How does installing apps work?

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I know HOW to install apps on my mac...at least I know one way. I'm just trying to get information on how it works. For example, coming from a windows pc, you would download an exe, pick where to install it and then it'll install and show up in your start menu, desktop etc.

I've noticed though that on the mac, i'll download a .dmg or .pkg file to install and it'll create a new folder in the directory I downloaded it in (after it unzips). Upon clicking that file it'll either start the set up process or just open the program. Do I need to drag that file into the applications folder manually in order to permanently install it on the computer? I've noticed that, at least in some instances, the program won't show up in my applications until I drag it into that folder. Is that the point where it actually installs all the files onto the computer?

How and why does that happen and is there a way to ensure that any programs you install automatically install in the applications folder?

Sorry if I'm vague and all over the place but hoepfully you understand what I'm trying to get at and what I'm asking.
 
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If it does not have an installer, you simply need to drag it to your Applications folder.

That is the 'install'. Unix does not have a system registry, as windows does, so not every application needs an installer. Often simply executing it will work. You could, in theory, put the application anywhere on your hard drive and run it from there. The Applications directory, however, serves a nice place to put all your applications.
 
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DaGrandMastah
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If it does not have an installer, you simply need to drag it to your Applications folder.

That is the 'install'. Unix does not have a system registry, as windows does, so not every application needs an installer. Often simply executing it will work. You could, in theory, put the application anywhere on your hard drive and run it from there. The Applications directory, however, serves a nice place to put all your applications.


Ok so that clears that up.

So in essence, if I want to install it in the applications folder (that's where I want all my apps to go) I will have to open finder or the application folder and drag the file into there?

Now, regarding the items that launched automatically...did they install themselves on the computer? If so, would moving that file into the applications folder create a seperate directory/installation on my system (cause a dupe installation of the program)?
 

vansmith

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No apps should launch automatically and if they did, they wouldn't have installed themselves.

Here's a handy guide discussing all the installation routines used in OS X that should clear everything up.
 
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DaGrandMastah
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No apps should launch automatically and if they did, they wouldn't have installed themselves.

Here's a handy guide discussing all the installation routines used in OS X that should clear everything up.

OK...maybe I was just confused since it's all sort of new to me. Thanks for the guide. That should clear everything up.
 

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