachments can be added to reminders and Siri can intelligently estimate when to remind the user about an event.[4]

Voice Memos

The Voice Memos application, first ported from iOS to the Mac in macOS 10.14 Mojave as version 2.0, was incremented to version 2.1.

Removed or changed components

macOS Catalina exclusively supports 64-bit applications. 32-bit applications no longer run (including all software that utilizes the Carbon API as well as QuickTime 7 applications, image, audio and video codecs). Apple has also removed all 32-bit-only apps from the Mac App Store.[30]

Zsh is the default login shell and interactive shell in macOS Catalina,[31] replacing Bash, the default shell since Mac OS X Panther in 2003.[32] Bash continues to be available in macOS Catalina, along with other shells such as csh/tcsh and ksh.

Dashboard has been removed in macOS Catalina.[33]

The ability to add Backgrounds in Photo Booth was removed in macOS Catalina.

The command-line interface GNU Emacs application was removed in macOS Catalina.

Built-in support for Perl, Python 2.7 and Ruby are included in macOS for compatibility with legacy software.[34] Future versions of macOS will not include scripting language runtimes by default, possibly requiring users to install additional packages.[35]

Legacy AirDrop for connecting with Macs running Mac OS X Lion, Mountain Lion and Mavericks, or 2011 and older Macs has been removed.[36]


Catalina received favourable reviews on release for some of its features.[37] However, some writers and bloggers said that the OS was unreliable.[38][39][40][41][42] Similar to the addition of User Account Control dialog boxes on Windows Vista the previous decade, prompts for allowing software access to sensitive data were criticized by some writers as annoying.[40][43]

Release history

Previous release Current release
Version Build Date Darwin Release Notes Standalone download
10.15 19A583 October 7, 2019 19.0.0 Original Software Update release

Security content

19A602 October 15, 2019 Supplemental update
19A603 October 21, 2019 Revised Supplemental update
10.15.1 19B88 October 29, 2019 19.0.0
About the macOS Catalina 10.15.1 Update

Security content

macOS 10.15.1 Update
10.15.2 19C57 December 10, 2019 19.2.0
About the macOS Catalina 10.15.2 Update

Security content

macOS 10.15.2 Update

macOS 10.15.2 Combo Update

10.15.3 19D76 January 28, 2020 19.3.0
About the macOS Catalina 10.15.3 Update

Security content

macOS 10.15.3 Update

macOS 10.15.3 Combo Update

10.15.4 19E266 March 24, 2020 19.4.0
About the macOS Catalina 10.15.4 Update

Security content

macOS 10.15.4 Update

macOS 10.15.4 Combo Update

19E287 April 8, 2020 Supplemental update macOS 10.15.4 Supplemental Update
10.15.5 19F96 May 26, 2020 19.5.0
About the macOS Catalina 10.15.5 Update

Security content

macOS 10.15.5 Update

macOS 10.15.5 Combo Update

19F101 June 1, 2020 19.5.0
Supplemental update

Security content

macOS 10.15.5 Supplemental Update
10.15.6 19G73 July 15, 2020 19.6.0
Jul 5 00:43:10 PDT 2020
About the macOS Catalina 10.15.6 Update

Security content

macOS 10.15.6 Update

macOS 10.15.6 Combo Update

19G2021 August 12, 2020 19.6.0
Jun 18 20:49:00 PDT 2020
Supplemental update macOS 10.15.6 Supplemental Update
10.15.7 19H2 September 24, 2020 19.6.0
Mon Aug 31 22:12:52 PDT 2020
About the macOS Catalina 10.15.7 Update

Security content

macOS 10.15.7 Update

macOS 10.15.7 Combo Update

19H4 October 27, 2020
19H15 November 5, 2020 19.6.0
Thu Oct 29 22:56:45 PDT 2020
Supplemental update

Security content

macOS 10.15.7 Supplemental Update

macOS 10.15.7 Supplemental Update (Combo)

19H114 December 14, 2020 19.6.0
Tue Nov 10 00:10:30 PST 2020
About the security content of Security Update 2020-001 Security Update 2020-001 (Catalina)
19H512 February 1, 2021 19.6.0
Tue Jan 12 22:13:05 PST 2021
About the security content of Security Update 2021-001 Security Update 2021-001 (Catalina)
19H524 February 9, 2021 Supplemental Update

Security content

macOS Catalina 10.15.7 Supplemental Update 2
19H1030 April 26, 2021 19.6.0
Mon Apr 12 20:57:45 PDT 2021
About the security content of Security Update 2021-002 Security Update 2021-002 (Catalina)
19H1217 May 24, 2021 19.6.0
Thu May 6 00:48:39 PDT 2021
About the security content of Security Update 2021-003 Security Update 2021-003 (Catalina)


