Managing OS X open source packages with fink

fink is an open source package manager for OS X. The fink command allows packages be be installed, removed, and updated relatively easily. As of this writing, there were 2048 open source packages available:

$ fink list | wc -l

To get started with fink, you need to download the latest version from the sourceforge website:

Once you download the disk image, you need to run the fink installer. This will create the software directory hierarchy, and set a few variables in your profile. After fink is installed, you can run fink’s “selfupdate” option to grab the latest package list and binary fixes:

$ fink selfupdate

To list all of the available packges, fink can be run with the “list” option:

$ fink list | grep gnupg
gnupg 1.2.4-1 Gnu privacy guard – A Free PGP replacement
gnupg-idea 1.11-4 Gnu privacy guard (v 1.2.4) with IDEA cipher support

To install a specific package, the “install” option can be used:

$ fink install gnupg

This will download, compile and install gnupg under “/sw.” If you wish to remove an installed package, you can use the “purge” or “remove” options:

$fink remove gnupg

Further information can be obtained by running fink with the “–help” option, or by reading through the documentation on the fink website.

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