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How to run MacPorts from the Subversion trunk

  • Audience: Anyone who wants to test the latest features or not wait for an official release
  • Requires: Subversion (easy with 10.5 and later, tricky with 10.4 since that creates a circular dependency)


There are times when some may want to run MacPorts from a version newer than the current stable release. Maybe there's a new feature that you'd like to use, or it fixes an issue you've encountered, or you just like to be on the cutting edge. This explains how to run completely from trunk, using only Subversion to keep MacPorts up to date.


See the Guide section on installing from subversion

Keeping Up to Date

Subversion update

MacPorts has two commands used to keep itself current: sync, used to update the ports tree, and selfupdate, to update the MacPorts base code. When compiling MacPorts yourself instead of using a released MacPorts package, you can continue to use sync to update the ports tree, or you can update the working copy manually like this:

svn update /opt/mports/trunk

You will not find selfupdate useful anymore because it will always see that you have a version newer than the latest released version of MacPorts, and will not update your base code. Instead you should svn update as above and then repeat the steps listed in step 2 of the guide section linked to above.

Using MacPorts

At this point, most things should work like they do for anyone else; you will encounter some newer functionality that hasn't found its way to a release yet, and occasionally a bug. If so, be sure to report the bug when it happens.

See also

Additional topics related to MacPorts and SVN:

Last modified 2 years ago Last modified on Oct 22, 2014, 12:47:33 PM