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Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks, Second Edition by Ernest E. Rothman, Brian Jepson

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Chapter 11. Fink

Fink is essentially a port of the Debian Advanced Package Tool (APT), with some frontends and its own centralized collection site, which stores packaged binaries, source code, and patches needed to build software on Mac OS X. The Fink package manager allows you to install a package, choosing whether to install it from source or a binary package. Consistent with Debian, binary package files are in the dpkg format with a .deb extension and are managed with the ported Debian tools dpkg and apt-get.

Fink also provides tools that create a .deb package from source. It maintains a database of installed software that identifies packages by the combination of name, version, and revision. Moreover, Fink understands dependencies, uses rsync to propagate software updates, supports uninstallation, and makes it easy to see available packages and installed packages. Fink can be used to install over a thousand Unix packages that are freely available and will run on Mac OS X. Fink recognizes and supports Apple’s X11 implementation for running X windows applications, but you can also use Fink to install XFree86 if you prefer.

Fink installs itself and all of its packages, with the exception of XFree86, in a directory named /sw, thus completely separating it from the main /usr system directory. If problems occur with Fink-installed packages, you can simply delete the entire /sw directory tree without affecting your system.

Installing Fink

You can install Fink from binary, from a ...

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