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#14563 - 03/05/11 11:15 PM App Store download location
andycap Offline


Registered: 09/05/09
Loc: Tasmania
The App Store seems to place downloads into the Applications folder. This might be the obvious and logical destination but I prefer downloaded non-Apple apps go in my Downloads folder on my Desktop until I figure out if it really does the job I wanted/needed it for.

Does anyone know if it is possible to specify the download location? This seemed to me like an intelligent question but it got rather brusquely dealt with when I asked it recently in an Apple discussion forum ("no" and "go ask Apple"). Maybe it *is* a dumb question...


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#14566 - 03/05/11 11:53 PM Re: App Store download location [Re: andycap]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Not as far as I can tell.

Why don't you want to test them from the Applications folder?
_________________________
Photo gallery, all about me, and more: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

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#14568 - 03/06/11 12:17 AM Re: App Store download location [Re: tacit]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Carrying andycap's question one step further, then... What about users who store their 3rd party apps in ~/Apps (like V1) or on a separate partition (like me)?

The possibility (Edit: indeed, likelihood) of such configurations (Edit: not to mention the fact that ~/Apps sports an Apple issue /Apps icon) would seem to have made it appropriate for Apple to have taken them into consideration.


Edited by artie505 (03/06/11 05:02 AM)
_________________________
The new "Great Equalizer" is the SEND button.

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#14571 - 03/06/11 04:43 AM Re: App Store download location [Re: andycap]
andycap Offline


Registered: 09/05/09
Loc: Tasmania
Tacit asks why I wouldn't test apps from the Application folder. Good question - why not!? I think it's because I like to keep this folder free of potential digital dross until I'm convinced it's not. My Applications folder already has 96 items in it, 13 of which are subfolders (eg Utilities, Graphics) containing still more apps. I can't remember when I last opened 90% of them. Good grief, I think it's time I went on a culling exercise!

Artie505 suggests that many users store apps other than in the Applications folder and I think this is my point - I would prefer the App Store have some basic preferences and give me the option to specify a different location.

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#14582 - 03/06/11 10:55 AM Re: App Store download location [Re: andycap]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
I suppose the option to put files and apps in the location of your choice appeals to all users; certainly to those used to organize their stuff as they see fit, as was possible in Classic/Mac OS 9 and earlier. Unfortunately, Apple as well as other software publishers (following Apple's recommendations) not only prefer apps to be in the Application folder, they may require it for proper operation. This is why most installers place apps in the Application folder by default and don't offer alternative options.

When you don't adhere to this location requirement, affected apps may 'misbehave'. It is hard to predict the kind of misbehavior that will most likely follow, or even exactly when that will happen. AFAIAC when it happens at all I tend to see it when trying to run updaters: occasionally these fail.

Apart from System issues, the reason is usually either the fact that the affected apps are not in the Application folder, or they are there but have been changed from their default condition. The latter can occur e.g., by changing the name like adding a version number (Adobe Reader, consistently), or by combining them with associated files in a subfolder or by taking them out of a default subfolder (MS Office, occasionally).
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#14586 - 03/06/11 01:32 PM Re: App Store download location [Re: andycap]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vancouver Island
Originally Posted By: andycap
Good grief, I think it's time I went on a culling exercise!

If you do decide to cull, allow me to make a recommendation. Based on things I'd read here in FTM I bought CleanApp and have always been pleased. When things are installed on your drive, other stuff is sprinkled around and you want to be sure you get all the bits and pieces.

ryck
_________________________
ryck

iMac Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66GHz
4GB RAM, 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
OSX 10.8.5
Airport Extreme, Canon MX712 Printer
Clone and Time Machine on 320GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#14588 - 03/06/11 01:50 PM Re: App Store download location [Re: andycap]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
if the app already exists elsewhere (and Apple doesn't care), then it can work out. E.g., for many years, i've kept my TextWrangler.app located here:

/Users/halito/Applications/TextWrangler 3.1/TextWrangler.app

[i.e., in my home hierarchy, with its parent folder always being renamed to indicate the current version number inside]

When i first tried the MAS, i grabbed the (TextWrangler) version 3.5 update. To my surprise, the app downloaded right in place to the same path above, despite the "3.1" in the parent folder's name (which i subsequently changed to 3.5).

