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



Well guys like me could help with things like that if we would have the info required. Which is exactly why i requested documentation on the download page. When the questions were made i looked at the download page and there is nothing (there is also no place in the docu that looked like it could contain info) so i kind of assumed nothing is to be done and everything works like on windows/Linux (my reasoning was that if something is special it would be documented). Which is why i kind of derailed two threads where OSx installation came up instead of being able to help.

So consider documentation not necessarily only as a "the user will read it before getting in trouble" but as a "the user or forum members can use the info to get out of the bad situation again".

Also remember that if something is not documented by knowledgeable users then it will be documented by somebody who just found some workaround no matter if that workaround is a good idea in general. See

On 25/04/2020 14:50, Adam Wolf wrote:
Hi folks,

I do not believe that the users on that forum are correct about Catalina.  You do not need to chmod anything, for instance.

I mean this in the kindest way, but I am not sure how to solve the issue of users authoritatively suggesting random things when someone else has a problem :). I do not have the KiCad bandwidth to post on the forum that "if you have to do something that isn't in the README, either it's a bug that should be reported, or you're doing something you don't need to do" but maybe other folks on this list who do enjoy following the forum can help me with that.

I am slightly against adding more to the download page, because if users ignore the large text that says "Open the readme for installation instructions", I suspect they're going to ignore a wall of text on the download page and just look for the links and start downloading.  It also makes it look like we have a weird, unusual installation process, when our installation process is so typical that the vast majority of Mac users installing our software skip reading any instructions and install it just fine.

Because of the lack of notarization, when you install kicad, you have to run the main kicad program first before running things like pcbnew.  I have notarization working as of February but some offlist stuff has to get resolved about which certificates I use for public distribution....

The "you have to run kicad first, once" situation has been the same for 4+ years.  We typically get a small handful of complaints a year, and so far they have all been solved with "Please make sure you have run kicad.app once first before running things like pcbnew.app." and then we get a happy "it works!".

As I said before, this notarization thing is solved as of early February, but needs a little more organizational support before it can be given to the public.

Adam Wolf

On Sat, Apr 25, 2020, 7:10 AM Michael Kavanagh <michael@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:michael@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:

Hi Adam,

Looks like KiCad already has a Cask:

On Fri, 24 Apr 2020 at 16:32, Adam Wolf
<mailto:adamwolf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
> 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
> 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
> 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
<mailto: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
> >
> > 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
> > 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 <mailto: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
> >> 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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