X Plugin Manager and SPK Tools for Mac v. 1.21 and AP Bonus Pack How-To (5/4/2012)

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X Plugin Manager and SPK Tools for Mac v. 1.21 and AP Bonus Pack How-To (5/4/2012)

Post by icEPiraka » Sun, 9. Oct 11, 05:38

--------X Plugin Manager and Tools for Mac v. 1.21----------

by icEPiraka.

Download Here

Requirements: Intel Mac, OSX 10.5 and above, with X3TC or X3AP installed.

This is a port of Cycrow's X Plugin Manager Lite and SPK tools for the Mac. It uses Wineskin technology that effectively wraps the windows Plugin Manager inside an interface, allowing the Mac OS to use it.

--Installation and Running:
Drag the app's folder to your hard desktop/hard drive.
Because of (perhaps unfortunate) side-effects of Cycrow's recent update of the Plugin Manager, the app now needs the PC TC/AP .exe in order to work. To remedy this, you will need to place a dummy .exe (either x3tc.exe or x3ap.exe, both have been provided for you in the Plugin Manager folder) into your game's data folder.

The directory of the data folder may vary depending upon your distribution of TC/AP. I believe the three primary distributors are macgamestore.com, Deliver2Mac.com, and the Apple App Store. I have listed likely directories for the game's data folder for each distribution.

Here is an example of a TC directory from macgamestore.com:

Code: Select all

Z:\Applications\X3 Terran Conflict\Data
Here is a possible AP directory from a Deliver2Mac install:

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Z:\Users\Shared\Deliver2Mac\Accounts\<Account Name Here>\Installs\X3ALBIONPRELUDE\Data
And here is a likely AP directory from an Apple App Store install:

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Z:\Applications\X3 Albion Prelude.app\Contents\Resources\Data
Before running the Plugin Manager app, you may need to alter the file permissions on your data folder. This is accomplished with right clicking the folder, selecting "Get Info", and editing the permissions to "Read and Write" for all users in the "Sharing and Permissions" section. Note that this may require administrator privileges.

On the first run, you will need to find and open the dummy .exe so that the manager will add the data folder as a new directory. Remember that this app still thinks that it is running inside windows, so when you choose the location of you data folder, the directories will be organized as such. No problem: just note that to get to the Macintosh HD when browsing your directory, the HD is the Z drive (Z: ) inside My Computer. You will need to use the drowdown menu to navigate at first. Below is a picture for reference:


Do not try to launch TC/AP from inside the app: it will not work, as you will essentially be trying to execute a blank text file.

Otherwise, all functionality should be identical to that of Cycrow's original. No issues should exist at this time.

--Notes on Using Other Utilities:
This app also comes with six other utilities: X Plugin Manager Advanced, Cycrow's package creator, SPK explorer, XSP converter, Mod Merger, and a command line tool. Their true location is directly inside the package contents of the X Plugin Manager app, so to access them, right click on the Plugin Manager app and select "Show Package Contents".

If you wand advanced control over mod installation (such as organization of false patches), consider using the Advanced Plugin Manager. Usage of the package creator, spk explorer, mod merger, and xsp converter should parallel the operation of the windows version, although I have not tested them thoroughly.

The command line app allows you to use Cycrow's command line utilities for spk files. This can be slightly tricky and annoying, since it takes a bit of searching to find these command line tools. Here's an example of how to extract the contents of an spk file:

1. Assuming the Package contents of the Plugin Manager app are revealed, locate and open the alias to the drive_c folder and navigate to Program Files/Egosoft/X Plugin Manager/Tools/. Place the .spk file here.

Note that you may wish to create an alias to the tools folder for easy access.

2. Start up the Command line app and type the following (this command changes directory to the Tools folder) and hit enter:

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cd C:\Program Files\Egosoft\X Plugin Manager\Tools\
3. Extract the files using spktool.exe with the following command:

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spktool.exe -e SPKFileNameHere.spk
The files inside the spk file are now extracted to the Tools folder where you originally placed the spk. They may now be installed manually into your Data folder or Addons folder.

In short, the SPKTools retain the same functionality as in windows, but I recommend placing all the files you will manipulate and doing all your work inside the Tools folder, just to be safe.