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#14589 - 03/06/11 02:06 PM Re: App Store download location [Re: Hal Itosis]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
According to Apple's File System Overview

Originally Posted By: Mac OS X File System Overview
Applications should be placed in the /Applications directory or the ~/Applications directory of the current user. Applications placed in the /Applications directory are available to all users on the system. Applications placed in a user’s home directory are available only to that user.

All of the resources and data files required for an application to run should reside inside the application bundle. However, applications often come with extra files, such as templates, plug-ins, and other application extensions over which the user has some degree of control, including whether or not they should be installed. Similarly, an application might generate cache and temporary files that should not reside in the application bundle.

The remaining sections include some of the appropriate and inappropriate locations for application files. For information about the purpose and intended content of specific Library subdirectories, see “The Library Directory.”

The Mac App Store is therefore enforcing compliance with Apple's own developer standards by defaulting to the /Applications folder. To do otherwise would make the developer standards meaningless.

For those who want to move MAS purchased apps to another folder you can do so but with two caveats:
  1. You will be required to enter an administrative password to move the app from the /Applications folder.
  2. If an update appears in the MAS for an installed app that has been moved you will get an error message about having apps installed from another account. To update the app you will have to
    1. Delete the app entirely and then install the updated app or
    2. Move the app back to the /Applications folder

I learned all of this the hard way.
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joemikeb • moderator

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#14591 - 03/06/11 02:22 PM Re: App Store download location [Re: joemikeb]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Hmm, i'm not able to comment about moving an app which was initially installed via MAS (but i do suspect there's probably a plist somewhere which could be coerced to do our bidding).

My comment (with italics for emphasis) was about pre-existing wares, and how it all Just Worked™ without me intervening at all. [i fully expected the results would be two copies of TextWrangler... my original in the "wrong" location, and the new one in /Applications.]

Perhaps in time we will find a way to manipulate those despotic policies (e.g., the possible plist tweak).

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#14594 - 03/06/11 05:10 PM Re: App Store download location [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> You will be required to enter an administrative password to move the app from the /Applications folder.

So Apple has even over-ridden its own directive - "Applications should be placed in the /Applications directory or the ~/Applications directory of the current user." - insofar as ~/Apps is concerned?
_________________________
The new "Great Equalizer" is the SEND button.

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#14596 - 03/06/11 05:40 PM Re: App Store download location [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Quote:
So Apple has even over-ridden its own directive

I suppose you could interpret it that way, however Apple has consistently insisted that all Apple apps should remain in the /Applications folder or you risk update failure. To my personal knowledge this has been true since the Public Beta. So at least it is consistent with their long term practice.
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#14598 - 03/06/11 11:36 PM Re: App Store download location [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
It will be interesting to see if Apple perpetuates ~/Apps with custom icon in Lion.
_________________________
The new "Great Equalizer" is the SEND button.

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#14599 - 03/07/11 12:10 AM Re: App Store download location [Re: artie505]
andycap Offline


Registered: 09/05/09
Loc: Tasmania
As a mature user who has fiddled with Macs since System 6, the option to put files and apps in the location of my choice is certainly appealing. I'm aware that some apps, particularly Apple ones, actually need to go into the Applications folder in order to work or be updated and am quite happy to live with that.

I'm supremely indifferent to any Adobe update failure; its taken me weeks to locate and delete the insistent Reader updater which I found eventually in an obscure cache folder with a ridiculously long string of numbers for a name. I hope it does it doesn't malevolently reappear.

Joemikeb indicates a couple of caveats when updating MAS purchased apps moved to other folders (admin password, moving the app back) and I can live with these. But I would have liked the choice in the first place!

Thanks ryck for the the CleanApp recommendation. I've used the free and unobtrusive prefpane AppTrap for some years; it only reveals itself when you toss an app in the trash.

Thanks all for the great feedback. I think I'll stay away from the Apple Discussion Forums.

I also wonder if any changes are contemplated for the MAS with the advent of Lion…

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#14600 - 03/07/11 01:06 AM Re: App Store download location [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Quote:
So Apple has even over-ridden its own directive

I suppose you could interpret it that way, however Apple has consistently insisted that all Apple apps should remain in the /Applications folder or you risk update failure. To my personal knowledge this has been true since the Public Beta. So at least it is consistent with their long term practice.

But isn't the consistency unreasonable?

Apple apps can be expected to be used by all users of a particular Mac, but the MAS procedure dismisses the fact that not all 3rd party apps fall into that category, and, as a result, makes both user/parental control more cumbersome as well as more subject to "failure."


