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How to install software packages on a Mac? (MacPorts, Fink, anything better?)

How to install software packages on a Mac? (MacPorts, Fink, anything better?)

On my Mac OS X machine, how would you recommend I install command line software and other packages? I've been using MacPorts and it always seems quite slow, presumably because it has to compile the packages on-the-fly.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 56
Total answers/comments: 2
Guest [Entry]

"I used to use Macports because:

It is generally more up to date
Macports seems to be more common / popular
Everyone else I work with uses it

When I did my own research on this topic when I got my MBP last fall, Macports seemed to be most commonly recommended for reason #1 above, hence reason #2 (and probably reason #3).
Compiling every package doesn't bother me. It is usually fast enough that it doesn't interfere with work. But you might look into port binaries if you're going to use macports.
However, I quit using Macports.
There is also a new tool in this space called Homebrew. I switched from Macports to Homebrew a few weeks ago and I'm pleased as punch. I like:

It doesn't install duplicate libraries - it uses the system's existing libs.
It installs in the user home directory - no sudo required and backs up to TimeMachine.

Homebrew works on Leopard or Snow Leopard, though sometimes Formulas need to be modified on Leopard.
I think all my coworkers have now switched to Homebrew. It is also gaining traction in the Ruby and Erlang (and possibly other OSS?) communities."
Guest [Entry]

"Fink partisan here, because

The packages of interest to particle physicists (like me!) are very up-to-date
I use debian on my linux boxes. The fink command line is a lot like aptitude, and I'm used to the dpkg underpinnings"