[tz] macOS implements Links with file copies?

Deborah Goldsmith goldsmit at apple.com
Sun Feb 14 02:24:39 UTC 2021

OTA is just my shorthand for “over the air,” by which I mean not included as part of an OS software update. It’s not an official name or anything. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

Here is the support page on this mechanism:


And here is the support page on background updates:



> On Feb 13, 2021, at 8:55 AM, Tom Lane <tgl at sss.pgh.pa.us> wrote:
> scs at eskimo.com (Steve Summit) writes:
>> What's fascinating to me is that they are there at all.  I'm a
>> foot-dragging Luddite who rarely accepts any of the upgrades that
>> vendors push at me -- and yet now that I look, I've got those
>> same three fresh tz trees sitting there on my Mac, too, one from
>> as recently as three weeks ago.
>> Did everybody else know this?  Apologies for making a big deal
>> out of it if everybody else already knew this.  Evidently OTA
>> is chugging away there quietly in the background, upgrading
>> tzdata completely transparently.
> If you look in System Preferences -> Software Update -> Advanced, you'll
> find a checkbox "Install system data files and security updates", which
> is generally on even if you don't have automatic software update enabled.
> I believe that's what authorizes auto-installation of tzdata updates,
> along with lists of trusted website root certificates, CRLs, antivirus
> patterns, and the like.
>> Anybody know if there's a connection between OTA's
>> tzdata distribution mechanism, and TZDIST?  I'm guessing not.
>> (But now I'm wondering if the reason I haven't heard much about
>> TZDIST lately is that OTA has rendered it obsolete, or something.)
> I'm pretty certain Deborah is just referring to Apple's proprietary
> software update channel.
> 			regards, tom lane

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