I just want to express my love for how OSX handles applications

Discussion in 'macOS' started by BiikeMike, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. BiikeMike macrumors 65816


    Sep 17, 2005
    Its so nice to be ablet to download somthing, open the disk image, and drag it into the applications folder, instead of haveing to deal with stupid install programs and registry updates. and deleting programs is so much easier too, just throw it away :)

    I think i'm in love

    so now for a question. I plan on gettting an external hard drive for backups. Can I copy my applications folder to my external HD, and if my computer should ever crash, I can just replace the applications folder with the backup and have all my programs work? Or if I ever get a Mac desktop (which I want to do) put it on there and have the programs work? If there is no registry or anything, this should work, right? and if so, doesnt that cause piracy problems for mac software developers?
  2. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I was thinking yesterday about how much better than Windows OS X's application system is. To answer your question, apps that are of the type that you copy from a disk image will work find doing what you asked about. Most applications that use an installer will probably work as well. However, I think some of the more complicated programs won't work that way. You will lose all your preferences if you don't copy the appropriate Library folders over. Apps on OS X use .plist files to store preferences. If you find those and back them up along with the apps, your preferences will be saved as well.
  3. MrSugar macrumors 6502a


    Jul 28, 2003
    I too agree that OS X handles Apps really nicely. This is one of the biggest factors I try to tell people about when they come to Mac.

    me "No, you just delete it.. and that's it."

    friend "Are you sure? There must be some sort of un-installer."

    me "No really! You just hit delete!"

    *friend nods in approval*
  4. Cinematographer macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2005
    far away
    Mac OS X is indeed the most powerful and most user friendly system on this planet.

    There are some applications (e. g. Firefox) where you can copy them and it would work.

    But with other applications you wouldn't copy all the information necessary for the programm to run properly. I assume some installers spread their files all over the system (not just libraries).

    If you copy the original .dmg or .pkg file to your external HD, you will get the same installation later. That's just the original installation without your preferences etc. If you want to save that as well, your gonna have to backup your library and the systems library as well.

    Apple decided to act user friendly here as well. Of course there are some pirates, but at least it will slow down global heating :D :

    :D :D ;)

    Attached Files:

  5. Nutter macrumors 6502

    Mar 31, 2005
    London, England
    In most cases, yes: Most OS X applications contain everything they need to run inside them, so you can just drag them across.

    BUT, and this is a big but, you WILL lose all your preferences unless you also copy over the "Preferences" folder, which is inside the Library folder in your User folder. It's best to backup your whole user folder, in fact. If you do that and back up your applications as well, you'll be set.

    The only exceptions to this are applications that store extra resources in the main library folder, at the root level of your disk. But these are in the minority, as they should be. Only a handful of Mac applications install essential files into your Library folders.
  6. yenko macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2005
    Doesn't quite work that way especially if those programs were put there (Applications Folder) from the Installer. You'll find that a lot of them won't function since the Installer puts things in other places on your hard drive. You're better off saving the files you created from the applications on a separate drive. If you do have to reinstall everything, you can always have copies of the "files" you created.

    You do have the original disks for all the Apps you have (other than Apple Apps which will be on your CD/DVD), don't you? :eek:
  7. Phat_Pat macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2004
    I Live Where I Live
    bah! Lé graph is hard to understand!

    Heres an easier one to get.

    Its all explained on this site


    ...why do i feel as though i've posted this before... :rolleyes:

    Attached Files:

  8. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    In very general terms you can drag an unwanted application to the trash, but usually any application that has been used will have a corresponding preference .plist and may also have left over application support files

    User/Library/Preferences is where you find the preference .plists, but you also want to look through your main HD/Library/Application Support and User/Library/Application Support Folders.

    Spotlight is great for locating these associated files if you know what to look for.
    It is also a good idea to save the installer log file for any of your critical applications.

    Many support files are labelled not only by the application name, but by the software developers company name and some hidden files such as dialers for those applications that phone home.

