OS X El Capitan
|A version of the macOS operating system|
OS X El Capitan desktop
|Source model||Closed, with open source components|
|Released to |
|September 30, 2015|
|Latest release||10.11.6 (15G22010) / July 9, 2018|
|Update method||Mac App Store|
|Kernel type||Hybrid (XNU)|
|License||APSL and Apple EULA|
|Preceded by||OS X 10.10 Yosemite|
|Succeeded by||macOS 10.12 Sierra|
|Official website||OS X - Overview - Apple at the Wayback Machine (archived September 2, 2016)|
|Unsupported as of September 2018. iTunes is no longer being updated, but is able to download driver updates to sync to newer devices. (iTunes is replaced by separate apps in macOS Catalina, including Music, TV, Podcasts, and Finder for syncing devices.)|
|Part of a series on|
OS X El Capitan (/ / el-KAP-i-TAHN) (version 10.11) is the twelfth major release of OS X (renamed to macOS in 2016), Apple Inc.'s desktop and server operating system for Macintosh. It focuses mainly on performance, stability, and security. Following the Northern California landmark-based naming scheme introduced with OS X Mavericks, El Capitan was named after a rock formation in Yosemite National Park, signifying its goal to be a refined version of Yosemite. El Capitan is the final version to be released under the name OS X. El Capitan received far superior reviews when compared to Yosemite.
The first beta of OS X El Capitan was released to developers shortly following the WWDC keynote on June 8, 2015. The first public beta was made available on July 9, 2015. There were multiple betas released after the keynote. OS X El Capitan was released to end users on September 30, 2015, as a free upgrade through the Mac App Store.
All Macintosh computers that can run Mountain Lion, Mavericks, or Yosemite can run El Capitan, although not all of its features will work on older computers. For example, Apple notes that the newly available Metal API is available on "all Macs since 2012".
These computers can run El Capitan, provided they have at least 2GB of RAM:
- MacBook: Late 2008 or newer
- MacBook Air: Late 2008 or newer
- MacBook Pro: Mid 2007 or newer
- Mac Mini: Early 2009 or newer
- iMac: Mid 2007 or newer
- Mac Pro: Early 2008 or newer
- Xserve: Early 2009
Of these computers, the following models were equipped with 1GB RAM as the standard option on the base model when they were shipped originally. They can only run OS X El Capitan if they have at least 2GB of RAM.
- iMac: Late 2012 or newer
- MacBook: Early 2015 or newer
- MacBook Air: Mid 2012 or newer
- MacBook Pro: Mid 2012 or newer
- Mac Mini: Late 2012 or newer
- Mac Pro: Late 2013
The upgrade varies in size depending upon which Apple Mac computer it is being installed on, in most scenarios it will require about 6 GB of disk space.
OS X El Capitan includes features to improve the security, performance, design and usability of OS X. Compared to OS X Yosemite, Apple says that opening PDFs is four times faster, app switching and viewing messages in Mail is twice as fast and launching apps is 40% faster. The maximum amount of memory that could be allocated to the graphics processor has been increased from 1024 MB to 1536 MB on Macs with an Intel HD 4000 GPU. OS X El Capitan supports Metal, Apple's graphics API introduced in iOS 8 to speed up performance in games and professional applications. Apple's typeface San Francisco replaces Helvetica Neue as the system typeface. OS X El Capitan also adopts LibreSSL in replacement of OpenSSL used in previous versions.
OS X El Capitan introduces new window management features such as creating a full-screen split screen limited to two app windows side by side in full screen by pressing the green button on left upper corner of the window or Control+Cmd+F keyboard shortcut, then snapping any supported other window to that full screen application. This feature is slightly similar to, although less extensive than, the snap-assist feature in Windows 7 (and later) and several Linux desktop environments, such as GNOME. OS X El Capitan improves Mission Control to incorporate this feature across multiple spaces. It also enables users to spot the pointer more easily by enlarging it by shaking the mouse or swiping a finger back and forth on the trackpad.
Messages and Mail
OS X El Capitan adds multi-touch gestures to applications like Mail and Messages that allow a user to delete or mark emails or conversations by swiping a finger on a multi-touch device, such as a trackpad. OS X also analyzes the contents of individual emails in Mail and uses the gathered information in other applications, such as Calendar. For example, an invitation in Mail can automatically be added as a Calendar event.
Apple Maps in El Capitan shows public transit information similar to Maps in iOS 9. This feature was limited to a handful of cities upon launch: Baltimore, Berlin, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York City, Paris, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Shanghai, Toronto and Washington D.C.
The Notes application receives an overhaul, similar to Notes in iOS 9. Both applications have more powerful text-processing capabilities, such as to-do lists (like in the Reminders application), inline webpage previews, photos and videos, digital sketches, map locations and other documents and media types. Notes replaces traditional IMAP-based syncing with iCloud, which offers better end-to-end encryption and faster syncing.
