Fink and the Intel Mac

Every day or so we get someone coming into #fink asking about running it on Intel Macs. The default answer is “well, it’s totally unsupported,” and we kind of leave it at that, because while things are moving along towards something releasable (and what’s there generally works), we really don’t have time to start supporting end-users asking why such-and-such isn’t there, or why so-and-so doesn’t work.

It is coming! We are actively working on getting things to build, and getting them moved over to the 10.4 tree. Please be patient, an announcement will be made when we’re ready for real testing.

That said, some of you are savvy enough to play with things, and to know how to give patches, or at least detailed bug reports. If you’re wanting to try the Fink 10.4 (non-transitional) tree on an Intel Mac (or even a PowerPC one, for that matter), it’s pretty easy to get things working.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, READ THIS. I’m not kidding. What’s there is pretty solid, but it is not supported, nor is it ready for general feedback. Only I, David Morrison, and a few other core folks are even messing around in the 10.4 tree, and it is very much in flux. Packages get modified without revision-hikes, things break and get fixed, and lots of stuff is missing dependencies and other such fun. Expect to delete this tree and start over when the 10.4 tree is released for real. You may or may not be able to get your system in a consistent state once the 10.4 tree is released For Real(TM).

  1. Install Xcode

    You must have the Xcode that comes with your Intel Mac to bootstrap. Don’t forget the BSD SDK and other such goodies.

  2. Check out the Fink CVS tree

    cvs -d :pserver:[email protected]:/cvsroot/fink login
    (hit ENTER when it asks for the password)
    cvs -d :pserver:[email protected]:/cvsroot/fink co -P -r branch_0_24 fink

  3. Bootstrap from CVS

    cd fink
    ./bootstrap.sh

    Make sure it says you’re using the 10.4 tree, not the 10.4-transitional tree. If you want to bootstrap the 10.4-transitional tree, then set the environment variable FINK_NOTRANS to “false”. But hey, if you wanted to just do that, you wouldn’t be going through all this work, would you? 😉

    Also, when it asks if you want to use binaries if they’re available say “no”. They’re not available, and it will just complain.

  4. Update your Package Listings

    fink selfupdate-rsync

    (or fink selfupdate-cvs, if you’d like)

Alright. At this point, you should have a working system. Oh, and if you want to use the unstable tree, make sure you edit /sw/etc/fink.conf and add “unstable/main” and “unstable/crypto” to the end of the Trees line, and re-run fink selfupdate. Anyways, try installing stuff, see if it works. If you find a package that builds, but doesn’t run, please notify [email protected] — for the most part we’re just doing build-tests, we obviously don’t have time to test the functionality of every single package in the 10.4-transitional tree to make sure it runs correctly when built with gcc4. Make sure you say that you’re on intel, any error messages, the output of “fink –version” and anything else that might be pertinent.

If your favorite package is missing, or has dependencies that are missing, don’t panic, they just haven’t been moved from the 10.4-transitional tree. Be patient and don’t bother the lists or maintainers about it, not everything’s there yet. If it was, you’d have already seen an announcement. 😉

Also note that there is no bindist yet, so apt will complain at various points. This is normal. You can avoid some complaints by making sure you say “no” when it asks if you want to use the binary dist. You can also later edit /sw/etc/fink.conf and change UseBinaryDist to “no”.

Happy hacking!

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