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Approved by: Sean Holden Sean

Confluence link:


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

titleUpgrading 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)



View file
nameupgrade to 11-startosinstall template - add Install macOS Big

titleFull 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:

Code Block
titleDownload 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.

titleHaving issues?

Apple have known possible issues:



titleRe-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:

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


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


In the Applications folder add the dowloaded 'Install macOS Big'; .fwplaceholder may be removed

Image Removed


This method has now been replaced with: macOS Upgrades or Erasing