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Re: Is it really the case that installing KiCad on a Mac requires manually copying files around?


I believe these users are talking about the normal MacOS method of
installing software,
which does typically involve copying files.

Normally MacOS software is packaged as a disk image that is mounted when
you double click it.

The mounted image then normally contains the software to be installed, and
that are used as drop targets for a "drag and drop" copy.

Most software only has one "file" (the .app file, which is actually a
That file is copied to the Applications folder on the user's system.

KiCad's installation also involves copying a second folder to a privileged
location (Application Support),
so the user will be prompted for authentication when they do this step.

This part of the approach is not very common for commercial MacOS software.
Software that must install to privileged locations typically ships as a
binary installer with a wizard,
more like what you would typically see on a Windows machine.

I am not familiar enough with the MacOS packaging to know if there is any
potential for KiCad
to have a single app file that just gets copied to Applications in the

If we want to do fancy things such as write-protecting certain parts,
probably the best bet would be to build a MacOS installer wizard (a PKG
But, I don't know the details there either or if there are reasons we
cannot / should not.


On Fri, Apr 24, 2020 at 10:22 AM Rene Pöschl <poeschlr@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Hi all but especially adam,
> lately there where a few threads on the forum where installation on Mac
> came up. The users reported that they installed KiCad by manually
> copying files around which sounded wrong to me. But as a lot of users
> seem to be under the impression that this is indeed the right way i am
> now starting to believe them.
> If these users are really correct then maybe this should be documented
> very clearly on our download page. Or if there is any option to automate
> this process (reducing human error) then maybe this would be the better
> way to go long term but until then it should still be documented what
> needs to be copied.
> One problem i see is if users can copy KiCad files then the libs might
> not be write protected which would be a problem as KiCad relies on the
> operating system write protection to avoid users modifying the shipped
> libraries.
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