I am currently using Mac OS Sierra 10.12.6. I cannot upgrade to a more recent OS version as the business applications I am using for WFH will not work.

The default swift installed is 3.1. I want to upgrade to Swift 5 without upgrading my OS X. I cannot upgrade Xcode as it needs the latest OS X.

Is there a way to install swift 5 as a standalone using homebrew or other methods?

  • 1
    Either use an VM for the business apps, or boot to a different volume with a higher OS version when you want to use Swift.
    – benwiggy
    Jun 22, 2020 at 21:26
  • Swift is open source, so...maybe? But I wouldn't bet on it working for writing apps. Jun 24, 2020 at 19:57

1 Answer 1


We use VMWare fusion to virtualize systems in this case. It’s not ideal, but helps to maintain older less used systems and let us run the latest / fully patched OS since for security reasons, we try hard to be always on the update train once a short period of testing has passed.

You could also make a different choice, run the new OS virtually - especially initially if you already have a virtualization solution you like on the existing OS.

When this doesn’t work, we bite the bullet and get M1 minis for build machines and to control the Xcode and languages we can’t make to coexist for labor or performance or other reasons.

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