User’s Guide

Fink User’s Guide

Welcome to the Fink User’s Guide.
This guide covers first time installation and upgrade procedures for
both the source and the binary distribution.
Package installation and maintenance is covered as well.

Contents

1 Introduction

1.1 What is Fink?

Fink is a distribution of Unix Open Source software for Mac OS X and
Darwin.
It brings a wide range of free command-line and graphical software
developed for Linux and similar operating systems to your Mac.

1.2 Requirements

In any case you will need:

  • An installed Mac OS X system, version 10.4 or later, or equivalent
    Darwin releases.
    Earlier versions of both will not work.
    See below for more information about supported systems.
  • Internet access.
    Both source code and binary packages are downloaded from Internet
    download sites.

If you intend to use the source distribution (see below), you will
also need:

  • Developer tools.
    On Mac OS X, install the XcodeTools.mpkg package from the installation DVD,
    or download the latest version–this is often desirable, as later versions frequently fix issues (though admittedly sometimes they break things).
    Note that the tools must match your Mac OS X version.

    It’s a good idea to have XCode installed even if you
    don’t intend to build packages from source.
    Some of the programs installed by the package are actually general
    purpose command line tools.
    Some packages may depend on those to run.

  • Patience.
    Compiling several big packages takes time.
    I’m talking hours or even days here.

1.3 Supported Systems

Mac OS X 10.6 is the leading-edge platform, and is considered to be fully supported and tested, though as a newer operating system there are still some issues. Most of the developers run it, and those who are running 10.4 have 10.5 users test their work.

Mac OS X 10.5 is considered to be fully supported and tested, although there may still be stray compile problems with single packages. Many of the developers run it, and those who don’t have 10.4 users test their work.

Mac OS X 10.4 will be deprecated soon. It is considered to be fully supported and tested.

1.4 Source vs. Binary

Software is written (“developed”) in human-readable programming
languages; this form is called the “source code”.
Before a computer can actually run a program, it must be transformed
into low-level machine code instructions (unreadable by most humans).
That process is called “compiling” and the resulting program is called
“executable” or “binary”.
(The process is also referred to as “building”, because it usually
involves more steps than just compiling.)

When you buy commercial software you don’t get to see the source code,
though – companies treat it as a trade secret.
You only get the ready-to-run executable, which means you have no way
to modify the program or even find out what it actually does when it’s
run.

Not so with Open Source
software.
As the name implies, the source code is open for anyone to see and
modify.
In fact, most Open Source software is only distributed as source code
by its authors, and you must compile it on your computer to get a
program that can be run.

Fink lets you choose between the two models.
The “source” distribution will download the original source, adapt it
to Mac OS X and to Fink’s policy, and compile it on your computer.
That process is fully automated, but takes some time.
The “binary” distribution on the other hand will download pre-compiled
packages from the Fink site and install those, saving you the time for
compiling.
It is actually possible to mix the two models at will.
The rest of this manual will show you how.

2 First Time Installation

During first time installation, a base system with the package
management tools is installed on your machine.
After that you must set up your shell environment to use the software
installed by Fink.
You only need to do this once; you can upgrade any Fink installation
in place, without reinstalling.
This is covered in the Upgrading
chapter
.

Once you have the package management tools installed, you can use them
to install more software.
This is covered in the Installing Packages
chapter
.

2.1 Installing the Binary Distribution

The binary distribution comes as a Mac OS X installer package (.pkg),
wrapped in a disk image (.dmg).
After downloading the disk image from the
download page
(you may have to use your browser’s “Save Target as…” or “Download
to Disk” function), double-click it to mount it.
Open the “Fink 0.x.x Installer” disk icon that appears on your desktop (or wherever you downloaded it) after Disk Utility has verified the file.
Inside you’ll find some documentation and an installer package.
Double-click the installer package and follow the instructions on
screen.

You will be asked for an administrator password and shown some texts.
Please read them – they may be more up-to-date than this user’s guide.
When the installer prompts you for a drive to install to, be sure to
pick your system volume (the one on which you installed Mac OS X).
If you pick the wrong volume, the install will proceed, but Fink won’t
work afterwards.
When the installer is finished, proceed with the
Setting Up Your Environment section.

2.2 Installing the Source Distribution

The source distribution comes as a standard Unix tarball (.tar.gz).
It contains only the fink package manager and will download the source for packages on the fly.
You can get it from the
download page.
Older versions of StuffIt Expander have difficuly with handling long file names, so if you have any problems you’ll need to remove the folder it generates and follow the command-line instructions below.

The source release must be installed from the command line, so open
Terminal.app and change to the directory where you put the
fink-0.27.x.tar.gz archive. Your web browser may have partially extracted the archive; in this case you will have fink-0.27.x.tar in your download directory, and you should skip the first command below.

The following commands extract the archive:

gunzip fink-0.27.x.tar.gz
tar -xf fink-0.27.x.tar

That creates a directory with the same name as the archive.
We’ll just keep on using the placeholder
fink-0.27.x here.
Now, change into that directory and run the bootstrap script:

cd fink-0.27.x
./bootstrap

The script will run some checks on your system and use sudo to become
root – that will prompt you for your password.
Then, the script will ask you for the installation path.
Unless you have a good reason, you should use the default –
/sw.
Only that will allow you to install downloaded binary packages later
on.
Also, all examples use that path; be sure to substitute your actual
path if you use a different one.

Next up is Fink configuration.
You’ll be asked for things like proxy and mirror settings and whether
you want verbose messages.
If you don’t understand a question, just press return to accept the
default choice.
You can re-run this process later using the fink
configure
command.

When the bootstrap script has all the information it needs, it will
start to download the source code for the base system and compile it.
No further interaction should be necessary at this point.
Don’t worry if you see some packages being compiled twice.
This is required because to build a binary package of the package
manager, you first must have the package manager available.

When the bootstrap is finished, proceed with the
Setting Up Your Environment section.

2.3 Setting Up Your Environment

To use the software installed in Fink’s directory hierarchy, including
the package management programs themselves, you must set your PATH
environment variable (and some others) accordingly. Current Fink versions do this automatically, and typically you will just need to open a new Terminal.app window to ensure that these settings are applied. However, in some instances you will need to proceed manually.

