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A signed and notarized universal macOS installer package for XZ Utils.


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XZ Utils 5.4.5 for macOS

This project builds a signed universal macOS installer package for XZ Utils, a general-purpose data compression tool and library. It contains the source distribution for XZ Utils 5.4.5.

Security Note

XZ Utils versions 5.6.0 and 5.6.1 appear to have been compromised by the injection of malicious changes in the source code combined with a malicious build script added into the distributed tarballs. For more information, see this email to the oss-security mailing list, this Red Hat blog post and CVE-2024-3094.

Currently (2024-03-29) this exploit appears to only be present in the 5.6.0 and 5.6.1 releases and only targets x86 Linux systems running glibc, sshd and systemd. It does not appear to be present in earlier versions of XZ Utils nor does it appear to affect macOS systems.


A recent version of Xcode and the jq command are needed to build and notarize this installer package. An Apple Developer account is required to generate the credentials needed to sign and notarize.


The Makefile in the project root directory builds the installer package. The following makefile variables can be set from the command line:

  • APP_SIGNING_ID: The name of the Apple Developer ID Application certificate used to sign the xz executable. The certificate must be installed on the build machine's Keychain. Defaults to "Developer ID Application: Donald McCaughey" if not specified.
  • INSTALLER_SIGNING_ID: The name of the Apple Developer ID Installer certificate used to sign the installer. The certificate must be installed on the build machine's Keychain. Defaults to "Developer ID Installer: Donald McCaughey" if not specified.
  • NOTARIZATION_KEYCHAIN_PROFILE: The name of the notarization credentials stored on the build machine's Keychain. Use the notarytool store-credentials command to create this profile. Defaults to "Donald McCaughey" if not specified.
  • TMP: The name of the directory for intermediate files. Defaults to "./tmp" if not specified.

To build and sign the executable and installer, run:

    $ make [APP_SIGNING_ID="<cert name 1>"] [INSTALLER_SIGNING_ID="<cert name 2>"] [TMP="<build dir>"]

Intermediate files are generated in the temp directory; the signed installer package is written into the project root with the name xz-5.4.5.pkg.

To notarize the signed installer package, run:

    $ make notarize [NOTARIZATION_KEYCHAIN_PROFILE="<profile name>"] [TMP="<build dir>"]

This will submit the installer package for notarization and staple it on success. Check the file $(TMP)/notarization-log.json for detailed information if notarization fails. The signed installer is stapled in place if notarization succeeds. Use the command:

    $ xcrun stapler validate --verbose xz-5.4.5.pkg

to check the notarization state of the installer package.

To remove all generated files (including the signed installer), run:

    $ make clean

Signing and Notarizing Credentials

Three sets of credentials are needed to sign and notarize this package:

  • A "Developer ID Application" certificate (for signing the xz executable)
  • A "Developer ID Installer" certificate (for signing the installer package)
  • An App Store Connect API key (for notarizing the signed installer)

The two certificates are obtained from the Apple Developer portal; use the Keychain Access app to create the certificate signing requests. Add the certificates to the build machine's Keychain.

The App Store Connect API key is obtained from the App Store Connect site. After the key is created, get the Issuer ID (a UUID), the Key ID (an alphanumeric string) and download the API key, which comes as a file named AuthKey_<key id>.p8. To add the API key to the build machine's Keychain, use the store-credentials subcommand of notarytool:

    $ xcrun notarytool store-credentials "<keychain profile name>" \
        --key ~/.keys/AuthKey_<key id>.p8 \
        --key-id <key id> \
        --issuer <issuer id> \

The --sync option adds the credentials to the user's iCloud Keychain.


The installer and related scripts are copyright (c) 2023 Don McCaughey. Different parts of XZ Utils are distributed under different licenses. The sources for the macOS installer package are distributed under GNU GPLv2. See the LICENSE file for details.