Custom DMG installer for OSX?
December 20, 2011 7:39 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone provide a simple (and fool-proof) method of creating a customized DMG installer for Mac OS X?

I have written a few Perl scripts for use within our research lab to process data. I used the open-source program Platypus to package them as standalone apps, and also to create simple installers for each. I have tried multiple times to create a custom DMG image that I can use to distribute the programs, but every single time I have done so the disk image ONLY seems to look right on my own computer - it never shows the custom background image or icon on any other Mac.

I have tried following several different tutorials to create a working DMG image but none of them seem to actually work. The last one I tried froze my system when attempting to mount the finished image. Almost every program out there for Macs comes with a custom DMG, so it can't be that hard to do - can it?

All I want is for the DMG to open on other computers using (1) the icon I added for the install image, and (2) the same background color/image/icon display as it had when I created it. You know, just like every Mac install DMG you have ever seen.

Caveat: I'm not willing to pay for a commercial solution - it isn't worth it for the small-scale distribution I am looking for. I have a hard time thinking it can't be done for free.
posted by caution live frogs to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you making sure you've copied the image into the disk image itself (usually it's in a hidden folder like .background or something) ?

See for some in-depth instructions.
posted by pharm at 7:55 AM on December 20, 2011

pharm - one of the comments in that link mentions the issue I am having, namely that if the DMG is created in Snow Leopard or higher it shows up like a normal un-pretty DMG when opened on Leopard. I can give that method a shot - even though I am pretty sure I have tried similar approaches previously - but I'm not convinced the problem won't crop up again.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:24 AM on December 20, 2011

Apple changes the format of the hidden file that stores view settings pretty regularly, but the Finder can generally read older versions of the file. If you create the .dmg on a system running the oldest OS that you want to support, it should work. (Be careful not to open the .dmg readwrite on a newer system— if the newer Finder writes some settings that the older Finder doesn't know about, you can end up with a file that is interpreted differently by different OS versions.)
posted by hattifattener at 10:47 AM on December 20, 2011

Well that may explain it then - I kept thinking I was doing something wrong, but perhaps I wasn't... but it also means I need to trek over to the old PPC Mac in the lab to create the DMG I guess. Sigh.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:49 AM on December 20, 2011

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