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With very little effort devices may be upgraded to Big Sur using the provided recipe.

Upgrading older versions

Devices running earlier versions (pre 10.8 Mountain Lion) will require updating twice; Apple recommend upgrading to El Capitan and then to Big Sur.

Apple macOS Big Sur Upgrade Guide

Apple's full list of macOS Big Sur Compatible Devices

This process is designed to upgrade devices.  If it is desired to wipe devices and then instal a version of macOS, please take a look at the example recipe: Wipe and Install macOS 10.13.4+ (Intel)


  • A copy of the 'Install macOS Big'
  • Upgrade macOS 11 Fileset:

    ↓ macOS

Full installer

Confirm the installer app is the complete installation (8+ GB) before continuing. If the app is less than 50MB, re-download the Install macOS Big A full installer may be downloaded through Terminal on macOS 10.15+ devices. Example to download the 11.0 full installer to the Applications directory:

Download Full Installer
softwareupdate --fetch-full-installer --full-installer-version 11.0

Typically Apple only provide the latest point release of each Major OS version: 10.13.6, 10.14.6, etc.

Associate Fileset as a Kiosk association for the end users to install in their own time.


Re-running the Filesest

This Fileset adds a file to prevent re-running the installer. If the installer requires re-running, this file will need to be removed in advance:

rm -rf /var/db/.upgrade-to-bigsur-fw-installed

  1. Download and import the attached Fileset recipe: Upgrade macOS 11 Fileset

  2. Once imported into FileWave, open the Fileset to view the contents window; ensuring 'Hide unused folders' is selected
  3. In the Applications folder add the dowloaded 'Install macOS Big'; .fwplaceholder may be removed

  4. Associate to test machines
  5. Once tested, deploy to appropriate clients
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