macOS 11 (Big Sur) status update

We know that macOS 11 support is top of mind for many customers, and we want to let everyone know that we are currently working on supporting macOS Big Sur and the new Apple Silicon chips.

Apple recently released macOS 11 (Big Sur). As part of the release Apple also updated their licensing agreement (Section 3) which requires all services providers that offer Apple-based compute, including CircleCI, to lease entire machines to customers for a minimum of 24 hours at a time.

We are aware of these requirements and are working on a path to offering macOS Big Sur on CircleCI. We don’t have the specifics of our Big Sur offering available yet, but we are actively working on a solution and will provide regular updates in this thread as we have more information to share.


Any update on this? Xcode 12.5, which should release in the next week or two, will require macOS 11, so this will become an issue quickly. Running latest Xcode is a hard requirement for my team, as it no doubt is for many other teams on CircleCI.

IDK how/if they comply with the macOS terms of use, but other CI services (links omitted) seem to be publicly offering or at least are testing CI running on macOS 11, some for months now.

We hope that CircleCI can offer a product that is license-compliant and causes minimal disruption to our operations, so that we don’t have to go find a different CI solution.


Any updates? We are also relying our CI to deploy and test the iOS apps in Circle CI. As @jbelkins mentions if we wanna use Xcode 12.5 upwards we’ll be forced to update out local machines to Big Sur Apple Developer Documentation.

Is there an estimate of when MacOS 11 will be available as CI image? Some teams are migrating to GitHub actions but I don’t see the point of doing that if CircleCI keeps working fine as usual and updates its software.

This seems to have flown under the radar, but for existing customers there is a preview you can apply to here GitHub - CircleCI-Public/macos-big-sur-preview-docs: Documentation for the macOS Big Sur preview on CircleCI


Could we have an update on both the general availability of Big Sur executors and Xcode 12.5 please? The latter is now a RC with the final release due this week and as things stand we’re going to be left being unable to run our CI jobs on the latest available Xcode. I really would have expected this to be ready in time.

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The day has arrived, iOS 14.5 is out and we require MacOS 11 to run Xcode 12.5.

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Here’s what I know right now:

We are opening our Big Sur preview this week for existing customers. If you’re interested, read more about the preview and sign up here.

I’ll post updates as I get them!

Hi @thekatertot. I’m echoing other comments already posted here, but we really need some clarity about the plans for Big Sur and Xcode 12.5+ support going forward.

What does ‘Big Sur preview’ mean? We need to deploy our production apps with Xcode 12.5+ and expect a stable, tested build environment to be available.


Hi @robmaceachern!

The Big Sur Preview is production ready. As I understand it, it’s in preview because there may still be some changes on our end, but it will open to everyone soon. We’re definitely supporting Big Sur and Xcode.

I’m sorry I can’t be more specific right now - I’m working with our internal MacOS team to clarify.

@thekatertot due to the App Tracking Transparency changes in iOS 14.5, Apple has already started requiring that apps utilizing the AdId be submitted to the App Store with Xcode 12.5. We’re in a difficult position now with Apple requiring a tooling version that we’re not able to use through our CI pipeline.

Are you able to provide any more concrete timing updates?


Can we please get an update on XCode 12.5 on when this will be publicly available?



Thank you all for your patience! I know you need this and the team is on it. We’ve been a little understaffed, but we haven’t forgotten about you!


Hello again, everyone! We know you want to get started with XCode 12.5. Our process had to change for this version and we hit a couple snags, but all you have to do is fill out this form to get 12.5.

We appreciate your patience!

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I filled it out. now what?

Our organization is also interested in Xcode 12.5 / Big Sur support. The 24-hr-minimum licensing change by Apple is rather unfortunate, but I think we’d still lean toward that option instead of setting up and managing our own build infrastructure at the moment.


You’ll be notified by the team once you’ve been updated.

@thekatertot Any timeline on when the changes you’ve hinted at and found in the form mentioned above would be implemented?

@thekatertot I filled out the form nearly 3 weeks ago but I haven’t heard from your team. How long is the expected wait?

I don’t know how many people you have working on Developer relations at CircleCI, but its been definitely lacking when it comes to giving us dates and timelines on support. I suggest you guys beef up your customer support in this area as you guys are a billion dollar company now.