What has changed in the Mojave 10.14.5 update?

The macOS Mojave 10.14.5 update is another hefty one, amounting to 2.5-2.8 GB of download, slightly smaller than the previous update to 10.14.4, and installs over 70,000 items taking over 6 GB of disk storage. Apple’s release notes give few clues as to what has changed, although there are plenty of security fixes.

There are EFI firmware updates apparently for all Mojave-capable Mac models, which I have now entered in my article listing current EFI firmware versions.

Among the major apps to be replaced are:

  • App Store, remaining at version 3.0, now build 1003.3.
  • Automator, 2.9 build 444.42.
  • Books, 1.19 build 1645.
  • Calculator, 10.14 build 123.
  • Calendar, 11.0 build 2245.5.2.
  • Contacts, 12.0 build 1894.
  • FaceTime, 5.0 build 3080.
  • iTunes, which is accompanied by a second update to address potential issues in syncing iOS devices with the iTunes app, version
  • Mail, 12.4 build 3445.104.11.
  • Maps, 2.1 build 2132.
  • Messages, 12.0 build 5500.
  • News, which has some improvements for the News+ service where it’s available, version 4.3.
  • Photos, 4.0 build 3451.7.120.
  • Preview, 10.1 build 944.6.16.1.
  • Safari, which fixes many WebKit bugs and changes to version 12.1.1 build 14607.
  • VoiceMemos, 2.0.
  • Activity Monitor, 10.14.
  • Console, 1.1 build 3.0.17.
  • Disk Utility, 18.0 build 1667.3.
  • Terminal, 2.9.5 build 421.2.

In the system folders, the greatest volume of replacement files is in the /System/Library folder, which accounts for almost 5 GB of the installed update. Notable changes include:

  • /bin and /sbin have many replacement tools.
  • Marzipan support is extensively updated.
  • Automator actions are largely replaced.
  • Most of the tools and components in CoreServices are replaced, although most don’t appear to be new versions as such.
  • All Apple kernel extensions appear to be replaced.
  • AppleKextExcludeList.kext gains a new Property List, ExceptionsLists.plist, as part of the changes in KEXT security.
  • Fonts updated include Apple Color Emoji and Apple Symbols.
  • Most public and private frameworks are replaced.
  • Much of the contents of the folders within /usr are replaced, including many of the tools in /usr/bin and /usr/sbin.

APFS has been updated from version 945.250.134 in 10.14.4 to version 945.260.7, which is another small increment comparable in distance the last update, but includes new versions of all the file system’s command tools.

This release of Mojave introduces changes in kernel extension security, which I have described here. The new ExceptionsLists.plist appears to be an encyclopaedic listing of all current versions of third-party kernel extensions, the great majority of which are old and incompatible with Mojave anyway. I have so far been unable to find any explanation by Apple of what this change means for the user, or even an acknowledgement that the change has occurred.

The following standalone installers are available:
10.14.5 ‘delta’
10.14.5 Combo
High Sierra Security Update 2019-003
Sierra Security Update 2019-003.

In the normal release cycle, this should be the penultimate update to Mojave, with 10.14.6 due in about July.