In most cases, you can do this by entering the command

/sw/bin/pathsetup.sh

in a terminal window.

Note that for some older versions of
fink the program was called pathsetup.command, and one could
run it via open /sw/bin/pathsetup.command.

However, if this doesn’t work for some reason, you can configure it
manually. This will depend on the shell you are using, however.
You can determine the shell you are using by opening a terminal and
running the command:

echo $SHELL

If it says “csh” or “tcsh” in it, you are using the C shell. If it is
bash, zsh, sh, or something similar, you are likely running a variant
of the bourne shell.

  • Bourne Shell (default on Mac OS X 10.3 and later)

    If you use a Bourne style shell (e.g. sh, bash, zsh), add the following
    lines to the file .profile in your home directory (or, if
    you have an existing .bash_profile file, you should use that
    instead):

    . /sw/bin/init.sh

    If you don’t know how to add the line, run these commands:

    cd
    pico .profile

    You are now in a full-screen (well, full terminal window) text editor and
    can simply start typing the . /sw/bin/init.sh line. It’s
    okay if there is a note that says “New file”. Be sure that you pressed
    Return at least once after the line, then press Control-O, Return,
    Control-X to get out of the editor.

  • C Shell (default on Mac OS X 10.2 and earlier)

    If you use tcsh, add the following line to
    the file .cshrc in your home directory:

    source /sw/bin/init.csh

    If you don’t know how to add the line, run these commands:

    cd
    pico .cshrc

    You are now in a full-screen (well, full terminal window) text editor
    and can simply start typing the source /sw/bin/init.csh
    line.
    It’s okay if there is a note that says “New file”.
    Be sure that you pressed Return at least once after the line, then
    press Control-O, Return, Control-X to get out of the editor.

    There are a couple of common situations where you may need to edit additional files:

    1. You have a ~/.tcshrc.

      Such a file occasionally gets created by third-party applications, or
      you may have done it yourself.
      In any case what will happen is that ~/.tcshrc gets read and
      ~/.cshrc is ignored.
      The recommended procedure is to edit ~/.tcshrc in a similar
      manner to how you edited
      ~/.cshrc above, and add the following line at the end:

      source ~/.cshrc

      That way, if you ever need to remove ~/.tcshrc, you will be able to run Fink.

    2. You followed the instructions under /usr/share/tcsh/examples/README.

      These instructions tell you to create a ~/.tcshrc and a ~/.login . The problem in this case is with ~/.login, which gets run after ~/.tcshrc, and sources /usr/share/tcsh/examples/login. The latter contains a line that overwrites your previous PATH setup. What you should do in this case is create ~/Library/init/tcsh/path:

      mkdir -p ~/Library/init/tcsh
        pico ~/library/init/tcsh/path

      and put:

      source ~/.cshrc

      in it. You should also modify your .tcshrc as in item 1 above, to make sure that your PATH is set correctly for situations where ~/.login doesn’t get read.

    Editing .cshrc (and other startup files) will only affect new shells (i.e. newly opened Terminal
    windows), so you should also run this command in all Terminal windows
    that you opened before you edited the file.
    You’ll also need to run rehash because tcsh caches the
    list of available commands internally.

Note that the init.sh and init.csh scripts also add /usr/X11R6/bin and
/usr/X11R6/man to your PATH so you can use X11 when
it is installed.
Fink packages have the ability to add settings of their own, e.g. the
qt package sets the QTDIR environment variable.

Once your environment is set up, you will need to grab package descriptions as per the Upgrading Fink chapter under Upgrading the Source Distribution, and then proceed to the
Installing Packages chapter to see how
you can install some actually useful packages using the various
package management tools included in Fink.

3 Installing Packages

Now that you have something that can be called a Fink installation,
this chapter shows you how to install the actual software packages you
came for.
Before we explain how to install packages using either the source or
the binary distribution, some important notes that apply to both.

3.1 Installing Binary Packages with
dselect

dselect is a program that lets you browse the list of
available packages and select which ones you want installed.
It runs inside Terminal.app, but takes over the whole “screen” and
uses simple keyboard navigation.
Like the other package management tools, dselect requires
root privileges, so you should use sudo (from an account with administrator privileges):

sudo dselect

Note:
dselect has known difficulties with the Mac OS X Terminal application. You should run the following commands before using it, or put them in the appropriate startup file (e.g. .cshrc / .profile):

bash users:

export TERM=xterm-color

tcsh users:

setenv TERM xterm-color

The main menu has several choices:

  • [A]ccess – this configures the network access method to use.
    You do not need to run this, since Fink pre-configures
    everything for you.
    Actually, you should avoid this menu item as it may overwrite the
    default configuration with one that doesn’t work.
  • [U]pdate – this item downloads the list of available packages
    from the Fink site.
    This item does not install or update any actual packages, it just
    updates the listings used for the package browser.
    You must run this at least once after installing Fink.
  • [S]elect – this gives you the actual package listing, where
    you can select and deselect the packages you want on your system.
    More about this later.
  • [I]nstall – this is where the action is.
    The menu items above only affect dselect’s package listings and status
    database.
    This one actually goes out and downloads and installs the packages you
    have requested.
    It also removes the packages you have deselected in the browser.
  • [C]onfig and [R]emove – these are relics from the
    time before apt.
    You do not need them, although they won’t do harm.
  • [Q]uit – now that should really be obvious.

You’ll spend most of your time with dselect in the package browser,
reachable through the “[S]elect” menu item.
Before dselect shows you the package list, it presents you with an
introductory help screen.
You can press ‘k’ to get a full listing of keyboard commands, or just
Space to get to the package list.

You can move through the list using the up and down keys.
Selections are made with ‘+’ and ‘-‘.
When you select a package that needs some other packages, dselect will
show you a sublist with the affected packages.
In most cases you can just press Return to accept dselect’s choices.
You can also make adjustments in the sublist (e.g. to choose another
alternative for a virtual package dependency), or press ‘R’
(i.e. Shift-R) to return to the previous state.
Both the sublists and the main package list are left by pressing
Return.
When you’re happy with your selections, leave the main list and use
the “[I]nstall” menu item to actually install the packages.

