Run shell scripts from the OSX desktop

A quick Mac-related post to share some software I recently discovered and will be using a lot.

Recently I’ve been writing some shell scripts to backup a group of MySQL databases on my development machine (a MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion). The scripts, which use /bin/sh, are working fine, but it was a pain to have to launch a terminal window every time I wanted to run them.

After some googling I found a free MacOS application called Platypus, which takes a shell script and wraps it in a simple application wrapper so you can place it on the desktop or in your Applications folder and run it whenever.


It takes about 5 seconds to enter the details, choose your script file, and compile it into a nicely-packaged application that can be run simply by double-clicking. You can also change the icon if you’re not into cute animals.

Platypus is developed by an Icelandic developer called Sveinbjorn Thordarson. Kudos Sveinbjorn :)


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  1. Thanks for this information, very helpful!


  2. thanks for this post! found it through google as i had the same “problem”. will check it out the software looks interesting

  3. I did the similar thing for my builds as i use ant and shell to do my java app builds. so created a shell wrapper and call ant and other shell script within the wrapper.

  4. That’s a really useful tip. Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Thanks I needed this, Lol first thing i did is change the icon. I hated launching terminal every time.

  6. I use Platypus too, Light, Handy and simple! It’s really useful app on Mac, I recommend it to the others too…

  7. Great piece of information since I use Mac OSX in my office!

  8. Yeah.. and what is interesting, is the support of old powerPC :) very nice

  9. This is an amazing article , and it’s very useful , Thank you for sharing

  10. Nice post bro. Definitely helped me out with a few things.

  11. Interesting post, Thanks for sharing with us.

  12. Thanks for sharing, interesting article. Very useful and can save time and headaches!

  13. Great post also this animal is funny at the top .

  14. Thanks for this, recently got my first mac and I’m slowly learning my way around (everything is so pretty!) :)

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