macOS 10.15 Catalina

Internals, experiments, tech stuff
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JayB
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:38 pm

macOS 10.15 Catalina

Post by JayB » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:53 am

Catalina will have a dedicated read-only system volume, and for that Apple have created a new filetype called firmlink. Users won't be able to create firmlinks, except for volume share mount points. Pretty interesting stuff.

https://forums.developer.apple.com/message/363443
https://forums.developer.apple.com/message/363444

Question: will Nimble Commander show the system and data volumes as separate things, or as a combined thing, as Finder does?

I'd actually prefer it if NC showed the system volume to be what it is, a separate volume, so the user will know immediately which files he can touch & modify, and which not. On the other hand, having it appear to be one coherent filesystem is probably nicer. ;)

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mike
Posts: 807
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:35 am
Location: Exeter, UK

Re: macOS 10.15 Catalina

Post by mike » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:46 pm

Thanks for pointing this stuff out. I'll be able to tell something once I watch the session and play with 10.15 in a VM.
Generally I try to be a decent Unix citizen and not to do something too platform-specific, so probably NC will be showing the structure as it does now.

JayB
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:38 pm

Re: macOS 10.15 Catalina

Post by JayB » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:44 pm

The true paths are actually (for example):

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/System/Volumes/Data/usr/local
And I assume that macOS will firmlink this to the root of the read-only system volume, i.e. to the actual / … which is why I think that the default file structure you will see in Finder (and also in the shell) will be the same as it is today. Execute

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cd /usr/local
and you're there. (I hope… can't yet verify.)

See also here: https://www.sentinelone.com/blog/7-big- ... -catalina/

I just wonder… what if you want to create a file or directory like /opt in root? The actual root will be read-only, so do you have to create /opt as /System/Volumes/Data/opt? And will macOS firmlink this automatically to the actual root? At WWDC they said that users will not be able to create firmlinks except for mount points for network drives, but that is done automatically by the system for the user when you use the relevant command, e.g. `mount`. (At least that's how I understood it.)

Interesting development for sure.

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