Turn a Python, Perl, Ruby, or Shell Script Into a Self Contained Application for Mac OS X

May 22, 2012 - 3 Comments

Script turned into a self contained Mac OS X app

Platypus is an excellent utility that lets you turn virtually any script into a self-contained Mac OS X application. Free and remarkably simple to use, Platypus will support just about any shell script, Perl, Python, PHP, Ruby, Tcl, AppleScript, Expect, and even other scripting languages.

Using the app is easy, drag and drop a script onto the application, give it a name, assign an Output type (progress bar, script output, webkit view, etc), set drag & drop support or not, and adjust a few other variables as necessary. When done configuring, click “Create” to build a self-contained application that holds the script inside. The resulting application is completely portable and runs independently, letting you use the app on your own Mac or elsewhere, allowing for even novice users to perform complex tasks and run scripts that would otherwise be beyond their skill level to even execute.

The possibilities are practically endless so let your creativity go wild, because it’s Playtpus that makes apps like the troubleshooting tool Consultant’s Canary possible.

For a basic yet practical use case, build an app to perform a necessary repetitive task and add it to a users Login Items or put it in the Dock or Launchpad for easy novice access. It certainly beats trying to explain to someone how to run a bash script!


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Posted by: William Pearson in Command Line, Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Ben says:

    How does this differ from Automator, where you can create an application with a Run Script action?

  2. jeff says:

    also might be worth checking out Pashua. i don’t have a lot of experience with either, but there might be some benefits to the UI of pashua


  3. Chris Devers says:

    Err, Consultant’s Canary is just AppleScript, not Platypus.

    My first thought was that it might have been made with Platypus, but that turns out not to be the case, as far as I can tell — the string “Platypus” doesn’t show up anywhere, and the directory structure isn’t quite how Platypus apps look.

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