New install, how should I set my macports.conf

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at
Sat Jan 23 13:51:27 PST 2010

On Jan 23, 2010, at 15:46, Jim Busser wrote:

> On 2010-01-23, at 1:43 AM, Scott Haneda wrote:
>> At the same time, users are not concerned much with this
> What you say would be true anytime a simple "port install x" worked. When however "port install x" did not work, it is exceedingly difficult for any user (who only wants to enjoy some free software) to succeed.
> The free help given on list is appreciated but obviously limited, leaving the user with little choice but to find their own way. Anything MacPorts can help will be appreciated. Can MacPorts instead ship with +universal in variants.conf? I fully recognize the experts will view it as unnecessary or wasteful but it is deactivated in an instant by the savvy at the same time as the existence and need are opaque to anyone who just wants to enjoy some free software.

I advocated putting +universal in variants.conf on Snow Leopard and up. But then I tried it out myself and found too many ports that fail when built universal for x86_64/i386. Therefore I cannot advocate this change at this time. It would cause too much confusion for users.

> Port clean seems to fail (without being clear it has failed) when one would forget sudo (which I often do) making this a problem. This tempts to work as root if it would be ok to add to the end of one's path /opt/local/bin/

The GSoC '08 privileges branch that was merged into MacPorts as of 1.8.0 has caused some of this. I personally do not like it but don't know what to do about it right now.

> The *hardest* thing from my perspective is my inability to know whether it is my lack of adeptness that prevents an easy solution -- one that a consultant could identify (no consultants being listed at though) -- or whether bug fixes or significant new code is needed.

I suppose in a way we on this mailing list are all consultants. Ask us what you will.

> For example, there is free medical software that I am trying to get to work on Macs. I do already run Ubuntu and Debian (in Fusion) so I do not absolutely *have* to get it working. But  if I would very much like to get the software more widely-adopted (because I think it will be better for patients) then it is worth somewhat of an uphill battle to get it working.
> I got it working once, under Leopard. But now, under Snow Leopard, I am close to giving up, despite not wanting to give up. 
> Even setting my universal_archs in macports.conf  and adding +universal in variants.conf and doing
> sudo port selfupdate
> sudo port sync
> sudo port upgrade --enforce-variants installed
> (I had actually added +universal though it wouldn't have been needed given the .conf changes)
> I am stuck on postgresql84 at the first package I need:
> sudo port install py26-psycopg2 +postgresql84
> sudo port install py26-wxpython
> sudo port install py26-mx-base
> sudo port install texlive +doc +letter
> sudo port install python_select

postgresql84 does not currently build correctly universal for x86_64/i386:

If you can help us solve this, please add notes to the ticket. If you discover other software with the same problem, please file more tickets.

> Users may aspire to limit their imposition on others so I tried applying a patch to postgresql84. It is a patch that seems to have been available, uncommitted, for some months. I had never before run the patch command, so did not know what I was doing (it was my first patch application attempt, and I maybe struggled through it).
> But maybe that patch is not an adequate solution, as building postgresql84 still failed. That is where I am stuck. Thanks for reading.

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