macOS: macOS installer fails with “No packages were eligible for install”

By | 5th November 2019

Having to re-install recently mac OS High Sierra 10.13 from a USB flash drive I got stuck getting the following error message:

macOS could not be installed on your computer.

No packages were eligible for install. Contact the software manufacturer for assistance.
Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again.

This happened repeatedly and I had recently used that same USB flash successfully.

It seems that the macOS installers will only work within a very defined time period after release. You can overcome this by changing the date during the installation.

After booting up and before selecting the volume where you want to install macOS you need to open the Terminal and change the date with the date command. Then proceed with the installation.

I am sure this issue happens with other macOS releases but I haven’t tested them all. It is a safe bet to change the date to a date not far from the original release date.

These examples below set the date to one day after the official release date of each version.

[OS X 10.11 El Capitan]
# date -u 1001000015

[macOS 10.12 Sierra]
# date -u 0921000016

[macOS 10.13 High Sierra]
# date -u 0925000017

[macOS 10.14 Mojave]
# date -u 0925000018

Feedback and confirmation if any of the above didn’t work for you is appreciated.

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