Catalina is out! While you are preparing for your upgrade, here’s a nice new feature for MacAdmins:
softwareupdate command has gained a new option in Catalina:
% softwareupdate --fetch-full-installer
Will download the latest ‘Install macOS’ application to this Mac’s
/Applications folder. This is extremely useful for many admin tasks.
--fetch-full-installer flag has a sub-flag:
--full-installer-version which allows you to download a specific version.
% softwareupdate --fetch-full-installer --full-installer-version 10.14.6
During my testing in the Catalina beta version I was able to download 10.15, 10.14.6, 10.14.5, and 10.13.6. I was not able to test if 10.13.6 would download the hardware specific build of 10.13.6 for the 2018 MacBook Pro, since I do not have that hardware.
I would assume that downloading an Installer application for a macOS version that is not supported on the hardware you are running the command on would fail. (Again I did not have such hardware available for testing.)
So far the only way to download the macOS Installer in some automated fashion was using Greg Neagle’s
installinstallmacos.py script. That script still has some abilities that do not seem to be available to the
softwareupdate command, but it is good to see Apple accepting the need for this kind of workflow.