Like every good mechanic, there’s a tool that you have that you may only use once in a great while, but when you need it, it’s there, and you can sigh a contented “Ahhhhh” of relief, knowing that it will do the trick for you. Pacifist from CharlesSoft is that one-trick pony that does its trick very well indeed.

The description from the web site says it all: “Pacifist 2.0 is a shareware application that opens Mac OS X .pkg package files, .dmg disk images, and .tar, .tgz, and .tar.gz file archives and allows you to extract individual files and folders out of them. This is useful, for instance, if an application which is installed by the operating system becomes damaged and needs to be reinstalled without the hassle of reinstalling all of Mac OS X. Pacifist is also able to verify existing installations and find missing or altered files, and Pacifist can also examine the kernel extensions installed in your system to let you see what installer installed them, and whether the installer was made by Apple or a third-party.”

For example, while overzealously cleaning up your Applications folder, you delete GarageBand. Or, when you installed iLife, you decided not to install Garageband. With Pacifist, simply open the installer package from the CD/DVD and drag the GarageBand folder to your Desktop or Applications folder. Nice! And like I said, you probably won’t use it much, but when you need it, it’ll be there. “Ahhhhh.” Great tool for tech support consultants. $20.00.

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