how "registry free" is OSX, really?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by btownguy, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. btownguy macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2009
    I know the image Apple likes to portray is that OSX is not like Windows - it doesn't spread files, dll's, and registry entries all over your system. Applications are entirely located in the "Applications" folder. This cannot be true however, because trialware (limited to 30 days, etc) remembers its restrictions even after it is uninstalled and reinstalled. much crap is OSX really allowing programs to put in places other than "Applications"?
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Registry free doesn't mean no other files. It means there is no registry that is loaded on computer start up. For example most apps keep preference files stored in ~/library/ however these are only accesses by the app as needed and aren't loaded by the system at startup.
  3. btownguy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2009
    Not trying to sound like a pirate here or anything, but deleting the library files for a piece of 30-day trialware (i.e. adobe photoshop or lightroom) doesn't reset the application, even if it's deleted and reinstalled. So it must be storing information somewhere on the system.
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Depends on the app. What you describe above doesn't work for Adobe apps, but there are several others in which this does work.
  5. ewilson6 macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2006
    Or you could download app zap and zap all files associated with it.

    Or you could stop whining and go back to Windows. These forums aren't for winers!
  6. felt. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2008
    you sound like a I'm going to help you, download fseventer, and have it running while installing your trialware, it'll show you exactly which files were added/modified on your system during install, HAPPY PIRATING!! :D
  7. crackpip macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2002
    There are a few other places that apps put files, but it requires entering an admin password when installed. Besides ~/Library, there is also /Library/Preferences or /Library/Application Support. I think Adobe stores info for the trial there. Drag and drop apps do not put files there. A few applications actually create their own directory in /Library (like Mathematica). So you should might check for that, too.

    Don't worry about it; people shouldn't be jumping to conclusions anyway. I have apps that look promising and I test them out, but for whatever reason I decide they're not currently worth the money. I'll test them again a couple updates later requiring finding and deleting all the configuration files to reset the trial.

  8. RandomKamikaze macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2009
    You know that are files in the application?

    Right click an app > Show Package Contents

    One of those probably contains said time bombs
  9. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040


    Jun 25, 2008
    Here's an explanation. :D

    If you are installing an app by dragging and dropping to ~/Applications/ they pretty run with files in ~/Library/ as well sometimes.

    If you installed the file with a packaged installer and had to enter your admin password, then files were probably also installed to /Library/ which is on the root. So when you remove the app it stays.

    You can remove these files and you should be fine.

    I started writing a java app a while back that takes any .pkg installer and removes all associated files. Maybe I'll finish it.

    I looked in the reciepts folder (not sure where it is) and did a something bomb on the pkg and it told me all the files that were installed with it. Then I fed that through a sudo rm command to remove all the files. It's basically just a shell script that needs to run, but I was using Java to append the sudo rm to every line where there was a file path.
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    There are a few places apps can store configuration data. This is a lot like the data you chose for setting the desktop picture.

    /library/application support

    Are generally the main ones (can be in your user path or root library folder), just going in there and tossing an apps preferences can reset the apps... and can also mess you up with keyed apps, since tossing some of these might require retyping the key code in.
  11. macfanboy macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2007
    They make the registration files invisible or make it invisible some random place in the System foler
  12. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    So...signing up for trialware under a diff email each time the 30 days runs out is pirating?

    Also, files stored behind in App Support and Preferences when you delete are expected. What impact does it really have on other programs and your general computing?
  13. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    No, but it's a complete waste of time and it shows how much of a cheapskate the user is. :p
  14. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    Yeah, I'm a cheapskate, and proud of it.
  15. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    So do that. No one is stopping you.
  16. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    It's really not registry free at all. The difference is that each program has its own preference file, where as in Windows, all of those preferences are kept in one giant database.

    So if a .plist gets corrupted, it's ONLY that file that you need to delete, where as if a registry entry gets corrupted, it can take down the entire registry.
  17. sidewinder macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northern California
    In other words, Mac OS X is Registry free.....

    The .plist files are more like Windows "ini" files.

    The Windows Registry is a lot more than just a database of ini files. If that is all it was, life would be a lot easier on a Windows systems.


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