Chapter 12. Creating and Installing Packages

In Chapter 11 we discussed installing packages with Fink; this chapter shows you how to create packages using tools provided with Mac OS X Panther, as well as with Fink.

The following packaging options are supported on Mac OS X by default:


Found in /Developer/Applications/Utilities, PackageMaker can be used to create packages (.pkg), which are bundles consisting of all the items that the Mac OS X Installer (/Applications/Utilities) needs to perform an installation. PackageMaker can also create metapackages (.mpkg), which can be used to install multiple packages at the same time.

When a package is installed, a “receipt” is placed in the /Library/Receipts folder. These receipts are named with a .pkg extension and appear in the Finder as packages, even though they are not. You cannot use these files to install or update software. Instead, they are used to maintain a record of which packages have been installed on your system. This is how, for example, System Update knows not to install a package (or to update a package) that you’ve already installed. Disk Utility’s Repair Permissions feature also uses the receipt to restore the permissions on installed files to their original state.

gnutar and gzip

The Unix tape archive tool gnutar is used to bundle the directories and resources for distribution. (The tar command is provided as a hard link to gnutar.) GNU Zip (gzip) is used to compress the tar archives to make file sizes as ...

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