    I make a practice of storing CD copies of the installer .dmg images in a Installer Storage Folder in the event I need to re-install or un-install that application later.
  9. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    It really makes me happy to see others realizing these things. Just because i have grown up with Apple's since the day i was born basically makes me appreciate it even more when people realize how good Apple is. Its like my brother or something sick and twisted. ^_^
  10. fayans macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2005
    MacRumors: Forums
    Why wouldn't have I done that? Thanks FFTT for that reminder :)
  11. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    I've made a habit of creating a dated STORAGE folder right on my desktop.

    I put anything I download there until I file it away or have a chance to copy it to CD.
    You might call this your unsorted packrat, file it later folder.

    I usually sort, file and burn when my Storage folder reaches 600 MB or so.

    All the Apple updates you download and install are stored in your
    "packages" folder as long as you selected Download Only or Download and keep .pkg during the update.
    It's really a time saver to have all these updates ready to go on a CD
    IF you ever need to run a clean intall.

    I also create an INSTALLERS folder for each of my installer .dmgs and make sure to record the matching authorization serial in that folder with a small text edit file. Then I burn a back-up by catagory with Toast.
    Eg. Security Apps and Utilities.

    If you do your taxes online make damn sure you burn a copy of all your tax return .pdfs.
    I've added an e-books folder to my Home folder as well as
    a .pdf folder in User/Home/Documents, then I burn it to CD.

    The rest is simple, by regularly filing all your junk in the right folders inside your Home folder. Documents, Pictures, Music etc.
    But seriously, if your data is irreplacable, burn it.

    I also burn a copy of my address book .plist and my bookmarks .plist.

    It takes a while to develop good organization and storage habits, but it sure pays off when you need to work from scratch for some reason.

    Now that I have a second internal HD, I feel even better about the safety of my data.

    My desktop never looks cluttered and I know where to find just about anything.

    This is the beauty of working in OS X
  12. BiikeMike thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 17, 2005

    Just to play the devils advocate here..... Couldn't you do all of that in any other OS?

    For example, I do that all on my windows Machine. I have a folder of all my installers with corrosponding serials. I back up my preferances files and all my other "junk" with my dvd burner. I just don't see it as being OSX specific.
  13. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    Indeed! I'd like to see Macs have the capability of seeding the dock... maybe an app that seeks out all the ".app"'s on the computer and gives you the choice to add them. (I write code... wonder if I could do this?)
    Anyway, my suggestion is to get a 100GB Firelite SmartDisk. No external power, and they are rugged. On your Mac put Carbon Copy Cloner and do a Clone to the drive every week or two. That way even if something hrrible happens (rare indeed) or you loaded on some god-aweful Microsoft product (likely) you can just do the reverse by booting from the FW drive and cloning back. AND, if you have separate save folders on the FW drive, they won't be overwritten.
    FW drives are in the top 5 most important products ever made for the Mac.
  14. ahunter3 macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2003
    I have my hard disk partitioned.

    One partition contains the operating system, my users folder, and the regular root Applications folder, inside of which only Apple-branded apps like Safari and iTunes go. And my users folder only contains the Desktop and preferences, I don't store files I create in my users folder.

    All my non-Apple-branded applications are on a different partition.

    Documents that I create, be they MP3s, FileMaker databases, plain text documents, Excel workbooks, or 17-layer Photoshop files, are on yet another partition.

    Each partition is backed up separately, using incremental backups. This makes it easy to restore the OS without overwriting documents I've created subsequently, or to drag back a specific 3rd-party application if I hose it somehow. Or dig out a copy of an individual document if I mess it up or delete it by accident or something.

    For 99% of all applications, losing the preferences file from your ~/Users folder is going to be mildly annoying, not a major pain. I've installed new copies of the OS on one partition and then used applications that had been used by an old copy of the OS, installed to a different partition, and, like most things Mac, it just works.

Share This Page