Edited by artie505 (03/07/11 01:15 AM)
Edit Reason: Expand
_________________________
The new "Great Equalizer" is the SEND button.

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#14603 - 03/07/11 08:20 AM Re: App Store download location [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
This thread is beginning to wander far from the troubleshooting path into the realm of personal likes and dislikes. If anyone wants to continue the discussion, I invite them to start a thread in the Lounge.
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joemikeb • moderator

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#14606 - 03/07/11 12:08 PM Re: App Store download location [Re: joemikeb]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
You will be required to enter an administrative password to move the app from the /Applications folder.


That should be the case for any app. I've lost count of the number of machines I've seen with safari, addressbook, etc, moved onto their desktop, causing it to disappear for the other user accounts.

that, and something needs to be done about firefox and skype being parked in the dock as references from their downloaded disk images. (and set to launch at login even) It should pop up a dialog asking if you want to copy it to /apps instead of just living on the dmg.

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#14608 - 03/07/11 05:25 PM Re: App Store download location [Re: Virtual1]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
You will be required to enter an administrative password to move the app from the /Applications folder.

That should be the case for any app.

Since the advent of Snow Leopard it is.
_________________________
The new "Great Equalizer" is the SEND button.

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#14609 - 03/07/11 05:45 PM Re: App Store download location [Re: artie505]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: artie505
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
You will be required to enter an administrative password to move the app from the /Applications folder.

That should be the case for any app.

Since the advent of Snow Leopard it is.
I have found that to be true for Apple apps but not necessarily third-party ones.
_________________________
Jon

Mac Pro Quad 2.66 GHz, one 500 GB Hitachi HD, three 320 GB Hitachi HDs, 5 GB RAM, OS 10.6.8
Epson R2880, second internal DVD drive (Pioneer), Photoshop CS5, Office 2008,
Nikon LS 8000 scanner
Apple 23" Cinema Display

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#14610 - 03/07/11 06:01 PM Re: App Store download location [Re: jchuzi]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: jchuzi
Originally Posted By: artie505
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
You will be required to enter an administrative password to move the app from the /Applications folder.

That should be the case for any app.

Since the advent of Snow Leopard it is.
I have found that to be true for Apple apps but not necessarily third-party ones.

Non-MAS apps, that is... Right?
_________________________
The new "Great Equalizer" is the SEND button.

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#14611 - 03/07/11 09:49 PM Re: App Store download location [Re: artie505]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
You will be required to enter an administrative password to move the app from the /Applications folder.

Originally Posted By: artie505
That should be the case for any app.

Originally Posted By: Artie505
Since the advent of Snow Leopard it is.
Whether you need to authenticate to remove things from /Applications depends on the permissions of that folder. It does not depend on the application or on the OS version.

For as long as I can remember, /Applications has defaulted to owner=root, group=admin, with 775 permissions. Adding to or removing from /Applications can only be done by root or by an admin. Authenticating makes you temporarily root, much like sudo at the command line, except that you don't need to be logged in as admin at the time.

Some users run as admin all the time. Those users can freely move things in an out of /Applications without any of that "pesky security nonsense".

Some users belatedly set up separate admin and non-admin accounts, but not until at some time giving their primary user ownership or at least read/write access to /Applications. When they finally set up separate accounts, they do so by creating a new admin account and removing admin status from the old account. The trouble is, that non-admin user still has full access to /Applications, and is in fact still the owner of most non-Apple applications. They (and any malware running in their account) can scribble all over /Applications, adding viruses and installing trojans to their heart's content, all without authenticating.

If you want to clean the mess up, you should:
  • Ensure that only an admin (or root) can modify anything in /Applications or its subfolders.
  • Do all of your normal day-to-day work from a non-admin user account
  • Switch to the admin account only for administrative tasks (one of which is software installation and/or update). Do not merely authenticate to install software; actually log in as admin and do the installation from there. (This is especially important for drag and drop installations.)

The following bash commands may help you locate problems that need to be resolved:
Code:
# Identify items owned by other than root or this admin
anadmin=$(id -u)
cd /Applications
sudo find . -not -user root -not -user $anadmin -ls

# Identify items writeable by groups other than wheel and admin
sudo find . -not -group wheel -not -group admin -perm +020 -ls

# Identify items that are world-writable
sudo find . -perm +002 -ls


What you do about whatever you find is up to you. You'll have to decide on a case by case basis, but ideally all these finds should come up empty. (They won't, at least not initially. People are really sloppy about security.)

