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Mac OS X Panther in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition by Jason McIntosh, Chuck Toporek, Chris Stone

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Installing Applications

Because each Mac OS X application keeps itself and all its resources inside a single bundled (see Section 2.8, in Chapter 2), installing them onto a local hard disk is often just a manner of dragging an application icon from its original medium (such as a CD-ROM or a mounted disk image) into the Applications folder (/Applications).

Theoretically, you can install an application anywhere on the filesystem, but the system’s application database won’t automatically register it unless you place it in one of the system’s predefined Applications folders (either /Applications, or ~/Applications). If you have administrative privileges and wish to make an application available to all the Mac’s users (or if you are the Mac’s sole user), you should install applications in /Applications (the one that the Finder’s Applications Sidebar button leads to). To make an application accessible to you alone, place it in an Applications folder within your Home folder (creating it first, if necessary).

Software Installers

Some software packages, particularly those that update core system software or install several applications at once, require the use of special installer applications to get them onto a machine’s local disk. Using these applications is as simple as launching them and then following the prompts.

Many installers, especially if they place files outside your Home folder, require that you have admin privileges before the software can be installed. If you do, these installers ...

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