.app bundle#

A macOS .app bundle is a collection of directory with a specific layout, and with some key metadata. If this structure and metadata exists, macOS treats the folder as an executable file, giving it an icon.

.app bundles can be copied around as if they are a single file. They can also be compressed to reduce their size for transport.

By default, apps will be both signed and notarized when they are packaged.

The .app bundle is a distributable artefact. Alternatively, the .app bundle can be packaged as a .dmg that contains the .app bundle. The default packaging format is .dmg.

Icon format#

macOS .app bundles use .icns format icons.

Splash Image format#

macOS .app bundles do not support splash screens or installer images.

Additional options#

The following options can be provided at the command line when packaging macOS apps.


Do not submit the application for notarization. By default, apps will be submitted for notarization unless they have been signed with an ad-hoc signing identity.

Platform quirks#

Packaging with --adhoc-sign#

Using the --adhoc-sign option on macOS produces an app that will be able to run on your own machine, but won’t run on any other computer. In order to distribute your app to other users, you will need to sign the app with a full signing identity.