Using autopkg for “general purpose” packaging

A few days ago I made a simple tool for building packages available: munkipkg.

I got many comments and suggestions for additional features and all sorts of cool additions. Some have even been added to the tool already. But I would like to keep munkipkg a pretty simple, basic tool.

The Luggage ( has been around for a while; if munkipkg is too simple for your needs, please have look at that.

I also suggested to several people that if they had more complex needs than munkipkg could handle, it might make more sense to use autopkg, which supports very complex, customizable workflows.

I could tell by the awkward silence that my suggestion was confusing to some — that they had trouble grokking how to use autopkg to build packages “from scratch”, using files and scripts on the local disk.

So I created a GitHub repo demonstrating how to use autopkg in this manner. It’s here:

munkipkg comes with three demo package projects. Two of the packages install files, the third is a “payload-free” package that simply runs a script when installed. The autopkg-packaging-demo duplicates these packages, but uses autopkg to build them instead of munkipkg.

(One could also imagine building these packages using either tool: the payload and scripts directories would be the same — in other words, you could have both a build-info.plist for munkipkg and a recipe for autopkg in the same package project directory.)

Assuming you have autopkg installed, you can `git clone` the repo, or download and expand the zip file, and run the autopkg recipes within.

I hope this clears up some confusion, and sparks some new ideas!

Using autopkg for “general purpose” packaging

One thought on “Using autopkg for “general purpose” packaging

  1. Niklas Sköldmark says:

    Hi Greg, great article!
    Is it possible to pass a variable to a post- or pre-install script from a recipe?
    I was trying to make a SetKeyboardLayout.pkg.recipe and want it to be overridable with a specific layout.

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