1. Introduction
2. Installing MacPorts
2.1. Install Xcode
2.2. Install MacPorts
2.3. MacPorts Upgrade
2.4. Uninstall
2.5. 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 & Useful Tcl Commands
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. Updating Documentation
7.5. MacPorts Membership
7.6. The PortMgr Team
8. MacPorts Guide Terms

Port maintainers normally are given commit privileges to the Subversion repository so they can make updates to their own ports as described in Section 7.5, “MacPorts Membership”. However, The MacPorts Project does not restrict commit privileges for maintainers, so before a person other than a port's maintainer updates a port it is a good practice to inform a port's maintainer. See details below.

If you have a port update or bugfix for a port you do not maintain, to respect the rights of the port maintainer you should follow the following guidelines:

  1. If a port's maintainer is , you may feel free to make updates and/or take maintainership of the port.

  2. If a port's maintainer contains the address , this means that the author allows minor updates to the port without contacting him first. But permission should still be sought for major changes.

  3. Create patch file(s) as necessary, attach them to a Trac ticket, and assign the ticket to the maintainer (or Cc him or her, if you are unable to assign tickets).

  4. Wait for a response from the maintainer. The maintainer should apply the patches and close the ticket within 72 hours.

However, for maintained ports without , there are some conditions under which maintainer permission may be waived:

  • If the maintainer does not respond within 72 hours, you or another committer may review the patches and update the port. The log message of this commit must explain that you are taking advantage of maintainer timeout and include a reference to the ticket. If you are not a committer you may send an email to and request the updates be committed.

  • A port is abandoned by its current maintainer. A port against which a Port Abandoned ticket has been filed (see below) can be updated without contacting the maintainer.

  • A critical port is broken that affects many users.

A port may be considered abandoned if any of the following apply:

  • A bug has not been acknowledged for more than three weeks after a ticket is filed.

  • All tickets filed against the port have been resolved with no input from the maintainer, after the 72-hour timeout, for a significant period of time (at least three weeks). This needs to involve a reasonable number of tickets; one timeout doesn't make a port abandoned.

  • The listed maintainer address bounces, and no alternate way of contacting the maintainer is known.

If you wish to initiate the Port Abandonment protocol and optionally volunteer as the new maintainer:

  1. File a new Trac ticket with the summary line: [Port Abandoned] portname.

  2. The ticket should be assigned to the maintainer. Non-macports team members should Cc the maintainer.

  3. Set the ticket Type to Defect.

  4. In the Description field, refer to any unacknowledged ticket(s).

  5. In the Port field, indicate which port is abandoned.

  6. The Port Abandoned ticket may be closed when the new maintainer is assigned, and the original ticket(s) with the updates may be resolved as usual. The former maintainer should be removed from all other tickets on which they were assigned as owner. The Port Abandoned ticket should stay open for the usual 72-hour timeout period, to give the maintainer one last chance to indicate that they have not actually abandoned the port.