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Applications of Fink on Mac OS.

pawan chopra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 23, 2008
Posts: 415


I was trying to install Meld ad git diff tool. I saw this article for installation How to install Mend on MAC OS. It says that first install fink. Can anybody tell me what is this all about? I tried there site and the only think I understood is that I will be able to run unix open source softwares on Mac. But I am not clear about it. I thought mac is based on Unix and you can run most of the stuff on mac that you can on unix.

Pawan Chopra
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 63865

Fink doesn't enable running unix software on OS X -- as you noted, that's built in. It's a package manager that makes it easy (or so they say) to download and install software. You can read more here.

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Tim Cooke

Joined: Mar 28, 2008
Posts: 2534

Fink appears to be a package manager for OS X in much the same way as aptitude is for Debian and YUM is for Fedora, for example. The idea is that once you have fink installed you just ask fink to install meld and it goes and retrieves all the required packages and installs them on your Mac.

There are a number of systems like this available for Mac, my particular favourite being Homebrew. Another widely used one is MacPorts which I didn't like that much but I guarantee somebody will disagree with me. It's pretty popular too.

Tim Driven Development
pawan chopra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 23, 2008
Posts: 415

Thanks Bear and Tim,

I have HomeBrew but installing fink was huge. It downloaded a lot of stuff and took a lot of time as well. So I was kind of concerned. Thanks for the info.
Ulf Dittmer

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 42965
I haven't used either Fink or MacPorts, but I just started using HomeBrew, and it was very easy to get started with. (Tiny hiccup: it needs bash to run, whereas I was using tcsh. Figuring that out took about 30 seconds.)

But then I was able to install some libraries required to compile PovRay, and that took a fraction of the time I had spent a few days earlier trying to install those libraries manually. Now I'm totally sold on HomeBrew.
pawan chopra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 23, 2008
Posts: 415

I could not find any way to install Meld through home brew. I am not sure if there is any other tool which is good for git diff.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15302

Word of caution on using these tools. There are OSX updates that can break things you have installed using these tools. These tools install libraries and application that have no OSX binary so they are often times compiled during installation using other libraries that weren't originally build for OSX. So when OSX updates, some of the dependencies can change and then you have to reinstall the broken libraries / applications.

I haven't ran into this often, but it has never been pleasant for me when it does happen.

GenRocket - Experts at Building Test Data
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Applications of Fink on Mac OS.
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