Thursday, July 16, 2020

macOS 10.15.6

Apple (also: MacRumors, Mr. Macintosh, Howard Oakley):

macOS Catalina 10.15.6 introduces local news in your Today feed in Apple News and improves the security and reliability of your Mac.

Unlike macOS 10.15.5, this does include a new version of Apple Mail. However, it’s not yet clear to me whether it fixes the data loss bug from macOS 10.15.0 where messages disappear when you move them. One user who had been frequently seeing the problem says that it stopped occurring some time ago—after the previous update but before this one—perhaps due to a change on Apple’s iCloud mail server. However, I would still like to see a fix in Mail itself because the bug also affected Gmail and other servers.

I have heard that some users are still seeing the bug from 10.15.0 where rules don’t move incoming messages to another mailbox automatically, only when manually applying the rules.

Update (2020-07-16): I received another report that iCloud messages no longer disappear. I also received a report that the bug with rules copying Gmail messages instead of moving them is fixed. I’m still not sure whether the data loss bug is fixed for non-iCloud servers.

Update (2020-07-20): One user reports Exchange messages disappearing when moved, although he’s not sure whether it’s due to a server problem or Apple Mail.

Update (2020-08-03): I’ve received several other reports of messages disappearing when moving them.


Update (2020-07-27): Mr. Macintosh:

The softwareupdate --ignore flag was changed to include some changes that we asked for!

Erik Schwiebert:

PSA: beware of MacOS [10.15.5] if you have any non-ASCII characters in your apps’ entitlement.plist files (even if they are HTML-encoded with &#...;). Late changes to the codesign tool error on them at signing time.

Juli Clover:

macOS Catalina 10.15.6 successfully fixes a frustrating bug that prevented some USB 2.0 accessories from working properly with 2020 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models, according to MacRumors readers and users on Reddit.

Ole Begemann:

macOS 10.15.6 understands Big Sur’s APFS volume format. And apparently parallel installs of Catalina and Big Sur into the same APFS container are now supported (though I haven’t tried this).


Update (2020-07-29): Tanner Bennett:

You can only use the --ignore flag “as long as the Mac is enrolled in Apple School Manager, Apple Business Manager or a User Approved MDM”?


Update (2020-08-07): Howard Oakley:

My iMac Pro had clearly suffered a kernel panic as a result of a memory leak, which ran zone kalloc.48 out of memory, which it couldn’t recover. This may be unassociated with the bug that’s affecting virtualisation software, but makes me suspect that they result from the same memory leak. In which case, any Mac running 10.15.6 could be so affected.

I hope that Apple’s engineers are onto this case, and that we’ll soon see a Supplemental Update to 10.15.6.


My MBP kps and shuts down every three days. When I boot back up iStat menus shows the last temp reading before (thermal?) shutdown, 100 deg C, before reading sensor data.

15 Comments RSS · Twitter

Great news if true. However I switched to Postbox (which has its own issues) since Mail's classic interface has gotten so much worse in 10.15.

@Matt The good news is that Mail’s classic interface gets better in 11.0.

Still not migrating, but steeling myself for the transition, just archived and nuked 12,000 emails. Never would have had to do this prior to Catalina.

I wasn’t serious about email archiving or the possibility of data loss prior to Catalina. *GROAN*

@Michael that's great news! I have the Beta installed. I should try it on an account I don't care about.

In the interests of moving on and "taking one for the team" this Crapalina refuser installed Catalina on my only two older Macs: an i5 Mini with a 500GB OWC SSD, and a stock late-2013 MBP. Both maxed out to 16GB of Ram. Both cloned with Carbon Copy Cloner before attempting this folly.

Since I read at Macintouch that the migration tool was uh, "sub-optimal" these were straight upgrades from USB stick. I had concerns:

- Did they fix the mail data loss bug? 5 years of 12K emails archived later, I would find out.

- Would Music pooch my iTunes Library of ... 10+ years worth of songs and remixes, many with Chinese or Japanese named files?

Bottom line: No major issues. Some minor bugs, and every security tool I used with Mojave came thru with only one upgrade, Patrick Wardle's BlockBlock, which is now version 1.

Horror stories about "too many dialogs" were mostly mitigated, most permissions came over from Mojave. 1-2 Screen Recording and more than a few Notification perms later... what's good?

- The Finder is snappy, Mojave would wheeze on external hard disk file lists, Cata-Finder just lists them. Even on my i5 fileserver Mini, snappy.

- Home app is nice when it works. On the i7 it's great, on the i5 it shows my HomePods as "No Response" -- no problems from my iOS devices or the MBP.

- The toys that matter: Turbo Boost Switcher Pro, AdGuard macOS, BlockBlock, LittleSnitch, Keyboard Maestro, Hazel, Alfred, Entangler, Script Debugger all seem to work very well in Catalina.

