Distribute & Package Mac App Store Applications

The following process will explain how to capture and create installers for Apps which get downloaded from the macOS App Store.

These applications can then be deployed through LANDesk or Apple Remote Desktop to client machines.

  1. Launch the macOS App Store
  2. Select the app to be packaged, and click install
  3. Once the app install shows visible progress, pause the download.
  4. Open finder and navigate to the following path:

    /private/var/folders/xp/y12zgd955knfqmwh_x9bw00jpvr4bx/C/com.apple.appstore/
    The actual path may vary, but its generally located within the same place.
    If you want to check what folder is used by the AppStore.app, enter this command into your terminal: getconf DARWIN_USER_CACHE_DIR Locate the folder with a series of numbers, this is your app. Open the folder

We now need to create a hard link between the randomly named download file and a location to store your completed package.

This is done through Terminal with the use of ‘ln’ command followed by the path of the App Store download location and then the path where you want to save your copy of the installer to.

This is required, as once the download from the App Store is completed, macOS automatically deletes this folder permanently from your hard drive.

  1. Launch Terminal and type ln /path/to/macappstore.pkg /path/to/savedinstaller.pkg
  2. Return to the Mac App Store and resume the download.
  3. When the installation for your app finishes, you’ll have a signed installer from Apple to use to update and install on devices.
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