How to Share Plugin for Testing

Hi I’m working on a plugin and I’m having some people do beta testing for it. I was wondering what the best option was for quickly building a version of the plugin that I could send to them to use on their computers.

Right now I am just copying the plugin files created by the debug build and having them copy it into the plugin folders on their computer. This works on my machine (plugin shows up as a local plugin rather than a user), but it is creating problems when I give it to other people (i.e. it doesn’t work). I’m certain there is a better way to do this. How would I go about creating a “release build” that I could send out for testing?

How about literally doing a release build for starters…? (Your IDE should have a way to do debug or release builds.)

Okay, I tried that. It generates the same files as the debug build, .vst, .component, and .a. I’ll try doing the same with these files and see if it works.

Is there some sort of licensing thing I have to do or should copying these files into the plugin directory work?

Also, how does the .a file relate to the .vst and .component? Is that something they have to be able to see in order to work?

.a is a static library, it’s the shared code element. This file is used to link with each of the formats so they contain the same shared code, as it’s linked statically you don’t need to share it with any users - once all your builds are complete it can be disregarded.

As I gather you are building for mac I highly recommend that you make a simple installer for your beta testers, Packages ( is free, awesome, and very easy to use. Getting it done now means your a step closer to release and your beta testers can test the installation too!

I’ve been using HockeyApp for distributing apps to users (and clients) for testing. There are other services like it, but it works pretty well for my needs.

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Thanks for the advice. This looks like a great option for delivery, will definitely check it out.

I think the problem is actually a difference in which OSX version is being used. I am on El Capitan and I found that the plugin had problems on Yosemite. When I gave it to a beta tester who also uses Capitan it worked fine.

Is there a way I can get backwards compatibility for different versions of OSX?

In the Projucer click on the configuration you will be building (Release), and scroll down the settings until you get to OSX Deployment Target set this to the earliest version of OSX you wish to support. I recommend supporting no earlier than 10.7, supporting 10.6 is a little bit of a pain as you can’t have any c++11 features if I remember correctly.

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Okay thanks I that’s exactly what I was looking for.

I’m having some trouble using Packages for distribution however. The directory to which I am trying to install is not available in Packages.

I’m trying to put the .vst file in /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/ but there is no Audio folder under Library in the payload window. I’ve noticed a lot of other directories are missing as well. Any idea what might be causing this and how I can I fix it?

If all you need is a .pkg file to install with double click, have a look at Apples pkgbuild

Works perfectly for me, however, if you want also embed EULA and all these goodies, Packages will be nice. But I didn’t understand that page as well, there is a + sign at the bottom, but it did not what I expected it to do…

Some of the otherwise standard directories aren’t listed, right click the Library directory and select New Folder and type Audio, then right click that directory and so on.


Okay, got it working now. Thanks so much for all your help!

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