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  2. ^ "About the security content of Security Update 2021-003 Catalina". Apple Support. May 24, 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  3. ^ "Apple previews macOS Catalina" (Press release). Apple Inc. June 3, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "macOS Catalina". Apple Inc.
  5. ^ "Apple unveils macOS 11.0 Big Sur, featuring a new aesthetic and redesigned apps". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ Carman, Ashley (November 10, 2020). "Apple announces macOS Big Sur release date". The Verge. Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ "How to upgrade to macOS Catalina". Apple Support. Archived from the original on October 21, 2019.
  8. ^ "How to upgrade to macOS Mojave". Apple Support. Archived from the original on December 19, 2019.
  9. ^ "macOS Catalina Patcher". Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ Statt, Nick (February 16, 2018). "Twitter discontinues its Mac desktop app after years of spotty support". The Verge. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Warren, Tom (June 3, 2019). "Apple unveils new macOS update with iPad apps". The Verge. Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ "SystemExtensions". Apple Developer Documentation.
  13. ^ a b System Extensions and DriverKit. Apple Developer Documentation.
  14. ^ "Kernel Extensions Won't Work in macOS 10.16". The Mac Observer. March 26, 2020.
  15. ^ "Apple begins phasing out kernel extensions in macOS 10.15.4". AppleInsider. March 25, 2020.
  16. ^ "DriverKit". Apple Developer Documentation.
  17. ^ "Developer ID: Upcoming Requirements". Apple Developer.
  18. ^ Shankland, Stephen (June 7, 2019). "Here are 6 MacOS Catalina security changes coming from Apple this fall". CNET.
  19. ^ "Voice Control" (PDF). September 2019. Voice Control lets users control the entire device with spoken commands and specialized tools, while Siri is an intelligent assistant that lets users ask for information and complete everyday tasks using natural language. Voice Control offers comprehensive capabilities such as voice gestures, name and number labels, grid overlays, text editing commands, and deep customization, while Siri assists with setting reminders, making appointments, looking up directions, and learning game scores.
  20. ^ O'Hara, Andrew. "You can use your iPad as a second display with Sidecar in macOS Catalina". AppleInsider. Retrieved 2019.
  21. ^ Cunningham, Andrew (October 7, 2019). "macOS 10.15 Catalina: The Ars Technica review". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2019.
  22. ^ Peters, Jay (October 7, 2019). "You need a MacBook with a butterfly keyboard or a modern Mac desktop to use macOS Catalina's Sidecar". The Verge. Retrieved 2019.
  23. ^ "Supporting New Game Controllers". Apple Developer. Retrieved 2019.
  24. ^ "Apple adding support for PS4, Xbox One controllers to iOS, TVOS and MacOS". CNET. Retrieved 2019.
  25. ^ "iOS 13: How to connect a PlayStation controller or Xbox game controller to your iPhone and iPad". 9to5mac. September 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  26. ^ "How To Connect PS4, Xbox One Controller To iPhone, Apple TV, Mac". ValueWalk. September 2, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  27. ^ a b Oakley, Howard. "Time Machine and backing up in Catalina". Eclectic Light. Retrieved 2021.
  28. ^ Carman, Ashley (June 3, 2019). "Apple breaks up iTunes, creates separate Podcasts, TV, and Music apps for macOS". The Verge. Retrieved 2019.
  29. ^ Roettgers, Janko (June 3, 2019). "Apple Is Officially Killing iTunes, Replacing It With Three Dedicated Media Apps". Variety. Retrieved 2019.
  30. ^ Conner, Katie (September 10, 2019). "235 Mac apps get the ax with Apple's next update. Here's how you find them on your rig". CNET.
  31. ^ "Use zsh as the default shell on your Mac - Apple Support". Retrieved 2019.
  32. ^ Landau, Ted; Frakes, Dan (December 20, 2005). Mac OS X Help Line, Tiger Edition. Peachpit Press. ISBN 9780132705240.
  33. ^ Statt, Nick (June 4, 2019). "Apple will permanently remove Dashboard in macOS Catalina". The Verge. Retrieved 2019.
  34. ^ "macOS 10.15 Catalina Deprecates UNIX Scripting Languages". The Mac Observer. June 5, 2019.
  35. ^ "macOS 10.15 Beta Release Notes". Apple Developer. Retrieved 2019. Scripting language runtimes such as Python, Ruby, and Perl are included in macOS for compatibility with legacy software. Future versions of macOS won't include scripting language runtimes by default, and might require you to install additional packages.
  36. ^ "Can not connect my 2 macs with AirDrop".
  37. ^ Cunningham, Andrew. "macOS 10.15 Catalina: The Ars Technica review: Conclusions". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2020.
  38. ^ Shayer, David. "Six Reasons Why iOS 13 and Catalina Are So Buggy". TidBITS. Retrieved 2020.
  39. ^ Mod, Craig. "Brilliant Hardware in the Valley of the Software Slump". Craig Mod. Retrieved 2020.
  40. ^ a b Gruber, John. "My 2019 Apple Report Card". Daring Fireball. Retrieved 2020.
  41. ^ Bohn, Dieter. "macOS Catalina review: transition period". The Verge. Retrieved 2020.
  42. ^ Gruber, John. "What You See in the Finder Should Always Be Correct". Daring Fireball. Retrieved 2020.
  43. ^ Snell, Jason. "Apple in 2019: The Six Colors report card". Six Colors. Retrieved 2020.

External links

Preceded by
macOS 10.14 (Mojave)
macOS 10.15 (Catalina)
Succeeded by
macOS 11 (Big Sur)

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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