3.2 Installing Binary Packages with
apt-get

dselect doesn’t actually download the packages itself.
Instead, it runs apt to do the dirty work.
If you prefer a pure command line interface, you can access the
functions of apt directly, with the apt-get command.

Like with dselect, you must first download the current listing of
available packages with this command:

sudo apt-get update

Like the “[U]pdate” menu item in dselect, this doesn’t update the
actual files on your computer, just apt’s list of available packages.
To install a package, you just give apt-get the name, like this:

sudo apt-get install lynx

If apt-get determines that the packages requires other packages to be
installed, it will show you the list and ask for confirmation.
It then downloads and installs the requested packages.
Removing packages is just as easy:

sudo apt-get remove lynx

3.3 Installing Dependent Packages that are Unavailable in the Binary Distribution

Sometimes, when doing a binary install, you may get messages that a dependency can’t be installed. e.g.:

Sorry, but the following packages have unmet
dependencies:
foo: Depends: bar (>= version) but it is
not installable
E: Sorry, broken packages

What has happened is that the package you are trying to install depends on another package that can’t be distributed as a binary, due to licensing requirements. You must install the dependency from source (see the next section).

3.4 Installing Binary and Source Packages with fink

The fink tool will allow you to install packages that are not yet
available in the binary
distribution
.

First of all, you’ll need an appropriate version of the Developer Tools for your system. The latest version is available for free download after registration at http://connect.apple.com.

To get a list of packages that are available for installation from
source, ask the fink tool:

fink list

The first column lists the installation state (blank for not
installed, i for installed, (i) for
installed but not the latest version), followed by the package name,
the latest version, and a short description.
You can ask for more information about a specific package using the
“describe” command (“info” is an alias for this):

fink describe xmms

When you have found a package that you want to install, use the
“install” command:

fink install wget-ssl

The fink command will first check if all necessary
prerequisites (“dependencies”) are present, and will ask you if it’s
okay to install them if some are missing.
Then it goes ahead and downloads source code, unpacks it, patches it,
compiles it, and installs the results on your system.
This can take a long time.
If you run into errors during that process, please first check the
FAQ.

You can tell fink to try to download
pre-compiled binary packages, if available, instead of building them. Just pass
the –use-binary-dist (or -b)
option
to fink. This can save you a lot of time. E.g.
calling

fink --use-binary-dist install wget-ssl

or

fink -b install wget-ssl

will first download all dependencies for wget-ssl that are available from the
binary distribution and only build the remainder from source. This option can
also be enabled permanently in the Fink configuration
file
(fink.conf) or by running the command fink configure.

More details about the fink tool are available in the chapter
“Using the fink Tool from the Command Line”.

3.5 Fink Commander

Fink Commander is an Aqua interface to both apt-get and the fink tool. The Binary menu lets you do operations on the binary distribution, and the Source menu does the same thing for the source distribution.

Fink Commander is included with the Fink binary installer. To download it separately (e.g. if you’ve bootstrapped Fink from source), or for additional information, visit the Fink Commander website.

3.6 Available versions

When you want to install a package, you should first check the package database and see if it is available at all through Fink. The available version(s) of the package will be shown in several rows of a table. These are:

  • Binary Distribution
    1. 0.8.1: This is the base version that can be installed from binaries for OS 10.4. If you update Fink, later versions of some packages may be available.
    2. 0.9.0: This is the base version that can be installed from binaries for OS 10.5. If you update Fink, later versions of some packages may be available.
  • CVS/rsync Distributions
    1. 10.4/powerpc stable: This is the most recent version that can be installed from the stable source tree for OS 10.4 users
      on PowerPC hardware.
    2. 10.4/intel stable: This is the most recent version that can be installed from the stable source tree for OS 10.4 users
      on intel hardware.
    3. 10.4/powerpc unstable: This is the most recent version that can be installed from the unstable source tree for OS 10.4 users
      on PowerPC hardware.
    4. 10.4/intel unstable: This is the most recent version that can be installed from the unstable source tree for OS 10.4 users
      on intel hardware.

      Note: unstable doesn’t necessarily mean unusable, but install such packages at your own risk.

    5. 10.5/powerpc stable: This is the most recent version that can be installed from the stable source tree for OS 10.5 users
      on PowerPC hardware.
    6. 10.5/intel stable: This is the most recent version that can be installed from the stable source tree for OS 10.5 users
      on intel hardware.
    7. 10.5/powerpc unstable: This is the most recent version that can be installed from the unstable source tree for OS 10.5 users
      on PowerPC hardware.
    8. 10.5/intel unstable: This is the most recent version that can be installed from the unstable source tree for OS 10.5 users
      on intel hardware.

3.7 Getting X11 Sorted Out

Many of the packages that are available via Fink require the installation of some form of X11. Because of this, one of the first things that is typically done is to choose an X11 implementation.

Since there are several X11 implementations available for Mac OS X
(Apple’s X11, XFree86, X.org) and several ways to install them
(manually or via Fink), there are several alternative packages – one
for each setup.
Here is a list of the available X11 packages and installation methods:

  • xfree86, xfree86-shlibs:
    Install both of these packages for XFree86-4.5.0 (OS 10.4 only).
  • xorg, xorg-shlibs (OS 10.4 only ) Install these packages to get the 6.8.2 release of the X.org X11 distribution.
  • system-xfree86 + -shlibs, -dev:
    These packages are automatically generated if you install Apple’s X11, or manually installed XFree86 or X.org.
    They will then act as
    dependency placeholders.

For more information on installing and running X11, refer to the
X11 on Darwin
and Mac OS X document
.

4 Upgrading Fink

This chapter covers the procedures used to update your Fink
installation with the latest and greatest stuff.

4.1 Upgrading using Binary Packages

If you use the binary distribution exclusively, there is no separate
upgrade procedure.
Just ask the tool of your choice to get the latest package listing
from the server and let it update all packages.

For dselect, it is sufficient to hit “[U]pdate”, then “[I]nstall”.
Of course, you may want to run “[S]elect” in between to check the
selections that were made and to find out about new packages.

For apt, run apt-get update to get the latest package
list, then apt-get upgrade to update all packages that
have new versions available.

For Fink Commander, select Binary->Update descriptions to update the package list, and then Binary->Dist-Upgrade packages to update to new versions.