- No data loss either. Mail came thru on the MBP, the Mojave bug of "Rules must be fired manually" is still there on Catalina, no big. Music gobbled my humongous Library and did not break any links to external drives. Good.

If you do this BACK UP and use a cloner like Carbon Copy Cloner. If any Apple people are reading this you'd better make Mike Bombich's life EXTREMELY EASY.

Grudging respect to Apple: they finally got most of it right. Next time, don't ship with data loss bugs as I have names reserved for " if you get it wrong. German: "Berg Große Scheiße" and for Japanese, a play on a folktale: かちかちうんこ山

Don't make me hashtag these Tim Apple. Because I will.

Grudging respect to Apple: they finally got most of it right. Next time, don’t ship with data loss bugs

Yeah, for most people, Catalina seems to have taken way too long to become reliable. About as bad as Lion.

I still have some issues (though I’m still on 10.15.5, because… I haven’t wanted to touch it just yet?). Today saw another instance of windows being moved to impossible positions: every single Safari window had its title bar outside of the screen, with a vertical coordinate way below zero. This kind of bug seems new to Catalina (maybe not?) — it gets very confused with multiple displays. I also often see Mission Control showing me windows whose sheet is clearly way outside the proper coordinates of a particular screen.

AirPlay is still unreliable for me. No idea if it was better in Mojave; I only recently got this speaker. Maybe it’s the speaker? I don’t know. It’s a mess.

Michael, I've been following your commentary re Apple Mail failing to sync exchange messages and losing messages. This bug caused me massive grief. Apple Support kept blaming Microsoft. I lost hundreds of mission critical emails. But as you note above, the problem seems to have disappeared, I think prior to the latest update. Apart from the fact that arguably the most important app on the platform didn't work correctly for months, the fact that apple never acknowledges it and then covertly addresses it is very disturbing. Thanks for your work and take care.

@Harvey I’m still hearing of Exchange users losing messages, although in all recent cases they seem to think it was caused by their mail server rather than Apple Mail. It’s old message at rest that were lost, not ones that the user was moving. I wish there were a way to get a clear answer. (Apple never replied to my bug reports.)

@Vintner Am]nd now Howard Oakley has found a general memory leak the doesn’t need VM use to manifest, and kernel panic Macs on 10.15.6. My Mini hasn’t been affected, but my late 2013 MBP with discreet GPU will KP every 2-3 days. Unless restarted.

The last time I encountered a memory leak that crashed the system was when I was using Windows 98...

Another idle thought: I wonder if we're starting to see more issues in minor point updates because they’re now being used to ship new features that didn't make it into the .0 release? So instead of just bug fixes, every point update is now a ".0" for some part of the system.

Another idle thought: I wonder if we’re starting to see more issues in minor point updates because they’re now being used to ship new features that didn’t make it into the .0 release? So instead of just bug fixes, every point update is now a “.0” for some part of the system.

Yes, I suspect they decided last summer to postpone various iOS 13 / macOS 10.15 features for later in the cycle, and it turns out those still weren’t quite ready.

(It’s also possible that this sandbox leak is simply a result of trying to fix another bug elsewhere, not of trying to add a feature.)

Having intalled macOS 10.15.6 I cannot drag-and-drop a highlighted text while writing a new e-mail. Neither move, nor copy, as described in the OS help:

Drag and drop items on Mac
You can drag and drop items to do things like move or copy files and folders, add an image to an email, or move text around in a
Move or copy items
1. On your Mac, select an item you want to drag — such as an image or block of text.
2. Press and hold the trackpad or mouse while you drag the item to a new location.
To copy the item, press and hold the Option key while you drag.
3. Release the trackpad or mouse to drop the item in the new location.

Kernel panic situ in 10.15.6 not over.

I have new Mac Pro (from April 2020) - came with 10.15.2. Updated to 10.15.4 and system started crashing often and for no reason - even when sleeping. Numerous conversations with sen tech support and Apple blamed external ssd, added ram etc. But system still crashed when all removed - finally Apple declared it was a hardware fault and replaced whole machine.

New Mac Pro delivered June 2020 - started crashing as soon as I tried to copy large files (my photos library from old 2010 Mac Pro). Apple insisted I had to update to 10.15.6 to cure issue. However, it doesn’t - tried different data, different ssd’s, usb sticks etc. But all failed - file size ranged from 2gb to 511gb but all failed to copy and crashed system with kernel panic before 10% was copied. Having tried everything else previously and as system less than 2 months old and due to the cost ! Apple have agreed to escalate to developers, but are already talking about again replacing machine.

Trying to speak with anyone above executive office customer support gets nowhere. Classic Apple ‘don’t admit problem’ and hope it goes away in further releases. Have had nothing but problems since Catalina introduced, and Apple putting head in sand.

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