Today’s post is going to show you how to install Xcode. This post is for people who are new to the Mac and want to try there hand at programming. The Xcode developer tools allow anyone to create Mac applications (as well as other cool stuff). I have recently begun learning the application and how to program for Mac over the last couple of weeks, as a result it seemed a good post. Xcode isn’t normally found on your Mac, so people who don’t know how to install it may find the process a little confusing.
The first step in installing Xcode is to have the binary files. The most common (and quickest) way to do this is to pop your installation disk into the slot drive and allow it to load. The second method is to head over the the Apple developer website and download it from there. You do have to sign up on the Apple website and the download is quite large. It is quicker to find your installation disk and run it from there. When you Mac loads the disk, select Optional Installs the from list.
Throughout this tutorial I will be running it from the install disk that comes with your Mac. The download process may slightly differ in steps.
Within the Optional Installs folder select Xcode. The other package in the list allows you to reinstall apps such as iCal and Mail to name a few, it also has language files and printer drivers to select. This is useful if you ever need to reinstall anything.
As you run through the installation you will eventually be greeted with the options to install different parts of Xcode. The essential package is always needed, however system tools, UNIX support, documentation and Mac OS X 10.4 support is optional. I recommend you install the documentation and system tools, both of these are quite useful especially the system tools option. The UNIX dev support is only need if you want to play around with some high level stuff. For more information read the little description box. If you ever find your need some of the products in the list you can always insert your CD again and reinstall the missing apps.
The installation process will then run. Depending on the speed of your DVD drive this will take about 30 minutes. Unless you choose otherwise the files will be places in /Developer, the root of your drive. I recommend this spot since it is in an easy location to remember and seems to come recommend by Apple. You can chose to install it in other locations, just select the option when it appears.
When everything is done Xcode will be installed. The installation processes brings across a lot of other files, most of which you will never need. However as you develop your applications you may find they become useful. The majority of the cool stuff is in Applications (where the main programs are installed) and in Library. Take a look around to see all of the new shiny programs.
When you are done your can begin writing your applications and using cool Mac technologies such as Quartz Composer. If you need a little help I recommend searching the web, as well as visiting CocoaLab, is always a good start as they have a cool eBook you can download. If you want an actual book to read, Xcode 3 Unleashed comes recommended and one of my readers enjoys Learn Xcode. I am currently reading (and will eventually be reviewing) Beginning Mac Programming, so I stay tuned.
If you have any comments or questions please leave a comment below.