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quickpkg - Build packages quickly

This tool will quickly and easily build a package from an installed application, a disk image file or zip archive with an enclosed application bundle. It will also extract the application name and version and use it to name the resulting pkg file.

The tool will look for applications on the first level of the disk image or archive. If it finds no or more than one application it will error.

The name of the resulting package will be of the form {name}-{version}.pkg. Spaces will be removed from the name. The package will be written to the current working directory.


Apple will remove the Python 2.7 binary at /usr/local/python from macOS in macOS Monterey 12.3. This script is built and tested with the MacAdmins "Managed Python." It should (probably) work with other Python 3 distributions, as well, but has not been tested on any.


Build package from installed application:

quickpkg /Applications/

Build package from a disk image:

quickpkg ~/Downloads/Firefox\ 43.0.4.dmg

Build package from a zip archive:

quickpkg ~/Downloads/


--scripts scripts_folder:

Pass a folder with scripts that are passed to pkgbuild's --scripts option. If the there is a preinstall and/or postinstall script they will be run at the respective and can call other scripts in this folder.

--postinstall postinstall_script

Use the script file given as a postinstall script. If given together with the -scripts option will attempt to merge the two and error if a postinstall script is already present.

--preinstall preinstall_script

Use the script file given as a preinstall script. If given together with the -scripts option will attempt to merge the two and error if a preinstall script is already present.

--ownership {recommended,preserve,preserve-other}

This parameter will be passed into pkgbuild. Default is recommended. See man pkgbuild for details.

--output pkgpath

Will write the resulting package to pkgpath instead of the current working directory. If pkgpath is a directory, then the default package name ({name}-{version}.pkg) is used. You can also give the complete path, including a name. You can use the placeholders {name}, {version} and {identifier} in the name.


quickpkg /Applications/ --output ~/Packages/

Will create Numbers-X.Y.Z.pkg in ~/Packages.

quickpkg /Applications/ --output Numbers_latest.pkg

will create Numbers_latest.pkg in the current working directory.

quickpkg /Applications/ --output ~/Packages/{identifier}_{version}.pkg

will create in ~/Packages.


Controls wether the resulting pkg file is relocatable, i.e. if the installer process will search for the bundle by bundle-identifier if it was moved to another location. By default packages will be created NON-relocatable.

--sign, --keychain and --cert

You can add these options to sign the resulting package. These three options are passed through to the pkgbuild command. Read the pkgbuild man page for details.

Usually you can find the proper signing identity (from the Apple Developer account) with the command

$ security find-identity -p basic -v

and then you add the proper identity with the --sign option.

$ quickpkg ~/Downloads/Firefox\ 53.0.3.dmg --sign "3rd Party Mac Developer Installer: Your Name Here"


OS X has had the pkgbuild tool since Xcode 3.2 on Snow Leopard. With pkgbuild you can directly build a installer package from an application in the /Applications folder:

pkgbuild --component /Applications/ Numbers.pkg

Or even an application inside a mounted dmg:

pkgbuild --component /Volumes/Firefox/ \
         --install-location /Applications \

This tool even does the work of determining a bundle's identifier and version and sets the identifier and version of the pkg to the same values.

However, while pkgbuild does automatically name the package, it does not include the version, which is important when you tracking many versions of the same application. It also doesn't automatically look into a dmg file or zip archive.

quickpkg vs autopkg

This tool is not meant to replace autopkg. autopkg will automate the download, the re-packaging (if necessary) and the upload to and configuration of your client management system. It can also handle much more complex setups than quickpkg. autopkg is far superior and should be your tool of choice.

However, there are situations where autopkg does not work well. The most common reason is if the download cannot be automated because the download page is behind a paywall. Or maybe you are just experimenting with a test server and do not want to change your production autopkg setup. Also autopkg requires a recipe for a given piece of software. If no recipe exists, quickpkg may be a simple alternative. (Though if quickpkg works, creating an autopkg recipe should not be hard.)

quickpkg vs munkipkg

quickpkg is meant for 'quick' packaging. No configuration, no options. Download the application from the AppStore or the dmg or zip from the web and go. (I started working on it because I could never remember the exact options needed for pkgbuild.) munkipkg is a tool that makes it easier to access the complex options of pkgbuild and packagebuild, but it still supports complex projects.

If you prefer a UI rather than a command line tool, then use Stéphane Sudre's Packages.


All quickpkg does is identify an application bundle and package it in a way that the package will install that application bundle into the /Applications folder. If the application needs other files (libraries, frameworks, configuration files, license files, preferences etc.) to run and work they are your responsibility.

Also be sure to understand what you are running quickpkg against. If you run quickpkg on the disk image you get from DropBox or for the Adobe Flash Player, you will get a pkg that installs the DropBox or Flash Player installer in the /Applications folder. Probably not what you wanted.