MacOS Catalina on Unsupported Macs

For anyone who owns an older Mac who thought they couldn’t install the latest MacOS Catalina you may be surprised to learn you probably can. There’s a very active group of developers working to make it a reality and I have it myself on several machines. Flawless! Would also be an interesting topic for one of the shows?

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I already made this post a few weeks ago which may be why no answers or comments so far. But I agree it’s great as I use on my MacBook Pro 2011

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A friend asked me if it was safe, and I can see why he’d ask. Your thoughts?

It’s safe in the sense that your copy of the os is coming right from the apple servers and the tweaks done for the most part are to do with the boot system recognizing the older hardware and working regardless. Also the people behind the tweaks have been doing this for years and trusted

Well that’s the issue right? You either have a clean OS from the OEM or you don’t. We have no way of knowing what the “tweaks” do or don’t do.

That said, it’s a very open collaborative effort I feel good about and I have no secrets anyway. Does anyone anymore?

I’ll ramble for a moment, then say what I came to say.
Got a message when logging into my banking app today. “We have updated our online banking agreement. Click here to download a copy. AGREE / DISAGREE.
I downloaded and started to read the 10+pages. No “This is what we updated”. Scrolled through it, said something I won’t type, and clicked AGREE.

We all clicked the AGREE button the first time we connected to the internet. And, we all love getting all that free stuff that’s available. And we all question if it is safe. And some of us try to protect ourselves online, but still love getting the latest and greatest.

Installed Catalina from dosdude1 when I first saw it on this community. Very happy to be able to try it out. Somethings don’t work on my 2010 MBA, but that’s a hardware issue. There is a noticeable delay when starting an app, but I’m talking about 1-2 seconds. I can live with that on a test setup. Will be donating to dosdude1 if I continue using it.

I did too. A lot people worked really hard on breathing life into these older machines.

i will be looking at that website. I have a 2007 macbook (5.1)13 in. with Lion installed. Run’s great with 4gigs of ramm. Older version of chrome does good, and apps work. The patcher may not work on it. And, I have a 2011 mac mini-8gigs ramm, 500 gig SSD, with High Sierra on it. I might try the patcher on that one. Will be upgrading ramm to 16 gigs soon. I’m hoping it won’t break much.

I also use linux mint and windows 7 + 10. Got to down size, getting to old (62) to keep up with 4 laptops and 3 desk tops


You’re out of luck on the MacBook, maybe Mint would be best for that?

Your Mac Mini will do great with Catalina! Just download the app from Dosdude and it will make a bootable USB version of Catalina for you to install. Then after the install you must boot from the USB again to run the post-install patches. Then you’re good!


Thank you MikeinCA, I’ll see if my old brain cells can manage not to screw up to bad. I better back up what I have now, so I don’t lose it.

I have Mint on an old Compac laptop, Is it possible to put a mac o/s on an old windows machine ? I know linux will go on any old laptop. Did you mean with a Virtual box or some thing like that ? Never thought of that, must have lost that brain cell last month.

That’s not what I said… I suggested that since your MacBook is too old for Catalina maybe put Mint on it?

Your Mac Mini on the other hand will work great on Catalina!

Misunderstood you, sorry. I think I did that a couple years ago with the macbook, Mint, Ubuntu, and a Chrome O/S.
they did not work as well as Lion does on it.

So, after a couple of weeks of having Catalina taking up half my 1tb SSD storage on a late 2010 Macbook Air, and having spent more time updating iCloud settings then actually using it for anything, and being locked out of re-installing Windows 10 using Bootcamp because I set it all up with APFS, I am now in the process of cleaning out the MBA, and re-installing High Sierra and Windows 10.
It was worth the experience of using dosdude1 patcher to see how Catalina looks and how it works on an unsupported Mac, but I feel I now know why Apple does not support running it on older Macs.
Time to set up the piggy bank to start saving for a new computer sometime in the next year or so.

What went wrong? I’ve been using end enjoying… the current version has no known issues.

If Catalina isn’t for you consider at least going up to Mojave?

A few things make me unhappy with how Catalina runs on my older MBA. Sidecar is not supported, which is kind of a downer, but not unexpected. In addition, I can no longer connect to my Apple TV, and I have reinstalled Catalina twice to try to remedy that.
Response is a bit slow, which I would accept if Sidecarvand th AppleTV functions work.
Last, and most important, when I tried to run Bootcamp to install Windows, it would not partition the drive. Said not enough space, even though there was 400gb unused disk space.

I believe Sidecar is hardware dependent so that makes sense but you shouldn’t have any issue with Boot Camp. Are you on the latest version?

As I said, I’ve installed Catalina 3 times, each time running dosdude1 installer from scratch, which downloads latest Catalina version.
To be honest, with the observed slowdown compared to High Sierra on my hardware, I don’t see any great differences that make it worthwhile to run a patched (corrected) version. I plan on keeping this MBA until either it fails, or until High Sierra is no longer supported. As we get older and on fixed income, we have to pick our fights as to what toys we spend our money on each year. iPhone 11 won this year.

Just to clarify, there should be no “slow down”, in fact the opposite, and there is no “bootleg” which means theft or fake. This is the OS from Apple with a few patches.

Why would you want to run it? The Apple apps like Photos, Notes, and Reminders are significantly updated. If you use those on other newer devices but maybe have one old Mac, then updating is really handy. If you don’t need any of the new apps, then staying on older versions may not bother you.

My apologies to anyone who took my write up as a criticism of the dosdude1 Catalina patcher. It was simply meant to describe my experience on the hardware I use. I think what dosdude1 does in providing a path for those with older Mac hardware is pretty impressive,and anyone interested in trying the newer MacOSs should give it a go. In my case, I found the disadvantages outweighed the advantages.

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Respectfully may I suggest you may have come to that opinion prematurely as only yesterday was a final working version issued where everything works. As of now there are no “disadvantages” at all.

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