I was trying to extract the contents of a .pkg file, and right clicking on it should usually allow the context sensitive Show Package Contents option. However, it does not seem to show on any .pkg file I can find on my system.

I have since expanded the contents on the command line using this command:

StuffeMac:Desktop stuffe$ pkgutil --expand AirPortUtility56.pkg ./dan2/

Which worked fine, and inside this package was another .pkg file. Right clicking on this and Show Package Contents is back again, but only for the one I just expanded...

What's going on?

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Show Package Contents is not for showing the contents of .pkg files, it's for showing the hidden structure for Applications (and other bundles), which are actually folders. You can use the program Pacifist to look at the contents of .pkg files.

To answer the question in your comment, here's how you can tell in Terminal. When you perform an ls -l command, directories have d as the first character in the line.

516 $ ls -l
drwxr-xr-x    3 steve  admin         102 Jan  6  2011 Form Viewer.app
drwxrwxrwx@   3 root   admin         102 Jan 18  2010 FormViewerFonts.pkg
-rw-r--r--@   1 steve  staff  2157020198 Jun 30  2012 MacTeX-2012.pkg

In this example, the first two entries are bundles and the last isn't.

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  • Is there some way of telling if a file ending in .pkg is actually a bundle or something else? In this instance both the original file and the contents of that file were .pkg files – stuffe Dec 17 '13 at 19:30
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    If it's a bundle, Show Package Contents will show up in the context menu. If not, it won't. You can also look at it in Terminal. A bundle's structure isn't hidden there. If it's a bundle it shows up as a directory. – SSteve Dec 17 '13 at 19:37
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    Any idea what makes a directory show as a package as opposed to as a regular directory? – Dan Rosenstark Apr 7 '17 at 23:39
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    @DanRosenstark Nope. You should post that as a question so we can both find out. – SSteve Apr 8 '17 at 4:32
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    Not my best question-asking, but anyway: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/280280/… – Dan Rosenstark Apr 10 '17 at 17:06

Quick and Easy:

  • "Duplicate" package file.
  • Righ-Click and Run "Show package contents" on the duplicate file
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  • Welcome to Ask Different and thank you for your answer. :) Unfortunately, short answers such as this don't really provide enough detail or context to help many users. If possible, it'd be good if you could add some more info on how to duplicate the file and how to "Show package contents" as many users may not know how to do these things. Also, you may want to read How to Answer for tips on providing answers here. – Monomeeth Nov 22 '18 at 4:33

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