Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

First of all please forgive me for my ignorance. I'm not sure if this is possible.

I might be playing around and installed a lot of software, tools, databases or servers or services such as macports, php, etc. Over a period of time I might forget what I've put in and there maybe a lot of stuff I dosen't need anymore. Is there any way or Terminal command that allow me to check what is there?

share|improve this question

migrated from Jun 14 '11 at 16:30

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's pretty much impossible, since you can place applications just about anywhere you like. Additionally, what constitutes an "application" might be debatable — does a two-line shell script count?

Regular applications are usually located in /Applications, ~/Applications (for every user).

Widgets are in ~/Library/Widgets (every user) or /Library/Widgets(unusual, system-wide).

Preference Panes are in /Library/PreferencePanes(all users) or ~/Library/PreferencePanes (every user)

These are basically the things you'd install manually.

If you installed something using a regular installer, this has been logged to /Library/Receipts(installer Receipts and the InstallHistory.plist log file).

If you're using Homebrew, Fink, or MacPorts Unix package managers, they keep track of what they installed. Look up their documentation.

If you installed something manually (QuickLook plugins come to mind), or compiled something yourself, then you're basically out of luck.

share|improve this answer

To my knowledge, everything that is installed via the OS X package installed (.pkg or .mpkg) is tracked in /Library/Receipts/InstallHistory.plist. As far as drag and drop installs, you would have to trawl through the file system to look for those.

You could issue a command such as find / -type d -name MacOS which would indicated some sort of bundle in OS X, but the risk there is that you identify frameworks and system files and such.

share|improve this answer
Understood! Thanks guys. – Jeno Jun 14 '11 at 18:56
Can I edit the InstallHistory.plist manually to remove stuff that I dosen't want anymore? – Jeno Jul 12 '11 at 9:26
I'm not sure what you would hope to accomplish. The .plist file is simply a list of what was installed -- a registry of sorts. Editing it will not remove any software. – Kirk Jul 19 '11 at 13:52

Fear not!

man hier 

Will show you where things should be. And where they should not be, such as installed into /Users/Shared, eh Adobe?

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .