MacOS 11.0 Big Sur

Apple has released MacOS 11.0 "Big Sur". This OS includes compatibilty for Apple's new 'Apple Silicon' ARM-based computers as well as numerous changes and security enhancements. Because this is a major update, we reccommend waiting to upgrade any system required for scientific data processing. MacOS 10.14 "Mojave" or 10.15 "Catalina" are currently supported by SBGrid.

Apple M1 Silicon

ARM64 compatibility

Apple released the first of its new ARM64 "apple silicon" macs this month. We are testing the SBGrid software stack on the M1 chip and, so far, compatibility and performance look very good. Most of the SBGrid applications work on the new M1 CPU with macOS 11 and Apple's Rosetta compatibility environment. Standards like COOT, PyMOL, Chimera, CCP4, and PHENIX work seamlessly, but there are exceptions (CCPEM, RELION). We expect to support most titles on BigSur with the new M1 hardware early in 2021.

Installing SBGrid on Big Sur

Installation of SBGrid on Big Sur is basically the same as on Catalina. Due to Apple's filesystem protections and our current requirement of a symlink at /programs, a /etc/synthetic.conf file is necessary. See the installation page for macOS Catalina for more info

Known issues

  • Filesystem access issues in PEET
  • Ilastik 1.3.3 and earlier are no supported. Support coming in 1.4.
  • No 32-bit support (dropped in Catalina) means no support for nmrDraw, other 32-bit applications.
  • Rosetta ( from Baker lab, not Apple Rosetta2 ) fails
  • CCP-EM ( possibly fixed in latest nightly)
  • No compatible release of Schrodinger is currently available
  • No GUI in FLTK applications (like RELION)
  • Xquartz window border takes a few seconds to appear. It does appear eventually.