I have old macbooks with Lion. Because these are testing machines for different tasks, many reinstallations happens. Downloading the Xcode from the AppStore every time (2.5GB) is slow. Further complicating matters is the "download size" of Xcode 4.3.6 (the latest Xcode for Lion) is 2.5GB, but the application size in /Applications is 3.5GB - so happens some unpacking or so.. and want ensure than the simple copy of the Xcode.app is safe as I don't want a heavy solution that requires:

  • time machine
  • SuperDuper or command line dd nor any other disk-copy utility
  • any other backup strategy - incremnetal or not...

Simpy want to know:

  • is enough copy the Xcode.app from the /Applications folder to another machine?
  • when I just installed the Xcode from the AppStore, is enough copy the Xcode.app to another notebook (same HW, same OS version).
  • if not - why - what is the difference in the RESULT (exactly) between copy and installing Xcode from the AppStore.

How can I safely reuse one download for multiple installs?

  • Did you try just to copy Xcode.app to a newly installed Mac to see whether it works or not?
    – nohillside
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 16:21
  • 1
    @patrix It seems - it is working. But, maybe i didin't tested every aspect... Cos, asking... :)
    – clt60
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 16:25

1 Answer 1


I believe your best option is to use SuperDuper! to make a backup image of each machine with a clean instal of the OS and any software you know will be needed for testing every time. Once you have created the backup image it will make reinstalls much faster and easier.

I have not tried copying the Xcode.app before, but I think you would be missing a lot of preferences and command line tools if all you copied was the app.

EDIT: If you download Xcode from the App Store and copy that Xcode.app package to another machine without ever launching it, it should work fine. There should be no preference files or app support until after the first time Xcode is launched. From my point of view though, this is not a very useful way of putting test/development machines together though because when I use Xcode I have it set-up a certain way with command line tools installed which would need to be done on each machine when you copy the Xcode.app.

  • 1
    This is the preferred strategy since Xcode not only installs new components and downloads them from Apple (SDK, documentation sets, etc...) but to use Xcode, you need the OS version that it expects in many cases.
    – bmike
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 15:12
  • @bmike Sorry, for this comment - but can't resist: Q: If now I have an omelet in a pan, it will also tastes when move it to the plate? A: The best way to make an omelet, use a machine Hyper Omelette 2000, which in addition to baking omelets is also able to automatically dispense eggs at the required time... I'm really looking only the answers about the copying the Xcode.app. Thank you anyway... ;) :)
    – clt60
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 16:10
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    I love a good metaphor, but food is the end result (apps in the Xcode world) and you're talking about the tools needed to make an omelet, not the results, no? Good work editing your post, but this answer is still valid (at least in my eyes) even if it's not perhaps the answer you wanted.
    – bmike
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 16:16
  • @bmike - nwm - marking for a delete - was a mistake asking... And btw, in THIS CASE - the result is Xcode - and not the apps. I want to know - is enough to copy Xcode.app? No answers...
    – clt60
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 16:27
  • 1
    I wouldn't say its in need of deletion. It probably will get a good answer within a week..
    – bmike
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 17:34

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