macOS 10.14 Mojave upgrade to Big Sur


Hi all,


For upgrading our macOS 10.15 Mac's to Big Sur we use a script which calls another policy to download the Big Sur installer. Instead of packaging and uploading the complete installer to Jamf, we use the command : sudo softwareupdate --download --fetch-full-installer --full-installer-version 11.5.1

We still have some 10.14 Mac's and because the command above didn't exist in 10.14 I want to use the command 'software -i 'macos Big Sur 'name' ' .

When I am on my test-macBook with 10.14 and run the command "softwareupdate -l of softwareupdate --list" it comes with the result: No new software available.
When going to System Preferences > Software Update it shows me 'macOS Big Sur'. So in fact there is new software available.
I've tried to run the command 'softwareupdate -i 'macOS Big Sur 11.5.1-20G80' but then it says "No such update".

Any thoughts why the softwareupdate command in the terminal comes back with 'No new software available'? to fix this?


Valued Contributor

Softwareupdate --download --fetch-full-installer option doesn't exist in 10.14

Softwareupdate command also is just used to update, not upgrade macOS. So Big Sur won't show up in the list or to be able to be downloaded using the command.


You could use VPP and push Big Sur installer stub to the machines.

@boberito I already mentioned that this command doesn't exist in 10.14. Thats why I use "softwareupdate -l" (list) to retrieve the list of available updates. 

Regarding this article you should be able to accomplish this on 10.14 with the "softwareupdate -l and -i " command. Not the --fetch-full-..... variable:

Esteemed Contributor II

@Musicmaker Apple already packages the Big Sur installer for you, just download the version you want then upload it to your JSS DP. The full list of versions available can be found at:

@sdagley I know that the packages are ready to use. Before Big Sur this was the way we provided the upgrades. But since the Big Sur package is more than 12GB I've been looking for other ways. Because with every update you have download and upload this new one. The softwareupdate command works fine from 10.15. I just have to change a variable in the commandline in my policy and change the version in the 'Parameter Values" in the script tab of the upgrade policy.
That's why I wanted to try the softwareupdate command which is mentioned in the article I posted in my previous post.

Esteemed Contributor II

@Musicmaker If you're relying on softwareupdate to deliver the macOS installer then you're limited to whatever version(s) Apple decides to make available through their CDN. In the past they've been known to remove previous installers as soon as a new version drops. For some orgs that require a specific version of macOS be installed until a new release is qualified that's a problem, and distributing the installer via your org's own DP solves that problem. Your mileage may vary.

New Contributor


We use a script which stages macOS Big Sur on Mojave machines. You could use this line to stage macOS Big Sur on the Mojave machines:


This link is for macOS Big Sur 11.5.1