How to create a VST3 plugin installer for Mac OS in a Windows system?

Hey all!

I’m trying to package my VST3 plugin for distribution on a Mac OS system but I’m working on a Windows laptop.
I tried following this tutorial but my laptop (which runs on Windows 10) obviously cannot run the Packages software because it’s a .dmg installer (i.e. it’s made for Mac OS).

Does anybody know how I could distribute my plugin for Mac without actually working on a Mac computer? :wink:

Any help would be very much appreciated!!

Technically its probably possible if you use cloud based CI services but even that’s not really advisable because how are you going to test it actually works?

Thanks for your answer!
I’m using the Juce Plug-In Host to test if my plugin works if I was to use it on a DAW or whatever… So all I need is to find a way to create Mac installer :slight_smile:

Is this an open source project? (I ask because there are free CI tools for OSS).

Testing in the JUCE Audio Plugin Host is a good first step but it doesn’t really cover all environments. You’ll need to test in at least a handful of the top hosts on each platform you target.
For example, the JUCE A.P.H. doesn’t have any notion of a playhead so there are differences between hosts and the order they call things.
I created pluginval to help with the testing process which you might also want to use.

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Unfortunately, no it’s not…

Thank you, I’ll have a look at it!

In theory you could use Azure Pipelines to build your macOS version (the free tier gives 30 hours/month of build time, and doesn’t require it to be an OSS endeavour). To create the installer you could use the pkgbuild and productbuild command line utilities (which Packages is more or a less a glorified wrapper for), the Surge VST repository would be a good resource to learn how that works. However I think you’ll find it really difficult to get the build working flawlessly without access to a real Mac (or hackintosh). Also you’ll need an Apple developer ID in order to be able to sign your binaries and installer, and for the notarisation process so that the installer will even work on the latest macOS.
It’s really a good idea to actually test your plugins on both platforms. I use Azure to build my Windows versions, and I’ve already been bitten when sending out test versions that I was too lazy to go into Windows and check myself that were just fundamentally broken because of some platform anomaly (not because of JUCE, but my own stupidity).
If you don’t mind probably spending a day troubleshooting you could set up a hackintosh on your PC if you have the right hardware, or pick up a 2nd hand Mac of some description.


It’s not enough to create an installer for Mac, you need to separately build your plugin for Mac Os.


Yes, my bad. Thanks :wink:

Thanks a million richie.

Yes I think I’ll do just that :slight_smile:

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