For more information, see the
Upgrade Matrix.

4.2 Upgrading the Source Distribution

If you use the source distribution the procedure consists of two steps.
In the first step, you download the latest package descriptions to
your computer.
In the second step, these package descriptions are used to compile new
packages; the actual source code is downloaded as needed.

The first step can be accomplished by
running fink selfupdate.
That command will check with the Fink website to see if a new point
release is available, and will automatically download and install the
package descriptions in that case.
You also have the
option to pull package descriptions directly from CVS or via rsync.
CVS is a version-controlled repository where the package descriptions
are stored and managed.
Using CVS has the advantage that it is updated continuously, but the disadvantage that there is a single CVS server for Fink, and it can be unreliable if there is a lot of traffic. For this reason, it is recommended that general users go with rsync. There are multiple mirrors available for rsync, and the only disadvantage is that package descriptions take an hour or so to migrate to the rsync mirrors after they’ve been added to CVS.

(If you are having trouble upgrading a source installation, consult
these
special instructions
.)

Once you have updated your package descriptions (no matter which way),
you should update all packages at once with the command fink
update-all
.

To update the source distribution using Fink Commander, select Source->Selfupdate to download new package information files, and then Source->Update-all to update your outdated packages.

4.3 Mixing Binaries and Source

If you use precompiled binary packages for some packages and build
others from source, you’ll have to follow both sets of instructions
above to upgrade your Fink installation.
That is, first use dselect or apt-get to get
the latest versions of the packages that are available as binaries,
then use fink selfupdate and fink update-all
to get the current package descriptions and to update the remaining
packages.

You may use the UseBinaryDist option (settable via the
–use-binary-dist (or -b) option
or in the Fink configuration file) both source and
binary descriptions will be updated if you call fink selfupdate.
In this case you don’t need a separate apt-get call anymore.

If you are using Fink Commander select Binary->Update descriptions to update
the package list, and then Binary->Dist-Upgrade packages to update to new
versions. After that do Source->Selfupdate to download new package
information files, and then Source->Update-all (see previous sections for
details).

5 The Fink Configuration File

This chapter explains the settings available in the Fink configuration
file (fink.conf) and how they influence the behaviour of Fink, specifically the fink command-line tool (i.e. mainly working with the source distribution).

5.1 About fink.conf

When Fink is initially installed it prompts you for the answers to some
questions to set up your configuration file, such as which mirrors you want to use for downloading files
and how to acquire super-user rights. You can re-run this process by
calling the fink configure command. In order to set some
options, you may need to edit your fink.conf file by hand. In
general, these options are meant for advanced users only.

The fink.conf file is located at
/sw/etc/fink.conf, and can be edited in your favourite
text editor. You will need super-user rights to edit it.

5.2 fink.conf syntax

Your fink.conf file consists of multiple lines, in the format:

OptionName: Value

Options are one per line, and the option name is separated from its
value by a : and a single space. The contents of value depends on the
option, but it is normally either a boolean (“True” or “False”), a
string, or a list of strings delimited by a space.
For example:

BooleanOption: True
StringOption: Something
ListOption: Option1 Option2 Option3

5.3 Required Settings

Some of the settings in the fink.conf file are mandatory. Without
them Fink cannot function properly. The following settings belong to
this category.

  • Basepath: path

    Tells fink where it was installed. Defaults to /sw unless you
    changed it during the initial installation of the Fink distribution. You should
    not change this value after installation, it will confuse fink.

5.4 Optional User Settings

There are various optional settings which users can customize to change
the behaviour of Fink.

  • RootMethod: su or sudo or none

    For some operations, Fink needs super user rights. Recognized values
    are sudo or su. You can also set this to
    none, in which case you must run Fink as root yourself. The
    default value is sudo and in most cases it should not be
    changed.

  • Trees: list of trees

    Available trees are:

    local/main      - any local packages you want to install
    local/bootstrap - packages used during the installation of Fink
    stable/crypto   - stable cryptographic packages
    stable/main     - other stable packages
    unstable/crypto - unstable cryptographic packages
    unstable/main   - other unstable packages

    You may also add your own trees in /sw/fink/dists for your own purposes, but this is not necessary in most
    circumstances. The default trees are “local/main local/bootstrap
    stable/main”. This list is automatically kept in sync with the
    /sw/etc/apt/sources.list file.

    The order of the trees is meaningful, as packages from later trees in the list may
    override packages from earlier ones.

  • Distribution: 10.4

    Fink needs to know which version of Mac OS X you are
    running. Mac OS X 10.0 and earlier are not supported, and 10.1 and 10.2 are no
    longer supported by current versions of fink. Mac OS X 10.2 users are
    restricted to fink-0.24.7, released in June 2005. This
    field is set by running the /sw/lib/fink/postinstall.pl
    script. You should not need to alter this value manually.

  • FetchAltDir: path

    usually fink will store the sources it fetches in
    /sw/src. You can specify an alternate directory to look for
    downloaded source code in using this option. For example:

    FetchAltDir: /usr/src
  • Verbose: a number from 0 to 3

    This option sets how much information Fink tells you about what it is
    doing. The values are:
    0
    Quiet (don’t show download stats)
    1
    Low (don’t show tarballs being expanded)
    2
    Medium (shows almost everything)
    3
    High (shows everything)
    The default value is 1.

  • SkipPrompts: a comma-delimited list

    (fink-0.25 and later) This option instructs fink to refrain from asking for input when
    the user does not want to be prompted. Each prompt belongs to a
    category. If a prompt’s category is in the SkipPrompts list then
    the default option will be chosen within a very short period of
    time.

    Currently, the following categories of prompts exist:

    fetch – Downloads and mirrors

    virtualdep – Choosing between alternative packages

    By default, no prompts are skipped.

  • NoAutoIndex: boolean

    Fink caches its package description files in /sw/var/db/fink.db to
    save it having to read and parse them all every time it runs. Fink
    checks whether or not the package index needs to be updated unless this
    option is set to “True”. It defaults to “False” and it is not
    recommended that you change it. If you do, you may need to run
    the fink index command manually to update the index.

