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macOS Catalina is said to have dropped support for 32-bit apps. But how much of the support is actually dropped? Is it only that 32-bit libraries are no longer supplied? Or will 32-bit binaries, even if statically linked, fail to launch?

If 32-bit binaries can't launch, is there any supported way for a 64-bit app to request the kernel to create a 32-bit code segment?

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Unfortunately the answer is just flat no. As stated here and here Apple started requiring AppStore apps to be 64 bit in 2018. They have been working on this for a while and with Catalina they are finally shutting the door entirely.

Edit: This sheds more light on app development.

  • You're talking about the organizational side of things which is what all the news are about, but the question is purely technical. – Grishka Jul 30 at 20:42
  • @Grishka What are you talking about? There is only one side of this question, the technical side. Apps either work or they don't. What organizational side is there? – Thomas Nelson Jul 31 at 0:53
  • 32-bit apps don't work as is on an unmodified OS. There's a lot of components to 32-bit support on a 64-bit OS. The question is how much of those are removed, if any, and whether it is feasible/possible at all to restore this support by modifying the system. – Grishka Jul 31 at 10:19
  • This answer is wrong and unhelpful. OP essentially asks 1) Does XNU still recognize 32-bit mach-O? 2) Does XNU still recognize fat binaries? 3) Does dyld still recognize 32-bit mach-O? 4) Does dyld still recognize fat binaries? 5) Is a fat libSystem still shipped in Catalina? 6) How many other fat binaries does Catalina still ship? None of these were answered. – alexchandel Sep 11 at 15:19

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