Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Aug 31, 2011
29,005
27,283
I am considering upgrading my MacPro from Mojave and a quick Google search reveals that Big Sur is possible?

I'm looking to do this in order to run an app requiring 10.15 minimum. As this is my primary desktop I'd like to avoid patchers and stick just with what Apple allows. Is Big Sur possible, or is the max Catalina?

My MacPro is a 5,1 - but that was a firmware update. Originally it was a 4,1. Not sure if that is relevant.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Amethyst1

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Aug 31, 2011
29,005
27,283
Now the question is…should I?

Just read through the Wikipedia page for Big Sur. Are a lot of the install problems solved?

Is Big Sur locked down so much that I can't do what I normally do (disable SIP, move files in and out of the Library and System folders, etc)?

I'm not a fan of Catalina, but if Big Sur is more trouble than it's worth then I'll just upgrade to Catalina. Alternatively, this particular app is not so important I want to deal with a whole lot of hassle to install Big Sur.

What am I likely to run into here?
 

MrCheeto

macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2008
3,530
351
Hey you know how picky I am about my systems so the only thing I can offer is my experience using Dosdude1's High Sierra patcher. It was seamless and ran without a single hitch on my 4,1 which is still a 4,1. The only reason I didn't go higher was the need for Metal support. With a GPU swap, I woudn't hesitate to use his Catalina patch. It doesn't alter your firmware or anything as I was able to clear High Sierra out of my Mac once I was done experimenting and went back to my 10.5 Leopard partition.

Time Machine backup, install Catalina on a new drive, if things don't work out just put the old drive in or restore from backup. Why not dual boot?
 
  • Like
Reactions: eyoungren

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Aug 31, 2011
29,005
27,283
Hey you know how picky I am about my systems so the only thing I can offer is my experience using Dosdude1's High Sierra patcher. It was seamless and ran without a single hitch on my 4,1 which is still a 4,1. The only reason I didn't go higher was the need for Metal support. With a GPU swap, I woudn't hesitate to use his Catalina patch. It doesn't alter your firmware or anything as I was able to clear High Sierra out of my Mac once I was done experimenting and went back to my 10.5 Leopard partition.

Time Machine backup, install Catalina on a new drive, if things don't work out just put the old drive in or restore from backup. Why not dual boot?
Thanks for that.

I do have quite a bit of experience with dosdude's patchers. I have Catalina on my 2008 MBP and Mojave on my Early and Late 2009 Mac Minis. I've used the High Sierra patcher in the past as well.

I specifically purchased a MacPro 4,1 in 2020 because I could upgrade it to a 5,1 (which I did). 4,1s are cheaper than actual 5,1s and if you can upgrade it to a 5,1 there's no difference firmware wise. I upgraded to High Sierra without any patchers because you can natively run High Sierra on a 5,1. All I needed to go to Mojave were Metal compatible GPUs, which I got in 2021. The upgrade at that point was native, because again, Mojave will run natively on a 5,1. So will Catalina.

I'd like to keep the MacPro only on versions of the OS it can run natively. I'm fine with using patchers on my Minis and my MP because if something gets screwed up they are not my primary Macs. I'm a bit more careful with my primary desktop. I could shift to my other Macs if I needed to, but they aren't as centrally located/set up like my desktop.

The Big Sur patching looks doable, so I am considering that if I can be reassured there will be minimal problems.

I do have backups - once a day to my NAS, and once a week to Dropbox. I do that with all my computers. I just don't want to be dealing with having to do a restore if I can avoid it. Upgrading is already a big PITA because I hardly ever reboot (my computers are on 24/7) and rebooting is itself a big PITA for my primary Mac.

My main problem with Catalina is that it signs apps and it likes to fail to open them after a period of time. Rebooting solves that, but since I rarely reboot this ticks me off. It's the main reason only one of my Macs is running Catalina.
 

Heindijs

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2021
373
644
Now the question is…should I?

Just read through the Wikipedia page for Big Sur. Are a lot of the install problems solved?

Is Big Sur locked down so much that I can't do what I normally do (disable SIP, move files in and out of the Library and System folders, etc)?

I'm not a fan of Catalina, but if Big Sur is more trouble than it's worth then I'll just upgrade to Catalina. Alternatively, this particular app is not so important I want to deal with a whole lot of hassle to install Big Sur.

