Igor Pro on macOS 10.15 (Catalina)

This page discusses the support of different Igor Pro versions on macOS 10.15 (Catalina). We will update this post if further issues are discovered or existing issues are addressed.

Summary

With Catalina, Apple dropped support for 32-bit applications, dropped the QuickTime framework that Igor uses to support most movie features, and added strict security features that prevent XOPs from running without special security certification ("notarization").

We recommend that you avoid Catalina if you need to use Igor Pro. However, we expect Igor Pro 8.04 to work with the caveats explained below. We do not consider any version of Igor Pro 8 to be fully supported on Catalina, though we will do our best to fix Catalina specific bugs.

Igor Pro 6

Igor Pro 6 will not run because Catalina supports 64-bit applications only.

Igor Pro 7

The 64-bit Igor Pro 7 application (Igor64.app) may run, but WaveMetrics and/or third-party XOPs may not load. Igor Pro 7 is no longer maintained and will not receive any changes to improve Catalina support.

Igor Pro 8

As of Igor Pro 8.04, the Igor application and included WaveMetrics XOPs are notarized which allows them to run on Catalina. However third-party XOPs that are not notarized may not run. Also, as of this writing (November 2019), the WaveMetrics VISA XOP does not work because there is no version of the NI-VISA library that can be installed on Catalina.

Because of the VISA XOP and third-party XOP issues, we do not consider any version of Igor Pro 8 to be fully supported on Catalina.

Loading XOPs

Due to security changes in macOS 10.15, third-party XOPs may not be loaded when Igor runs, even if the XOP is properly activated. Instead, macOS and Igor may present an error dialog when the XOP's code is first loaded. This often happens when Igor starts, but not always.

macOS 10.15 requires that all loadable bundles (including XOPs) be notarized by default(*). In order to notarize an XOP, the XOP's author must have an Apple Developer ID certificate and must submit the XOP to Apple's notarization service. As of this writing, we are not aware of any third-party XOPs that are notarized, though this may change in the future.

All WaveMetrics XOPs that ship with Igor Pro 8.04 or later have been notarized and should therefore load properly. (An exception is the VISA XOP as noted above.) If the OS presents an error dialog when loading one of the XOPs that ships with Igor Pro, make sure that you are not using a copy of the XOP from a previous version of Igor Pro.

For now, you may wish to deactivate all third-party XOPs by moving any third-party XOPs or aliases to third-party XOPs out of the Igor Extensions 64-bit folders within the Igor Pro 8 Folder and your Igor Pro 8 User Files folder. You can also disable loading of all XOPs if you hold down the Shift key while Igor starts up.

If you must use an unnotarized XOP, see this workaround that was verified to work with Mac OS 10.15.1.

If you are an XOP developer and would like documentation about signing and notarization of XOPs, send an email to WaveMetrics support requesting the "Signing and Notarization of Macintosh XOPs" help file.

(*) "by default" is Apple's terminology and encompasses how executable code was transferred to its final location and how it is loaded at runtime.

Movie Related Operations

Apple has removed the QuickTime framework from macOS 10.15. This framework is required by the PlayMovie operation and used when the /A flag is provided with the NewMovie and PlayMovieAction operations. There is no replacement for PlayMovie, however you can still open a movie file using PlayMovieAction and extract frames from the movie.

Privacy Dialogs

macOS 10.15 has new privacy dialogs that ask the user to approve attempts by an application to access certain locations, such as the Documents and Downloads folders. Igor Pro cannot prevent these dialogs from appearing, nor can it determine whether the user has approved or denied access to a location. Because the default location for the Igor Pro User Files folder is within the Documents folder, you will likely see this dialog when Igor starts for the first time and possibly at future times as determined by the OS. If you click "Don't Allow" in one of these dialogs, Igor will act as if the target folder is empty. If you don't allow access to a folder that contains your Igor Pro User Files folder, any Igor procedures or extensions contained in the folder will not be loaded.

You can allow or remove access at a later time from System Preferences->Security & Privacy->Privacy->Files and Folders.

 

If you encounter any additional issues using Igor Pro 8.04 or later, please report them to support@wavemetrics.com. Please use the Help→Contact Support menu item so that your system information is included in the message.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why don't you fully support Igor Pro 8 on Catalina? I am able to use non-notarized third-party XOPs without any problems.
    The rules of when notarization is required are vague and subject to change by Apple at any time. If you are able to load non-notarized XOPs, you may have developed those XOPs yourself or obtained them from the author in a way that prevents the notarization status from being checked.
  2. I need to use a third-party XOP but Catalina won't load the XOP because it is not notarized. Can you just tell me what I need to do to use the XOP?
    No. Because Apple now controls our ability to distribute Igor Pro (since it controls whether we can notarize the application), we won't provide information about how to get around security features. Third-party XOP authors, other Igor users, and Google may be useful if you need to get around security checks.
  3. When do you plan to officially support macOS 10.15 (Catalina)?
    We do not currently have plans to officially support macOS 10.15. We will do our best to fix problems with Igor Pro 8.04 or later on Catalina. However, due to the issues with loading third-party XOPs, which are not under our control, we do not consider Catalina supported.
  4. Will Igor Pro 9 (whenever it is released) support Catalina?
    We don't know. The limitations on third-party XOP loading are imposed by the OS, not by Igor, so there is nothing we can do to avoid the notarization requirement. This will be just as true for Igor Pro 9 as it is for Igor Pro 8.
  5. I'm currently using Igor Pro 7. What do I need to do to use Igor Pro 8?
    Igor Pro 8 requires a paid upgrade from Igor Pro 7. You can download Igor Pro 8.04 from https://www.wavemetrics.net/. If you have not previously installed any version of Igor Pro 8, you can use the fully functional version of Igor Pro 8 for 30 days to evaluate whether it fits your needs. After that time you will need to purchase an upgrade if you want Igor Pro 8 to remain fully functional.
  6. I am a third-party XOP developer. Can WaveMetrics notarize my XOP so that others can use it?
    No. WaveMetrics will not notarize XOPs that we have not developed.
  7. I am a third-party XOP developer. Can WaveMetrics provide information about notarization of XOPs?
    Yes. Send an email to WaveMetrics support requesting the "Signing and Notarization of Macintosh XOPs" help file.

 

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