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A software update framework for the Mac
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Sparkle Build Status Coverage Status

An easy-to-use software update framework for Cocoa developers.

Important: About This Fork

This fork by Daniel Jalkut of Red Sweater Software deviates from the canonical sparkle-project repository in a few important ways:

  • Rudimentary support for sandboxing is supported through the use of an XPC tool to kick off the install/relaunch process. (Courtesy tumult and wbyoung).
  • Various changes to Sparkle.strings are made to (IMHO) lighten the tone of the language to be less excited and more professional.

Do not use this code as is.

The state of this project right now is "not tested." I have just on July 27, 2015 finished a merge with sparkle-project but have not yet tested that all the expected XPC-based stuff is working as expected. When the state of this project is once again "stable" I will update this readme to remove this line and replace it with something more encouraging. :)

If you do use this code.

If you decide to use this code and test its functionality etc., one caveat you should be aware of is that the XPC service is built with a "red sweater" based reverse domain style name. You probably want to change this to your own organization's ID namespace. Search the project for "" to find any references along these lines.

Sparkle shows familiar update window with release notes

Changes since 1.5b

  • Up-to-date with 10.11 SDK and Xcode 7. Supports OS X 10.7+.
  • Cleaned up and modernized code, using ARC and Autolayout.
  • Merged bugfixes, security fixes and some features from multiple Sparkle forks.
  • Truly automatic background updates (no UI at all) when user agreed to "Automatically download and install updates in the future."
  • Ability to mark updates as critical.
  • Progress and status notifications for the host app.
  • Name of can be configured to match your app's name.
  • Upgraded and more reliable binary delta and code signing verification.


  • True self-updating—the user can choose to automatically download and install all updates.
  • Displays a detailed progress window to the user.
  • Supports authentication for installing in secure locations.
  • Supports Apple Code Signing and DSA signatures for ultra-secure updates.
  • Easy to install. Sparkle requires no code in your app, so it's trivial to upgrade or remove the framework.
  • Uses appcasts for release information. Appcasts are supported by 3rd party update-tracking programs and websites.
  • Displays release notes to the user via WebKit.
  • Sparkle doesn't bug the user until second launch for better first impressions.
  • Seamless integration—there's no mention of Sparkle; your icons and app name are used.
  • Deep delegate support to make Sparkle work exactly as you need.
  • Optionally sends system information to the server when checking for updates.
  • Supports bundles, preference panes, plugins, and other software. Can install .pkg files for more complicated products.
  • Supports branches due to minimum OS version requirements.


Building Sparkle requires Xcode 5 or above.


Sparkle is built with -fvisibility=hidden -fvisibility-inlines-hidden which means no symbols are exported by default. If you are adding a symbol to the public API you must decorate the declaration with the SU_EXPORT macro (grep the source code for examples).

Building the distribution package

cd to the root of the Sparkle source tree and run make release. Sparkle-VERSION.tar.bz2 will be created in a temporary directory and revealed in Finder after the build has completed.

Alternatively, build the Distribution scheme in the Xcode UI.

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