I want to copy my entire OS/volume/disk (which is FileVault-ed) from on MacBook to another, whose volumes(s) are also FileVaulted. Assuming no OS incompatibilities between hardware, will a Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) file/rsync-based copying/cloning from a MacBook source (regardless of T2) to a T2 MacBook work - and why or why not?

I do not yet see why a copy/clone to a FileVault-ed MacBook that's running Target Disk Mode (and for which I have the FileVault/disk/login password) will not work.

Comparison with Apple/macOS Migration Assistant (MA)

Reasons why I'm not yet jumping to MA:

  1. I do not yet trust MA, as it's completely new to me. I have decades of trust with rsync (which is what CCC employs) across many OSes (Unix, Linux, *BSD, macOS, Windows).
  2. I could not get MA to see my 40-gigabit Thunderbolt link between MacBooks (it kept wanting to talk over WiFi).
  3. Every time I'm tried an Apple-native solution (namely TimeMachine) to thoroughly and comprehensively capture all data/settings/content in a filesystem it's always failed me.

Nonetheless, I'm open to any and all pitches for MA.

More details

A source told me CCC is "T2 chip incompatible" (or some such) and advised that Migration Assistant is the only (or at least only supported?) way to go. I'm skeptical.

Potentially-helpful reference(s):

My use case:

I regularly copy ("clone") one MacBook to another (or several others) for purposes of

  1. retaining a fully-redundant laptop in case my primary one fails for any reason (the primary purpose) and
  2. I can use multiple machines concurrently (so I don't have to carry one laptop everywhere) all configured with the same environment apps/config/settings. This use case is served well with advent of most dynamic data/content/files on my OS being Internet-served-and-synced (git repos, IMAP server, Dropbox/GDrive, etc) across my multiple MacBooks.

Typically source and target MacBooks are the exact same hardware model but not always. Regardless, I make sure there are no OS-incompatibility issues, namely: run same version of OS on each MacBook and that the copied OS is supported by the target MacBook.

  • Have a look at comments by Haltah here. It seems to work fine as long as you Option boot after restore. I can't give a proper answer as I don't have such hardware but there is no reason it wouldn't work - you are just copying files to an encrypted volume.
    – lx07
    Jan 22, 2020 at 12:00
  • 1
    Thanks @lx07, quite helpful. I've saved Haltah's comments here (at a gist.github.com) for safe keeping: gist.githubusercontent.com/johnnyutahh/… Jan 22, 2020 at 15:34

2 Answers 2


I cloned my old Mac Mini 2012 onto my new 2018 Mini (with a T2). Trying to remember exactly how I did it (in terms of what volume booted and how they were connected) but there are two important points:

  1. After cloning, the OS would not boot, and I had to reinstall the OS on top of newly cloned disk. (Keeping all my data, apps and settings.)

  2. The Admin user on the disk does not have a 'Secure Token', and can't be used to change Secure Boot settings. Follow Peter Thorn's excellent answer in this question.

I've previously cloned a succession of my Macs over the last 15 years or so, and never had a problem before.


It should. I mean it was one of the major usecases of CCC before the T2 arrived. What exactly is it that you want to do?

  • I added notes to the question to clarify the use case. Basically: I regularly copy ("clone") one MacBook to another. Typically they are the exact same hardware model (from the source to target MacBooks) but not always. I make sure there are not OS-incompatibility issues (namely: same version of OS on each MacBook and that the copied OS is supported by the target MacBook). Jan 22, 2020 at 15:27

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