  • SelfUpdateNoCVS: boolean

    The command fink selfupdate upgrades Fink package
    manager to the latest release. This option makes sure that the
    Concurrent Version System (CVS) is not used to achieve this when set to
    True. It is set automatically by the fink
    selfupdate-cvs
    command, so you should not need to change it
    manually.

  • Buildpath: path

    Fink needs to create several temporary directories for
    each package it compiles from source. By default, they are placed
    in /sw/src on Panther and earlier, and
    /sw/src/fink.build on Tiger. If you want them to be
    somewhere else, specify the path here. See the descriptions of
    the KeepRootDir and KeepBuildDir fields
    in the Developer Settings section of this document for more information about these temporary
    directories.

    On Tiger, it is recommended that the Buildpath end with .noindex
    or .build. Otherwise, Spotlight will attempt to index the temporary files in
    the Buildpath, slowing down builds.

  • Bzip2Path: the path to your bzip2 (or compatible) binary

    (fink-0.25 and later) The Bzip2Path option lets you override the default path for the
    bzip2 command-line tool. This allows you to specify an alternate
    location to your bzip2 executable, pass optional command-line
    options, or use a drop-in replacement like pbzip2 for decompressing
    .bz2 archives.

5.5 Download Settings

There are various settings which influence the way Fink downloads
package data.

  • ProxyPassiveFTP: boolean

    This option makes Fink use “passive” mode for FTP downloads. Some
    FTP server or network configurations require this option to be set to
    True. It is recommended that you leave this option on at all
    times since active FTP is deprecated.

  • ProxyFTP: url

    If you use a FTP proxy then you should enter its address here, for
    example:

    ProxyFTP: ftp://yourhost.com:2121/

    Leave it blank if you do not use a FTP proxy.

  • ProxyHTTP: url

    If you use a HTTP proxy then you should enter its address here, for
    example:

    ProxyHTTP: http://yourhost.com:3128/

    Leave if blank if you do not use a HTTP proxy.

  • DownloadMethod: wget or curl or axel or axelautomirror

    Fink can use three different applications to download files from the
    Internet – wget, curl, or axel. The value
    axelautomirror uses an experimental mode of the axel
    application which tries to determine the closest server that has a
    certain file. The use of axel and axelautomirror are not recommended at this
    time. The default value is curl.
    The application you chose as DownloadMethod MUST be installed! (i.e. fink won’t fall back to curl if you try to use a download application that isn’t present.

  • SelfUpdateMethod: point, rsync or cvs

    fink can use some different methods to update the package info files.
    rsync is the recommended setting; it uses rsync to download only
    modified files in the trees that you have enabled. Note that if you have
    changed or added to files in the stable or unstable trees, using rsync will
    delete them. Make a backup first, e.g. in your local tree. cvs will download using anonymous or
    :ext: cvs access from the Fink repository. This has the disadvantage that cvs
    can not switch mirrors; if the server is unavailable you will not be able to
    update. point will download only the latest released version of the
    packages. It is not recommended as your packages may be quite out of date.

  • SelfUpdateCVSTrees: list of trees

    (fink-0.25 and later) By default, the cvs selfupdate method will update only the current
    distribution’s tree. This option overrides the list of distribu-
    tion versions that will be updated during a selfupdate.

    Please note that you will need a recent “cvs” binary installed if
    you wish to include directories that do not have CVS/ directories
    in their entire path (e.g., dists/local/main or similar).

  • UseBinaryDist: boolean

    Causes fink to try to download pre-compiled binary packages from the binary
    distribution if available and if the binary package is not already on the
    system. This can save a lot of installation time and it is therefore
    recommended to set this option. Passing fink the
    –use-binary-dist option (or the -b flag) has the same effect,
    but only operates on that single fink invocation. Passing fink the
    --no-use-binary-dist flag overrides this, and compiles from source
    for that single fink invocation.

    Note that this mode instructs fink to download an available binary
    if that version is the latest available version of the package; it does not cause fink
    to choose a version based on its binary availability.

5.6 Mirror Settings

Getting software from the Internet can be a tedious thing and often
downloads are not as fast as we would like them to be. Mirror servers
host copies of files available on other servers, but may have a faster
connection to the Internet or be geographically closer to you, thus
enabling you to download files faster. They also help reduce load on
busy primary servers, for example ftp.gnu.org, and they
provide an alternative should one server not be reachable.

In order for Fink to pick the best mirror for you, you must tell it
which continent and which country you reside in. If downloads from one
server fail, it will prompt you if you want to retry from the same
mirror, a different mirror in the same country or continent, or a
different mirror anywhere in the world.

The fink.conf file holds settings about which mirrors you
would like to use.

  • MirrorContinent: three letter code

    You should change this value using the fink configure
    command. The three letter code is one found in
    /sw/lib/fink/mirror/_keys.
    For example, if you live in Europe:

    MirrorContinent: eur
  • MirrorCountry: six letter code

    You should change this value using the fink configure
    command. The three letter code is one found in
    /sw/lib/fink/mirror/_keys.
    For example, if you live in Austria:

    MirrorCountry: eur-AT
  • MirrorOrder: MasterFirst or MasterLast or MasterNever or ClosestFirst

    Fink supports ‘Master’ mirrors, which are mirrored repositories of the source
    tarballs for all Fink packages. The advantage of using the Master mirror set is that
    the source download URLs will never break. Users can choose to use
    these mirrors which are maintained by the Fink team, or to use only the original
    source URLs and external mirror sites such as the gnome, KDE, and debian mirror sites.
    Additionally users can choose to combine the two sets, which are then searched in proximity order, as
    documented above. When using the MasterFirst or MasterLast options, the user can ‘skip ahead’
    to the Master (or non Master) set if a download fails. The options are:

    MasterFirst - Search "Master" source mirrors first.
    MasterLast - Search "Master" source mirrors last.
    MasterNever - Never use "Master" source mirrors.
    ClosestFirst - Search closest source mirrors first (combine all mirrors into one set).
  • Mirror-rsync:

    (fink-0.25.2 and later) When doing fink selfupdate with the SelfupdateMethod set to rsync,
    this is the rsync url to sync from. This should be an anonymous
    rsync url, pointing to a directory which contains all the fink Dis-
    trubutions and Trees.

