Installation - 2. First Time Installation

2.1 Requirements

You need:

2.2 Choosing A Directory

Before you install, you must decide where Fink's directory hierarchy will live. The recommended place is /sw, and all examples in this document will use that. Any other directory should be fine as well, as long as you don't use existing directories like /usr/local or /usr. The bootstrap script tries to catch these.

The directory that you choose must not contain any spaces or similar characters. Both Unix itself and the bulk of Unix software were written under this assumption. Using symlinks to trick the bootstrap script simply won't work.

2.3 Installation

First, you need to unpack the fink-0.45.4.tar.gz tarball (it might also show up as fink-0.45.4.tar if you used Safari to download it). So, in a terminal window, go to the directory where you put the tarball, and run this command:

tar xf fink-0.45.4.tar.gz

You now have a directory named fink-0.45.4. Change to it with cd fink-0.45.4.

The actual installation is performed by the perl script bootstrap. So, to start installation, go to the fink-0.45.4 directory and run this command:


After running some tests, the script will ask you what method should be used to gain root privileges. The most useful choice is 'sudo'. On a default install of Mac OS X, sudo is already enabled for the user account created during installation. The script will immediately use the method you choose to become root. This is required for the installation.

Next, the script will ask you for the installation path. See 'Choosing A Directory' above for hints about this. The script will create the directory and set it up for the bootstrap that will be done later.

Next up is Fink configuration. The process should be self-explaining. You will be asked how you want to set up fink's build user account. If you are on a networked system where the users and groups are on a central server, you can select the parameters manually--check with your network administrator as to what to use. You will also be asked about proxies--again, check with your network administrator, and to select mirror sites for downloads. If you don't know what to say, you can just press Return and Fink will use a reasonable default value.

Finally, the script has enough information to conduct the bootstrap process. That means it will now download, build and install some essential packages. Don't worry if you see some packages apparently being compiled twice. This is required because to build a binary package of the package manager, you first must have the package manager available.

Note: on 10.8, 10.9, and 10.10, after you start the install process you may see dialog windows asking whether you want to install XQuartz. If you want to do so, go ahead. You won't have to stop the Fink install to do that.

After the bootstrap procedure finishes, run/sw/bin/ to help set up your shell environment for use with Fink. In most cases, it will run automatically, and prompt you for permission to make changes. If the script fails, you'll have to do things by hand (see below).

(If you need to do things by hand, and you are using csh or tcsh, you need to make sure that the command source /sw/bin/init.csh is executed during startup of your shell, either by .login, .cshrc, .tcshrc, or something else appropriate. If you are using bash or similar shells, the command you need is . /sw/bin/, and places where it might get executed include .bashrc and .profile.)

Once your environment is set up, start a new terminal window to ensure that the changes get implemented. You will now need to have Fink download package descriptions for you.

You can use

fink selfupdate-rsync

to download package descriptions using rsync. This is the preferred option for most users, since it is quick and there are multiple mirror sites available.

However, rsync is often blocked by network administrators. If your firewall doesn't allow you to use rsync, then you can try

fink selfupdate-cvs

to download package descriptions using cvs. If you have an HTTP proxy set up, fink will pass its information along to cvs. Note: you can only use anonymous cvs (pserver) through a proxy.

You can now use fink commands to install packages.

fink --help

is a useful place to get more information about how to use fink.

2.4 Getting X11 Sorted Out

Fink uses virtual packages to declare dependencies on X11. As of OS 10.6, we don't provide any packages of our own. The supported options are:

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

Next: 3. Upgrading Fink