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2016-03-22: This site is being moved to my main site at as part of a consolidation to one domain.

As of this writing (2015-02-10) I am using OSX 10.9.

There are two kinds of FOSS install packages on the Macbook I have used: Macports and Homebrew. There is also Fink. "Fink uses Debian tools like dpkg and apt-get to provide powerful binary package management. You can choose whether you want to download precompiled binary packages or build everything from source." That's about all I know about it and have no experience with it. I am not a Debian commands type person so I didn't choose to go with Fink.

To quote which so eloquently and succinctly explain the purpose of these tools:

"Homebrew and macports both solve the same problem - that is the installation of common libraries and utilities that are not bundled with osx.

Typically these are development related libraries and the most common use of these tools is for developers working on osx.

They both need the xcode command line tools installed (which you can download separately from, and for some specific packages you will need the entire xcode IDE installed.

xcode can be installed from the mac app store, its a free download but it takes a while since its around 5GB (if I remember correctly)."

There are other opinions and user experiences about Macports vs Homwbrew you can read on that link as well.

For various reasons I decided on using Macports alone. I was using a mixture of both Macports and Homebrew for a while but it became confusing when it came time to update. I just simply decided to stick to one package manager. These are my notes on using Macports.

First I had to figure out how to uninstall Homebrew:

By default, Homebrew installs packages to your /usr/local and Macports as far as I can tell, all macports installation happens in /opt/local.

Some notes and the homepage for Macports: and

HOWTO's with Macports:

To list what Macports software and the versions you have installed:

kevin@Macbook> port installed
The following ports are currently installed:
  apr @1.5.1_0 (active)
  apr-util @1.5.4_0 (active)
  autoconf @2.69_2 (active)
  automake @1.14.1_2 (active)

  vim @7.4.258_0+huge (active)
  wget @1.16_0+ssl
  wget @1.16.1_0+ssl (active)
  xz @5.0.7_0 (active)
  zlib @1.2.8_0 (active)

Installing apps:

For installing Perl modules see

kevin@Macbook> sudo port install macvim
--->  Computing dependencies for MacVim
--->  Fetching archive for MacVim
--->  Attempting to fetch MacVim-7.4.snapshot73_0+huge.darwin_13.x86_64.tbz2 from
--->  Attempting to fetch MacVim-7.4.snapshot73_0+huge.darwin_13.x86_64.tbz2.rmd160 from
--->  Installing MacVim @7.4.snapshot73_0+huge
--->  Activating MacVim @7.4.snapshot73_0+huge
--->  Cleaning MacVim
--->  Updating database of binaries
--->  Scanning binaries for linking errors
--->  No broken files found.

To update Macports itself and the software you have installed (if updates exist):

First update the ports tree and then see if any ports have been updated.

kevin@Macbook> sudo port -v selfupdate
Congratulations, you have successfully upgraded the MacPorts system.

The ports tree has been updated. To upgrade your installed ports, you should run
  port upgrade outdated

kevin@Macbook> sudo port upgrade outdated

HOWTO's using Homebrew:

To see what Homebrew has installed:

kevin@Macbook> sudo brew list  
autoconf        cscope          macvim          rsync           vim
kevin@Macbook> brew leaves       

How to remove apps:

Homebrew - and

kevin@Macbook> brew remove macvim
Uninstalling /usr/local/Cellar/macvim/7.4-73...

To update Homebrew:

This is a particular problem I experienced leading me to go solely with Macports. This is the only screen capture I had around to illustrate "brew update".

kevin@Macbook> sudo brew update
error: The following untracked working tree files would be overwritten by merge:
Please move or remove them before you can merge.
Error: Failure while executing: git pull -q origin refs/heads/master:refs/remotes/origin/master

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Page last modified on July 12, 2015, at 01:01 PM EST