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OS X Packaging Thoughts…

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I still use Apple Package Maker and is obsolete, but still seems to work fine for the most part. I am always building custom packages to update some file or another thing. Being able to quickly add the read me with notes and background picture I can have the package whipped up in a minute or so anymore and its nice as it auto sets permissions on everything with a click of a button. Packages.app is another one to use, but I’m better with Package Maker. Wish Apple was still keeping it up to date! Once you learn how to create a dummy directory with your files and stuff its very easy to use as I think nothing else on the market works as well. Packages.app is about the only other one that is close but I still don’t like it.

Darren Wallace

Hi CashXX,
Thanks for the comment.
Personally, I use:
– AutoPKG / r (great for packaging up almost all apps using ‘crowd sourced’ recipes)
– Payload free package maker (easy way to turn scripts into packages)
– Packages (as you’ve mentioned above)
– JAMF’s Composer (very rarely and not for snapshot packages as I’ve explained above).
Thanks again for your comment!


I only use the pkgbuild command to create packages. In fact, I use it that much that I’ve created a script which is located in my software template folder. A number of variables needs to be given in the script (Packagename, VersionNumber, Identifier, etc). Run the script and the package will be created in a separate pkg folder. Also a logfile will be created showing (if applicable) the contents of the package and the contents of the preinstall/postinstall script.
However, I still have packagemaker installed. In some cases I use the snapshot function to find out where some application stores it’s preference files. So start snapshot, change prefs in application, stop snapshot. Then check which files have been changed.

Darren Wallace

Hi Mattias,
Thanks for the comment. The use of cli tools certainly is helpful for easy repeat runs, but in my experience, AutoPKG has replaced many of the packages that I needed to create in this way.

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