To install an app, can you all recommend a good installer? I’ve tried a few but just heard about Iceberg (and maybe there’s a new edition from that same author). Thanks
does this help?[/quote]
OP was asking about OSX… and typically you create either a DMG or PKG .
I use DMG when its just an APP to move to the “Application” folder, or PKG when other files need to be put in particular places
(I’m not sure ‘using a PKG’ is general knowledge (I don’t know what it is), are you referring to the typical Mac installer?)
On Mac not having an installer is very common (refer to Dave’s answer), most companies make a DMG and make the background graphic something that illustrates that you are supposed to put it in the ‘Applications’ folder. Also many create an alias file to ‘/Applications’ since that is the path virtually guaranteed on a Mac to be the Applications folder, so you can just drag the application file onto this alias and it copy itself to the Applications folder.
Advanced developers make sure the DMG folder is not a full Finder window - it hides the lefthand sections and the toolbar. That way it’s as simple as possible, with less possibility of the user sabotaging the process.
There are programs that help you with this - DMG Canvas comes to mind, but I don’t use any of the programs so I don’t know. Most developers know how to do these things from scratch.
However, there are a lot of good reasons to use a proper installer, which is mostly based on the Mac app ‘Installer’ and work off scripts to ‘modify’ what Installer does. The most common reason is that you want to put other files (support files, data files, extras, a plugin, etc.) in different places, way beyond what you want to instruct the user to do. Also, some of this may involve root permissions and the Installer app has all that embedded for you. You might desire to use Installer as an updater and you can write bash or PERL scripts to handle all this for you.
Packagemaker is what I use to make installers on OSX and is how I distribute my stuff. (BTW if I could just do the ‘drag into Applciations’ I would but I can’t.) PackageMaker is actually quite good, I like it a lot. (It’s an Apple program.) There is one really lousy bug I know of - if you use the ‘minimum version’ script, it doesn’t work with 10.10 Yosemite. Screwed me royal.)
THIS SHOULD BE A STICKY.
PKG=Package … which you referred to in more detail in your answer
Pkg is the standard, created by Apple PackageMaker. You get it from Apple’s developer center downloads at
Search for PackageMaker. It is in “Auxiliary Tools for XCode”.
I have used it for years. But I do only when I have absolutely to. For regular apps, I simply go DMG. Mac users are familiar with it and I see no reason to change that.
In talking with Paul of Xojo, he suggested a tool called Iceberg http://s.sudre.free.fr/Software/Iceberg.html. He also indicated that he thought there was a newer installer from the same author with a different product name. Apple’s PackageMaker works of c course, but … not really easy. I will look at it.
(On Windows I really like Innosetup after evaluating so many others.)
As others said: on the Mac use an installer only when you need it.
My own app has a timer component, which is supposed to be always running. So installer it was. I’ve had big problems with permissions, which I wasn’t able to get correct with Iceberg. It was easier to write my own installer. It copies the app to the proper location, can do sudo etc.
I believe the new one is Packages: http://s.sudre.free.fr/Software/Packages/about.html
That looks very very nice.
Yes, thank you Paul. I sure missed that on his site.