Important FileWave-Related Changes to macOS Catalina (10.15)

macOS Catalina brings several changes that you should consider when managing the platform in your environment.  Please review the following to assess how the changes may impact your environment:

FileSystem Changes:

  • One of the most significant changes maybe that the System Folder and root folder / are now read-only
    • This could have an impact if you have any filesets that put a file or folder directly at root (a super-pref might be a common example)
    • Any filesets or scripts that put files in root will need to be updated to account for these permission changes
  • Note that as of 13.1.4, the location of the FileWave server application was moved on both macOS and Linux to account for (and stay consistent with) this change...more information here: fwxserver folder relocation in FileWave Server 13.1.4+ on macOS and Linux Platforms


  • Gatekeeper functionality now requires that all Apps you install from the App store and the Internet in general are notarized (all FileWave components are notarized with 13.2+)
  • This change may have an impact on filesets with older versions of apps that may need updated

Only 64 Bit Apps:

  • macOS Catalina only supports 64 bit apps, so if you have any 32-bit apps that are mission critical, you may want to delay the upgrade on those endpoints

Activation Lock for T2 Macs:

  • Any macOS devices with a T2 chip will now be able to do Activation Lock (FileWave does escrow the Activation Lock keys for these devices) 

Expansion of TCC:

  • TCC protections have been expanded to several user-based folders, such as Documents, Desktop, and Download folders
  • It is not probable that this change will impact your filesets, but it is something to consider