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


Hi folks,

Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Rene.

I have attached two images, one showing what "normal" macOS
installation looks like, and what ours looks like.

Our situation is not very far from normal and I would hesitate to call
it "manual" copying.  I do not know what they're talking about, but it
is not correct that you need to use a terminal or something to run
commands to install KiCad on macOS.

When we surveyed users ~5 years ago when I revamped the macOS
packaging, users were overwhelmingly in favor of this method vs a pkg.
Pkgs have a bad reputation for doing bad stuff to your system--like
Zoom just did.

There is also a README right when you open the DMG that explains step
by step what to do:

To install KiCad, click and drag the two directory icons to the
targets pointed at by the arrows.

After dropping kicad onto Application Support, you may be asked to
authenticate with an administrator username and password.  This
installs the support files for KiCad for all users on the system.

KiCad is now installed!  Inside of /Applications will be a directory
called KiCad, and inside of that are all the programs in KiCad.  The
project manager is the one labeled kicad, and is probably where you
want to start.

When you open the KiCad apps the first time, you must right-click on
them and select Open.  You only need to do this once.  You must open
KiCad first before opening the standalone apps, or else the standalone
apps won't be able to open up due to macOS quarantining.

If someone wants to write a homebrew cask for using the mac DMG, I
suspect it would only be an hour or so total, and then users could
install with a single command in just a few minutes (however long it
takes to download the DMG).  Previously, another developer made a
homebrew recipe but it did not have a bottle, so it took hours to
install on a user's computers.  This was before homebrew casks which
should solve this problem.

On Fri, Apr 24, 2020 at 9:35 AM Jon Evans <jon@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 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 shortcuts
> 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 directory)
> 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 future.
> 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 file).
> But, I don't know the details there either or if there are reasons we cannot / should not.
> -Jon
> 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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