Steps to ensure compatibility between fink and macports

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at
Mon Jan 19 15:26:12 PST 2009

On Jan 19, 2009, at 10:01, Shreevatsa R wrote:

> On Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 3:58 AM, Ryan Schmidt wrote:
>> On Jan 17, 2009, at 01:12, David T. wrote:
>>> Has anyone got a clear set of steps and guidelines for me to
>>> follow to try using macports without messing up fink?
>> Rename fink's /sw directory to something else. That should ensure  
>> it does
>> not interfere with MacPorts.
>> You should only use software installed via one package manager at  
>> a time --
>> either Fink, or MacPorts, not both.
> Er, I don't think this is true. You don't have to do *anything* to
> ensure Fink and MacPorts don't intefere with each other. They are both
> designed to not interfere with the rest of the system, so if they do
> interfere with each other, it's a bug in one of them.
> In my experience (and that of others) it works perfectly to use both
> Fink and MacPorts simultaneously; installing packages from whichever
> of the two happens to have a working version. (But do care about what
> you do to your environment variables like $PATH: Fink's
> /sw/bin/ is a bit heavy-handed.)
> Of course I'm just a user and don't know very much of the internals of
> either, so maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

There are software packages out there, for which we have ports in  
MacPorts, that will, in an attempt to find the dependent libraries  
they need, always look in /opt/local and /sw to find them. So if you  
have the same library installed with both Fink and MacPorts, it's  
possible a MacPorts port will link with the library from Fink, or the  
other way around. To prevent that, we would have to know which  
software packages do this and patch them in MacPorts to not do that.  
Since we do not know which software packages do this, the safe course  
of action is to explain that it is not supported to use Fink and  
MacPorts at the same time. "Not supported" means you can still do it,  
but we will not necessarily help you with problems you encounter as a  

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