5.7 Developer Settings

Some options in the fink.conf file are only useful to
developers. We do not recommend that conventional Fink users modify
them. The following options fall into this category.

  • KeepRootDir: boolean

    Causes fink not to delete the directory root-[name]-[version]-[revision] in the Buildpath
    after building a package. Defaults to false. Be careful, this
    option can fill your hard-disk quickly!

    Passing fink the -K flag has the same effect, but
    only operates on that single fink invocation.

  • KeepBuildDir: boolean

    Causes fink not to delete the directory [name]-[version]-[revision] in the Buildpath
    after building a package. Defaults to false. Be careful, this
    fill your hard-disk quickly!

    Passing fink the -k flag has the same effect, but
    only operates on that single fink invocation.

5.8 Advanced Settings

There are some other options which may be useful, but require some knowledge to get right.

  • MatchPackageRegEx:

    Causes fink not to ask which package to install if one (and only one) of the choices matches the perl Regular Expression given here. Example:

    MatchPackageRegEx: (.*-ssl$|^xfree86$|^xfree86-shlibs$)

    will match packages ending in ‘-ssl’, and will match ‘xfree86’ and ‘xfree86-shlibs’ exactly.

  • CCacheDir: path

    If the Fink package ccache-default is installed, the cache files it makes
    while building Fink packages will be placed here. Defaults to /sw/var/ccache. If set to none, fink will not set the CCACHE_DIR environment variable and ccache will use $HOME/.ccache, potentially putting root-owned files into your home directory.
    Only available in fink newer than version 0.21.0.

  • NotifyPlugin: plugin

    Specify a notification plugin to tell you when packages have been
    installed/uninstalled. Defaults to Growl (requires Mac::Growl to
    operate). Other plugins can be found in the
    /sw/lib/perl5/Fink/Notify directory. On fink-0.25 and later they are listed in the output of fink plugins. See the Fink Developer Wiki for more information.

  • AutoScanpackages: boolean

    When fink builds new packages, apt-get does not immediately know about
    them. Historically, the command fink scanpackages had to be run
    for apt-get to notice the new packages, but now this happens auto
    matically. If this option is present and false, then fink
    scanpackages
    will no longer be run automatically after packages are
    built. Defaults to true.

  • ScanRestrictivePackages: boolean

    When scanning the packages for apt-get, fink normally scans all
    packages in the current trees. However, if the resulting apt repository will be made publically available, the administrator may be
    legally obligated not to include packages with Restrictive or
    Commercial licenses. If this option is present and false, then Fink
    will omit those packages when scanning.

5.9 Managing apt’s sources.list file

Fink actively manages the file
/sw/etc/apt/sources.list which is used by apt to locate
binary files for installation. The default sources.list file looks
something like this, adjusted to match your Distribution and Trees:

# Local modifications should either go above this line, or at the end.
#
# Default APT sources configuration for Fink, written by the fink program

# Local package trees - packages built from source locally
# NOTE: this is automatically kept in sync with the Trees: line in 
# /sw/etc/fink.conf
# NOTE: run 'fink scanpackages' to update the corresponding Packages.gz files
deb file:/sw/fink local main
deb file:/sw/fink stable main crypto

# Official binary distribution: download location for packages
# from the latest release
deb http://us.dl.sourceforge.net/fink/direct_download 10.3/release main crypto

# Official binary distribution: download location for updated
# packages built between releases
deb http://us.dl.sourceforge.net/fink/direct_download 10.3/current main crypto

# Put local modifications to this file below this line, or at the top.

With this default file, apt-get first looks in your local installation
for already-compiled binaries, and then looks in the official binary
distribution. You can alter this by making entries at the beginning of
the file (which will be searched first) or at the end of the file (which
will be searched last).

If you change your Trees line or the Distribution you are using,
fink will automatically modify the “default” portion of the file to
correspond to the new values. Fink will, however, preserve any local
modifications you have made to the file, provided that you confine your
modifications to the top of the file (above the first default line) and
the bottom of the file (below the last default line).

6 Using the fink Tool from the Command Line

6.1 Using the fink tool

The fink tool uses several suffix commands to work on packages from the source distribution.
Some of them need at
least one package name, but can handle several package names at
once. You can specify just the package name (e.g. gimp), or a fully
qualified name with a version number (e.g. gimp-1.2.1) or with both version and revision numbers (e.g. gimp-1.2.1-3). Fink will automatically choose the latest available
version and revision when they are not specified. Others have different options.

What follows is a list of the commands for the fink tool:

6.2 Global options

There are some options, which apply to all fink commands. If you
type fink --help you get the list of options:

(as of fink-0.26.0)

-h, –help – displays help text.

-q, –quiet – causes fink to be less verbose, opposite of –verbose. Overrides the Verbose flag in fink.conf.

-V, –version – display version information.

-v, –verbose – causes fink to be more verbose, opposite of –quiet. Overrides the Verbose field in fink.conf.

-y, –yes – assume default answer for all interactive
questions.

-K, –keep-root-dir – Causes fink not to delete the
root-[name]-[version]-[revision]
directory in the Buildpath after building a package. Corresponds to the KeepRootDir field in fink.conf.

-k, –keep-build-dir – Causes fink not to delete the
[name]-[version]-[revision]
directory in the Buildpath after building a package. Corresponds to the KeepBuildDir field in fink.conf.

-b, –use-binary-dist – download pre-compiled packages from the binary
distribution if available (e.g. to reduce compile
time or disk usage).
Note that this mode instructs fink to download the
version it wants if that version is available for
download; it does not cause fink to choose a version
based on its binary availability. Corresponds to the UseBinaryDist flag in fink.conf.

–no-use-binary-dist – Don’t use pre-compiled binary packages from the binary
distribution, opposite of the –use-binary-dist flag.
This is the default unless overridden by setting UseBinaryDist: true in
the fink.conf configuration file.

–build-as-nobody – Drop to a non-root user when performing the unpack,
patch, compile, and install phases. Note that packages
built with this option may be non-functional. You
should use this mode for package development and
debugging only.

-m, –maintainer
– (fink-0.25 and later) Perform actions useful to package maintainers: run validation on
the .info file before building and on the .deb after building a
package; turn certain build-time warnings into fatal errors; (fink-0.26 and later) run the test suites as specified in the field. This sets –tests and –validate to on.

