Copying the Rosetta 2 installer for offline installations

I honestly don’t know why this gets asked about as often as it does, but I’ve seen several instances in which Mac admins want to know how to get the Rosetta 2 installer .pkg to be installed offline. The installer is about 6.2 MB, so I don’t think bandwidth is the issue, but maybe it is.

In any case, if you have a Silicon-chip Mac with an active Internet connection, run softwareupdate --install-rosetta --agree-to-license to install Rosetta 2. Then, run grep "RosettaUpdateAuto.pkg" /var/log/install.log to find where the installer downloaded to.

The location will likely be something like /var/folders/f5/_hdu19hcuin1ckjnqkjcndwkcnadskjnckjqwn/T/OAHSoftwareUpdate/RosettaUpdateAuto.pkg. Go to wherever it is in Finder, and then copy that installer .pkg to wherever you want it to be.

Note: I’m just telling you how to locate the installer. I’m not vouching for it working offline, since I haven’t tested that.

5 comments

  1. I would advise against doing this. Apple did state in a presentation that Rosetta2 would be periodically updated for compatibility and performance reasons.

    1. Yeah, I’m not really recommending this approach, and I don’t really use it myself. I just have seen people ask how to do this, and this appears to be a way you can do it.

  2. If you try to install Rosetta 2 via Softwareupdate druing the enrollment it often fails with “update not avalibale”. Actually this will fail many packages to install that requiers rosetta 2 because they are not yet universal (hardwarerequierment/arm64).
    After some reboots the softwareupdate command will work. To proof the enrollment it cloud make sence to install Rosetta 2 via PKG.
    Thank you for your post.

  3. You can download RosettaUpdateAuto.pkg directly by parsing the .sucatalog from Apple: https://swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/others/index-rosettaupdateauto-1.sucatalog.gz It looks like every macOS build number in the .sucatalog file only appears once, so you can search for your macOS build number in the .sucatalog file and the url for RosettaUpdateAuto.pkg will be a few lines above.

    The swscan url can be found from the system dyld cache:
    strings – /System/Library/dyld/dyld_shared_cache_arm64e | grep -i swscan | grep -i rosetta

    I don’t know the path of the extracted/uncached dyld (I didn’t extract the cache), but it might be one of libraries /usr/sbin/softwareupdate links against:
    otool -arch all -L `which softwareupdate`

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