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What is the preferred installer software, that does a good job for Mac OS X (Snow Leopard)? I know of VISE or InstallerMaker. The question which one doesn't have issues, related to Mac OS X, intuitive in usage and has a reasonable cost? PackageMaker is a software we've tried and it doesn't suit our needs.

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What are you installing and what do you expect the install process to be? Why can't your application be drag-installed and why do you say that PackageMaker doesn't fit your needs? Why do VISE and InstallerMaker look like better alternatives? These are important questions to answer before anyone can make an informed recommendation. – Sidnicious Oct 2 '09 at 13:21
I have 2 versions of application. One for 10.5 and one for 10.6 (for various reasons we couldn't build one version, that works on both systems). I need to have an installation, that will install a version depending on a target system. PackageMaker can do it only for custom installation. I'd like to provide the user with an easy install. – Nava Carmon Oct 2 '09 at 13:33
Also, i need to close currently running application and start the new one. – Nava Carmon Oct 2 '09 at 13:34
The right way to solve this problem would be to create one version of your application and handle differences between 10.5 and 10.6 at runtime. What will happen now if someone installs on 10.5 and then upgrades? If that's absolutely not an option, ask about installing different versions on Apple's installer-dev mailing list ( ). You can quit and relaunch applications in a postflight script. The bottom line is that those third-party installers are (and should be) obsolete. – Sidnicious Oct 2 '09 at 14:44
Well, creating one version seems to be absolutely impossible, since our application is built with RubyCocoa, which is pretty half-baked and has issues. On 10.5 it relies on ruby 1.8.6, while on 10.6 it relies on ruby 1.8.7. All our attempts to create one application which is the best solution have failed... Handling differences on runtime is impossible as far as i know. Yes, we have pre and post install scripts. We honestly tried PackageMaker, but again choices there allowed only for custom installation – Nava Carmon Oct 3 '09 at 16:34
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Use Package Maker from Apple. It's free and is included with the Developers Kit from Apple. I believe it will handle what issues you have, but if not check out LanRev Install Ease.

InstallVise is a pain for anyone that is trying to create a automated software clone.

PackageMaker & LanRev Install Ease will create Packages, which can contain multiple versions of your software, for multiple versions of the OS. And they can be used in Apple's SUI, InstaDMG, and etc for Automated OS creation...

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My answer is neither

The "Mac Way" is to provide just a .app that the user can drag into /Applications or ~/Applications. The .app is really a directory that contains all the program's assets: code, properties, imagery, etc.

The only time you need to build an installer package is when you're modifying the system. In the Mac world, that's seldom the right answer.

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doesn't work in our case, since we want 1 installer, that installs a version of application, depending on a target system. We cannot build a version, that works both on 10.5 and on 10.6, that's why we need an installer – Nava Carmon Oct 2 '09 at 13:29

As a system administrator for a Mac only shop please, please use a .pkg instead of a ViseX installer. If not, I'll be forced to repackage your installer and make my own. A drag and drop install is ideal for most people and is quite painless. The downside is you have to offer two downloads. With Package Maker you can write a shell script that will determine the current operating system and install the correct version.

Additionally it's worth considering that not everyone will be installing this via a GUI, when installing to several computers or behind the scenes using tools such as Apple Remote Desktop or installler from the command line is quite common in my line of work.

PackageMaker (the GUI program) unfortunately is a piece of crap, creating more dependable custom packages is best done using tools such as LanRev Install Ease, Iceberg, JAMF Composer, or straight from the command line. (PackageMaker's .pmdoc files like to revert settings seemingly randomly)

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With Package Maker I can have "choices" for custom installation only. I want user to have an "Easy Install". Yes, I noticed, that .pmdoc tends to "forget" sometimes about its own settings and each time before build you have to check, that everything is set properly. That's one of the reasons, that I'm trying to find an alternative solution – Nava Carmon Oct 3 '09 at 16:38
Which is why I recommended creating the .pkg with another tool. – Chealion Oct 3 '09 at 18:27
I tried LanRev InstallEase and Iceberg. Both don't let add scripts to components, I mean you cannot set requirements per component, while VISE or InstallerMaker let you do so. installer-dev apple list wasn't of much help either. What else can i try? – Nava Carmon Oct 5 '09 at 17:35

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