Using multiple Fink distributions.

There are various reasons that you might want to have more than one Fink tree on your system:

  • Testing packages on both  the i386 and the x86_64 architectures.
  • To use a package that is only available on i386 or x86_64 when you primarily are using the other architecture.
  • To set up a clean Fink tree for test purposes.

Setting up another distribution is relatively straightforward.

  1. Follow the Fink source install instructions, but stop before the point of running pathsetup.sh.
  2. You are only going to want to have one Fink tree active when you’re building packages.   You can switch between trees by editing $HOME/.profile (or whichever startup file your Fink setup is using). For example, change
    test -r /sw/bin/init.sh && . /sw/bin/init.sh

    to

    test -r /sw64/bin/init.sh && . /sw64/bin/init.sh

    if you have a Fink tree in /sw and another one in /sw64.  Then start a new terminal window to load the new environment settings.

  3. To use executables from one Fink tree while the other is active, append its executable directories to your PATH. An example from a $HOME/.profile would be:
    test -r /sw64/bin/init.sh && . /sw64/bin/init.sh
    export PATH=$PATH:/sw/bin:/sw/sbin

    Note:  some packages use executable scripts for build configuration purposes, so you may need to remove the second Fink executable directory from the PATH if you’re having problems.

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