Using macports 2.6.2 on a powerbook G4 1.33GHz and Leopard 10.5.8 ppc

Ken Cunningham ken.cunningham.webuse at
Thu Mar 12 02:08:56 UTC 2020

> I don't know where to start. Maybe someone can me point into the right direction, and give me some hints, how to apply patches

I have operating 10,4, 10.5, and 10.6 systems running hundreds to thousands of ports that I keep humming along. My PPC machines are running right now, and run many ports that I use all the time.

To do this, I have made a "port overlay" for each system. A "port overlay" is a directory of Portfiles that "shadows" the main MacPorts tree. It is in the search path prior to the usual MacPorts ports tree. This allows the ability to make quick, local modifications to ports to suit the local situation long before such fixes may (or may not) ever be acceptable to the general MacPorts user base. I try to keep  these repos as up to date as I can, but it's a one-man show so far.

For example, I have a very nice version of "libsdl2" that works on 10.4 and 10.5 PPC and Intel. It will never be accepted into MacPorts general repo, but it works very well (not perfectly). I use it to run a LOT of software that requires SDL2 on 10.4 and 10.5.

So, for example, when such-and-such a port doesn't build after an update, I hold back the version update in my github repo until such time as I (or someone) gets around to fixing the error, if it can be fixed. That allows me to move on with the port tree, and address these things when I have time.

Sometimes, when I fix something, like python38 for 10.4 and 10.5, there can be a LOT of discussion about the perfection or lack thereof of the fix. Mostly, this is not too relevant to me -- a workable fix that does no harm is better than a broken system -- and perhaps we can fix it better someday, or perhaps we can't. Either way, not a big issue for what I want it for.

So, with all this in mind, I have repos for all these systems available at <>  Look around there, and you'll find your system. I might split off a 10.5 PPC and 10.5 Intel at some point -- refinements can be made. Feel free to contribute.

To use it, you "clone it" to somewhere local, and then tell macports to use it ahead of your main repo by editing /opt/local/etc/macports/sources.conf and adding it as a file:/// location before (above) the main macports repo. Look in the MacPorts guide, and you'll find more information about this. It is a very cleverly designed, very robust, and very flexible system and I thank all those who came before me who set it up so well.

Things can change as the situation evolves, so please note it is not so carefully vetted as the main repo.

Also, it is not fair to open MacPorts tickets about issues that might be related to these shadow ports -- nobody could ever figure out what is going on. So don't open tickets about broken ports unless you know for certain that it has nothing to do with the shadow repo.

Some MacPorters are totally uninterested in older systems. That's fine, of course. However, MacPorts has about 10% of the market, and HomeBrew has about 90%, and if you ask me, one of the main thing that keeps MacPorts alive these days is the very robust support for all the orphaned Apple systems that it provides.

If you want to run current software on a G4 PowerBook 1.33GHz, you will have be both a bit flexible, and also spend some time to learn how to make MacPorts work for you. It's not hard -- and to be honest, it's actually kinda fun.



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