After the MacOS 10.14.4 Update, softwareupdate also shows me the following as a further update/ download:

Command Line Tools (macOS Mojave version 10.14) for Xcode 10.2

Now if I need it, I am fine installing it. I am wondering why I need it though, since I don't have Xcode installed, and am not developing software in any sense.

So why does softwareupdate show me this, and should I download it?


With macOS it is possible to install the command line tools for Xcode seperately from Xcode.

If you did have Xcode installed, the command line tools would be updated with Xcode updates. As you haven't got Xcode installed, these tools are updated from Software Update alongside macOS updates instead.

Installation of the command line tools is triggered by running one of the included programs from the Terminal or via a third party app. The first time that is done, you're asked if you want to install the command line tools, and then everything in that package will be installed.

This is commonly done when installing for example Homebrew, MacPorts, or similar software. It is also used together with lots of open source and other third party software. The command line tools are not only for developing software, but contain many utilities that are of value generally.

  • Thanks for the answer! So under the line, if the download is suggested by Software-update, I can assume that I have some software which uses it – do I understand this correctly? I didn't install any new software for months really. So I find it weird. But as long as it wont harm I suppose it's fine.
    – Britzel
    Apr 3 '19 at 14:18
  • It certainly won't harm it, and at worst will just a small amount of extra space (which it's already using–the update won't increase that)
    – Ezekiel
    Apr 3 '19 at 15:13
  • @Britzel Yes, the update only comes if you already have the software installed. There is no harm to it at all.
    – jksoegaard
    Apr 3 '19 at 17:12

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