What am I likely to run into here?
SIP is disabled easily, especially when using Opencore Legacy Patcher. You can also run Monterey instead as it's newer and works just as well as Big Sur on those Macs.
Ventura patches aren't complete yet and have issues with USB 1.1 peripherals. But if the app you need requires Big Sur you don't need Ventura anyways.

Definitely check out the documentation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: eyoungren

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Aug 31, 2011
29,005
27,283
SIP is disabled easily, especially when using Opencore Legacy Patcher. You can also run Monterey instead as it's newer and works just as well as Big Sur on those Macs.
Ventura patches aren't complete yet and have issues with USB 1.1 peripherals. But if the app you need requires Big Sur you don't need Ventura anyways.

Definitely check out the documentation.
Well…if Monterey works just as well, I might as well do that - if I am going the patching route I guess.

Decisions, decisions.

The app in question only needs Catalina, but my experiences with Catalina haven't been so great. I can easily upgrade to it, I'm just not wanting to.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Aug 31, 2011
29,005
27,283
OCLP is much better than other patchers. See here for Mac Pro. I am running latest Monterey on my mini Late 2012 without any problems at all. OTA updates work well, too, although they are massive (full installer).
So, therein is the question…

Do I do this as an MP 4,1 or an MP 5,1? I would assume 5,1 because that's the firmware patch I applied, but the Mac is originally a 4,1.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Aug 31, 2011
29,005
27,283
I have a 2019 Mac Pro. Big Sur was hugely problematic initially though now it is one of the most stable. I would not recommend you do anything beyond what Apple recommends, especially for a machine that your income depends on.

I’m general, before upgrading any mission critical machine you should:

1. Unplug and remove all unnecessary accessories especially hard drives.

2. Ensure you have a full and complete Time Machine backup.

3. Ensure you have a secondary backup of critical files (project files, documents, etc.).

4. Restart in Safe Mode.

5. Reset the SMC. On a MacPro: Turn off the machine and unplug it. Then hit the power button for a sec or two. Then plug it back in and turn on.

6. Run the installer program with no other programs running.

This gives you the best shot at avoiding a corrupted install and also provides good backups in case you do brick the machine and need to do a full erase and reinstall.
Thank you, all things I normally do when upgrading. My only other comment is that my income is not dependent on my main desktop. It's just that I have personal files. I do have backups, it's just a hassle to access them through another computer.

My work Mac is a 2015 MBP running High Sierra. Except for apps, I don't mess with that because my income IS dependent on that Mac. Sometime soon (this month) my company will issue me a new MBP, presumably with the latest OS.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 0339327

AlixSPQR

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2020
1,033
5,387
Sweden
So, therein is the question…

Do I do this as an MP 4,1 or an MP 5,1? I would assume 5,1 because that's the firmware patch I applied, but the Mac is originally a 4,1.
The app will recognise it automatically and offer the best settings possible.

dump.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: eyoungren

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Aug 31, 2011
29,005
27,283
The app will recognise it automatically and offer the best settings possible.
Cool, thanks.

Part of my hesitation for a patcher is that dosdude made his easy and all the other instructions I could find beyond Catalina seemed arcane. It would seem however, that this has improved in the last few years. I may try it.
 

AlixSPQR

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2020
1,033
5,387
Sweden
Cool, thanks.

Part of my hesitation for a patcher is that dosdude made his easy and all the other instructions I could find beyond Catalina seemed arcane. It would seem however, that this has improved in the last few years. I may try it.
IMHO I believe OCLP is easier to execute, and it is more stable*. Root patches just need to be reinstalled after a macOS update.

*That is because everything happens in the EFI partition and online (resources are pulled when needed), OCLP does not alter macOS per se.
 
  • Like
Reactions: eyoungren

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Aug 31, 2011
29,005
27,283
IMHO I believe OCLP is easier to execute, and it is more stable. Root patches just need to be reinstalled after a macOS update.
Which would seemingly not be different than with dosdude's patchers - something I am already accustomed to.

Thank you, I appreciate it!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: AlixSPQR

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Aug 31, 2011
29,005
27,283
Why not dual boot?
I neglected to respond to this, so will do so now.

I'm not a big fan of dual or multi-boot. For one, I have multiple Macs so I already have multiple versions of OS. Need to do something in Tiger, or Leopard? PowerMac G3, G4, or my PowerBook G4s. Snow Leopard? Do it on my 17" MBP or one of the three Mac Minis I have that run SL. Catalina? 2008 MBP.

