In Windows I can create self-extracting archives, which end in exe instead of rar, and then you don't need to have an unarchiver available to extract them. How can I create a self-extracting archive for Mac?

I need to distribute for download a large (100 mb when compressed) archive from a server to many mac users. I'd rather use a better compression like RAR or LZMA, but I need to be sure that it can be opened by everyone without needing to install anything.


OSX contains an unarchiver so you don't need the equivalent of a .exe so you can extract on any machine and not be stuck as you are on a Mac when you receive a Windows self-extracting archive

To archive select the files in Finder. Command-click or right-click and choose compress from the menu - you will get Archive.zip. To unzip just double click on the .zip file

The tool that does the unarchiving is Archive Utility.app and understands various compression schemes from Wikipaedia including bzip2 which can be better than zip - but you need to compress using a command line tool bzip2

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  • I think he wants to create them. He doesn't want to know how to create/decompress an archive. He's looking for an equivalent for Mac OS. – dertkw Jul 28 '11 at 12:54
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    @timboo And the point is that there's no need for self-extracting archives on a Mac, because a Mac can extract archives out of the box. Self-extracting archives were a necessary evil over a decade ago on Windows, since Windows didn't have any built-in archive utility. Those times are long gone, there's basically no advantage for these technological dinosaurs anymore. – deceze Jul 28 '11 at 14:35
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    my comment is that you don't need an equivalent for OSX - zip/unzip is built in – mmmmmm Jul 28 '11 at 14:35
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    Mark, @deceze Well, I know that it's not usual. However he asked it, Stuffit Deluxe can provide that functionality and the OP seems to be happy with the answer. So what is this discussion here about? – dertkw Jul 28 '11 at 15:45
  • @Mark, you're wrong, because I want to compress to a 7z archive, and that I don't think Mac supports out the box, so I need a self-extractor. – Shimmy Weitzhandler Oct 1 '14 at 0:07

According to the StuffIt for Mac comparison page and an ehow howto, the Deluxe version can create self-extracting archives.

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    There's no reason to do this, nor to purchase a more expensive version to get this functionality. This is a marketing gimmick aimed more at switchers who have always needed extra software to handle archives. – Bryson Aug 3 '11 at 19:13

Also 7zX (Freeware) has the ability to create self-extracting archives. But I didn't know if the is a possibility to run or execute some code after extraction.

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