Advanced - 1. Running your own Binary Distribution Server

1.1 Introduction

This section describes a method for workgroups of more than one Fink installation to use a central build server ("master") that distributes binary packages to all clients in the group.

The method involves the following steps on the "master" server and on the client machines:

1.2 Steps on "master" (build) server

  1. Install Fink at /sw (default basepath, use a symlink if necessary).
  2. Build packages as usual. They don't necessarily have to be installed, just built.
  3. Run fink scanpackages whenever your set of built packages has changed. This will make fink generate apt indexes for all of your enabled trees.

    As an alternative you could run fink cleanup which will clean all obsolete src and binary packages. scanpackages will be called at the end of the cleaning process.

  4. Start a web server: E.g. enable "Personal Web Sharing" in the Sharing section of System Preferences. Then set up httpd to serve your /sw/fink directory by adding the following lines to your /etc/httpd/httpd.conf file.
    Alias /fink /sw/fink
    <Directory /sw/fink>
      Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
  5. Run sudo /usr/sbin/apachectl graceful to (re)start your web server.

Remember to re-run fink scanpackages (or fink cleanup) whenever you build/update packages on the "master" server to make them available to your remote machines.


You could also create a user 'fink' and add the above lines to /etc/httpd/users/fink.conf.

If you use the apache2 package from Fink adjust the paths above accordingly.

1.3 Steps on client machines

  1. Install Fink at /sw (default basepath).
  2. Run fink configure and enable the option to download packages from the binary distribution. ("UseBinaryDist: true" in the /sw/etc/fink.conf file.)
  3. Edit /sw/etc/apt/sources.list, and add the lines representing your Fink trees. For example, if the IP address of your build box is, you need to add:
    deb stable main crypto
    deb unstable main crypto
    deb local main
  4. Run fink selfupdate. You should see something like:
    Hit stable/main Packages
    Hit stable/main Release
    Hit stable/crypto Packages
    towards the end of the update process (if the verbose level is >= 1).

Running fink update-all or fink install <package> will now download the necessary packages as binaries from the "master" server if available.

1.4 Remarks

This documentation is adapted in part from "Sharing the Fink" by RangerRick. Thanks!