Universal variant for all MacPorts?

Tabitha McNerney tabithamc at gmail.com
Tue Jun 19 22:22:41 PDT 2007

Wow! What a fantastic reply, thanks a ton! I feel a bit silly in that I had
not first looked at the Wiki for info about Universal builds. I am most
certainly interesting in Universal builds and I will do what I can to help
this process along such as by testing on both Xserves. I'm not much of a
developer per se (my concentration lately has been Ruby to help our guys who
are putting together Rails apps) but I can try to dig into various MacPorts
code and try to figure out what changes would be required to make them

Best wishes,


On 6/19/07, Ryan Schmidt <ryandesign at macports.org> wrote:
> On Jun 19, 2007, at 22:22, Tabitha McNerney wrote:
> > I noticed that some MacPorts have the "universal" variant. I
> > imagine this means that any port with such universal variant can
> > build to both the PowerPC and Intel architecture targets. But, not
> > all MacPorts have universal variants. I soon have to be supporting
> > an Xserve PowerPC and an Xserve Xeon. Is there anyway I can build
> > all of my MacPorts as universal so that I will be able to conserve
> > my MacPorts maintenance and gain re-use across both machines?
> The problem is that each piece of software needs to be tested
> individually for whether it can be built universal. The global
> ability to build ports universal was very recently added to MacPorts,
> and most port authors and users don't have access to both an Intel
> and a PowerPC Mac, so testing the universal variants is a very slow
> and not-at-all-coordinated process. For ports that have been tested
> for universal compatibility and found *not* to work, the universal
> variant has been explicitly removed from those ports. For the other
> ports, where a universal variant currently exists, it may work, or it
> may not. You just have to try it out. And for each port where it does
> not work, you'll have to file bugs, and, if possible, provide
> solutions. :-/
> Now that I have a fast Intel Mac and recompiling is not the
> interminable process it was on my PowerPC Mac, I'm trying to go
> through all my ports and rebuild them universal. So far I've
> successfully built subversion and all its dependencies universal, but
> other software hasn't been so cooperative. php5, for example, is
> going to be very difficult, since it has so many dependencies, and
> all of those dependencies must be universal before php5 can be.
> I just wrote an email to the dev list with some suggestions for
> improving the portfile syntax regarding universal support, if you're
> interested:
> http://lists.macosforge.org/pipermail/macports-dev/2007-June/001868.html
> Also, I recently rewrote the FAQ entry on MacPorts's universalness:
> http://trac.macosforge.org/projects/macports/wiki/
> FAQ#IsMacPortsUniversal
> If that doesn't completely address your concerns, please let us know,
> and if possible provide suggestions on how the FAQ entry could be
> improved.
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