MacPorts

Version: 2.1.3 || Release Date: 2013-01-31 || License: BSD License App Owner: marcus

The MacPorts Project's main goal is to provide an easy way to install various open-source software products on the Darwin OS family (OpenDarwin, Mac OS X and Darwin)

There are currently about 6364 completed and usable ports, with more being added on a regular basis. You can track recently added ports by subscribing to the macports-changes mailing list.

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18 Opinions

My overall experience with MacPorts has been constant errors and failed installations. Dependencies that are not installing for some reason and lots (and lots) of frustration.

I don't know if it's solely MacPort's fault, but rather perhaps a huge con with all package managers, who rely very heavily on dependencies to build and run.

While I will say that macports is fine, if you don't know how to do much with unix, as a power user it just isn't good enough.

Not only are a great deal of its packages out of date, but it overwrites any you may have installed yourself, if something needs it as a dependency... which makes for one hell of a time recompiling and installing the current versions yourself...

Yes, it's awesome. But not necessarily in a positive way.

Sure, you can get a lot of software installed more or less automagically, usually without errors. The problem is dependency hell - it seems bent on replacing more or less every program that comes included in OS X. Let me give you a few examples. The last couple of months I've been toying with various functional languages and revision control programs. All these should seem pretty standard fare that should run more or less out of the box, right? Wrong.

Git (Linus Torvalds new Bitkeeper replacement): This is listed as dependent on perl5.8. No problem you say, Perl 5.8.6 is included in Tiger. Ah, but MacPorts insist on building 5.8.8, and most people who've had multiple perls installed know that it's usually not a good idea (especially if using mod_perl). Browsing through the Git source code I can't find a single Perl script containing a <code>require 5.8.8</code>, and anyway most of them are copyright 2005, when 5.8.8 wasn't even released.

Darcs (another fine revision control system): This requires ghc, which is natural since it is written in Haskell. Fine, I've planning to take a look at Haskell for ages. But wait, ghc also requires Perl 5.8.8. Darn. Think I'll go looking for precompiled binaries instead.

Erlang (concurrent programmling language): Should be pretty straightforward, except it's dependent on tk. Ok, despite it's datedness Tk is nice enough, so why not? Because it insists on building and install XFree86, that's why not. Jeez! Perl and Python can run it without X11, so no reason Erlang can't. Besides, who actually use XFree86 these days?

Other stupidities: Inkscape -> dbus (fair enough) -> docbook-xml-4.1.2 (huh? generating HTML documentation is now a required dependency?!). Or GNUCash -> Firefox-X11 (despite that you most likely have Firefox already installed). I'm tempted to mention that pdftk requires a rebuild of GCC and the better part of a day , but in all fairness that's not MacPorts' fault.

Still, I'm tempted to agree that the principle of building from source is flawed and go back to binary packages, were it not for that the alternative also sucks quite a bit. After three years using Ubuntu where Stuff Just Works, it's a rare sight to see the Mac stuff looking like a kludge compared to Linux.

i cannot believe this is free. it's an awesome resource!

@bitnix : To setup your PATH, put this line in your .bash_profile:

PATH=/usr/local/bin:/opt/local/bin:$PATH

That works for me, at least (yeah, I also thought .profile and .bashrc would be the right place, but apparently not in Darwin).

Though I do like this, I won't be able to make much use of it until it supports binary packages like Fink (which as far as I can tell, it currently doesn't). Who wants to be compiling all the time?

Just a quickie question (I'm sorry for asking in here, but...) :

Most of the time when I install commands with this (or when I build them manually), they never seem to 'kick in', as they don't seem to be in my PATH. Now, I know this is super basic stuff, and there are numerous info places on the web, but I'm still confused; exactly which profile file am I supposed to edit on my system (OSX 10.4.10 using bash), and it would be great to see an actual example on how it could look like in that file. (I realize I should ask this somewhere else, but I'm so desperate to get this PATH enigma over with.)

Also check out <a href="http://osx.iusethis.com/app/porticus">http://osx.iusethis.com/app/porticus</a> for a GUI package manager.

* macports now handles over 3700 ports
* it can be found at www.macports.org
* the installation takes up very little space

I like it better than fink (seems more polished), but offers less than half the software (ports/packages). Of course nothing stops you from using both.
http://darwinports.opendarwin.org/ports/ (3420 ports)
vs.
http://pdb.finkproject.org/pdb/index.php (7591 packages)

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