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Mac OS X Hacks by Rael Dornfest, Kevin Hemenway

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Installing Unix Applications with Fink

Apple’s latest OS now gives you a wide range of software from two different worlds: our beloved Mac and open source. Thanks to utilities like Fink, installation is about as simple on the command line as it is in the GUI.

Fink appeared shortly after Mac OS X started picking up speed and, through constant development by the open source community, has become a powerful utility for installing other open source software. Fink itself is based on open source utilities that have been available under Debian: dpkg , dselect, and apt-get. Those utilities (installed with Fink) can be used seperately, or you can run them together through the made-for-OS X Fink utility. One of the nicer aspects of Fink is that it will install Unix code only in a root directory called sw, ensuring that you won’t mess up your current OS X installation (or corrupt existing files).

Since a good portion of the packages available through Fink are shell-based, let’s set about installing Fink through the shell as much as possible. These steps were written using Fink v0.40a, the latest release at the time of this writing:

% curl -LO http://us.dl.sourceforge.net/fink/fink-0.4.0a-installer.dmg
% open "fink-0.4.0a-installer.dmg"
% cd "/Volumes/Fink 0.4.0a Installer/"
% open "Fink 0.4.0a Installer.pkg"

The first command uses curl to download the file [Hack #61] into a local copy called fink-0.4.0a-installer.dmg. We then use open [Hack #54] to use the default Finder application ...

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