The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

Monday's Mac Gadget
by John F. Braun


Want to Peek in a Package? Check Out Pacifist!

December 19th, 2005

Pacifist 1.6.3 ($20 Shareware)
Charles Srstka

Like other modern operating systems, Mac OS X offers a standard method of installing software. These packages are created with Apple's PackageMaker utility, which is included with the free XCode developer tools. If you've installed these tools, you can find PackageMaker in the Developer/Applications/Utilities folder. In many cases, the package does a fine job of installing the software that you want. However, there may be times when you'd like to peek into a package and see what makes it tick. If only there was a way to peek inside a package...

Pacifist offers several options after you launch it. One option which should interest just about any Gadget reader is "Open Mac OS X Install Packages," which of course requires that you have a Mac OS X install disc handy. Once Pacifist completes this operation (which can take some time) you'll be greeted with a view that shows the individual components that make up the Mac OS X installation package.


View the Contents of a Package

This is where the fun begins. In addition to being able to view every file that makes up a package (which can also be done by selecting "View Package Contents" via a Finder Contextual Menu) you can also Extract the contents of a package, and even Install the application or components from a specific package. This can be especially useful if you've lost or damaged a part of Mac OS X, and would rather not perform an installation of the entire OS.

Pacifist also offers the option of opening a package other than the Mac OS X installer. You can also choose to Update Prebinding Information, which helps Mac OS X know about any package components that you've recently installed. So take the opportunity to make the most of your packages today, and be sure to give Pacifist a try.

Have any other Gadgets that let you peek into the depths of Mac OS X? Send an e-mail to John, and he'll explore it.

Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.


John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at

You can also Post Your Comments below.

Current Monday's Mac Gadget

Visit Monday's Mac Gadget Archives for more great Mac Gadgets!

Recent TMO Headlines - Updated September 23rd

Fri, 7:02 PM
The Intriguing Design of The Steve Jobs Theater Explained
Fri, 5:45 PM
Anki OVERDRIVE Adds Fast & Furious Edition
Fri, 5:15 PM
iVAPO Folio Case for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is a Delight: A Review
Fri, 5:05 PM
Terminal Tinkering: Say Hello to TMO's New Podcast for Tech Enthusiasts
Fri, 4:25 PM
Apple Posted Apple Pay How To Videos on YouTube
Fri, 3:43 PM
Movie Rentals in iTunes Have Changed for the Better
Fri, 3:00 PM
The Royal iPod Has Been Spotted For The First Time
Fri, 2:29 PM
Thanks to Misuse, Apps Can't View MAC Addresses on iOS 11
Fri, 1:28 PM
Go Behind the Scenes with Apple's iPhone Pre-order War Room
Fri, 1:20 PM
Setting Up Your New iPhone and Apple Watch, Terminal Tinkering Debut - TMO Daily Observations 2017-09-22
Fri, 11:46 AM
Blips Smartphone Lens Kits: $24.99
Fri, 11:20 AM
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Top DxOMark Camera Ranking
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!