Mac OS Catalina Developer Beta

As previously mentioned I used my Developer account to install the Developer Beta of Catalina so I could get going on some of its features. Lately, most of my Betas have are in the Parallels Desktop App as a Virtual OS. That way I do not have to Restart to go into a Catalina install on an external drive. However, that did not work out so well this time.

Catalina Parallels

After installing Catalina OS into the latest version of Parallels on my iMac I booted in and had a look around. Right away I noticed that stuff just did not work right, including my Magic Mouse and Trackpad. Lots of other things either did not work or were sluggish.

With this disappointing experience in mind I went to the Parallels website Support Discussion Forums to research the issue. I discovered that Parallels had not yet been upgraded to work well with the Catalina OS. I guess I should have done that research before installing, but I just assumed it would work. 

What I ended up doing is installing the Catalina Developer Beta onto an external Crucial SSD that I had lying around. It was kind of convoluted to accomplish, but I finally got that to work. Here is the process if any of you wish to try this.

At this point the way to get to Catalina is to install Mojave on your media and then install Catalina over that. I tried installing Mojave from different media, but the only thing that worked was to boot my new iMac into Recovery Mode by holding down the Command Key ⌘ and “R” at startup. Once in Recovery mode I reinstalled the OS, but I chose my new, external Developer drive. Once Mojave was installed on the external drive I booted into it, download the Developer installer and installed a Developer account along with Catalina. Yes, this is a convoluted process, but it works.

Once I had Catalina installed, I booted into it. Man, what a difference! The Magic Mouse and Trackpad just worked as normal. So did most of the new software. Things behaved normally like they should. So I will instal the Developer updates as it releases them for testing. I will bring some info on the various new features in Catalina, they look cool. Right now I am still installing some of my Mission Critical Apps on Catalina for testing.

I want to make two observations here. Even though Catalina is on an external USB 3.0 drive and it is in its early stages, it is very responsive. The new Apps and features look great, but time will tell. The only downside to doing this is I have to Restart the iMac to get into the Developer account, a real drag, but at least things work as advertised.


I suppose this is a lot of hassle just to run a Developer Beta program, but for me it is worth it. I am sure the Parallels people will update their App to work better with Catalina, but until then I have my Developer install.