Pacifist takes the pain out or reinstalling stock OS X apps

Recently my Address Book app decided it no longer wanted to sync with my online contacts, and what’s worse, the preferences pane was completely blank too. So I couldn’t even re-enable or re-configure the sync.

After an hour of so of frantic googling blog posts kept pointing me in the same direction, and that was Pacifist. Pacifist is a donate ware application which is capable of extracting the pkg files directly out of the setup media’s image. Thus giving the ability to reinstall stock OS X applications without having to reinstall the OS.

Pacifist is a shareware application that opens Mac OS X .pkg package files, .dmg disk images, and .zip, .tar, .tar.gz, .tar.bz2, and .xar archives and allows you to extract individual files and folders out of them. This is useful, for instance, if an application which is installed by the operating system becomes damaged and needs to be reinstalled without the hassle of reinstalling all of Mac OS X, or if you want to inspect a downloaded package to see what it will install before installing it. Pacifist is also able to verify existing installations and find missing or altered files*, and Pacifist can also examine the kernel extensions installed in your system to let you see what installer installed them, and whether the installer was made by Apple or a third-party.

The application has a simple, straightforward interface. An once pointed in the direction of the media it does the rest of the work for you!

As you can see, Pacifist is a powerful little application. However the section that saved my bacon was the ‘Open Apple Installers’. This is where the magic happens. Once you hit this button you’ll be prompted to point the app at your OS X Lion media or DMG file. The app will the pick apart the main installation application and present you with all the PKG files contained within it.

Now all you have to do, is right click on the PKG file your after and click install. That’s it! Within minutes I had reinstalled my OS X Address Book, and resolved my syncing issue! Pacifist will now take pride of place in my utilities folder, and will be my first point of call should I have any further stock app issues!

If you know of another way of resolving Apple application issues without reinstalling OS X, drop me a note below.

You can download Pacifist from http://www.charlessoft.com/

Mike Hudson

Mike Hudson is a Infrastructure Analyst living and working in Kingston Upon Hull. With extensive experience in Microsoft and Apple technologies, ranging from desktop OS’s to Server OS’s and hardware. By day working as part of an infrastructure team, and by night ridding the world of IT issues through blog posts..

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