macOS CatalinaSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Mac backup and disk cloning app SuperDuper now supports macOS Catalina.
  • The update has taken considerable work to complete.
  • The update is free for existing SuperDuper! users.

I don't need to explain how important backing up your data is because we've already done it and you're smart people. SuperDuper! is one of my favorite tools for backing up and cloning my Macs and now it's been fully updated to support macmOS Catalina, too.

SuperDuper! is an app that has seemingly been around forever and allows people to clone their Mac's disk. That has a few advantages, not least the fact that the cloned disk can be made bootable. So, let's say you have an issue and need to get back up and running quickly. No problem, just boot from your cloned disk and you're back to work. It's magic, except better.

While I wouldn't say that SuperDuper! is a replacement for Time Machine – they do two different things – it really is a great addition to your backup strategy. And now you can make full use of it thanks to this update.

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But that update didn't come easy. As developer Dave Nanian explains, getting SuperDuper! to play nicely with macOS Catalina's new storage methods wasn't a piece of cake by any stretch of the imagination.

Catalina divides your drive into two volumes (which is what we've been working all spring, summer and fall to support properly). A read-only "system" volume, and a read/write "data" volume.

Things you are allowed to write to, in general, are on the Data volume. Things you can't (the OS, Apple's applications) are on the System volume.

Before Catalina, I often told users that they didn't "own" most of their drive: the vast majority of it was owned by Apple, or rather macOS. You only really "own" your Home folder, in /Users, and the applications you install. (Yes, yes, I know about /usr/local, etc, but work with me here.)

Catalina now formalizes that concept beyond just Unix permissions and SIP-protected locations. The stuff you "own" is now on the Data volume. The System volume is off-limits. For good.

Anyway, none of that really matters to users and you can download the new update for free if you already have a license. Everyone else can get in on the action for just $27.95. And it's worth every single penny.

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