Why Does Firefox Become a drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by carfac, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. carfac macrumors 65816

    carfac

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    #1
    Hi:

    Still learning, so plewase bear with me.

    So I downloaded Firefox, and it "installs" a "drive" onto my desltop. I copied the app to my Dock, and deleted the drive... and no more Firefox.

    Trying to understand why firefox works this way... why can't it just sit happy in my dock... why does it make itself a drive. How do I make this stop?

    Thanks!

    Dave
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    The drive that mounts to your desktop is an image. You copied the icon from the image into your dock. When you click on that icon in the dock it MUST open the disk image so you can run the program. The icon in essence is pointing to the program on the disk image and not on your hard drive.

    Drag the program out of your dock. Open the image with FireFox in it. THEN drag the application into your Applications folder. Finally, once it's in your Applications folder you can drag it into your dock.
     
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #3
    It's an installer basically. If you look at the icons in the image, you can see that they want you to drag the Firefox application into the /Applications folder.

    Once it's there, you can drag that application icon to the Dock.
     
  4. carfac thread starter macrumors 65816

    carfac

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
  5. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #5
    Hi Dave

    When you download a program for OSX, it's normally in a file format called DMG, short for Disk Image. They are small mountable hard disk files, almost like a pretend CD-ROM or hard drive. If you have the correct settings in Safari, the DMG will mount automatically after the DMG is downloaded. You can also mount it manually by double clicking on the DMG icon.

    Once mounted, you get a second icon on your desktop normally with the same name. Because of the way the Finder in OSX works, all mounted drives (even pretend ones) appear as icons on the desktop*. However, the applications are still inside the DMG file, it's just now you can see inside the DMG file because you have mounted it as a volume. As Eidorian mentions, to actually install the app natively onto your hard disk, you need to copy it out of the DMG file by dragging it to a location on your hard disk. The usual place to put it is your Applications folder.

    Now the Dock. When you drag an application to the Dock, you don't move the application, you just create a shortcut to it's current location. In your example the Dock icon you created acted as a shortcut to Firefox, but Firefox was still in the DMG file rather than being on your hard disk. So when you dismounted the DMG file (which happens automatically when you reboot), the shortcut no longer worked.

    When installing apps, always copy the application from the mounted Disk Image to your Applications folder, then drag the icon from your Applications folder to the Dock. You can then remove the Disk Image by dragging it to the trash, then lastly remove the DMG file by doing the same.

    * The Show options in Finder Preferences can change this behaviour if you wish.
     
  6. carfac thread starter macrumors 65816

    carfac

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    #6
    Like a LOT oif things on the Mac, it makes sense! Thanks for the help! I was just clicking on the Disk image, not moving to the Apps folder. (The other things I have installed put themselves into the Apps folder automatically, so I never noticed this step. Thanks for taking the mystrery out of the process!

    So far, we are enjoying the Mac a lot- my wife and I have used Win for many years. Funny think is how much my 5 year old just took right to the Mac. Perhaps that is the Mac secret- design for a 5 year old, the rest will follow?

    Hope that does not sound rude, not my intent. I just mean that it is very intuative...
     
  7. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #7
    When you opened the "disk image", it should've looked like the attached image. If so, what that picture is trying to imply (somewhat obscurely) is to drag the Firefox app to your Applications folder. Maybe some text saying that would've made things clearer but I suspect they did it this way to keep it multi-lingual.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #8
    You have to unlearn the bad behaviour that you've been taught. :D

    Before there were GUIs, it was pretty simple. You knew that you had to make a wholesale change to work on another machine. You studied the manuals and got tutorials wherever you could.

    Now, most people assume that they know how everything works because they've been using one system or the other. If it doesn't work the way they (have been trained to) think, it must be broken. :)

    All of the Mozilla applications can be installed that way. Other applications can be installed the same way because Apple has said in the past that it's their preferred method. They don't use it, of course. :D
     
  9. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #9
    How do you think I cope with it? :D
     
  10. carfac thread starter macrumors 65816

    carfac

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    #10
    Dejo:

    That is the image I saw! I thought it meant this:

    "here is FireFox, nice and in color. Click this, and you will connect to the Internet (with steps two and three grayed or not in color, because you have to click on Firefox first!)"

    I thouyght it was the first of three steps.

    You are right- it needs some words or something... but now that you tell me, yeah, I can see what it means NOW!:rolleyes:
     

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