How/where does the mac install programs?

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davedave

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Mar 13, 2008
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Hi guys,
I'm familiar with how the pc installs programs (Program Files/Registry Entries etc...)
How is it done on the mac - is the application stored in a similar way to the pc. Does mac software usually require a key or serial etc. Any info or good websites I can refer to would be much appreciated.
Thanks davedave
 
Joined
Jul 14, 1999
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1,861
Hello:

Unlike Windows, OS X does not have a "central" registry. OS X's nearest equivalent to the registry is Netinfo, but this requires authentication for modification. But like Windows, many OS X applications require a key code/serial number.

When an application is installed in OS X, it is automatically placed (or the user is prompted to drag/drop it) in the Applications folder of the hard drive (Macintosh HD > Applications).
These apps have their own per-user and system-wide properties files, (kinda like private registries), stored in human-readable files in standard locations.

What's cool is to uninstall an application, all you have to do is drag it from the Applications folder to the trash.

Hope that helps to understand a bit. :)
 

davedave

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Mar 13, 2008
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Thanks Yankee Rose,
It sounds really simple - so does application xyz have it's own folder under Applications, and all the relevant bits and pieces can be found in this folder?
When would Netinfo be used?
 
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Feb 9, 2005
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Thanks Yankee Rose,
It sounds really simple - so does application xyz have it's own folder under Applications, and all the relevant bits and pieces can be found in this folder?
When would Netinfo be used?
Although application in /Applications look like a single file, they are actually a bundle/folder that holds most the resources that program will ever need.
(You can right click on the icon and select show package contents to see the internal files.)

When using the app, your user files will be saved in your specific directory (/User/yourname/), including preferences in /User/yourname/Library/Preferences.

You should not need to touch the files in /Applications and most average users will have no need to use Netinfo either.

Is there something specific you are trying to do?
 

davedave

Thread Starter
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Mar 13, 2008
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7
Headrush, Thanks for the further explanation. I looking to get a mac some time soon and was curious as to how applications are dealt with. I don't plan on being a mac power user or anything like that... just getting pre educated!
I'm trying to get up to speed with common mac questions, problems, issues etc...
 
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Sep 7, 2004
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The main thing I noticed when I started using Mac OS X is the different way in which apps are installed/uninstalled compared to Windows ... here are some links which discuss the method of installing apps in Mac OS X and the different container files that they can be downloaded as:

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

Link 4

Mac OS X also has a System Folder called Receipts which stores the .pkg files relating to installed plug-ins, printer drivers, iLife app updates installed etc.
 
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