–tests[=on|off|warn] – (fink-0.26.0 and later) Causes InfoTest fields to be activated and test suites specified
via TestScript to be executed (see the Fink Packaging Manual). If no argument is given to this
option or if the argument is on then failures in test suites will
be considered fatal errors during builds. If the argument is warn
then failures will be treated as warnings.

–validate[=on|off|warn]
Causes packages to be validated during a build. If no argument is
given to this option or if the argument is on then validation failures will be considered fatal errors during builds. If the argument is warn then failures will be treated as warnings.

-l, –log-output
– Save a copy of the terminal output during each package building
process. By default, the file is stored in
/tmp/fink-build-log_[name]-[version]-[revision]_[date]-[time] but
one can use the –logfile flag to specify an alternate filename.

–no-log-output
– Don’t save a copy of the output during package-building, opposite
of the –log-output flag. This is the default.

–logfile=filename
– Save package build logs to the file filename instead of the default
file (see the –log-output flag, which is implicitly set by the
–logfile flag). You can use percent-expansion codes to include
specific package information automatically. A complete list of percent-expanions is available in the Fink Packaging Manual; some common percent-expansions are:

  • %n – package name
  • %v – package version
  • %r – package revision

-t, –trees=expr
– Consider only packages in trees matching expr.

The format of expr is a comma-delimited list of tree specifica-
tions. Trees listed in fink.conf are compared against expr. Only
those which match at least one tree specification are considered by
fink, in the order of the first specifications which they match. If
no –trees option is used, all trees listed in fink.conf are
included in order.

A tree specification may contain a slash (/) character, in which
case it requires an exact match with a tree. Otherwise, it matches
against the first path-element of a tree. For example,
–trees=unstable/main would match only the unstable/main tree,
while –trees=unstable would match both unstable/main and
unstable/crypto.

There exist magic tree specifications which can be included in
expr:

  • status
    – Includes packages in the dpkg status database.
  • virtual
    – Includes virtual packages which reflect the capabilities of the system.

Exclusion of (or failure to include) these magic trees is currently
only supported for operations which do not install or remove packages.

-T, –exclude-trees=expr
Consider only packages in trees not matching expr.

The syntax of expr is the same as for –trees, including the magic
tree specifications. However, matching trees are here excluded
rather than included. Note that trees matching both –trees and
–exclude-trees are excluded.

Examples of –trees and –exclude-trees:

  • fink --trees=stable,virtual,status install fooInstall foo as if fink was using the stable tree, even
    if unstable is enabled in fink.conf.
  • fink --exclude-trees=local install fooInstall the version of foo in Fink, not the locally
    modified version.
  • fink --trees=local/main list -iList the locally modified packages which are installed.

Most of these options are self-explanatory. Many can also be set in the
Fink configuration file (fink.conf) if you want
to set them permanently and not just for that invocation of fink.

6.3 install

The install command is used to install packages. It downloads,
configure, builds and installs the packages you name. It will also
install required dependencies automatically, but will ask you for
confirmation before it does so. Example:

fink install nedit

Reading package info...
Information about 131 packages read.
The following additional package will be installed:
 lesstif
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]

Use of the –use-binary-dist option with fink install can speed the build process for complicated packages by quite a lot.

Aliases for the install command: update, enable, activate, use (most
of these for historic reasons).

6.4 remove

The remove command removes packages from the system by calling ‘dpkg --remove‘. The current default implementation has a flaw: it
doesn’t check dependencies itself but rather completely leaves that to
the dpkg tool (usually this poses no problem, though).

The remove command only removes the actual package files,
(excluding configuration files), but leaves
the .deb compressed package file intact. This means that you can
re-install the package later without going through the compile process
again. If you need the disk space, you can remove the .deb from the
/sw/fink/dists tree.

These flags can be used with the fink remove command

-h,--help             - Show the options which are available.
-r,--recursive        - Also remove packages that depend on the package(s) to
                        be removed (i.e. overcome the above-mentioned flaw).

Aliases: disable, deactivate, unuse, delete.

6.5 purge

The purge command purges packages from the system. This is
the same as the remove command except that it removes configuration
files as well.

This command takes the:

-h,--help
-r,--recursive

options.

6.6 update-all

This command updates all installed packages to the latest version. It
does not need a package list, so you just type:

fink update-all

–use-binary-dist is also useful with this command.

6.7 list

This command produces a list of available packages, listing
installation status, the latest version and a short description.
If you call it without parameters, it will list all available
packages.
You can also pass a name or a shell pattern, and fink will list all
packages that match.

The first column displays the installation state with the following
meanings:

    not installed
 i  latest version is installed
(i) installed, but a newer version is available
 p  a virtual package provided by a package that is installed

The version column always lists the latest (highest) version known for the package, regardless of what version (if any) you have installed. To see all versions of a package available on your system, use the dumpinfo command.

There are also some flags for the fink list command

-h,--help
	  Show the options which are available.
-t,--tab
	  Output the list in a tab delimited format, useful for
	  running the output through a script.
-i,--installed
	  Show only those packages which are currently installed.
-o,--outdated
	  Show only those packages which are out of date.
-u,--uptodate
	  Show only packages which are up to date.
-n,--notinstalled
	  Show packages which are not currently installed.
-s expr,--section=expr
	  Show only packages in the sections matching the regular
	  expression expr.
-m expr,--maintainer=expr
          Show only packages with the maintainer  matching the
          regular expression expr.
-w=xyz,--width=xyz
	  Sets the width of the display you would like the output
	  formatted for. xyz is either a numeric value or auto.
	  auto will set the width based on the terminal width.
	  The default is auto.

Some usage examples:

fink list                 - list all packages
fink list bash            - check if bash is available and what version.
fink list --tab --outdated | cut -f 2     
                          - just list the names of the out of date packages.
fink list --section=kde   - list the packages in the kde section
fink list --maintainer=fink-devel
                          - list the packages with no maintainer
fink --trees=unstable list --maintainer=fink-devel
                          - list the packages with no maintainer, but only in the unstable tree.
fink list "gnome*"        - list all packages that start with 'gnome'

The quotes in the last example are necessary to stop the shell from
interpreting the pattern itself.