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#14612 - 03/08/11 02:12 AM Re: App Store download location [Re: ganbustein]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Quote:
Whether you need to authenticate to remove things from /Applications depends on the permissions of that folder. It does not depend on the application or on the OS version.

For as long as I can remember, /Applications has defaulted to owner=root, group=admin, with 775 permissions. Adding to or removing from /Applications can only be done by root or by an admin. Authenticating makes you temporarily root, much like sudo at the command line, except that you don't need to be logged in as admin at the time.

Some users run as admin all the time. Those users can freely move things in an out of /Applications without any of that "pesky security nonsense".

You've apparently missed a turn in the road somewhere.

I run exclusively from an admin account, and since I installed Snow Leopard I've had to authenticate to move Apple apps out of /Apps; the same does not hold true for (non-MAS) non-Apple apps.

Code:
/Apps > Sharing & Permissions:

You can read and write

system: Read & Write
admin: Read & Write
everyone: Read only

And, if it's pertinent, your commands come up clean on my deuced Mac(hina):
Code:
Last login: Tue Mar  8 04:05:37 on ttys000
Artie-s-Computer-4:~ artie$ # Identify items owned by other than root or this admin
Artie-s-Computer-4:~ artie$ anadmin=$(id -u)
Artie-s-Computer-4:~ artie$ cd /Applications
Artie-s-Computer-4:Applications artie$ sudo find . -not -user root -not -user $anadmin -ls
Artie-s-Computer-4:Applications artie$ # Identify items writeable by groups other than wheel and admin
Artie-s-Computer-4:Applications artie$ sudo find . -not -group wheel -not -group admin -perm +020 -ls
Artie-s-Computer-4:Applications artie$ # Identify items that are world-writable
Artie-s-Computer-4:Applications artie$ sudo find . -perm +002 -ls
Artie-s-Computer-4:Applications artie$ 
_________________________
The new "Great Equalizer" is the SEND button.

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#14614 - 03/08/11 04:21 AM Re: App Store download location [Re: artie505]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: artie505
Non-MAS apps, that is... Right?
I have only one MAS app and a quick experiment showed that it was necessary to enter my password in order to remove it from /Applications. I assume that that applies to other MAS apps as well but someone else will have to confirm that. For the record, I run everything from an administrator account.
_________________________
Jon

Mac Pro Quad 2.66 GHz, one 500 GB Hitachi HD, three 320 GB Hitachi HDs, 5 GB RAM, OS 10.6.8
Epson R2880, second internal DVD drive (Pioneer), Photoshop CS5, Office 2008,
Nikon LS 8000 scanner
Apple 23" Cinema Display

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#14616 - 03/08/11 07:08 AM Re: App Store download location [Re: artie505]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: artie505
I run exclusively from an admin account, and since I installed Snow Leopard I've had to authenticate to move Apple apps out of /Apps; the same does not hold true for (non-MAS) non-Apple apps.

How about GarageBand, iDVD, iMovie, iPhoto and iWeb?
Does deleting those (Apple) apps require your authorization?

[seems like 10.6 has switched other OS apps over to the wheel group now (whereas, only System Preferences had such distinction in regular Leo).]

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#14619 - 03/08/11 11:55 AM Re: App Store download location [Re: jchuzi]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: jchuzi
I have only one MAS app and a quick experiment showed that it was necessary to enter my password in order to remove it from /Applications. I assume that that applies to other MAS apps as well but someone else will have to confirm that.

Confirmed. I downloaded NetNewsWire Lite yesterday, and any attempt to trash it is met with a password request. [and it is also membered with wheel (as mentioned briefly in my previous post).]

Originally Posted By: jchuzi
For the record, I run everything from an administrator account.

Ditto.

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#14620 - 03/08/11 03:11 PM Re: App Store download location [Re: Hal Itosis]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
Originally Posted By: artie505
I run exclusively from an admin account, and since I installed Snow Leopard I've had to authenticate to move Apple apps out of /Apps; the same does not hold true for (non-MAS) non-Apple apps.

How about GarageBand, iDVD, iMovie, iPhoto and iWeb?
Does deleting those (Apple) apps require your authorization?

Never thought to try... iPhoto, the only one of the set that I've got installed, does not require authentication, so I guess the restriction only applies to those apps that are installed in /Apps by default?
_________________________
The new "Great Equalizer" is the SEND button.

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