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Are there tools or guidelines for slimming an OSX installation down to the minimum needed to run particular applications? I would be interested in the case both with or without the GUI layer. A tool could be something like nLite for Windows.

  • Are you looking for the disk or the memory footprint? How big is a standard installation? And which size for a minimal image do you need to move forward? – nohillside Sep 21 '14 at 21:13
  • @patrix: Both eliminating files to reduce storage and services to reduce RAM. No firm limit set yet on resources. Depends on the cost/benefit. – user3720403 Sep 21 '14 at 21:38
  • Without a clear goal and without an indication whether your constraint is disk space or RAM this question will be hard to answer. Also, what have you already tried yourself? – nohillside Sep 21 '14 at 21:42
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    Let's firm up what you intend here. It depends heavily upon what specific version of a specific application you intend to run. For example, you could simply run the open-source darwin code to run ssh and bash. On the other hand, a purist might maintain that if you remove anything from OS X, it's no longer OS X. In this case, the devil is in the details. – bmike Sep 21 '14 at 21:44
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    @bmike: You have become focused on a question other than what I asked. I want tools or guidelines for in general identifying parts of OS X that can be removed. I'm not asking for you to tell me how to solve a particular project. – user3720403 Sep 21 '14 at 22:47
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There are 2 apps that I can think of that might do what you want, wile it is still unclear what you want.

The first one is called the Pacifist and shows you a hierarchical (and searchable) list of every item contained therein in mavericks Installer package.

The second one is used to install customized Mavericks called UniBeast and MuliBeast.

Here are the instructions how to use that.

  • These look helpful, thanks. I have also found appzapper.com. I hope also to find some discussion of what facilities can be safely omitted. – user3720403 Sep 28 '14 at 19:46

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