File Size:8.4 MB
Requires:OS X v10.9 or later
Packages Source Code

Packages is distributed under a BSD License. Packages source code is available under a BSD license and provided as Xcode projects. Packages uses some Open Source code that may be using other licensing.

Source code is available on github.

Source Code

Release Notes
Deployment solutions

Distributions and packages built with Packages can be installed on a Mac using Mac OS X's Installer application or installer command line tool. If you are looking for a solution to deploy your packages or distributions on a network of Mac computers, here are some available solutions:

Apple Remote Desktop™ by Apple lets you distribute software and manage the Mac computers on your network.

Useful Tools

When you want or need to inspect the contents of a flat distribution or package built with Packages, you can use one of the following tools:

Pacifist by CharlesSoft is a shareware application that opens Mac OS X .pkg package files and allows you to extract individual files and folders out of them.

Technical Notes and Q&As
Q&A #01 -Creating aliases on the user's desktop.
Q&A #02 -Adding items to the Dock.
Q&A #03 -Installing items into the current user's home directory.
Q&A #04 -Requiring a restart only when a previous version is already installed.
Q&A #05 -Running an install or upgrade script.
Q&A #06 -Compatibility with macOS Sierra.
Q&A #07 -Compatibility with macOS Catalina.
Q&A #08 -Known issues in
Q&A #09 -Installing items both in /Applications and ~/Documents at the same time.
Q&A #10 -Are there some advanced features in Packages I may have missed?
Developing Installer Plugins

Packages makes it easy to add Installer plugins to your distributions. In addition to the Xcode template project, you can learn about Installer plugin with the help of the following sample projects and information.

InstallerPluginSample from the ADC sample code.

If you need to display a second End User License Agreement in your distribution, you can use the EULA_Plugin sample project (BSD License).

A few tutorials and FAQ are available at the Installation - The Lost Scrolls website.

Tools for external scripts

When you need to create an alias from an external script upon installation, you can use the bristow tool.

Distribution documentations

Packages supports the distribution and flat packages formats supported by Apple's installer application on Mac OS X Tiger and later. If you want to get more information about these formats, you can refer to the following available documentations.

Apple's Distribution Definition Reference document available on the ADC website covers the distribution script format.

Apple's Installer JavaScript Reference document available on the ADC website covers the JavaScript extensions supported by the distribution script and PackageInfo formats.

The Flat Package Format - The missing documentation document tries to cover the flat package format, especially the PackageInfo format.

User Guide

A on-line user guide is available from the application Help menu. It will guide you through the features of the software.

You can also directly visit the Packages User Guide page.


While it does not cover Packages, the Mac OS X Deployment v10.5 book by Kevin M. White is a good reference when it comes to packaging and deploying on Mac OS X.

Mac OS X Deployment v10.6 version is also available from the same author.

Mailing List

There is no mailing list run by me at this time. If you have general questions related to installations on Mac OS X, you can try:

Apple's installer-dev mailing list.



While the Packages application is provided on a as-is basis, if you think you have found a bug in the software or if you have a question or suggestion related to the use of the software - that is not covered by the user guide -, you can try to write to:

dev dot packages at gmail dot com

Who knows, you may even get an answer.

Older Version

Packages 1.1.3 (with PowerPC support)

Apple, Xcode, the Installer Plugin icon and Apple Remote Desktop are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

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Copyright 2008-2022 Stéphane Sudre. All rights reserved.