Some Big Sur users are unable to update macOS due to an MDM bug

Apple

Earlier this week, numerous macOS sysadmins started reporting that some Apple gadgets had been failing to improve to Massive Sur model 11.1. Affected customers could briefly see the 11.1 improve, however then it disappears from the replace UI and from the command line softwareupdate software regardless of not having been put in.

Faulty replace request

Developer Victor Vrantchan, of the open supply MicroMDM mission, says he is discovered the issue. Some Macs are erroneously requesting 11.0.1 as a substitute of 11.1 from Apple’s replace server—which replace is then rejected if the machine in query is already operating 11.0.1 or newer, as most such are.

Apple's update servers don't like it when you ask for a system update that's older than your currently installed version.
Enlarge / Apple’s replace servers do not prefer it if you ask for a system replace that is older than your at the moment put in model.

Whereas the faulty requests themselves are clear sufficient, the breaking situation is much less so. In keeping with Vrantchan, making the faulty request “by some means corrupts the state of the software program replace course of,” leading to a system that not presents the replace as an choice in System Preferences in any respect.

Restarting the affected system will make the replace seen once more—however that will or could not assist; if the subsequent try to put in 11.1 generates the identical faulty 11.0.1 request, the issue conduct will merely repeat itself.

Eradicating the MDM profile—for you non-Mac people and non-sysadmins, that is Apple’s misleadingly named Cell Machine Administration service, which permits training and enterprise orgs to handle and “supervise” fleets of macOS and iOS gadgets—additionally makes the replace seen. That mentioned, mortals shouldn’t do this workaround calmly; messing with MDM has probably extreme impacts on system safety, and there is not any assure that re-enrolling the Mac in its office will go easily, both.

Can I simply obtain the 11.1 replace manually?

One seemingly apparent workaround can be to simply instantly obtain and manually apply the replace bundle for Massive Sur 11.1. Sadly, Apple has deprecated combo replace packages—there is no guide bundle to obtain or set up.

As of macOS Massive Sur, the format of the updates has modified—and so they can not be put in with out Web entry. Replace packages should come instantly from Apple, and so they should be managed by the softwareupdate course of itself. It is not even potential to make use of a customized URL for softwareupdate anymore.

How—or when—can I repair this?

Till we’ve extra concrete info on the situation inflicting softwareupdate to erroneously request 11.0.1 as a substitute of 11.1, there is not any assured technique to repair the problem. Many customers are reporting that after rebooting and making an attempt to improve once more—in some circumstances, after rebooting and attempting a number of occasions—the improve does undergo correctly.

Different customers report that eradicating the MDM profile fastened the problem totally—although we would nonetheless contemplate {that a} very dangerous, Hail Mary play.

With no means to manually obtain and set up system updates as user-installed packages in Massive Sur, getting the bug patched is likely to be tough. The bug won’t manifest when the system requests a special model quantity, so maybe an replace to 11.2 will bypass the buggy requests and due to this fact be capable to repair the bug in 11.2 with out intervention. It could even be potential—if extraordinarily hacky—for Apple to sideload the replace into an unrelated patch that does not have an effect on the OS model quantity.

All else failing, an entire reinstall of Massive Sur from the App Retailer ought to get you to 11.1—though it is a 12.6GB obtain, and as with every main OS set up, you have to be completely sure you’ve got bought good backups of all of your information previous to the try.

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