--Installing the TC/AP Bonus Packs and Mods in .exe Format:
Once you've downloaded the installer .exe, right click it, select "Open With" > "Other…", and select the X Plugin Manager from your computer. You will have to give the installer an install destination. For installing the AP Bonus Pack, give it the directory to the Addons folder. For the TC Bonus Pack, just give it the Data folder. Then proceed with install (see above on info on data folder directories). Below is a picture on where to find your HD:


Assuming all that works and completes successfully, you now have a TC/AP install with the Bonus Pack. The same should also work for installing mods with .exe installers (such as the famed Xtended mod), but make sure to consult the mod's developer on which folder to install to (Data or Addons).

Move the X Plugin Manager folder and the dummy .exe in the data folder to the trash. The preference files for the app should be located inside Documents/Egosoft/, so for a full install, drag the following .dat files to the trash: pluginmanager.dat, creator.dat, spkexplorer.dat, etc. Your TC/AP install should not be adversely affected, but you may not be able to uninstall spks you installed with the Plugin Manager without the manager.

Original X Plugin Manager v. 1.41 by Cycrow
Wineskin technology by doh123, wineskin.doh123.com
This app was made with Wineskin Winery 1.5
Wineskin 2.5.5
WS9Wine 1.5.2 Engine

---Version History---

v. 1.21 (5/4/2012)
Added Advanced Plugin Manager app.

v. 1.2 (4/23/2012)
Updated Wrapper and Wine versions. All glitches with regards to .NET and windows should be eliminated.
Mod Merger app now available.

v.1.1 (1/10/2012):
Updated to Cycrow's v. 1.40 of the Plugin Manager: App is now AP Compatible
XSP Converter now available

v.1.01 (10/29/2011):
Fixed .NET glitch where drop-down menus are not visible.
Reduced the file size of the app to a small degree.
Aliases to the Tools folder and other utilities are provided for easy access.

v1.0 (10/8/2011):
Initial Release.

I encourage any Mac user reading this to try out the Plugin Manager and to give feedback, problems, etc.
Last edited by icEPiraka on Wed, 8. Aug 12, 20:35, edited 12 times in total.

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Post by icEPiraka » Sat, 29. Oct 11, 22:46

Just a minor update:

v.1.01 (10/29/2011):
Fixed .NET glitch where drop-down menus are not visible.
Reduced the file size of the app to a small degree.
Aliases to the Tools folder and other utilities are provided for easy access.

Again, I encourage any Mac user out there to try this out and give feedback, at least so that I know my effort isn't for nothing.

Also, if the moderators could place a link to this topic in one of the tutorials and resources stickies, that would be appreciated.

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Post by icEPiraka » Tue, 10. Jan 12, 23:16

Another update:

v.1.1 (1/10/2012):
Updated to Cycrow's v. 1.40 of the Plugin Manager: App is now AP Compatible
XSP Converter now available.

So now you Mac AP players should be able to enjoy the mods/scripts.

A note to Egosoft about the dummy x3tc.exe and x3ap.exe: just so we are clear, these are not the games's actual .exes; they are merely blank text files that have been renamed into .exes for the purpose of tricking Cycrow's plugin manager into working on Macs. I am not ripping off any game files whatsoever.

I am now going to try some experiments for installing the Bonus Pack on AP, so stay tuned.

EDIT: I believe I have successfully installed the AP bonus pack using the Command line tool, so if you want to install the Bonus Pack using the X Plugin Manager tools, here's how (should also work for TC):

Download the Bonus Pack installer and place it inside the Tools folder in the Plugin Manager folder. From here, you do nearly the same thing you do for running the command line spk tools (change directory, type in installer name, hit enter, etc.). The installer should now run, and you will want to install the bonus pack in the addons folder inside your data folder. As a sidenote, you should manually back up your savegames, as opposed to letting the installer do it for you.