6.8 apropos

This command behaves almost identical to fink list. The most
notable difference is that fink apropos also searches
the package descriptions to find packages. The second difference is that
the search string must be supplied and is not optional.

fink apropos irc          - list all packages for which 'irc' 
			    occurs in the name or description.
fink apropos -s=kde irc   - the same as above, but restricted to 
			    packages from the kde section.

6.9 describe

This command displays a description of the package you name on the
command line.
Note that only a small part of the packages currently have a
description.

Aliases: desc, description, info

6.10 plugins

List the (optional) plugins available to the fink program. Currently lists the notification mechanisms and the source-tarball
checksum algorithms.

6.11 fetch

Downloads the named packages, but does not install them. This command
will download the tarballs even if they were downloaded before.

The following flags can be used with the fetch command:

-h,--help		Show the options which are available.
-i,--ignore-restrictive	Do not fetch packages that are "License: Restrictive".
                      	Useful for mirrors, because some restrictive packages
                      	do not allow source mirroring.
-d,--dry-run		Just display information about the file(s) that would
			be downloaded for the package(s) to be fetched; do not
			actually download anything.
-r,--recursive		Also fetch packages that are dependencies of the
			package(s) to be fetched.

6.12 fetch-all

Downloads all package source files. Like fetch, this downloads the
tarballs even when they were downloaded before.

These flags can be used with the fink fetch-all command:

-h,--help
-i,--ignore-restrictive
-d,--dry-run

6.13 fetch-missing

Downloads all missing package source files. This command will only download
files that are not present on the system.

These flags can be used with the fink fetch-missing command:

-h,--help
-i,--ignore-restrictive
-d,--dry-run

6.14 build

Builds a package, but does not install it. As usual, the source
tarballs are downloaded if they can not be found. The result of this
command is an installable .deb package file, which you can quickly
install later with the install command. This command will do nothing
if the .deb already exists. Note that dependencies are still
installed, not just built.

The –use-binary-dist option is applicable here.

6.15 rebuild

Builds a package (like the build command), but ignores and overwrites
the existing .deb file. If the package is installed, the newly created
.deb file will also be installed in the system via dpkg. Very useful
during package development.

6.16 reinstall

Same as install, but will install the package via dpkg even when it is
already installed. You can use this when you accidentally deleted
package files or changed configuration files and want to get the
default settings back.

6.17 configure

Reruns the fink configuration process.
This will let you change your mirror sites and proxy settings, among
others.

New in fink-0.26.0: This command will also let you turn on the unstable trees if desired.

6.18 selfupdate

This command automates the process of upgrading to a new Fink
release. It checks the Fink website to see if a new version is
available. It then downloads the package descriptions and updates
the core packages, including fink itself. This command can upgrade
to regular releases, but it can also setup your /sw/fink/dists
directory tree for direct CVS or rsync updates, if you select one of those options the first time this command is run. This means that you then
will be able to access the very latest revisions of all packages.

If the –use-binary-dist option is enabled,
the list of available packages in the binary distribution is also updated.

6.19 selfupdate-rsync

Use this command to make fink selfupdate use rsync to update its package list.

This is the recommended way to update Fink when building from source.

Note: rsync updates only update the active trees (e.g. if unstable isn’t turned on in fink.conf the list of unstable packages won’t be updated.

6.20 selfupdate-cvs

Use this command to make fink selfupdate use CVS access to update its package list.

CVS updating is deprecated, except for developers and those people who are behind firewalls that disallow rsync.

6.21 index

Rebuilds the package cache. You should not normally need to execute
this manually, as fink should auto-detect when it needs to be updated.

6.22 validate

This command performs various checks on .info and .deb files. Package
maintainers should run this on their package descriptions and
corresponding built packages before submitting them.

The following optional options may be used:

-h,--help            - Show the options which are available.
-p,--prefix          - Simulate an alternate Fink basepath prefix (%p) within
                      the files being validated.
--pedantic, --no-pedantic
                     - Control the display of nitpicky formatting warnings.
                      --pedantic is the default.

Aliases: check

6.23 scanpackages

Updates the apt-get database of debs; defaults to updating all of the trees, but may be restricted to a set of one or more trees given as arguments.

6.24 cleanup

Removes obsolete and temporary files.
This can reclaim large amounts of disk space. One or more modes may be specified:

--debs               - Delete .deb files (compiled binary package archives)
                       corresponding to versions of packages that are neither
                       described by a package description (.info) file in the
                       currently-active trees nor presently installed.
--sources,--srcs     - Delete sources (tarballs, etc.) that are not used by
                       any package description (.info) file in the currently-
                       active trees.
--buildlocks, --bl   - Delete stale buildlock packages.
--dpkg-status        - Remove entries for packages that are not installed from
                       the dpkg "status" database.
--obsolete-packages  - Attempt to uninstall all installed packges that are
                       obsolete. (new in fink-0.26.0)
--all                - All of the above modes. (new in fink-0.26.0)

If no mode is specified, --debs --sources is the default action.

In addition, the following options may be used:

-k,--keep-src        - Move old source files to /sw/src/old/ instead of deleting them.
-d,--dry-run         - Print the names of the files that would be deleted, but
                       do not actually delete them.
-h,--help            - Show the modes and options which are available.

6.25 dumpinfo

Shows how fink parses parts of a package’s .info file. Various
fields and percent expansions will be displayed according
to options as follows:

-h, --help           - Show the options which are available.
-a, --all            - Display all fields from the package description.
                       This is the default mode when no --field or
                       --percent flags are given.
-f fieldname,        - Display the given fieldname(s),
  --field=fieldname    in the order listed.
-p key,              - Display the given percent expansion key(s),
   --percent=key       in the order listed.

6.26 show-deps

Displays a human-readable list of the compile-time (build) and run-
time (installation) dependencies of the listed package(s).


Copyright Notice

Copyright (c) 2001 Christoph Pfisterer,
Copyright (c) 2001-2013 The Fink Project.
You may distribute this document in print for private purposes,
provided the document and this copyright notice remain complete and
unmodified. Any commercial reproduction and any online publication
requires the explicit consent of the author.

 

 

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