48 Votes

Apple Mac OS X: Difference between APP and DMG

Question by Guest | Last update on 2021-11-02 | Created on 2013-04-07

I am using my Mac for only a little time. So, I have not yet figured out the difference between APP and DMG files.

When downloading programs from the internet, the applications are offered either as APP or as DMG. But what is the exact difference?

10Best Answer12 Votes

Whenever a program is offered as APP (Application Bundle), it is sufficient to copy the program file to the place where you would like to have it (for example the Application folder). Then you can click on the APP file to start the application. So, an APP is similar to Windows EXE and is mainly used for small programs and tools.

A DMG (Disc Image) is an image of a disc and can contain several files. So, a DMG is something like a ZIP file. When opening, a DMG is mounted to the system as if it is a CD or an USB drive. The actual application is in the DMG and can be started, copied or installed from there. For example, if there is an APP file in the DMG, you can move it to the application folder to install the application. After the installation, the DMG file is no longer needed.

Apart from that, there are also PKG (Package) files. PKGs are used for more complex programs. After clicking on a PKG file, an installer opens with which you can install the program.
Last update on 2021-11-02 | Created on 2013-04-07

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