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Manually install packages via the Finder Install
I recently stumbled across the following problem: The Installer would crash when trying to install a package (.pkg) I had downloaded. What to do? Of course, one solution is to use Pacifist, but 20 bucks is just too much to pay for manually installing a package once in a while.

Now a .pkg bundle essentially contains an Archive.pax file, which is an archive of the files to be installed, so another solution is to use pax in the Terminal. But the man page for pax is not exactly enlightening; I just want to quickly decompress a pax file, for heaven's sake!

But as is often the case, the obvious solution is the last one you would think about. Simply copy the Archive.pax.gz file out of the package bundle and double click it in the Finder! The Finder then happily decompresses everything in a folder, and you can install everything manually.

[robg adds: This older hint talked about using the Terminal to peek inside packages; with the changes in OS X since it was written, it's now possible to do this sort of thing from the Finder.]
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Manually install packages via the Finder
Authored by: chtito on Oct 11, '05 07:10:32AM

Reaction to what Rob added: the simplest way to peek inside packages is now actually to use "Show files..." in the File menu of Installer.

The point of this hint is rather to provide you with an easy way to manually install a package. For example in case you want to install only some files out of a package...



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Manually install packages via the Finder
Authored by: taminator on Nov 02, '05 02:03:36PM

I'm not sure if my problem completely relates to this discussion but I'm hoping someone can help me.

I have a problem with installers (with .pkg extensions) that come from Apple. For example, I downloaded the iSync Palm Conduit from the Apple Support web site yesterday. The disk image mounted and two items were shown: one item called iSync_Palm.pkg and the other a read-me text file.

Normally, I should be able to double click on the .pkg file and it launches as an installer. But on my iMac, clicking on the item reveals another folder called Content. And clicking on that reveals five more items inside.

For some reason, my iMac is not recognizing the .pkg item as an installer. Using Get Info shows the item as a plain ol' folder and not an installer as well.

I spent almost an hour with an AppleCare tech yesterday and trashed a bunch of plist and preferences files but nothing changed. We even repaired disk permissions and also tried the procedure using a different account. All unsuccessful attempts.

I'm running 10.3.9 on a flat-screen iMac 700 MHz. My last resort is re-install OS X and I want to explore other options before taking on that task.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.



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Manually install packages via the Finder
Authored by: spfolly on Oct 11, '05 12:56:01PM

Be careful if you do this, some (most?) installation packages run scripts at various stages of the installation. If you bypass the installer and just unzip the Archive.pax.gz file, you'll be missing out these scripts.

Some of them could be important for setting correct file permissions, etc.

http://developer.apple.com/documentation/DeveloperTools/Conceptual/SoftwareDistribution/Concepts/sd_install_features.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/20001763-1038989-TPXREF1 describes the different scripts that could be run.



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Manually install packages via the Finder
Authored by: asmeurer on Oct 11, '05 06:59:44PM

You won't get a receipt wither, so permissions repairs will not work. And pacifist is no better by the way.



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Manually install packages via the Finder
Authored by: qwerty denzel on Oct 11, '05 06:49:20PM

I'm a bit confused about this hint. I have 10.3.9.

So, in Tiger, you can decompress .gz and .pax files using the Finder (or BOMArchiveHelper)?



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Manually install packages via the Finder
Authored by: chtito on Oct 12, '05 09:25:09AM

That's right.



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This hint is nutso, use /usr/sbin/installer
Authored by: babbage on Oct 11, '05 06:56:39PM

If you're going to the trouble to poke at the .pkg with Terminal, you might as well just do it the right way by using the installer command:

sudo installer -pkg MyDownlad.pkg -target / -verbose

This will install the package "MyDownload" to the root of the filesystem, verbosely telling you every file that's getting installed.

sudo installer -pkg AnotherDownlad.pkg -target /Volumes/FirewireHD

This will install the package "AnotherDownload" to an external firewire drive named "FirewireHD", without bothering with the verbose output.

You can also try installer -help or man installer for more information.

Yes, you could unpack the .pax

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Manually install packages via the Finder
Authored by: DeltaTee on Oct 12, '05 07:53:19AM
UnPKG also works well. For the comments using sudo, one of the main reasons for unpackaging something is so you don't have to install it as an Administrator. Most things will work fine without being an administrator.

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