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Macports is the only packaging system I have checked out on the Mac and I dont like it.(it needs all its applications installed in a particular location. Thats probably the reason why it showed Python2.5 as a dependency which needs to be installed even though I already had it.) For a person who has moved over from Ubuntu, I sorely miss apt-get. As far as Macports are concerned, there is no central repository so the source of a package is fetched from the project website, built and installed.

Now, Ubuntu has various open source projects in a deb format which can be properly installed on ubuntu machines. Whats more, there is also a central repo for all these debs.

Problems with Macports:-

  1. It installs stuff even if its already present on the machine.
  2. It always downloads, compiles and installs packages from the project website. It does not have a central repository for all packages. I guess this could result in installing packages which are not mutually compatible.

Now assuming that Mac had a really good packaging system what would be the problems we face?

  1. Servers for all the packages.
  2. All the packages would have to be regularly maintained, newer packages would have to be packaged.

However, if there were some standard way to convert deb files(I'm talking about deb files because I feel Ubuntu repositories are the best) to packages which are installable in OSX :-

  1. We could use the standard Ubuntu repositories which have packages that are regularly maintained.

  2. We have a central location for all the packages rather than downloading packages from the development website(like Macports does).

Would something like that be possible? If anyone has ideas for a better solution, do pitch in your comments. Its really sad that there is'nt a really good package manager for Macs.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Olli, Heptite, random Feb 14 '14 at 5:24

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Quick note: MacPorts centrally maintains portfiles that control how each port is compiled and installed. These maintain information regarding conflicts, so there's ordinarily no need to worry about installing two ports that conflict. – Lawrence Velázquez Jul 31 '10 at 19:16

I would suggest you Homebrew.

The main point of Homebrew is that is doesn't require to install new version of tools you already have.

Here is a nice article about it.

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This is probably the closest thing to what you're looking for, although it's certainly not my cup of tea. I much prefer the way MacPorts does it. – Lawrence Velázquez Jul 31 '10 at 19:12
I also prefer MacPorts, but I provide this to answer the question ;) – Studer Jul 31 '10 at 19:26
Touché, good sir. :P – Lawrence Velázquez Aug 1 '10 at 18:31

Have you taken a look at Fink? It's based on Debian's package-management tools (dpkg and apt-get), and its binary distribution uses the .deb package format.

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