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Installing a large number of useful unix programs is difficult or impossible. This is getting worse (see the recent changes that came with Xcode 4.3). Fink/MacPorts/Homebrew are horrible kludges when compared to what can be done with a full-featured UNIX.

What it comes down to is that the most basic thing I can do with the default install of any reasonable UNIX system (./configure, make, make install) is not possible on a Mac without a lot of heavy and opaque lifting.




> What it comes down to is that the most basic thing I can do with the default install of any reasonable UNIX system (./configure, make, make install) is not possible on a Mac without a lot of heavy and opaque lifting.

If you call installing a compiler a lot of heavy and opaque lifting...


Macs aren't configured from the start as a development system. And if you start from a UNIX or Linux distro that isn't either, you'll encounter into the same issues (or worse) with trying to run "./configure && make && make install"


I contend that those are not traditional unices either. This is a very personal definition, but I think a useful one for most that are interested in the distinction.


> I contend that those are not traditional unices either. This is a very personal definition

Ah, okay. I contend that Dell machines aren't computers because they rarely have green LEDs anymore, and surely all computers have green LEDs!

It is interesting to note that by your definition, Solaris, surely a highly traditional UNIX, was, for a long time, not a UNIX (it didn't ship with development tools).


How exactly do you define "traditional unices"?

Based on what you've posted,you'd have a hard time calling anything that. And I'm including AIX, SunOS/Solaris, HP-UX, etc.

What you want is a UNIX or UNIX-like OS that comes pre-installed with GNU-based development tools. This is a choice in configuration, not a definition of what UNIX is or isn't.


Sorry to be pedantic, but if you're using a free operating system, which I assume almost all of us here are, you are almost definitely not using a "UNIX"(tm). A high success rate with ./configure; make; make install; does not mean you have a "full-featured UNIX"; more than likely it means you have Linux, which diverges from traditional big iron Unix OSes in some fairly significant ways.


Whoever downvoted me, please say why. If I'm wrong, I'm very curious to know why (because I work on a macbook and I'd like my life to be easier).


I never use fink, macports or homebrew to install on my Mac. It's pretty much download source, take a look at the README/INSTALL and go from there.

The main issue is that Mac is probably not the usual target system for these builds (in comparison to a mainstream Linux distro). And as such differences in the version of the compiler, the set of libraries, installed dev tools, etc. may lead to build issues. You might have to download a few more things or know to add or override compiler or link flags.

Even with the latest Ubuntu or Fedora distro, you still run into having to know that you might need to install dev files to get a build from source to work (recent example for me is pcre libs for nginx).


Ubuntu is a pretty weak unix.

How do you really go about this? Where did you get your compiler? Where did you get autotools? My point is that OSX doesn't contain the basic requirements for bootstrapping by default anymore.


> How do you really go about this? Where did you get your compiler? Where did you get auto tools?

You install the 'XCode Command Line Tools' as provided by Apple, or one of a number of third-party packages.

Similarly, on many unices, you will need to install a compiler (and particularly autotools); they are not always part of a default install, which may be just as well.


Ubuntu is a weak unix because its not one at all, its a Linux distro (and a watered down divergent fork of Debian at that).

Also, OSX does contain the basic requirements: install XCode from the app store.


I love homebrew, personally. In fact I wish it was available for linux. This is because we have a pretty restricted linux environment at work, and getting the admins to install anything is very difficult and lengthy.

I've gotten by with installing gentoo-prefix in a sub directory, but that is quite wasteful of space. A homebrew setup would be much nicer.




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