install High Sierra on new 2018 Mac Mini with Big Sur?

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
OP MichaelRD Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: install High Sierra on new 2018 Mac Mini with Big Sur?

Tom_N wrote:

MichaelRD wrote:

Can someone tell me the easiest way to install High Sierra on a new (2018) mac mini so I can boot to either Big Sur (which it came with) and in time, Monterey? I still use PS CS6 and a few other 32 bit programs but mainly use it as an entertainment server (Plex). I actually use El Capitan now but figure that OS might be too old while I know High Sierra still works with my software. If I can still boot from El Capitan, that would be even better but not necessary.

The 2018 Mac Mini originally shipped with macOS 10.14 (Mojave) – so there's not going to be any good way to install High Sierra or El Capitan as the main OS.

The good news is that Mojave will run 32-bit applications. There might be compatibility issues unrelated to Catalina's 64-bit-application-only change, so you'll need to research those, or try things out on a "test" startup drive.

And, will I have issues with the formatting being different (APFS) from my usual HFS+ ?

Any OS downgrade will involve a clean install – installing the old OS on a blank volume. If you had the option of going from Big Sur to El Capitan (which you don't), you'd need to ensure that the destination used HFS+. APFS first showed up in High Sierra – which only used it on SSDs. El Capitan would think an APFS volume was so much gibberish.

For the coexistence of Mojave and Big Sur, it seems that you have a couple of options. You can install Mojave on its own drive – or modify an APFS-formatted drive to share free space between two APFS volumes.

Mojave isn't visible by default in the App Store, but you can get it by following the link that Apple provides in this support article, using Safari, with Safari set as your default browser.

I still use Aperture as well as a few other old pieces of software.

I believe that Aperture will run on Mojave.

The final version of Aperture consists mostly of 64-bit code, but because it has some 32-bit dependencies, it won't run unmodified on later versions of macOS. That's a hint to move to some other application for production work

If you just want to play, and you're careful about keeping backups of your photos, there is a clever hack called Retroactive. Retroactive modifies copies of Aperture, iPhoto, and iTunes to run on Catalina and on Big Sur. It tries to replace or at least "stub out" the 32-bit dependencies. Technically, this hack is very impressive, but the things it is doing are brittle. Even if the modified Aperture ran "well enough" for you on Big Sur, it might not run well, or at all, on Monterey.

Thanks for helping, Tom.

Just got it yesterday and it has Big Sur on it.

If easier, no problem putting Mojave on it but I'd rather have the OS most likely to run Aperture and PS CS6 with the least amount of hiccups. There's other older software I like but might have to find alternates for now. Can I put High Sierra on this version of the Mac? I'm assuming this mini has the APFS SSD, right? Can I reformat to HFS+ or am I stuck with the newer format?

I've read about Retrospect and think I may have a copy to try out before fully investing in any other software on the new mini. Again, would rather just replicate what I have as everything I do is hobby and/or entertainment server purposes at this stage of my life.

The price was too good for this backup Intel mini and I don't need an M!, imo.  I like stability and I know in time, will have to upgrade, but looking now to see if I have to or need to.


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