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Do you know Teamviewer? It’s a wonderful application to share your screen with someone else far away. Like when my mother get’s stuck with her system, I just tell her to fire up Teamviewer instead of telephone dialogs like: “Now go to ‘file’… What do you mean there is no ‘file’? There must be… I know you are not a computer expert… Why am I impatient again now?…”

However in the past there was a no-installation-needed Mac app. You just downloaded it, threw it into your “Applications” folder and you were ready to go. Just the way I like it.

Yesterday I wanted to add Teamviewer to a new Mac OS installation and found that there are still “Quick”-versions to be downloaded, but only for the host-part (the side that is sharing its screen). If you want to connect to a shared screen, you have to download the “TeamViewer full version” disk image, which contains a PKG installer (“Install TeamViewer.pkg”).

I don’t like PGK installers! Often they even ask for admin rights and than they start some black installation magic, leaving you with no idea what they copied to wherever. I like to have a download containing a plain whatever.app file, which I can move to my “Applications” folder. Yes, at runtime the app can and will store stuff to your “Library”-folder, but this will be done using the rights of the current user – no misuse of admin power!

So here is how I accomplished to have the “TeamViewer.app” without running the installer:

When you open the TeamViewer disk image (“TeamViewer.dmg”), you will find one single file in it: “Install TeamViewer.pkg”. This thing first appears like a black box – you cannot even crack it with a “Show Package Contents” (this thing you find in context menus at times for certain files)!

Now the command line tool “pkgutil” is our friend. So let’s give this guy a whirl:

cd /Volumes/TeamViewer/
pkgutil --expand "Install TeamViewer.pkg" ~/Desktop/temp/TeamViewer/

Changing to the target folder there will be a big disappointment waiting for us. We have got a bunch of further .pkg files. What a bummer!
But wait – doing a right-click onto the TeamViewerApp.pkg, we now see a “Show Package Contents” entry in the context menu. Anyhow by clicking on this we will end up in another folder with even more pointless files.

However there is a file “Payload”, and this is the one with the good stuff in it. To get to its valuable content, we have to apply some more command line magic:

cd ~/Desktop/temp/TeamViewer/TeamViewerApp.pkg/
cp Payload ../Payload.gz
cd ..
gunzip Payload.gz
cpio -iv < Payload

Output, output, output, and – look what we’ve got! A “TeamViewer.app” file! 🙂

All that’s left now is to move it to your “Applications” folder, fire it up, and…:

teamviewer

I know – a lot of nerd stuff to accomplish to come here. But if somebody asks you why, you can proudly answer: “Because I can!”

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