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Screenshot of the port command running in Terminal
Screenshot of the port command running in Terminal
Initial release2002 (2002)[1]
Stable release
2.6.2 / 20 October 2019; 11 months ago (2019-10-20)[2]
Written inTcl[3] and C
Operating systemmacOS, Darwin
PlatformIA-32, x86-64, PowerPC
TypePackage management system

MacPorts, formerly called DarwinPorts,[4] is a package management system that simplifies the installation of software on the macOS and Darwin operating systems. It is an open-source software project to simplify installation of other open source software. Similar in aim and function to Fink and the BSD ports collections, DarwinPorts was started in 2002 as part of the OpenDarwin project, with the involvement of a number of Apple Inc. employees including Landon Fuller, Kevin Van Vechten, and Jordan Hubbard.[3]

MacPorts allows the installation of a number of packages by entering the command sudo port install packagename in the Terminal, which will then download, compile if necessary, and install the requested software, while also installing any required dependencies automatically. Installed packages can be updated with the command sudo port upgrade outdated.[5] An official GUI application called Pallet is also available.[6]

Version 1.0 was released on April 28, 2005.[7] In December 2005 the project reached a milestone, surpassing 3000 ports.[8] At that time, package installation involved the source code being downloaded and compiled on the end user's machine. Version 2.0, released in 2011, introduced support for prebuilt binary archives; by default ports are installed using the prebuilt binary archive if available, and are built from source otherwise.[9][10] As of August 2019, MacPorts has over 21,600 ports.[11]

MacPorts was hosted on Mac OS Forge, an open source hosting service created and maintained by Apple Inc. for third-party projects not supported by Apple.[12] When Apple closed Mac OS Forge in 2016, the project moved to GitHub.[13] Best-effort support can be sourced from the community.[14]

MacPorts supports universal binaries for both PowerPC and Intel-based versions of Mac OS X, but migrating from a PowerPC installation of MacPorts to a version on an Intel Mac requires reinstalling all installed ports.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "MacPortsHistory".
  2. ^ "Releases · macports/macports-base · GitHub".
  3. ^ a b Mark Weinem, ed. (2007-10-17). "Jordan K. Hubbard: The invention of the FreeBSD Ports system, its drawbacks and the merits of MacPorts". 10 years of pkgsrc — pkgsrc and the concepts of package management 1997-2007 (part 1). NetBSD. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  4. ^ "DarwinPorts project announces New Hosting and New Name". (archived). August 7, 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-05.
  5. ^ "MacPorts". January 5, 2011. Archived from the original on September 26, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Markus Weissmann (April 28, 2005). "DarwinPorts v1.0". (archived). Archived from the original on 2006-06-29. Retrieved 2007-03-05.
  8. ^ "3000 ports landmark". (archived). December 17, 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-06-29. Retrieved 2007-03-05.
  9. ^ Joshua Root (2011-07-22). "MacPorts 2.0.0 has been released". MacPorts-announce (Mailing list). Retrieved 2019-08-17.
  10. ^ Joshua Root (2012-05-11). "Prebuilt archives available for Lion". MacPorts-announce (Mailing list). Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  11. ^ "The MacPorts Project -- Home". Retrieved 2019-08-17.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-20. Retrieved 2010-08-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Migrating a MacPorts install to a new major OS version or CPU architecture". MacPorts. Retrieved 2013-05-27.

External links[edit]