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Post by svenje » Wed, 11. Jan 12, 19:34

thx for the tools. Going to try it tonight on my mac book pro.

late 2008 model
2,53 dual proc
6Gb ram
Nvidia Gforce 9600M GT 512 ram
OSX Lion 10.7.2 11C74

Will let u know if it works or if I would find any problem

oki First problem: The aliasses doesn't work or I do something wrong. If I do Show info the allias reffers to /Users/icEPiraka/Desktop/X Plugin Manager/X Plugin Manager.app/Contents/Resources/drive_c/Program Files/Egosoft/X Plugin Manager/Tools

oki I <was able to make a new shortcut for the tools folder. but I'm stuck to makeone for the command line.

btw I'm trying to install the bonus pack

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Post by svenje » Wed, 11. Jan 12, 21:36

oki I did it to install the bonuspack for X3 Albion Prelude.

it was a bit of a strange way but this is what I done.

sory for my bad english. I'm belgian. :)

First I had to make a new allias for the "Tools alias" map.

Gonna explain a bit how I did it for those who doesn't have the experiance.

Right click on the the file "X Plugin Manager" then select " Show content"

then go to "drive_c" >> "Program Files" >> "Egosoft >> "X Plugin Manager"

right click on the map " Tools" and choose Make alias ( or make shortcut. not sure what it says in the english versions of osx)

Right click on the new created map called " Tools allias" and choose "cut" or "copy"

then go back to the first map where the original map " Tools allias" is. Remove that file and then paste the map " Tools alias" you just made. ( remeber the one you had to copy or cut.)

So now that this is done you can drag ure spk file to that map without getting an error.

Now the fun part. Getting that bonus pack installed. YEAY finaly.

Copy the Bonus pack file to the "Tools alias" map

Then Right click on the file "X Plugin Manager" and choose "Show Content"
Start the program called "wineskin" but don't click on one of the buttons. Just leave it as it is.
Start the " Command Line"
Yuo will see a black box with some white text. ( Good old DOS :p)
then type cd C:\Program Files\Egosoft\X Plugin Manager\Tools\
then type X3AP_Bonus_Pack_5.1.0.0

An instalation program will begin. Just confirm every screen without changing anything.
That instalation file will make it able to copy and paste the files to the "t" and script maps
Once that is done just close the instalation program.

Oki So all the files are ready to be copied to the game.
This is how it will be done.

The files can be found in the Content of "X Plugin Manager"
Right click on the file " X plugin Manager" and choose " Show content"

Then go to Contents >> Resources >> drive_c >> Program Files >> Steam >> steamapps >>common >> x3 terran conflict
Here in this map you will need to copy the files inside the " t " and script map to the game file in ure programs map. You can also find the pdf file with some info on how to use the extra features from the bonus pack.


This is how I installed the bonus pack. I have not tried it to install other mods or addons.

Note to the maker of the X Plugin Manager :
I think the program would work fine it you can try to find around the problem that aliasses are local and if we download and install it it will always reffer to YOURE hard disk drive. Thats the major problem atm.

Hope it helped some players.

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Post by icEPiraka » Wed, 11. Jan 12, 23:39

Thanks for catching that alias mistake. I'm not quite sure what happened there, so I'll have to investigate. I'm glad to see that it all worked out in the end for you, although I don't think you need to start up the wineskin app itself in order to run the Command Line app, it should just run on its own. Also, you should be able to install the Bonus Pack directly into AP's addons folder.

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Post by LewnWorx » Thu, 12. Jan 12, 00:04

My attempt to clarify svenje's findings above:

Svenje is correct, when you download the mac plugin manager, the "tools" alias points to the drive it was created on and will not work, so you need to delete that one and put a new "good" one that references your specific drive.

What made this a bit unclear to me was Svenje's use of the word "map". Apparently that's Belgian for "folder".

So based on his explanation (don't get me wrong, his grasp of English is way better than my grasp of Belgian (non existent)).

So for you english speaking mac folks: Download and install the plugin manager. In its folder, look for an alias called "tools alias". Delete that.

Right click on the "X Plugin Manager" icon and "Show Package Contents"

In that folder, drill down into the "drive_c" alias as follows:

drive_c/program files/Egosoft/X Plugin Manager/

In the X Plugin Manager folder is a "Tools" folder. Make an alias of this and copy it back up to the top level X Plugin Manager folder. (This is the first folder you installed that has the Readme file in it and the x3ap.exe and x3tc.exe dummy files in it).

In my case I've got X3 AP installed via the Deliver2Mac Client, but regardless of how or where you got your X3 AP (Mac App Store, Deliver2Mac, etc.) you just need to find where the actual game is installed.

