The Fink Project is a mechanism for obtaining, installing, and keeping up-to-date a wide variety of open source applications on your Macintosh. The project itself is made up of volunteers who are dedicated to bringing the best open source software to Mac OS X. They fine-tune these open source applications for the Mac OS X environment, and then keep the applications updated so they work with the latest release of Mac OS X.

Many of the programs featured in this chapter are available through Fink, as is a wealth of other applications. To install Fink, do the following:

  1. Download the Fink binary installer disk image (a .dmg file) from

  2. If your web browser doesn’t automatically open the disk image, switch to the Finder and double-click the .dmg file to mount the disk image.

  3. Open the mounted disk image and double-click the Fink Installer .pkg package inside.

  4. Follow the instructions on the screen.


You can also find an installer for many open source applications by selecting the “Get Mac OS X Software . . . " menu from the Apple menu, which opens a web browser and takes you to the Apple web site. From there, find and click on the “Unix & Open Source” link, which offers a list of useful Unix applications. The advantage of using Fink is that it will manage thousands of available packages, making sure that you have the latest versions and that different packages cooperate with each other.

To begin using Fink, you need to set up your PATH and some environment ...

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