Secondly, I tend to run the one version of OS I am most comfortable using on my primary Mac (in this case the MacPro). There is little I can do in High Sierra that I cannot on Mojave. InDesign CS4 might be one thing, but the GUI issue it has begins with High Sierra. I'd just switch to my G5 Quad or DC if I really needed to use that.

Third, if I REALLY need to use an earlier version of OS that I do not have installed anywhere, then that's what I have Parallels for.

Finally, I don't like partitioning my main drive. It means less capacity for every OS version I install. It also means rebooting if I want to use an earlier version of OS. I hate rebooting.
 
Last edited:

headlessmike

macrumors 65816
May 16, 2017
1,312
2,616
The app in question only needs Catalina, but my experiences with Catalina haven't been so great. I can easily upgrade to it, I'm just not wanting to.
I never really got along with Catalina either. Big Sur ran so much better than Catalina on my 2012 mini, even though it wasn’t officially supported. OCLP is nice and easy to use, so I’d definitely recommend giving it a try. I used dosdude’s patcher in the past on this machine and found OCLP to be a more refined experience. The main difference in use is the EFI modification which can be a bit intimidating at first but in reality is not a big hurdle.
 

AlixSPQR

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2020
1,033
5,387
Sweden
I never really got along with Catalina either. Big Sur ran so much better than Catalina on my 2012 mini, even though it wasn’t officially supported. OCLP is nice and easy to use, so I’d definitely recommend giving it a try. I used dosdude’s patcher in the past on this machine and found OCLP to be a more refined experience. The main difference in use is the EFI modification which can be a bit intimidating at first but in reality is not a big hurdle.
Couldn't agree more. Catalina was the biggest reason for me to try out OCLP and Big Sur, now Monterey. They work much better on my mini Late 2012 than Catalina ever did, in spite of OCLP modification.
 

Bug-Creator

macrumors 68000
May 30, 2011
1,772
4,705
Germany
I'm not a big fan of dual or multi-boot.

While I can understand this you should still consider it for a test phase since you still have some doubts whether it will work out.

So install BigSur onto some old SSD (HDD would be a really bad option for anything past HS) import your data from backup and give it a spin before fully committing.

I do still run BigSur on my 5.1 as a secondary Mac (primary till the Studio came along) and never had any real issue that came from the newer OS or the patcher.
 
  • Like
Reactions: eyoungren

MrCheeto

macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2008
3,530
351
My point exactly. When Snow Leopard was released, I used a separate partition until it was stable enough to commit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: eyoungren

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Aug 31, 2011
29,005
27,283
While I can understand this you should still consider it for a test phase since you still have some doubts whether it will work out.

So install BigSur onto some old SSD (HDD would be a really bad option for anything past HS) import your data from backup and give it a spin before fully committing.

I do still run BigSur on my 5.1 as a secondary Mac (primary till the Studio came along) and never had any real issue that came from the newer OS or the patcher.
My point exactly. When Snow Leopard was released, I used a separate partition until it was stable enough to commit.
I see. That makes sense. I've got 4 drives in this Mac, but only one is an SSD. However, I have at least one 80GB SSD that was pulled from a Mac Mini so I might try this on that (using an adapter I have).
 

theMarble

macrumors 6502a
Sep 27, 2020
989
1,412
Earth, Sol System, Alpha Quadrant
I would also like to vouch for OCLP. So far I’ve used it to get:

- Big Sur & Monterey on a 2010 MacBook7,1
- Monterey on a 2011 MacBookPro8,1
- Ventura on a 2015 MacBookPro11,4

All were extremely easy to get running. Performance is as good as you can expect, though I think you’ll have a better time since you have 32GB of RAM and Metal-supported GPUs.

If I recall correctly (correct me if I’m wrong here), the OCLP patch interface does allow you to bring back the support for Kepler cards so you can run Monterey or even Ventura with no issues.

I would go with Monterey if I were you. I swore by Big Sur for many years given that it was faster and didn’t have memory leaks and Bluetooth issues like Monterey did. However, now that Monterey is at 12.6.3, it has become just as good if not better than Big Sur and I haven’t experienced the bugs from 12.0-12.4.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.