Spotlight is improved with more contextual information such as the weather, stocks, news and sports scores. It is also able to process queries in natural language. For example, users can type "Show me pictures that I took in Yosemite National Park in July 2014" and Spotlight will use that request to bring up the corresponding info. The app can now be resized and moved across the screen.
System Integrity Protection
OS X El Capitan has a new security feature called System Integrity Protection (SIP, sometimes referred to as "rootless") that protects certain system processes, files and folders from being modified or tampered with by other processes even when executed by the root user or by a user with root privileges (sudo). Apple says that the root user can be a significant risk factor to the system's security, especially on systems with a single user account on which that user is also the administrator. System Integrity Protection is enabled by default, but can be disabled.
|10.11||15A284||September 30, 2015||15.0.0||Original Mac App Store release||N/A|
|10.11.1||15B42||October 21, 2015||About the OS X El Capitan v10.11.1 Update||OS X El Capitan 10.11.1 Update|
|10.11.2||15C50||December 8, 2015||15.2.0||About the OS X El Capitan v10.11.2 Update||OS X El Capitan 10.11.2 Update|
|10.11.3||15D21||January 19, 2016||15.3.0||About the OS X El Capitan v10.11.3 Update||OS X El Capitan 10.11.3 Update|
|10.11.4||15E65||March 21, 2016||15.4.0||About the OS X El Capitan v10.11.4 Update||OS X El Capitan 10.11.4 Update|
|10.11.5||15F34||May 16, 2016||15.5.0||About the OS X El Capitan v10.11.5 Update||OS X El Capitan 10.11.5 Update|
|10.11.6||15G31||July 18, 2016||15.6.0||About the OS X El Capitan v10.11.6 Update||OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 Update|
|15G1004||September 1, 2016||About the security content of Security Update 2016-001 El Capitan||Security Update 2016-001 El Capitan|
|15G1108||October 24, 2016||About the security content of Security Update 2016-002 El Capitan||Security Update 2016-002 El Capitan|
|15G1212||December 13, 2016||About the security content of Security Update 2016-003 El Capitan||Security Update 2016-003 El Capitan|
|15G1217||January 17, 2017||About the security content of Security Update 2016-003 El Capitan||Security Update 2016-003 El Capitan|
|15G1421||March 27, 2017||About the security content of Security Update 2017-001 El Capitan||Security Update 2017-001 El Capitan|
|15G1510||May 15, 2017||About the security content of Security Update 2017-002 El Capitan||Security Update 2017-002 El Capitan|
|15G1611||July 19, 2017||About the security content of Security Update 2017-003 El Capitan||Security Update 2017-003 El Capitan|
|15G17023||October 31, 2017||About the security content of Security Update 2017-004 El Capitan||Security Update 2017-004 El Capitan|
|15G18013||December 6, 2017||About the security content of Security Update 2017-005 El Capitan||Security Update 2017-005 El Capitan|
|15G19009||January 23, 2018||About the security content of Security Update 2018-001 El Capitan||Security Update 2018-001 El Capitan|
|15G20015||March 29, 2018||About the security content of Security Update 2018-002 El Capitan||Security Update 2018-002 El Capitan|
|15G21013||June 1, 2018||About the security content of Security Update 2018-003 El Capitan||Security Update 2018-003 El Capitan|
|15G22010||July 9, 2018||About the security content of Security Update 2018-004 El Capitan||Security Update 2018-004 El Capitan|
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October 2015)
Upon release, OS X El Capitan was met with positive reception from both users and critics, with praise mostly going towards the overall functionality of the new features and improved stability. Dieter Bohn of The Verge awarded the operating system a score of 8.5 out of 10; while Jason Snell of Macworld was also positive, rating it 4.5 out of 5. Many people criticized Apple's native apps for not improving them beyond third-party applications.
After the 10.11.4 update, many users started reporting that their MacBooks were freezing, requiring a hard reboot. This issue mostly affects Early 2015 MacBook Pro computers, although many others have reported freezes in other models. Several users created videos on YouTube which showed the freezes. Soon after this, Apple released the 10.11.5 update, which contained stability improvements. Apple later acknowledged these problems, recommending their users to update to the last point release.
After the December 13, 2016 release of Security Update 2016–003, users reported problems with the WindowServer process becoming unresponsive, causing the GUI to freeze and sometimes necessitating a hard reboot to fix. In response, on January 17, 2017, Apple released Security Update 2016-003 Supplemental (10.11.6) to fix "a kernel issue that may cause your Mac to occasionally become unresponsive" and at the same time released an updated version of Security Update 2016-003 which includes the fix released in the supplemental. Users who have not previously installed Security Update 2016-003 are advised to install the updated version to reach build 15G1217, while users who have already installed the December 13, 2016 Security Update 2016-003 only need to install the supplemental update.
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- OS X El Capitan at the Wayback Machine (archived September 2, 2016) – official site
- OS X El Capitan download page at Apple
OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)
| OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)
macOS 10.12 (Sierra)