1. Introduction
2. Installing MacPorts
2.1. Install X11
2.2. Install Xcode
2.3. Install MacPorts
2.4. MacPorts Upgrade
2.5. Uninstall
2.6. MacPorts and the Shell
3. Using MacPorts
3.1. The port Command
3.2. Port Variants
3.3. Common Tasks
3.4. Port Binaries
4. Portfile Development
4.1. Portfile Introduction
4.2. Creating a Portfile
4.3. Example Portfiles
4.4. Port Variants
4.5. Patch Files
4.6. Local Portfile Repositories
4.7. Portfile Best Practices
4.8. MacPorts' buildbot
5. Portfile Reference
5.1. Global Keywords
5.2. Global Variables
5.3. Port Phases
5.4. Dependencies
5.5. Variants
5.6. Tcl Extensions
5.7. StartupItems
5.8. Livecheck / Distcheck
5.9. PortGroups
6. MacPorts Internals
6.1. File Hierarchy
6.2. Configuration Files
6.3. Port Images
6.4. APIs and Libs
6.5. The MacPorts Registry
7. MacPorts Project
7.1. Using Trac for tickets
7.2. Contributing to MacPorts
7.3. Port Update Policies
7.4. MacPorts Membership
7.5. The PortMgr Team
8. MacPorts Guide Terms
Single Page Chunked

MacPorts can pre-compile ports into binaries so applications need not be compiled when installing on a target system. MacPorts may create two types of binaries: archives and packages.

Binary archives can only be used on a target system running MacPorts. Binary archives allow MacPorts utilities to begin installation after the destroot phase and install and activate a port on the target system. Binary archives are created whenever a port is installed, and can also be downloaded from a server.

%% sudo port -d archive logrotate

Debug output is shown below.

--->  Creating logrotate-3.7_0.i386.tbz2

[ ... trimmed ... ]

--->  Archive logrotate-3.7_0.i386.tbz2 packaged
DEBUG: Executing archive_finish
--->  Archive for logrotate 3.7_0 packaged

Binary archive files are placed in ${prefix}/var/macports/software/. The archive file type is set in the macports.conf file. The default format is .tbz2; other options are: tar, tbz, tbz2, tgz, tlz, txz, xar, zip, cpgz, cpio.

Binary packages are standalone binary installers that are precompiled; they do not require MacPorts on the target system. Binary files created with MacPorts may be either .pkg (Mac OS X Installer Packages), or .rpm (RPM Package Manager) format. MacPorts may also process a .pkg package into a Mac OS X .dmg disk image file. You may create binary packages with the port command as shown in these examples.

%% sudo port pkg pstree

You may create a Mac OS X .dmg disk image file as shown.

%% sudo port dmg pstree

You can also create a metapackage containing packages of a port and all its dependencies:

%% sudo port mpkg gimp2

Just as with a single package, a metapackage can also be wrapped in a .dmg.

%% sudo port mdmg gimp2

You may compile a port into an RPM file as shown, in order to install it onto a target that has RPM utilities or a full package management system that can install RPMs.

%% sudo port rpm pstree

All packages are placed in a port's work directory, except for rpms that are placed under the regular RPMS:

%% port work pstree
%% rpm --eval %{_rpmdir}