In a previous post I wrote about the Fink package manager. MacPorts is another popular tool for installing and managing open source software on Mac OS X. There are a number of overlaps with the two packages, however, they are not one in the same.
The MacPorts project currently distributes 4553 ports, organized across 76 different categories (as of March 2008). An impressive list.
As far as installation, both Fink and MacPorts are available as a dmg file. I manually added the following path information in my .bash_profile file (in the home directory):
> export PATH=/opt/local/bin:/opt/local/sbin:$PATH
With everything installed, here are a few commands to get you going, beginning with a list of available ports:
> port list | more
Search for a port:
> port search vim
To get additional information about a port:
> port info vim
To install a port:
> sudo port install vim
It’s recommended to run the following command on a regular basis to keep the port list current:
> sudo port -v selfupdate
You can find a summary of how to use MacPorts here.
If you are looking for a recommendation as to which to install (Fink versus MacPorts), as the list of available software seems more comprehensive with MacPorts and their website offers an abundance of information and relevant links, I’d lean towards trying MacPorts first.