Installing software

There are multiple ways to install software on macOS, and our aim is to make all of them work on Darling as well. However there currently are a few limitations, mainly the lack of GUI.

You might not even need to install it

Unlike Wine, Darling can run software that's installed on an existing macOS installation on the same computer. This is possible thanks to the way application bundles (.app-s) work on macOS and Darling.

To use an app that's already installed, you just need to locate the existing installation (e.g. /Volumes/SystemRoot/run/media/username/Macintosh HD/Applications/ and run the app from there.

DMG files

Many apps for macOS are distributed as .dmg (disk image) files that contain the .app bundle inside. Under macOS, you would click the DMG to mount it and then drag the .app to your Applications folder to copy it there.

Under Darling, use hdiutil attach SomeApp.dmg to mount the DMG (the same command works on macOS too), and then copy the .app using cp:

Darling [~]$ hdiutil attach Downloads/SomeApp.dmg
Darling [~]$ cp -r /Volumes/SomeApp/ /Applications/


Some apps are distributed as archives instead of disk images. To install such an app, unpack the archive using the appropriate CLI tools and copy the .app to /Applications.

Mac App Store

Many apps are only available via Apple's Mac App Store. To install such an application in Darling, download the app from a real App Store (possibly running on another computer) and copy the .app over to Darling.

PKG files

Many apps use .pkg, the native package format of macOS, as their distribution format. It's not enough to simply copy the contents of a package somewhere; they are really meant to be installed and can run arbitrary scripts during installation.

Under macOS, you would use the graphical or the command-line installer utility to install this kind of package. You can do the latter under Darling as well:

Darling [~]$ installer -pkg mc-4.8.7-0.pkg -target /

Unlike macOS, Darling also has the uninstaller command, which lets you easily uninstall packages.

Package managers

There are many third-party package managers for macOS, the most popular one being Homebrew. Ultimately, we want to make it possible to use all the existing package managers with Darling, however, some may not work well right now.

Command-line developer tools

To install command-line developer tools such as the C compiler (Clang) and LLDB, you can install Xcode using one of the method mentioned above, and then run

Darling [~]$ xcode-select --switch /Applications/

Alternatively, you can download and install only command-line tools from Apple by running

Darling [~]$ xcode-select --install

Note that both Xcode and command-line tools are subject to Apple's EULA.