Apple Installer: Less than Gracious
I was trying to install an un-named Safari add-on and found that the installer required administrator access, so I sent the company an email and asked them why. The reply came back in less than a day:
[Our program’s] components are installed at the system level, rather than the user level. Therefore, admin privileges are required to make sure the directory permissions end up correct.
[Our program] actually works just fine installed at the user level, but Apple’s Installer is less than gracious with installing software there. If Installer is ever modified to adequately support user-level installations then we’ll probably move [our program], or at least give you an option.
Not sure what limitations are being referred to in the Installer program, but I will post and update if I find out.
It’s been a feature request or bug report within Apple for a very long time. Why Installer hasn’t been modified is a mystery, but even Apple acknowledges the shortcomings. For example, see this recent web page:
Look at the section for installing Automators. Apple provides an installation AppleScript script for installing into the user’s home directory, and they recommend using Installer for system-level installations.
We’ll investigate adapting an installer that gives you the option (system- or user-level), or rolling our own.