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The procedure for uninstalling MacPorts involves deleting many directory subtrees, including /opt/local. I was suspicious of this; the directories in /opt/local have the same names as many found in / on Linux systems (bin, lib, var, and so on), and they could easily hold some things that were not installed by MacPorts. Without looking through it all, how can I be sure there's nothing else that I might need there?

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The only way to be absolutely certain is of course to look through all the subdirectories and check if there's something you don't want to delete there. However, can you think of any other program that might have something installed under /opt/local? /opt/local is a very unusual location to store software. Mac OS X doesn't use it, so you can be reasonably certain that there will be no OS X apps in there. UNIX programs would usually lie in /usr or in first-order subdirectories of /opt (e.g. /opt/java, /opt/mozilla, etc)

Think of the ways in which you've installed software, and check where they put things by default. But unless you put something there manually, it's highly unlikely that something non-MacPorts found its way into /opt/local.

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Okay…I'll just move it aside for now, wait a few weeks or so, and see if anything breaks… –  Blacklight Shining Aug 12 '12 at 23:26

I have deleted the folder in order to get rid of macports and replace with homebrew.

No breaks and unaffected OS. Perfect.

rm -rf /opt

you may have to sudo (probably 100%) but have a quick look to make sure.

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