Executive Summary

v3.5 B4 is now out, is fully Apple silicon native, and produces bootable backups for both Big Sur and Monterey. It will be offered as an automatic update for existing v3.5 Beta users, or you can download it here.

Download SuperDuper! v3.5 B4

Windier Version with Details

So far, the Beta has been going great. SuperDuper itself has been performing well, and the only real issues have, as expected, been with Apple's asr tool, which remains a black box that occasionally fails and spits out obscure errors.

Part of rolling these Betas slowly involves trying to figure out how to help users when these failures happen: basically, it's a learning process, and when we can't refer to the code, and the errors are (at best) a number and a word or two, well, it takes some time.

At this point, though, I'm relatively confident I understand how to work around most of asr's failures.

Architectural History

Years ago, when we released v3.2.5, we announced that our old e-commerce provider, eSellerate, had shut down, and they took their license recovery site with them...along with the ability to generate new serial numbers.

Despite asking quite a few times, they were unwilling to provide us with the code necessary to generate or validate eSellerate serial numbers, beyond what we already had, which was an SDK library developed for Power PC and Intel.

You'll note one significant missing chip family there.

And no, it's not 68K.

At that point, we moved to Paddle and our own licenses, which has gone well, but with the upcoming release of v3.5, we found ourselves in an interesting situation: if we wanted to release an Apple silicon-native version of SuperDuper!, we couldn't include the eSellerate license validation, since it doesn't natively support Apple silicon.

This Sounds Ominous

It'll be OK.

Here's what it means: native Apple silicon execution require new-style licenses purchased after June of 2019, when our new license system was released. Old licenses will not work natively... and if you want to run natively on an Apple silicon Mac with registered features, you'll need a new license.

What Do You Mean by "Natively"?

This does not mean you have to buy a new license! If you run with Rosetta 2 (that is, Intel emulation, set in Get Info in Finder), your existing license will work fine. All the same features are available.

But if you want the additional speed of Apple silicon (and want to future-proof yourself should Apple remove Rosetta 2 the way they removed Rosetta), or think, maybe, it's been a while since you registered, you'll want to purchase a new license.

So, Native Apple Silicon Support?


What that all means is that this version now fully supports Apple silicon on Macs with those chips. Not much to say about that, other than we took our time and carefully tested to make sure things worked as expected, given the new chip architecture.

And they do.

Monterey Support

This version also supports Monterey, as of the current Beta release (Beta 10). It seems likely that's close to, if not the actual release version of Monterey, which I expect next week sometime, given recent announcements. They don't tell us in advance, though, so things might change.

Data-Only Encryption Support

Previous Beta versions of v3.5 didn't support encrypted data volumes, due to some tests that were required in previous OS releases. We now support pre-encrypted volumes for Data Volume Only copies (that is, copies of your stuff, with no OS, achieved with Smart Update).

Additional Improvements

We've made some changes to various bits and pieces to try to make operation under Big Sur and Monterey clearer and even more reliable.

One thing I didn't expect to be a problem is that, under Big Sur, SuperDuper doesn't explicitly say it's making the backup bootable.

This has confused people, because they think that if it didn't say it was making the backup bootable, then, well, it's not.

But it is.

Here's the deal. The asr tool, mentioned above, actually performs the bless task that makes the backup bootable. Since it was already done, we changed the wording of the "bootable" step to say it was "finalizing" the backup, since we weren't actually making it bootable any more, and I thought it was better to be accurate.

But, given the confusion, I think inaccurate-but-reassuring is a better approach.

In Sum

It's a long time coming, I know, but the final release is in sight. The feedback on the Beta versions has been almost entirely positive, and that's encouraging. So, enjoy, and let me know if you have any problems.

Download SuperDuper! v3.5 B4