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Lightweight resource and provider to install OS X applications (.app) from dmg files.



  • [COOK-854] - use cp -R instead of cp -r
  • [COOK-855] - specify a file or directory to check for prior install


  • option to install software that is an .mpkg inside a .dmg
  • ignore failure on chmod in case mode is already set, or is root owned



  • Mac OS X

Resources and Providers


This resource will install a DMG "Package". It will retrieve the DMG from a remote URL, mount it using OS X's hdid, copy the application (.app directory) to the specified destination (/Applications), and detach the image using hdiutil. The dmg file will be stored in the Chef::Config[:file_cache_path]. If you want to install an application that has already been downloaded (not using the source parameter), copy it to the appropriate location. You can find out what directory this is with the following command on the node to run chef:

knife exec -E 'p Chef::Config[:file_cache_path]' -c /etc/chef/client.rb

Optionally, the LWRP can install an "mpkg" package using installer(8).


  • :install - Installs the application.

Parameter attributes:

  • app - This is the name of the application used by default for the /Volumes directory and the .app directory copied to /Applications.
  • source - remote URL for the dmg to download if specified. Default is nil.
  • destination - directory to copy the .app into. Default is /Applications.
  • checksum - sha256 checksum of the dmg to download. Default is nil.
  • type - type of package, "app" or "mpkg". Default is "app". When using "mpkg", the destination must be /Applications.
  • volumes_dir - Directory under /Volumes where the dmg is mounted. Not all dmgs are mounted into a /Volumes location matching the name of the dmg. If not specified, this will use the name attribute.
  • dmg_name - Specify the name of the dmg if it is not the same as app, or if the name has spaces.

Usage Examples

Install /Applications/Tunnelblick.app from the primary download site.

dmg_package "Tunnelblick" do
  source "http://tunnelblick.googlecode.com/files/Tunnelblick_3.1.2.dmg"
  checksum "a3fae60b6833175f32df20c90cd3a3603a"
  action :install

Install Google Chrome. Uses the dmg_name because the application name has spaces. Installs in /Applications/Google Chrome.app.

dmg_package "Google Chrome" do
  dmg_name "googlechrome"
  source "https://dl-ssl.google.com/chrome/mac/stable/GGRM/googlechrome.dmg"
  checksum "7daa2dc5c46d9bfb14f1d7ff4b33884325e5e63e694810adc58f14795165c91a"
  action :install

Install Dropbox. Uses volumes_dir because the mounted directory is different than the name of the application directory. Installs in /Applications/Dropbox.app.

dmg_package "Dropbox" do
  volumes_dir "Dropbox Installer"
  source "http://www.dropbox.com/download?plat=mac"
  checksum "b4ea620ca22b0517b75753283ceb82326aca8bc3c86212fbf725de6446a96a13"
  action :install

Install MacIrssi to ~/Applications from the local file downloaded to the cache path into an Applications directory in the current user's home directory. Chef should run as a non-root user for this.

directory "#{ENV['HOME']}/Applications"

dmg_package "MacIrssi" do
  destination "#{ENV['HOME']}/Applications"
  action :install

Install Virtualbox to /Applications from the .mpkg:

dmg_package "Virtualbox" do
  source "http://dlc.sun.com.edgesuite.net/virtualbox/4.0.8/VirtualBox-4.0.8-71778-OSX.dmg"
  type "mpkg"

To do

A few things remain outstanding to make this cookbook "1.0" quality.

  • support downloading a .dmg.zip and unzipping it
  • specify a local .dmg already downloaded in another location (like ~/Downloads)

Some things that would be nice to have at some point.

  • use hdiutil to mount/attach the disk image
  • automatically detect the volumes_dir where the image is attached
  • be able to automatically accept license agreements

License and Author

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at


Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and