For Deliver2Mac installs with default settings this will be in your boot volume (Typically Macintosh HD if you haven't renamed it).

The path for Deliver2Mac will be:

<your boot drive name>/Users/Shared/Deliver2Mac/Accounts/<Your Deliver2Mac Account Name>/Installs/X3ALBIONPRELUDE/Data/

This is where you need to put a copy of the x3ap.exe dummy file.

At this point you should be able to launch the X Plugin Manager and it should work.

I would suspect the process for the Mac App Store version will be similar with only the install folder locations being somewhat different.

Hope that helps, and thanks Svenje for figuring out the broken alias bit. I don't think there's any way short of having a real install app they can run post install scripts to dynamically generate new aliases so it looks like everyone will need to manually fix this bit themselves.


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Post by svenje » Thu, 12. Jan 12, 17:34

yeah sry for that "map" word. forgot it had to be folder.

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Post by icEPiraka » Thu, 12. Jan 12, 21:39

Alright, so it appears aliases are too much of a hassle, so I shall soon upload a new package without aliases. Anyone who already has the app can just delete the ones they see in the Plugin Manager folder. You can still access all the extra apps by performing a right click on the X Plugin Manager app and selecting "Show Package Contents". Note that there is also an alias to the drive_c folder. This is for sure a working alias (so don't delete it!), and should still make installing the bonus pack easy:

1. Place the bonus pack .exe in the drive_c folder.
2. Open up the Command Line app, type: cd C:\ and hit enter.
3. Type the installer file's name in and hit enter, and proceed with install.

The only inconvenience is that anyone who wants to use the command line spk tools will have to do a bit of digging around. I shall soon update the documentation.

Also, I believe the bonus pack method should also work similarly for Terran Conflict.

EDIT: Document updates are complete. I would like to add that you can also use the bonus pack method to install mods with .exe installer files, like the Xtended mod.

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Post by svenje » Thu, 12. Jan 12, 23:57

Hmm whats a fast way to see if the bonus pack is installed?

Something ingame if possible

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Post by Cycrow » Thu, 12. Jan 12, 23:58

there should be hotkeys available.

go into the controls menu > Interface
then scroll to the bottom

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Problems ... Is it cos I am Blond?

Post by Jaydaya » Fri, 13. Jan 12, 19:15

Hi very frustrated Novice Mac X3AP user.

Okay this is what I did achieve:
1. Installed bonus pack in tools
2. Follow the instructions (thanks guys) to open installer

this is where the problems began.

3. Ran installer and came to the request for the location to install the unpacked bonus pack
4. Guessed at location (I have no idea where to put it) and installing failed, so far 3 tries 3 fails!

More information, I downloaded X3AP from the MacApp store. I do not know how to (or where to) open the add-ons folder that I'm supposed to install the bonus pack into.

Does any of this makes sense to you? If it does are you able to assist me? :evil:

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Post by svenje » Fri, 13. Jan 12, 21:30

when u install that bonus pack you have to install it at

/Applications/X3 Albion Prelude.app/Contents/Resources/data

if you have any questions just let it know :)

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Post by LewnWorx » Fri, 13. Jan 12, 22:26


Don't feel bad, you're not alone.

Part of the problem is there's multiple ways of getting the Mac version, and AFAIK, none of them install it the same way.


The easiest way of finding the damn thing is to just run it, then right click on it down in the dock when running and do "options / show in finder" from the context menu.

Once you've located the where they installed the app's installation folder, you should see a "Data" folder. Open that.

There are two paths for the addon's components:

<app install folder>/data/addon/scripts - and -
<app install folder>/data/addon/t

When you get the bonus pack's windows installer to get you the files (various ways of doing this, none of which are particularly elegant) you'll need to put the scripts in the scripts folder above, and the other files in the t folder into the t folder above.

DO NOT confuse this scripts folder with the one at <app install folder>/data/scripts. Those are the core game files and not to be confused with the addons.

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Post by Jaydaya » Fri, 13. Jan 12, 22:36

Thanks for your advice. I tried it but I am getting an error sign coming up.

It states:

"Folder name cannot include any of the of following: /:*?'<>| ..."

So it won't instal where I would like it to go.

I did start the address with D:\

I feel like its simple ... but ... :x

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