macOS - Upgrade to Big Sur
This article explains the Big Sur upgrade process available through Self-Service
macOS 11 "Big Sur" Upgrade
A few things to note before upgrading to macOS Big Sur
- Do not upgrade a computer unless you have physical access to it. Attempting to upgrade a computer remotely will drop the remote connection leaving the computer stuck waiting for local user input.
- The Big Sur upgrade requires a significant amount of free disk space. The installer itself is much larger due to its support of both Intel and Apple "M" processors. Additionally, macOS Big Sur introduces a cryptographically signed system volume that protects against malicious tampering. As a result, computers need approximately 60GB of free space for upgrade files to download and the upgrade process to complete.
- Installing Big Sur on a University-Owned Mac will also install Jamf Connect for authentication. All university owned Macs running Big Sur will get this feature, even if the upgrade is installed through methods other than detailed below. For more on Jamf Connect, please see the Jamf Connect KB document.
Starting the Upgrade Process
Step 1. Open the Self Service application from the Applications folder, dock, Spotlight or via Launchpad.
Step 2. From the Self-Service application search for "Big Sur" and select the "Upgrade to Big Sur" policy.
Before the installation begins, there will be a prompt warning the user that the computer will automatically restart once the installer is ready to begin the upgrade.
Step 3. If the macOS Big Sur installer is not present, there will be a prompt to download it. Some computers may already have the installation files cached. If the Big Sur Installer is already present on the computer, the installation process will begin immediately. Skip to "Installing the Upgrade" if you are not prompted to download Big Sur.
There will be a notification that the download will happen in the background. Click "OK". When the download finishes the installer will begin the upgrade process.
Installing the Upgrade
The computer will begin the installation process as soon as the installer is ready. This will cause the computer to restart, and it will reboot several times during this process. The typical upgrade takes between 30-60 minutes depending on the age of the computer. This process is completely automated and the user will not have to take any action until the upgrade is completed and the user logs into their account.
Step 4. The final step in the upgrade process requires the user to login as they normally would. After logging in, the upgrade will finish which may also take several minutes. For further information, scroll down to "Using Jamf Connect Login" in the Jamf Connect KB document.