[ANN] App Playpen - Python GUI App to Help Secure Crappy Apps

Contributor II


We are have posted to our GitHub repository, App Playpen. App Playpen is a python GUI application that provides a framework & automation to secure macOS applications with exceptional requirements. We have developed a methodology of managing enterprise and/or shared environment unfriendly applications that have evolved over the years at the Marriott Library or other locations on campus that we support. We affectionately call it the "Crappy App" model which we use sanitize applications with exceptional requirements.

Originally, we developed this methodology to better secure the Classic environment running in our shared environments. Classic implemented Mac OS 9 running as an application within earlier versions of Mac OS X, allowing you to use your older "Classic" applications. The Classic environment had security & state issues and some Classic applications may not function properly from a System Folder that can't be written, provides a good security measure to prevent startup from Mac OS 9, and ensures that each user starts with a pristine System Folder.

Previously, App Playpen was written in AppleScript and this release is written python & Xcode GUI application using Nibbler to help with GUI creation an attaching to Xcode .nib file and py2app in order to compile the whole project into a launchable application format.

To view the code and/or download it from our GitHub repository:


For more background, on the "App Playpen" or "crappy-app" model, see this blog post:

And I discuss it in this JNUC 2019 presentation available on Youtube:

Building A Custom Set of Tools That Bridge the Support Gap to Jamf | JNUC 2019

Please let us know if you have any feedback or problems.


New Contributor III


I've just discovered App Playpen whilst trying to figure out how to improve our provision of Unreal Editor (the ultimate Crappy App) on our shared teaching machines.  It looks awesome - and just what we need - but unfortunately after I click "OK" on the "Launch & then quit application...click OK button" dialog nothing else happens (I'm currently only testing it on a very small app - textedit - to get used to how it works before braving Unreal).
I've tried a couple of different small apps, and a couple of different host machines (all iMacs running 10.15.7) with the same result.  Are there any logfiles anywhere that might help me figure out what's happening?