Getting Help

Need help using Fink? Here are your options.

Documentation. The documentation section of this website has a bunch of useful documents. Naturally, those documents are a work in progress and many are incomplete, but they're definitely helpful.

The FAQ. Common problems and their solutions are documented in the online FAQ.

The users mailing list. If you can't figure out your problem by yourself, you can ask on the fink-beginners mailing list or on the fink-users mailing list. You may want to check the fink-beginners archives and also the fink-users archives first - it is tiresome to answer the same question over and over again.

When posting a problem report, be sure to include relevant information - we can't help you if we don't know what your problem is. Some things to include: Fink version, Mac OS X version, versions of relevant packages, the fink command that failed, any error messages that look useful. Also say if you have software from other sources installed in /usr/local or use a custom compiler (e.g. gcc 3).

The IRC channel. There is a #fink channel on the freenode IRC network. You can chat with other Fink users and some of the developers there.

Other Sites. Some links to web discussion forums: XonX forums at SourceForge - forums - MacNN Unix forum - (there are several Unix forums there)

Some links to sites with more or less useful information: XonX - - -


Giving Help

Fink is a volunteer effort. Here's how you can help.

Feedback. Nothing is more valuable than feedback from users. Problem reports, success stories, suggestions and contributions are always welcome. Even if we can't promise to fix everything immediately, it helps a lot to know which parts of Fink need the most attention.

You can provide feedback through the mailing lists, through the various trackers at SourceForge (see the home page for direct links), or directly to package maintainers.

Spread the word. If you like Fink, spread the word. It helps you, because it builds a helpful community; it helps the Fink project, because the packages get more testing; and it helps the Unix world in general, because it helps the recognition of Mac OS X as a Unix OS worth supporting.

You can also tell Apple that you like the path they have taken with the BSD underpinnings of Mac OS X and you would like them to further improve the BSD layer.

Provide Support. If you have some experience to share, join the fink-users mailing list and help solve the problems posted there by other users.

Test packages. Grab the latest package descriptions from CVS, configure Fink to use unstable and test the packages. The package database lists packages that need testing on a separate page. You can send success and failure reports to the package maintainer or a mailing list of your choice.

Documentation. The project is always short on people willing to write documentation.

Make packages. If you have some experience installing Unix software from source, you can help by making new packages. To get started read the Packaging Tutorial. Then grab the Packaging Manual, read it carefully and thoroughly, subscribe to fink-devel, and post your packages to the package submission tracker. Note that your submission will likely be rejected or treated with low priority unless it is compliant with the packaging policy.