Itching to run the latest OS X beta, but don’t want to upgrade your primary Mac installation with a beta release? You’d be wise to carefully consider the prospects of running a beta release as a daily driver. That said, it is possible to run beta software on your primary machine without compromising your current installation.
By creating a small test partition on your primary drive, you can create a great landing space for the beta. Read and watch our walkthrough to see how easy it is.
Creating a different disk partition to install beta software
In this post, we will take the example of installing a beta version of OS X El Capitan, but note that the concept is the same regardless of what you are trying to install on that new partition.
Step 1: Download the beta software you want to install.
Step 2: Open Disk Utility.
Step 3: Select your hard drive and click the Partition tab.
Step 4: Click the ‘+’ sign to create a new partition.
Step 5: Resize the partition using the drag handles to the desired size. I used 35GB, and was fine, as OS X El Capitan only takes around 12-13 GB for installation
Step 6: Name your new partition El Capitan, or whatever you see fit.
Step 7: Ensure the Format is Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
Step 8: Click Apply and click Partition to create your partition.
Step 9: Close Disk Utility.
Step 10: Launch the OS X 10.11 El Capitan installer.
Step 11: Click Continue → Agree → Agree → Show All Disks… and select your El Capitan disk and click Install
Step 12: If requested input your administrator password
Your computer will now restart. Once it reboots, the installation will proceed on your new partition. The installation does take some time, like a normal installation, so just be patient. Once the installation completes, go through the normal OS X setup process to complete the initial setup.
Once the installation and setup is completed, you’ll be able to boot between your primary installation and the new one containing the beta software.
Would you consider installing a beta version of an operating system on a secondary test partition?