Installing software

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by CrackedButter, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #1
    I've used macs on and off since 1992, i've only ever used macs for surfing the net or using a word editor. But i have never installed software on a mac, i'm possibly getting one in about 2 months.

    Question is: How easy is it to install software on the mac. Example, lets say i have just downloaded mozilla, does it have an installer or something or is it command line stuff like on linux?

    I have no trouble using the command line, i just want to know what to expect.
     
  2. Billicus macrumors 6502a

    Billicus

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Location:
    Charles City, Iowa
    #2
    Re: Installing software

    Unless you're installing Unix software, you won't be forced to use the command line. Most often, with new software, the application is inside of a .dmg (disk image) file. When you double click the file, you can just drag and drop the application into your application folder. (the reccommended location for software.) Oftentime when you buy a Cd, there is an installer included or it uses the Application called Installer in the Utilities folder of your Application folder to install the software.

    Hope this is helpful. Congratulations on your new Macintosh! :D
     
  3. CrackedButter thread starter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #3
    Why is this so different from other UNIX/Linux systems?

    Is this something Apple has created for OSX to make it easier for newcomers?
     
  4. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    Apple's operating system has two layers. The bottom layer is Unix (a version called Darwin). The top layer is Mac OS X, which has the graphical interface. You can use a command-line interface as in any Unix system, and install software with the usual tar/configure/make methods. But Mac OS X has a standard way of representing and storing applications, so the drag-and-drop method used by many packages (and almost all commercial software) is the typical installation method for most people. Developers and leading edge users deal with command-line installations more than the general public do.
     
  5. FelixDerKater macrumors 68000

    FelixDerKater

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2002
    #5
    A good example of this is the Microsoft Office v.X installation.

    You just drag-and-drop one folder (the MS Office X folder) onto your Applications. That is all. Much simpler than the installation on the PC and also simpler than using a command line.

    If you want, there is an Install app included on the CD to allow you to customize just what you want to be installed.
     
  6. zarathustra macrumors 6502a

    zarathustra

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #6
    I love it! Another switcher - suprised by how easy it is to install/uninstall an application. Yes, dear PC users, most applications on the Mac are contained in 1 (!) folder, with maybe the preferences being stored in the ~/Library/Preferences folder. ;)
     
  7. CrackedButter thread starter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #7
    What about things like config files and registry type entries?

    Why hasn't linux implemented this yet? Makes my SuSE 8.1 system seem so pale in comparision.

    Does Yellow Dog do this as well?
     
  8. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #8
    I can't say about other forms of linux. There is no registry or config files to worry about. Upon running a program for the first time, it will create for itself a tiny Preferences file to store any separate information it needs, independent of the software package, so your preferences are retained during upgrades, etc. I'm not sure about X but i know in 9 there was also a database file that the Finder kept (automatically updating) that kept track of file locations. Neither of these are things you need to worry about at all.

    :)
    pnw
     
  9. CrackedButter thread starter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #9
    It seems so wonderfully simple yet i'm confused (of course i would be) by its simplicity. Things that are natural using windows and to some extent linux seem to need not apply here in OSX! :)
     
  10. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    As a programmer, I find it amusing that each of the methods for storing program-specific information has been hailed as a great invention and superior to all the others, for both Windows and Mac OS, when end users (as opposed to application developers) shouldn't really care.

    Windows has the Registry and the Profiles\username\Application Data folder. Mac OS has the NetInfo database, XML files, and the /Library/Receipts folder. Some Windows applications still use INI files; Mac applications have always used Preferences files. Unix systems use a few standard directories, such as /etc, /var, /usr/local, and ~.

    All approaches can work. A good operating system should simply have a consistent standard method, and a good application developer can use any of these methods underneath the surface. Together, they can make installation and uninstallation easy for users no matter where information is stored, and that's what most Mac OS X applications have done.

    Apple encourages and supports the simple drag-and-drop installers, but has yet to make it as easy to uninstall as to install. You can easily throw away most of an application but there isn't a standard method to get rid of the other pieces in a foolproof way. Leaving a few leftover files usually isn't a concern, but there is still room for development in this area.
     
  11. CrackedButter thread starter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #11
    Okay how would one go about uninstalling software, can you not just drag it to the trash?
     
  12. vniow macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    I accidentally my whole location.
    #12
    That's about it, but when you do, go to the Finder and do a search for the name of the app you just trashed, like if you were to get rid of Internet Explorer, you would drag it to the Trash first, then do a search for 'Internet Explorer' and look for any .plist files that look like they have anything to do with it and trash them as well.[​IMG]

     
  13. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #13
    Dragging an application from the Applications folder to the trash gets rid of most, but not all, of its files. See this thread for more details.
     
  14. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #14
    Apple is returning to its roots, or a close approximation thereof. Back in the day, all applications shipped on a single floppy disk. You can run them from the floppy, but that was a bad idea if you had a hard disk. To install your application on your hard disk, you simply dragged the floppy icon onto the hard disk icon. That created a new folder holding copies of the floppy's contents. Microsoft went half way a few years ago with its drag an drop installation. However, that technique obscured the installer which actually installed the application upon first launch of the application.

    Actually, Mac applications have not always used Preferences files. However, by the time System 7 was developed, they had become so ubiquitous that Apple developed the Preferences folder to standardize their location.
     
  15. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #15
    Debian's distribution has apt-get and Lindows, which is based on Debian has a GUI-based solution for getting and installing software.

    Apple wants it to be easy and most developers/publishers make it that way. Still you can find older style installers, such as InstallAnywhere, which make it somewhat confusing, but less so than with Windows or Linux.
     
  16. CrackedButter thread starter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #16
    Thanks guys, i'm getting a real edujumacation on this.

    Its really interesting.
     

Share This Page