The MacPorts Project

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  1. Install Xcode and the Xcode Command Line Tools
  2. Agree to Xcode license in Terminal: sudo xcodebuild -license
  3. Install MacPorts for your version of the Mac operating system:

Installing MacPorts

MacPorts version 2.3.4 is available in various formats for download and installation (note, if you are upgrading to a new major release of macOS, see the migration info page):

Checksums for our packaged downloads are contained in the corresponding checksums file.

Please note that in order to install and run MacPorts on macOS, your system must have installations of the following components:

  1. Apple's Xcode Developer Tools (version 8.0 or later for Sierra, 7.0 or later for El Capitan, 6.1 or later for Yosemite, 5.0.1 or later for Mavericks, 4.4 or later for Mountain Lion, 4.1 or later for Lion, 3.2 or later for Snow Leopard, or 3.1 or later for Leopard), found at the Apple Developer site, on your Mac operating system installation CDs/DVD, or in the Mac App Store. Using the latest available version that will run on your OS is highly recommended, except for Snow Leopard where the last free version, 3.2.6, is recommended.
  2. Apple's Command Line Developer Tools are found at the Apple Developer site, or they can be installed from within Xcode 4. Users of Xcode 3 or earlier can install this by ensuring that the appropriate option(s) are selected at the time of Xcode's install ("UNIX Development", "System Tools", "Command Line Tools", or "Command Line Support").
  3. Xcode 4 and later users need to first accept the Xcode EULA by either launching Xcode or running:
    xcodebuild -license
  4. (Optional) The X11 windowing environment for ports that depend on the functionality it provides to run. You have multiple choices for an X11 server:
    • Apple's is provided by the “X11 User” package (an optional installation on your system CDs/DVD for older OS versions and provided unconditionally on Lion).
    • Install the xorg-server port from MacPorts.
    • The XQuartz Project provides a complete X11 release for macOS including server and client libraries and applications.

macOS Package (.pkg) Installer

The easiest way to install MacPorts on a Mac is by downloading the dmg for Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion, Snow Leopard, Leopard or Tiger and running the system's Installer by double-clicking on the pkg contained therein, following the on-screen instructions until completion.

This procedure will place a fully-functional and default MacPorts installation on your host system, ready for usage. If needed your shell configuration files will be adapted by the installer to include the necessary settings to run MacPorts and the programs it installs, but you may need to open a new shell for these changes to take effect.

The MacPorts “selfupdate” command will also be run for you by the installer to ensure you have our latest available release and the latest revisions to the “Portfiles” that contain the instructions employed in the building and installation of ports. After installation is done, it is recommended that you run this step manually on a regular basis to to keep your MacPorts system always current:

sudo port -v selfupdate

At this point you should be ready to enjoy MacPorts!

Type “man port” at the command line prompt and/or browse over to our Guide to find out more information about using MacPorts. Help is also available.

Source Installation

If on the other hand you decide to install MacPorts from source, there are still a couple of things you will need to do after downloading the tarball before you can start installing ports, namely compiling and installing MacPorts itself:

  1. cd” into the directory where you downloaded the package and run “tar xjvf MacPorts-2.3.4.tar.bz2” or “tar xzvf MacPorts-2.3.4.tar.gz”, depending on whether you downloaded the bz2 tarball or the gz one, respectively.
  2. Build and install the recently unpacked sources:
    • cd MacPorts-2.3.4
    • ./configure && make && sudo make install
    • cd ../
    • rm -rf MacPorts-2.3.4*

These steps need to be perfomed from an administrator account, for which “sudo” will ask the password upon installation. This procedure will install a pristine MacPorts system and, if the optional steps are taken, remove the as of now unnecessary MacPorts-2.3.4 source directory and corresponding tarball.

To customize your installation you should read the output of “./configure --help | more” and pass the appropriate options for the settings you wish to tweak to the configuration script in the steps detailed above.

You will need to manually adapt your shell's environment to work with MacPorts and your chosen installation prefix (the value passed to configure's --prefix flag, defaulting to /opt/local):

Lastly, you need to synchronize your installation with the MacPorts rsync server:

sudo port -v selfupdate

Upon completion MacPorts will be ready to install ports!

It is recommended to run the above command on a regular basis to keep your installation current. Type “man port” at the command line prompt and/or browse over to our Guide to find out more information about using MacPorts. Help is also available.

SVN Sources

If you are developer or a user with a taste for the bleeding edge and wish for the latest changes and feature additions, you may acquire the MacPorts sources through subversion. See the Guide section on installing from subversion.

Purpose-specific branches are also available at the url.

Alternatively, if you'd simply like to view the SVN repository without checking it out, you can do so via the Trac source browser.


If you already have MacPorts installed and have no restrictions to use the rsync networking protocol (tcp port 873 by default), the easiest way to upgrade to our latest available release, 2.3.4, is by using the selfupdate target of the port(1) command. This will both update your ports tree (by performing a sync operation) and rebuild your current installation if it's outdated, preserving your customizations, if any.

Other Platforms

Running on platforms other than macOS is not the main focus of The MacPorts Project, so remaining cross-platform is not an actively-pursued development goal. Nevertheless, it is not an actively-discouraged goal either and as a result some experimental support does exist for other POSIX-compliant platforms such as *BSD and GNU/Linux.

The full list of requirements to run MacPorts on these other platforms is as follows (we assume you have the basics such as GCC and X11):

Normally you must install from source or from an SVN checkout to run MacPorts on any of these platforms.


Help on a wide variety of topics is also available in the project Guide and through our Trac portal should you run into any problems installing and/or using MacPorts. Of particular relevance are the installation & usage sections of the former and the FAQ section of the Wiki, where we keep track of questions frequently fielded on our mailing lists.

If any of these resources do not answer your questions or if you need any kind of extended support, there are many ways to contact us!